Monday, 26 February 2007

Bigots ban book

Previously only allowed to be sold in Australian shops in a plain brown wrapper, Australian authorities have now slapped a ban on The Peaceful Pill Handbook for voluntary euthanasia, launched here in New Zealand by Lindsay Perigo a couple of weeks ago.

Bernard Darnton has the news at his Section 14 blog, and this comment:
So there you have it. In Australia (and stay alert in New Zealand), free speech is less important that the idea that citizens should surrender control of their lives to their political masters and the loss of free speech is regarded as the acceptable collateral damage from the war on drugs.
Perigo's advice at the launch now has even more currency after the Australian ban:
Grab the book while you can, because governments both here and in Australia are making moves to have it banned. Irony of ironies. Not only do the religious bigots ban you ending your own life, or having help to do so, they also want the political bigots to ban you reading about being able to end your own life.
LINKS: Peaceful Pill book banned in Australia - Bernard Darnton, Section 14
Perigo launches voluntary euthanasia handbook - Not PC

RELATED POSTS ON:Politics-Australia, Health, Libertarianism, Religion, Free Speech


  1. My mother always said to me "shoot me if I ever get like that". She was refering to people with Alzheimers and Dementia.

    When she entered the hospice to die, Lewy Body Disease had rendered her completely immobile, unable to speak, and with little recollection of who she was. She was a 6 stone skeleton.

    Despite her condition, death would not come slowly to my mother. She had hardly eaten anything in the weeks prior to her admission and she stopped eating completely on the seventh day. Yet, for the next eleven days, this "wee dot of a woman" somehow clung to life. Her body had so adapted to her condition that it could endure things that normal people cannot. She was now both less than human and more than super-humanly resilient. No normal person cannot survive for more than a few days without fluid, yet for eleven days the only fluid my mother received was the moisture from the regular swapping of her mouth.

    I don't really know what my mother was conscious of. I do know that she was in pain. She could indicate that. They put her on a morphine drip and gave her a special bed.

    This is how terminally ill people die in New Zealand.

    My mother did not want to die like this. Although the hospice staff were wonderful, a pill at the right time would have been far better.

  2. Thanks for that very sad story, Brian. I sympathise.

    Perhaps readers might like to consider the humanity of politicians who would interpose themselves and their own will on other people's lives, especially on people who are in your mother's situation.

    Politicians like Bill English, for example, who in speaking against Peter Brown's 'Death With Dignity Bill' had this to say:

    "Well, pain is part of life, and watching it is part of our humanity."

    Fewer more evil sentences have been uttered in that Parliament. Pain is part of life, and watching it is part of our humanity." What an unspeakably, unutterably foul reason to oppose someone wishing to end their own life with dignity -- "No!" says Bill; God says you must suffer! -- and how abhorrently Catholic.

    Bill presumably spoke with the full knowledge of the views of 'Saint' Mother Teresa, who, in rejecting pain medication for her wards declared, "I think it is very beautiful for the poor to accept their lot, to share it with the passion of Christ. I think the world is being much helped by the suffering of the poor people" -- a view memorably summarised by Christopher Hitchens as "the suffering of the poor is a beautiful thing that helps the world."

    What a disgusting pair, but as Hitchens says, "To say it was unChristian unfortunately would not be true."

    And people wonder why I oppose religious bigotry here at Not PC.

  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  4. Apologies for the couple of typo's in my post.

    Yes, Bill English's statement is disgusting. Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, Lewy Body Disease, and other dementing diseases should not be part of life. These diseases cause incalculable suffering not only for those afflicted but also their families. My mother's suffering went on for years. It was a disease that progressively robbed her of everything that it is to be human.

    One day these diseases will be preventable, if not curable. It is in fact a moral imperative that we bring this about. But right now, by not allowing people who know they have a dementing disease to choose the manner of their death, the State is in fact choosing one of the worst possible deaths for them.


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