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A bill legalizing physician-assisted death for terminally ill patients in Colorado is being drafted and would probably be introduced later this year.

Roland Halpern, the regional director of Compassion and Choices in Denver, said surveys show that 90 percent of people ages 65 and older want to die at home but only 24 percent have been able to achieve it, and 55 percent of them will succumb to a terminal illness.

Halpern said even in Oregon only about 60 percent to 65 percent of patients who get the prescription to end their lives use it, but they want to have that option.

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Oregon’s first-in-the-nation Death with Dignity law turned 20 this month, establishing a substantial record of who dies and why.

As of last year, 1,173 Oregonians have qualified for lethal prescriptions, and 752 patients have used them to end their lives. The typical participant was white, well-educated, over 65 years old and suffering from terminal cancer.

The vast majority had health insurance and died at home.

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Brittany Maynard took her life on the day she had predicted, Saturday, November 1, 2014.
A brave person who faced up realistically to the tragedy in her life. Her story has had an impact.

About 70 terminal residents every year in Oregon use this law to hasten their ends.

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(Take your pick!)

Help with a good death – in whichever way is desired, justifiable and appropriate. A broad, generic term for the right to die.

Voluntary Euthanasia:
When a physician administers a lethal dose to a dying person at their request.

For when a doctor prescribes a lethal overdose which the dying patient chooses to drink:
Physician-assisted suicide; Physician-assisted death; Physician-assisted dying; Physician-hastened death; Death With Dignity; Aid in Dying; Medically-assisted dying; Medicide (Kevorkian book); Physician-managed death; Mercy killing; Terminal sedation.

For when a terminal patient chooses to end his or her own life without medical help:
Self-deliverance; Patient-directed dying (Preston book); Humane self-chosen death; Auto-euthanasia; Rational suicide; Hastened death; Right to choose to die; Choice in dying; Self-determination; Suicide; Assisted suicide; Final Exit (Humphry book); Managed death; Self-destruction; self-murder; self-directed death; Peaceful Pill (Nitschke book); Drion Pill; stopping eating and drinking.

Common euphemisms to avoid saying dead :
Passed away; Passed on; Gone to a better place; Departed; Gone to meet the Maker; Gone to meet the majority; Gone to the world of light; Gone to Davy Jones’s locker; Crossed to the other side; Gone to sleep with the fishes; Quietly slipped from our embrace; Succumbed; Called home; Got her/his final reward; Expired; Dearly departed; Gone to Jesus.

The criminal world has its own set of avoidances of the reality of death:
Whacked, smoked, wasted, rubbed out, deep sixed; given cement overshoes.

Finally, there are the humorous and sardonic terms for death: Croaked, gave up the ghost, put on the wooden overcoat, total goner, kicked the bucket, dead as a doornail, snuffed it, bit the dust, bought the farm, flat-lined, pushing up daisies, celestial discharge, negative patient-care outcome.

Note: It would be useful if we still had Shakespeare around to invent modern new terms, because nobody currently can agree on the foregoing ones.

10.30.14 — Derek Humphry (ergo@finalexit.org) Oregon

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Last month Derek Humphry was given the World Federation of Right To Die Societies “Lifetime Achievement Award” for ‘contributing so much, so long and so courageously to our right to a peaceful death.’

The award was presented by world president Faye Girsh at the 20th international conference in Chicago on 9/19/2014. It is the first time this award has been made.

Derek began working in the right-to-die movement in l978. He founded the original Hemlock Society USA in 1980. (It ceased in 2003) Since l993 he has been president of the Euthanasia Research and Guidance Organization (ERGO).

He is the author of the best-selling books ‘Jean’s Way’ and ‘Final Exit’.

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Doctors in the Netherlands assisted 4,829 people to die in 2013, representing a 15% percent increase over 2012. The vast majority of cases involved patients suffering with cancer or unbearable pain, according to a report published by the five regional review committees.

The report outlined how doctors working in 2013 performed the euthanasia procedure in almost all cases. The committee flagged doctors in five cases because they did not perform the procedure according to the guidelines. In two cases, doctors made mistakes in their methodology, prescribing a non-standard drug to make the patient comatose. In none of the five cases were the errors so severe that the Public Prosecutor had to be called in.

Of the 4,829 people who were assisted, almost 3,600 were suffering from cancer related illnesses, 42 people reported having the procedure due to severe psychiatric problems, and 97 due to dementia cases where the patents were able to communicate their wish to die.

Euthanasia has been legal in the Netherlands under strict conditions since 2002.

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The ADVANCE DIRECTIVE (also known as a Living Will)

You can download an Advance Directive for $5 at this site:


Drawn up by Faye Girsh, EdD, former chief executive of the Hemlock Society USA, the Advance Directive available through ERGO does not claim to be an enforceable legal document. It is an honest expression of a person’s wishes while they still have all their marbles. Intelligent, caring people would likely respect it as a human right.

Dr. Girsh calls her document “My Last Wishes (in the event of irreversible cognitive decline)” and outlines how you would wish to be treated if a brain affliction ever affected you.

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Gerald A. Larue dies at 98; former minister debunked biblical stories
By Elaine Woo of the Los Angeles Times 09.22.14

Gerald A. Larue — an ordained minister who became an agnostic, archeologist, religious scholar and debunker of claims such as Lazarus rising from the dead and the discovery of Noah’s ark — has died. He was 98.

The longtime USC professor of religion and gerontology died Wednesday in Newport Beach after a stroke, said his son, David.

“He was an inspirational thinker, and that’s an oxymoron, especially in religion,” said USC professor of gerontology Vern Bengtson. “You find people who are an inspiration and people who are thinkers; they often do not go together. But Gerry was able to do that.”

During an academic career spanning five decades, Larue became a widely cited expert on topics including Satanism, visions of Mary, and death and dying. He wrote or co-wrote a dozen books, including the provocatively titled “Sex and the Bible” (1983) and “Playing God: Fifty Religions’ Views on Your Right to Die” (1996).

In 1980 he became founding president of the Hemlock Society, conceived by “Final Exit” author and right-to-die movement pioneer Derek Humphry to provide information to the terminally ill and legalize physician-assisted suicide.

“He stepped up to the plate when others were afraid,” Humphry Continue Reading »

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World Leaders in Right to Die with Dignity Movement to Meet in Chicago

Members of the World Federation of Right to Die Societies, comprising 52 organizations in 27 countries, will meet in Chicago September 17-21. Hosting is Final Exit Network, an all-volunteer, nonprofit organization serving members in the United States who are suffering from intolerable physical conditions and are considering ending their misery and their lives.

The presenters will include the giants of our global movement, death-with-dignity’s forerunners. Each speaker has historically played an important part in allowing our collective voice to be heard. They will air developments in their respective countries and discuss issues that break current barriers, such as old -age rational suicide and euthanasia for consenting children. Their stories are replete with risk-taking, courage, and drama. Audience members will reap from this conference a far deeper understanding of the issues involved.

All the delegates’ presentations – no matter how controversial, leading-edge, and provocative – will be open to the press. Among them will be those from the Netherlands and Switzerland and others from the vanguard of the Movement, our “elders,” with wisdom and experience to share. The full program and speaker biographies are available at http://www.wfconf2014.com/

Delegates will be welcomed by a video recording of Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s sharing his support of assisted dying. As a colleague and friend of the late Nelson Mandela he was critical of the drawn-out and undignified death of South Africa’s most famous leader.

FEN is an all-volunteer, 3000 -member organization that offers counseling, support, and specific information on self-deliverance if a member wants to explore that option. FEN President Stephenson stresses that “FEN does not encourage anyone to end his or her life, does not provide the means to do so, and does not actively assist in the person’s death. We do, however, believe in the ultimate human right of people to end their life when medical circumstances justify that choice, and we support them in whatever choice they make.”

In the U.S., only Final Exit Network supports qualified members who are not “terminal” (with a projected 6 months left to live), because some serious diseases create years of misery before that final stage is reached.

Contact this website: www.finalexitnetwork.org, or call 866-654-9156.

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Sorry to have to say this, but reports are pouring in of scams and fakes on foreign orders for barbiturates, notably Nembutal and Seconal. It is getting worse. I don’t advise you risk any of them. Regrets….Derek Humphry (‘Final Exit’)

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