For Release: 9 December 2008

The Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) is urging authorities to keep a close eye on euthanasia workshops to be held in Perth this week, pointing out that euthanasia is illegal under Australian law.

ACL’s West Australian Director Michelle Pearse said that concerns raised by the family of Erin Berg - a Perth mother-of-four who committed suicide in Mexico allegedly using Nembutal – have again thrown the spotlight on ethical and legal questions concerning the promotion of suicide methods and the advocating of euthanasia.

“The sisters of Ms Berg have done a great service for the community in raising their concerns over the euthanasia workshops and the needless death of a loved one who was going through a vulnerable time,” Ms Pearse said.

“Although Ms Berg didn’t herself attend an Exit International workshop there have certainly been media reports in the past of others who have committed suicide after doing so.

“How tragic to also learn that Ms Berg’s death has even been referred to in euthanasia workshops.”

Mrs Pearse supported the recent call of Ms Berg’s sisters for euthanasia advocate Philip Nitschke’s book ‘Killing Me Softly’ to be reclassified, saying it should not be freely available given the concerns raised about it contributing to Ms Berg’s death.

“This very sad death again reminds us of our need to better support the vulnerable in our society and the need to ensure that euthanasia remains illegal,” Mrs Pearse said.

“We should be affirming the unique and intrinsic worth of all human beings, no matter what their physical, mental or emotional state might be.”

Media Contact: Michelle Pearse: 0400 869 107 or Glynis Quinlan: 0408 875 979