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Action Urged Regarding Dr Philipe Nitschke

9 January 2005

Action Urged Regarding Dr Philipe Nitschke

Right to Life calls upon the Minister of Justice to take urgent action to investigate charging Dr Phillip Nitschke [Dr Death] with violating Section 63 of the Crimes Act. 1961. It is a serious crime in New Zealand to encourage or assist any person to commit suicide. Dr Nitschke has recently transferred the web site of the euthanasia society Exit International from an Australian internet provider to a New Zealand based provider. This web site is an encouragement to persons to commit suicide.

This action was taken to avoid prosecution in Australia under the Suicide Material Offences Act 2005, which came into effect on 6th January` 06. This legislation prohibited the use of the telephone, fax or internet to encourage persons to commit suicide. On conviction a person could be fined up to A$100, 000. This legislation was passed by the Australian Parliament specifically to stop Dr Nitschke`s promotion of suicide.

The New Zealand Government has a duty to defend life, to promote a culture of life and to oppose a culture of death. Right to Life wrote to the Minister of Justice in October 05, requesting that the Government urgently introduce similar legislation to that of the Australian Act. The Minister advised in a letter to our Society in December, that this was an issue that the Government took very seriously.

The Minister stated, “This Government will give priority to measures that are necessary to protect the vulnerable in our society.” The Minister advised that no new legislation was necessary as “I am of the view that the Crimes Act currently provides sufficient protection for vulnerable persons in the circumstances you describe.”

The New Zealand Government has a duty to defend life and protect the vulnerable by acting urgently to uphold the rule of law by stopping the promotion of suicide by Dr Nitschke, through his New Zealand based web site.


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