12 May 2008
Mr Brendan Boyle,
The Secretary of Internal Affairs,
Department of Internal Affairs,
Dear Mr Boyle
Re “The Peaceful Pill” Classification
Right to Life New Zealand Inc seeks leave in terms of the Films, Videos, and Publications Classification Act 1993, section 47[e], to apply to the Film and Literature Board of Review for a review of the classification of the amended version of the suicide book “The peaceful Pill”.
This book contains information on how one may take their life and describes how one can travel to Mexico to purchase the lethal and prohibited class C drug, Nembutal. It is noted that the Crimes Act section 179 states that it is unlawful to encourage, entice or assist any person to commit suicide.
The chief censor has previously stated that the publication is a well intentioned book that advocates law reform and gives advice to enable the seriously ill and elderly “to make carefully considered and fully informed decisions about their own life and death.” He also states that Dr Nitschke has a right under the New Zealand Bill of Rights to free expression. Right to Life challenges the legitimacy of these statements. Our right to free speech is subject to the obligation to use this right for the betterment of others and to promote the common good. We believe that there is no right to encourage others to destroy themselves. This book is a threat to the vulnerable in society and we believe that for the good of society it should be banned.
It is our understanding that the classification decision issued by the Chief Censor’s Office was registered on Friday 9May 2008. We expect that it will be entered into the published List of Decisions on Friday 13 June2008.
The required application form has been completed and forwarded to your office by fax, with the reasons for our Society seeking this review set out briefly. Our Society requests that the required fee be reduced on the grounds that we are a non profit organisation with no commercial interest in the outcome of the requested review.
Ken Orr, for executive.