Friday, June 6, 2008

Suicide websites and internet chatrooms could be closed down

Madeleine Moon, MP (Bridgend in South Wales), is asking her government to amend the 1961 law that forbids suicide counseling by making it illegal to counsel or promote suicide via the internet, email or other communications devices.

There have been 20 recent suicides in South Wales that are believed to have involved suicide sites or suicide chatrooms.

Currently the law is interpreted to only forbid face to face suicide aiding, abeting or counseling suicide.

Moon stated that "these websites are horrendous. They push people to kill themselves and tell them how to do it."

Vernon Coaker, the Home Office Minister told the justice committee that the Government was determined to act.

He stated that: "Aiding and abeting suicide, online or offline, is illegal. Something should be done about it and they (websites) should be taken down."

A Ministry of Justice spokesman said: "There are difficulties as many of them are based overseas, but we're considering whether the law can be strengthened.

At the same time Japan is being hit by more horrific suicide deaths in connection to suicide websites.

There have been at least 182 cases since late March in which people have killed themselves following instructions on the internet that explain how to mix household chemicals to generate hydrogen sulphide gas.,22049,23809619-5006003,00.html

Every nation needs to outlaw suicide promoting websites in a similar manner as Australia did a few years ago. If the UK strengthens their laws concerning suicide websites, momentum will be started for Canada and the other common law nations to follow suit.

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