Euthanasia book ban ineffective: Qld priest

Sunshine Coast priest, Fr John Dobson, says that an attempted Federal Government ban on a controversial book offering tips on self-help euthanasia is not likely to stop those who want to commit suicide.

"People that will look for that, will look for that," Fr Dobson, who is parish priest of Caloundra, told the Sunshine Coast Daily.

"There's quite a number of suicides on the Sunshine Coast each week and keeping a book like that out of people's hands won't stop them."

Sunshine Coast euthanasia advocates labelled Attorney-General Philip Ruddock's attempts to block publication of a book on the controversial subject as "ridiculous", according to the Sunshine Coast paper.

Mr Ruddock is appealing a decision by the Office of Film and Literature Classification to approve the sale of a self-help euthanasia book by euthanasia supporter Dr Philip Nitschke.

The book offers advice and tips to those considering euthanasia and is being sold in the US and Canada.

Dr Nitschke also denies his book would lead to an increase in Australia's suicide rate.

Bishop Anthony Fisher, Sydney Episcopal Vicar for Life and Health, last week labelled the book "appalling" and accused Dr Nitschke of suffering "limelight deprivation".

He told the Sydney Catholic Weekly that bookshops stocking such books are cooperating in "a very grave evil."

However, Anti-euthanasia campaigner Tom Kylie said he believed the book should be published because while he opposed what it advocated, he believed it was important an open and educated discussion be held on the subject.

"I'm not for this idea of book burning and all the rest," he told reporters.

Advocates furious at euthanasia book ban (Sunshine Coast Daily, 15/1/07)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
The Peaceful Pill Handbook website
Life Office (Archdiocese of Sydney)

Life Office hails ban on suicide messaging (CathNews, 13/1/06)
Vatican bioethicist says patient's tube 'direct euthanasia' (CathNews, 14/3/05)
Bishop-elect Fisher to debate Australia's 'Dr Death' (CathNews, 8/8/03)

Suicide manuals a 'grave evil', says Bishop Fisher (Catholic Weekly, 7/1/07)

16 Jan 2007