By Peter J. Smith

TORONTO, September 11, 2006 ( – The recent efforts of Australia and other nations to ban the promotion of suicide through the internet has euthanasia advocates complaining that the loss of the internet may prove lethal to the “right-to-die” movement itself.

In late 2005, Australia passed the Suicide Related Material Offences Act, which effectively outlawed suicide counseling by fax, telephone, and internet, the tools of choice employed by suicide advocates to educate and encourage people to commit suicide.

This year Germany also has begun to follow suit by proposing similar legislation that would also outlaw internet suicide counseling.

However, some euthanasia proponents are convinced that such laws may threaten their existence. Australian Doctor Philip Nitschke – who recently unveiled the creation of his “peaceful pill” for lethal suicide – had to divide Exit in Australia into two organizations, and base his website in New Zealand on account of Australia’s tough laws against promoting suicide.

At the 16th biennial World Federation of Right to Die Societies, euthanasia proponents like Dr. Philip Nitschke recognized that these laws could cut off the life-line of the “right to die” movement, since most euthanasia societies rely on internet and e-mail “counseling services” to explain and promote suicide.

Pro-life organizations and charities are well aware that the age of the internet has made the lonely, depressed, and the young especially vulnerable to the online peddling of suicide by “right to die” activists. Papyrus, a British charity that works to help the depressed and young people not turn to suicide, reports that tens of millions of web pages on the internet are dedicated to discussing suicide, and give technical information and advice on the more painless methods of suicide, or encourage suicide through chatroom suicide-networks. It has launched a drive in the United Kingdom to encourage the government to ban the use of the internet to promote suicide.

In comments to, Alex Schadenberg, the Executive Director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, warned that Canada and the world’s nations must make the internet promotion of euthanasia “illegal on a world-wide basis” to protect the vulnerable from these deadly internet predators.

“The Canadian government needs to recognize that vulnerable depressed people and troubled teens are being influenced by internet sites that are promoting suicide and suicide pacts and that the only way to truly protect people from the extreme activists, such as, Philip Nitschke, who runs his own internet suicide site, is by banning these sites completely,” said Schadenberg.

“This will only be effective if it is done by all nations who recognize that the problem of suicide can only be effectively combated by shutting down the elements in society who encourage suicide as a right for all.”