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Censor Bans Suicide Video

8 December 2008

Media Release

Censor Bans Suicide Video

Right to Life welcomes the decision of the Chief Censor, Bill Hastings of the Office of Film &Literature Classification to classify the Dr Nitschke’s suicide video Objectionable.

The decision was made on 24 November 2008. The decision followed a written complaint against the video by Right to Life New Zealand made on 26 June 2008 and by The Society for the Protection of Community Standards.

The video was titled “The Peaceful Pill: Single Shot.” The video described how to manufacture the drug Nembutal a Class C drug contrary to the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975. The Censor stated in his judgment; “that the film promotes and encourages criminal acts by making them seem a completely normal and positive part of everyday life.” The judgment went on to say; “Any use of the film as a basis on which to manufacture a drug said to induce a peaceful death is more likely to cause a violent injury or death by accident.”

This historic decision of the Chief Censor is a victory for a culture of life and is the first time in New Zealand that a complaint has been upheld against Dr Philip Nitschke for promoting suicide through film or literature.

Right to Life is disappointed that the Chief Censor has rejected a similar complaint against the suicide video, “Doing it with Betty.” The decision states that the film is classified as “unrestricted” This video demonstrates how a person may commit suicide with a plastic bag. The Censor in his decision stated that; “The innocuous nature of this film’s content is unlikely to make its unrestricted availability injurious to the public good.”

Right to Life challenges this decision and will seek permission to have the decision reviewed by the Classification Review Office. It is understood that Dr Nitschke proposes to produce a further 14 suicide promotional videos. It is the intention of Right to Life to challenge these videos at the appropriate time by presenting a written complaint with the Office of Film and Literature Classification seeking to have them banned as “objectionable.”

The videos promote suicide as an option for the seriously ill and elderly. The videos promote a culture of death, attack our inalienable right to life and undermines the common good. It should be noted that Dr Nitschke has previously stated, that the knowledge he provides should be readily available to “anyone who wants it including the depressed the elderly bereaved, and the troubled teen.” Dr Nitschke seeks to promote suicide as a human right and a right to choose. Right to Life is committed to opposing the culture of death promoted by Dr Nitschke which is a threat to our whole community.

Our Society is committed to promoting a culture of life that upholds the right to life of every person from conception to natural death.


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