How-to books on the subject of suicide don’t seem to be welcome in New Zealand. The Australian author and assisted-suicide advocate Philip Nitschke was detained by authorities in a New Zealand airport earlier this week, and several copies of his book “ The Peaceful Pill Handbook “ were confiscated from him. According to TV New Zealand:
Nitschke arrived in Auckland ahead of a meeting on Monday with New Zealand’s Chief Censor Bill Hastings, when he planned to resubmit the Peaceful Pill Handbook for classification.
Nitschke, who also plans to conduct a series of workshops while in NZ, said he had been “taken aback” by the incident. “I have occasionally been detained … but this is by far the most detailed and thorough and heavy encounter I have ever had with any authority,” he said from his hotel in Auckland.
The handbook was originally submitted last year but was banned in June when New Zealand’s Office of Film and Literature Classification gave the handbook an “objectionable” rating. The two copies taken from him were amended versions he hoped would be approved for sale by authorities.
Coincidentally, the Times Online has just compiled a list of “ten extraordinary literary suicides,” and reading it, you kind of have to wonder if some of those people couldn’t have used a few tips from Nitschke’s book.