By Thaddeus M. Baklinski

OTTAWA, November 19, 2009 ( – A motion, tabled in the House of Commons on May 26th by Kitchener MP Harold Albrecht, which proposes that the government should make it a criminal offense to use the Internet to counsel a person to commit suicide, was unanimously passed at second reading on Wednesday, November 18.

The Motion was introduced following the well-publicized case of Nadia Kajouji, the 18 year-old Carleton University student who committed suicide in 2008 after allegedly being coaxed to do so in an Internet chat room.

Kajouji, a seriously depressed young woman from Brampton, Ontario, jumped into the freezing Rideau River in early March 2008. It was later revealed that she had been in conversation in an Internet chat group with William Melchert-Dinkel, a 46-year-old health care worker from Minnesota who had been posing as a teenage girl. The man had allegedly urged Kajouji to hang herself in front of a webcam so others could watch and promised he would die with her.

Motion 388 proposes that the government should ensure that counseling, aiding or abetting a person to commit suicide is a Criminal Code offence “regardless of the means used to counsel or aid or abet including via telecommunications, the Internet or a computer system.”

Alex Schadenberg, executive director of Canada's Euthanasia Prevention Coalition (EPC) welcomed the Motion and told that there are serious concerns that people who suffer from depression could become victims of “suicide predators” who use the Internet.

See previous LSN coverage of Motion 388:

Canadian Private Member's Motion Would Make Internet Counselling for Suicide a Criminal Offense

MP Who Introduced Bill to Criminalize Online Suicide Counselling Explains His Motives

Mother of Suicide Victim Exhorts MPs to Criminalize Online Suicide Counseling