Key Points:

The first of two controversial workshops outlining how seriously ill people can take their own lives will be held in Auckland today.

The Exit International seminars are open to people over 50, who have serious health problems.

They are being run by Exit International directors Philip Nitschke, dubbed Dr Death, and Fiona Stewart.

They were held up by customs checks on the literature they brought with them when they arrived in Auckland from Australia.

Fiona Stewart says she feels violated by that, and hopes for a different reception during the rest of the visit.

She is unconvinced by claims thousands of elderly New Zealanders are living in fear of being euthanised.

Christian pro-life group Family Life International claims an increasing number of elderly people are coming to it concerned the medical profession is swaying towards euthanasia.

It says they fear they will be put to sleep by doctors sympathetic to the method.

Dr Stewart doubts that.

She says euthanasia is all about choice.