Pattaya Daily News

13 September 2010 :: 16:09:57 pm 38574

Australia Outlaws Controversial pro-Euthanasia Advert

Australia has outlawed a controversial pro-euthanasia advertisement, the first in many years to challenge a legal ban on the practice. Regulators cite promotion of suicide as the reason behind the ban.
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Australia, the 13th of September 2010: In the advert, a gaunt looking actor speaks of his intolerable suffering due to terminal illness, urging the government to listen to those who want to ‘die with dignity’.

“I chose to marry Tina, have two great kids. I chose to always drive a Ford. What I didn’t choose was being terminally ill. I didn’t choose to starve to death because eating is like swallowing razor blades and I certainly didn’t choose to have to watch my family go through it with me. I’ve made my final choice. I just need the government to listen.”

Australian regulators immediately moved to ban the advert from public broadcasting due to fears that it promotes suicide, which is illegal in Australia. Meanwhile, the group behind the campaign, Exit International, told the media is would fight for its reinstatement on national television.

Australia has a history like no other country regarding the controversial practice of euthanasia. In 1996, the Northern Territory government introduced the world’s first voluntary euthanasia law before it was later overturned by the federal government.

The model to which the Northern Territory law was based on has now been adapted and but into practice in Holland, Belgium, Luxembourg, Montana, Washington and Oregon, but remains outlawed in Australia.

Dr. Philip Nitschke, director of lobbyist group Exit International, says it is time to restart the euthanasia debate with a new generation of Australians. “The Northern Territory brought in legislation 15 years ago which was the world’s first but now there’s many models to copy from,” he says.

The last attempt to advertise pro-euthanasia campaigns on Australian television occurred more than 10-years ago, featuring a woman suffering from bladder cancer appealing for her ‘right’ to die. Adding fuel to the fire back then, her disease later reportedly went into remission, with her case being used widely by anti-euthanasia groups worldwide.

Reporter : John Weston   Photo : Internet   Category : World News

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