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 byThe Society for the Protection of Community Standards.
First it was going to be only those who were dying and wanted to who would be euthanased.
The Right to die they said, was a human right
Next it was those who were dying, did not want to but were anyway.
Welcome to the brave new world.
On the 8 May the Office of Film and Literature [OFLC], classified the book as R18. Right to Life appealed this decision to the Classification Review Board.
Submission (Amended & Final Version) From Right to Life New Zealand Inc.
Re: Classification of The Peaceful Pill Handbook (New Revised International Version) by Dr Philip Nitschke and Fiona Stewart
Right to Life on 12 May 2008 sought leave to apply for a review of the classification of the controversial suicide handbook, The Peaceful Pill Handbook [New Revised International Edition] authored by Dr Philip Nitschke and Fiona Stewart. Leave was sought under section 47 [e] of the Films, Videos, and Publications Classification Act (1993). The Office of Film and Literature Classification Office produced a decision on the 18th of March on the original edition of the book deeming it objectionable and declared it banned for sale or distribution within New Zealand.
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”.
Dr Philip Nitschke should accept some responsibility for the tragic suicide of a Wellington woman. She was not terminally ill. Dr Nitschke encouraged the deeply depressed woman to travel to Mexico to purchase the deadly drug Nembutal. Nembutal is a class C prohibited drug. A person possessing this drug unlawfully could be charged and on conviction, receive a prison sentence of up to 3 months or a fine up to $500. It was possibly unlawful for Dr Nitschke to encourage this woman and others to break the law. It is a violation of Section 63 of the Crimes Act to encourage, entice or assist any person to commit suicide. Why does the government not have the Police investigate Dr Nitschke with a view to having him brought before the Court? He is promoting a culture of death. The Australian government to protect the community, passed legislation to prohibit Dr Nitschke from displaying Exit International on an Australian internet provider because it was promoting suicide. Our government citing free speech shamefully allows him to use a New Zealand provider and conduct euthanasia workshops. Our Society calls upon the government to ban Dr Nitschke’s entry into New Zealand for the purpose of conducting euthanasia workshops.
Right to Life New Zealand Inc.
Lets be very clear when the next major push comes from those who wish to promote Euthanasia and Physician Assisted Suicide in New Zealand. Lets learn from the experience of others when we hear of emotive reasons behind the "need" for the killing of those who are dying. This debate as we know is characterised by passionate debate on both sides of the fence. But as one commentator in the state of Oregon has recently commented, the implications for all of us must be studied very carefully. Looking at all the evidence and good law requires far more than emotion, passion and feeling.
Oregon’s law relating to Physician Assisted Suicide (H.168), was sold to the people of that state as a way of compassionately ending the pain of those suffering from uncontrollable degrees of it and who had less than six months to live.
The facts however are that there has not been a single documented case of PAS being used for a terminally ill patient with uncontrollable pain. Each case in which a person has been killed has been based on psychological and social concerns.
A study of 129 cases from 1998 to 2002 in Oregon, reveals the following reasons that a person chose to exercise the PAS option.
44 – burden on family, friends and caregivers;
99 – decreasing participation in activities;
73 – losing control of bodily functions;
106 – losing autonomy
28 – fear of pain.
There were no citations of experiencing uncontrollable pain.
In addition, PAS has been used in Oregon to remove those who are seen as a "burden" on their families and that state, has taken the first steps leading to euthanasia.
What can we in New Zealand learn from Oregon’s experience? If one thing is for sure it is that our legislators now have no excuse for using the pain argument when the facts so clearly speak for themselves.
(President Right to Life New Zealand Inc.)