Australian parliament censors MP’s euthanasia speech

  • Date / 2 September 2006

Sandra KanckSouth Australian Democrat MP Sandra Kanck has published a speech made to the South Australian parliament about euthanasia on a New Zealand site after the parliament voted to censor its own proceedings on its own web site.

Ms Kanck says her comments highlight the need for legal euthanasia, and that the public should have access to them. “All I’m offering is a little bit of very moderate advice, it’s nothing like the other stuff that you can get on the world wide web,” she said.

Ms Kanck’s speech was designed to draw attention to federal laws that ban all electronic publication of suicide methods. She says about 120 people have asked for the speech, and she has no concerns about any of them wanting to commit suicide.

“I don’t think anyone’s at risk of committing suicide, they’re saying the same things that I say, which is, ‘If I get to that point in my life I want to be able to end my life peacefully and humanely, particularly if we don’t have the voluntary euthanasia legislation to allow it’,” she said.

The speech was published on euthanasia campaigner Philip Nitschke’s web site. “The reason it’s a New Zealand hosted site is, of course, because of the Australian Suicide Related Materials Act, a federal Act that came through this year,” he said.

The New Zealand Government has released a statement saying the country has freedom of speech under the Bill of Rights Act, and that the Government has no role in the area.

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