Tuesday 9 October 2012

It’s Harsh, I Know, But This Really IS The Price Of Freedom…

Two mothers whose sons took their own lives are joining forces to pile pressure on the Government to ban websites selling 'death in a bag' suicide kits.
Never mind the logistics, feel the emotion!
The mothers' demands come days after the Government announced a new suicide-reducing strategy, ring-fencing £1.5 million to research possible preventable measures, but which stops short of exploring the advantages of an outright ban on suicide websites.
Well, yes. There’s precious little point in them spending yet more time and money on nonsensical ‘solutions’ that are circumvented at the speed of light, is there? Didn’t we learn anything from the Internet piracy debate?

But of course, pointing out that what they want is untenable and unachievable is clearly not the done thing. These ladies are grieving, after all!
Mrs Boyle, whose son Kevin – a high-profile chef trained by Jamie Oliver who took his own life after ordering a suicide kit online aged 26 – said: "I want to see suicide websites banned. I want them stopped at point of entry to the UK."
Well, of course you do. The bereaved want all sorts of things that are irrational and impossible.
"These websites are defended under the auspices of freedom of speech which unfortunately means these people take this to mean they can do what they want. But they can't.
"These people are earning money from the death of our children.
"I want the people selling these web kits brought to justice because in this country assisted suicide is against the law.
"It's about time the Government stands up and does the job we pay it to do and introduces a ban."
I wasn’t aware that I’d elected a government to suppress free speech on the Internet. Silly me…
Mrs Boyle, who revealed the website Kevin used was traced to Honduras, Central America, is calling for a blanket internet service provider filter which effectively bans access anywhere in the UK.
And which will be circumvented just as easily at the Pirate Bay’s blanket ban.

And, lest you think it’s just the kits and that would be OK, we could agree to that, well…
Mrs Lane, of Southwood Avenue, whose son Christopher took his own life in 2008 aged 31, after ordering a book on the internet, will also use the Government's announcement to push for stricter laws.
At least she isn’t calling for books to be banned. Yet.
She said: "Christopher was able to do it very easily. Me and Patti were both parents at Reedham Park School and we feel very strongly about this.
"Although Christopher didn't buy a 'death in a bag' kit, I feel sure he would have now, and I feel very strongly these sites should be banned.
"People argue that people who want to kill themselves will do anyway, but it makes it so quick and easy.
"People can feel suicidal on a Monday and be dead on the Tuesday without having any cooling off period or any time to reconsider what they are doing.
"I think changing legislation will save lives. It will certainly give families more time to step in and understand what is happening."
Given that you presumably didn’t know what he’d planned to do, just how can having ‘more time’ in which not to know what he plans to do have made the slightest little bit of difference?

 But I can see this being accepted by those for whom grieving relatives’ wishes are the 'impeachable moral authority' they need to push through their own little authoritarian agendas, helped by a fawning, mawkish press that gives grieving relatives the oxygen of publicity.

Hasn't yesterday's debacle pointed this out to us in graphic detail?


Furor Teutonicus said...

I think I have tracked it down. All this idiocy, and general imbicility of the general populace bagann SHORTLY after the introduction of Floride into the tap water.... Coincidence?

Dr Cromarty said...

My brother committed suicide by sticking a hose pipe from the exhaust into the car. There's not a day goes by that I don't miss him or have regrets that I couldn't prevent his death.

How about banning hose pipes? Or cars?

These women are bereaved, yes. Every sympathy, yes. But they are also f****** idiots if they think they can get this one to work. Been there, got the dead brother. Banning stuff isn't going to bring him back.

Anonymous said...

My condolences to you Dr, C.

I know a bloke who has attempted suicide twice. The second time he connected a hosepipe to the exhaust of his Reliant Robin. He failed only because the car ran out of petrol. He is now known amongst our circle of friends as "Painless".

Clearly hose who are contemplating ending their lives are driven to despair because of loss, bereavement or some form of mental break down. Banning websites isn't going to stop them if they are so determined to give up on life.

John Pickworth said...

People can feel suicidal on a Monday and be dead on the Tuesday without having any cooling off period or any time to reconsider what they are doing."

Okay then, no more death kits via the web... sell them door-to-door with the automatic statutory right to a 14 day cooling off period. Simples.

And anyway, what about all those old 50s and 60s TV dramas, and movies showing people popping their heads into the oven? Or today's newspaper reports of folk falling off bridges or onto train lines? Shall we ban all mention of suicide whatever the medium?

Anonymous said...

Dont people 'step under buses ' anymore?

JuliaM said...


Well, I suspect the gradual deterioration of our country is down to a bit more than that...

"These women are bereaved, yes. Every sympathy, yes."

Oh, me too. And I'm sorry to hear about your brother. But as you correctly surmise, if they are planning to do it, they rarely tell anyone and they will do it, availability of kit or not.

"Shall we ban all mention of suicide whatever the medium?"

Please don't give them ideas!

banned said...

"People argue that people who want to kill themselves will do anyway, but it makes it so quick and easy"

Perhaps she would have preferred her son to have had a lingering and painful death?

I did not know about these "suicide kit in a bag" websites, I do now.

Furor Teutonicus said...

XX People can feel suicidal on a Monday and be dead on the Tuesday without having any cooling off period or any time to reconsider what they are doing." XX

Well....quite, THAT is how suicide WORKS.

Maybe the kits should only be available through Amazon, by the time they eventualy turn up, you will have probably died of old age any way.

Woman on a Raft said...

Perhaps they could set up an alternative charity "Life in a Bag", get some advice on suitable search terms.

Then, when young men are looking for advice on drastic measures they might find the website and be able to get some help instead.

I doubt there is any way to lessen this grief but it might be managed by doing something more likely to help another young man than ineffective bans would.