Sunday, September 10, 2006

Call to ban pro-suicide websites

There has been a steady flow of such stories and "calls" over the last year or so. Life is hard and suicide is legal. If people want data on how to kill themselves, then they should be able to get it. Better that they find the least painful and most sure methods than that they cripple themselves and have to live in impotent regret. The suicide rate in Britain is at an historic low, so hysteria about the internet's role is misplaced.

I suspect the steady drip of negative commentary against the "destructive web" (as the BBC link to this story calls it) is preparation for attempts at censorship of an increasingly important source of information in an increasingly controlled society. When New Labour can reduce political blogs to the same impotent sycophancy as Nick Robinson and Andrew Marr, for examples, we will know that a Golden Age is over.

The World Wide Web is growing into a perfect library of all human knowledge, beliefs, stories and lies. Any restrictions on access to it should be considered in that context. There is, of course, an issue over the protection of children too young to make rational decisions. That has always been there and it's for parents to decide what it's safe for their children to read - not the state.

The cries of parents in such cases are no more than attempts to foist blame on "society" (which since it is said to be to blame for everything can shrug off all the blame that is thrown). I can sympathise with their pain. Any parent can. But "hard cases make bad law". Law is not benign but destructive. Sometimes, like military force, it cannot be avoided, but it should be deployed with just as much reluctance.

It is hard to know whether New Labourites are more culpable as war-mongers or law-mongers. I think history will report that their laws were worse than their wars.

BBC NEWS | Health | Call to ban pro-suicide websites

3 comments:

UBERMOUTH said...

Good for you for taking a difinite stance on a hot issue.
My only concerns are the children on the net coming across harmful material , like pro ana sites which promote and educate young girls in the finer points of Anorexia Nervosa.

Curious to know your stance on that?

In terms of suicide though, I believe it should be state sanctioned, and made as safe and painless as possible, in a conrolled enviornment.
The point of life is quality, not quantity, and only the individual can decide if their life is worth the daily grind of it all.
I do think 3 doctors should have to give permission for state sanctioned suicide-to make sure it's not a temporary frame of mind-and all remedies have been tried.

We take more care in lessening the suffering of our animals.

UBERMOUTH said...

Hmmmm...does this moderation have anything to do with my commenting here recently?

Tom Paine said...

No. I just didn't see the comments for a while as this blog is dormant now and I don't check very often. Do try not to see conspiracy in every corner. Some people are out to get you, no doubt, but not me (yet).

My current blog is at lastditch.typepad.com.