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Part of the Washington Post’s reporting 22 March 2017 on the senate hearings on whether to confirm Judge Neil Gorsuch to the US Supreme Court:

Senator Diane Feinstein with Judge Gorsuch….

The two also discussed a book that Gorsuch wrote in which he opposed physician-assisted suicide, and said any taking of a human life was wrong.

Feinstein mentioned the death of her father and a close friend, which she said were agonizing. She mentioned California’s recent physician-assisted suicide law.

“My heart goes out to you,” Gorsuch said, and then appeared to choke up when he mentioned the death of his own father. He said his personal views would have no role in his duties as a judge, and noted the Supreme Court has ruled that states may allow laws such as California’s.
end extract

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FEN takes Death with Dignity case to the U.S. Supreme Court

The Board of Directors of Final Exit Network has authorized an appeal to the Supreme Court of the United States from the corporation’s conviction in Minnesota on a charge of “assisting” in a “suicide.”

On Tuesday, March 14, the Supreme Court of Minnesota declined to review the Network’s 2015 conviction. The Network’s petition for review by the Supreme Court of the United States is required to be filed within 90 days of the Supreme Court of Minnesota’s denial of review.

In May 2015, Final Exit Network, Inc. was convicted by a jury in Hastings, Minnesota of “assisting” in a “suicide” for having provided Exit Guide services to a woman who elected to terminate her extreme suffering. The Network was fined $30,000 and required to pay an additional $3,000 in restitution to the “victims,” the family of the deceased Network member, to cover her funeral expenses.

The Network appealed the 2015 conviction to the intermediate Court of Appeals of Minnesota, which affirmed the conviction last December. The Supreme Court of Minnesota denied review of the Court of Appeals’ decision.

Even though it was established at the trial that the Network’s Exit Guides, in accordance with the Network’s practices and protocols, did not provide any physical assistance in the death, the Network was convicted merely for giving information to Doreen Dunn, 57, of Apple Valley, Minnesota.

Under the Minnesota courts’ interpretation of that state’s law against “assisting” in a “suicide,” the Network was convicted for giving the Apple Valley member the website address where she could purchase Derek Humphry’s landmark bestseller, “Final Exit,” the Network’s namesake.

In all the Minnesota courts, the Network has asserted and will continue to assert in the Supreme Court of the United States that Final Exit Network’s giving of information to its members is a First Amendment-protected exercise of free speech, and therefore Minnesota cannot make it a crime.

“No other state in the country makes it a crime to give information about self-deliverance,” said the Network’s president, Janis Landis. “We find the Minnesota law intolerable and wrong and we will not give up the fight. This will be an expensive project and I call upon supporters of death with dignity and freedom of speech to contribute to our legal defense fund.”

—Final Exit Network
PO Box 10071
Tallahassee, FL 32302

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Derek Humphry's memoir just published

Good Life, Good Death
by Derek Humphry

Would you like an autographed-by-author copy of this 2017 memoir? Also, if you wish, an inscription made out to you personally or a friend?

This is a hardcover volume from Carrel Books, New York, and retails in stores for $34.99 (plus tax). And for $30.99 from Amazon Books, plus tax and shipping. We supply it for $30 together with signature and inscription.

This is the story of Derek s wartime life in WW2 as a schoolboy, his climb from newspaper gopher to staff investigative reporter for the London Sunday Times and the Los Angeles Times.

Also author of 12 nonfiction books — among them < Because They’re Black> which won the Martin Luther King Memorial Prize in 1972.

Then in l975 Derek s life took a dramatic turn when his terminally ill wife of 42 years asked him to help end her life to avoid further suffering in the final stages. He did so, subsequently writing an account of this in which became, to his surprise, an international bestseller.

The right-to-die aspect of this book launched him into an unexpected career of spokesperson for the burgeoning movement. In l980 he founded the Hemlock Society USA to fight for lawful means of medical assisted suicide which had never before been sought in America.

Banned in France only
In l991 Derek published a how-to book [FINAL EXIT] on ending one’s life which first stunned America, then published in 12 major world languages. Calls for its banning failed, except in France. This DIY book became the bestselling nonfiction book in the New York Times for 18 weeks. It is still (with updates) the gold standard in this genre.

Today, at 86, Derek is fondly known as the ‘grandfather’ of the American choice in dying movement. His new memoir is the result of three years of work, at the same time remaining active in the movement. There are 17 pictures, from boyhood onwards.

ERGO can sell you an autographed copy of for $30 USD, including shipping. No sales tax in Oregon.
[Store price is $34.99 plus any tax. Amazon is $30.99 plus tax/shipping] Or you could order it from your local public library.

Good Life, Good Death: The Memoir of a Right to Die Pioneer
by Derek Humphry (Author), Stephen Jamison (Foreword)

Carrel Books, New York. 156 pages. Illustrated. Hardcover $34.99
ISBN-13: 978-1631440663
ISBN-10: 1631440667

For a personalized copy of this book, send $30 (includes shipping). Make check or money order to ERGO (Euthanasia Research & Guidance Organization, nonprofit).

24829 Norris Lane
Junction City OR 97448

This book is not yet on the internet ERGO Bookstore. Mail order in N.America only now.

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Regarding the nomination by Trump of Supreme Court justice Gorsuch:
The Washington Post article of 1 Feb.2017 contains a particularly interesting paragraph:

“If his writing is any indication, Gorsuch seems to have been alarmed by the sudden proliferation in the mid-1990s and early-2000s of proposals seeking to legalize physician-assisted suicide or euthanasia. He also cites the flurry of articles, books and defenses that emerged after the late Dr. Jack Kevorkian made headlines in 1990 for helping an Alzheimer’s patient kill herself.

“One particular work that seemed to bother him was Final Exit, a popular book by the right-to-die organization the Hemlock Society that describes various methods of ‘self-deliverance,’ including suicide by plastic bag and firearm.”

Gorsuch’s book, The Future of Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia (New Forum Books) Gorsuch, Neil M. is available on Amazon books.

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How to Get the Death You Want
A Practical and Moral Guide
By John Abraham
ISBN: 978-0-942679-40-3 Upper Access Books $14.95

A comprehensive manual for those reaching the end of life, and for their friends, relatives, advocates, and caretakers. Abraham describes in detail the challenges faced by those who wish to avoid months or years of painful treatment after losing hope of ever recovering any reasonable quality of life.
Subjects include:

*the nature of physical death;
*legal documents to clarify one’s wishes;
*The need for a strong advocate to have the patient’s wishes honored;
*moral issues that must be considered;
*means of dying painlessly once the decision is made;
and much more, including how to respond to reluctant doctors, and the value of humor in communicating with a dying patient.

What People are Saying

“John Abraham’s huge experience with end-of-life issues makes this book a veritable encyclopedia of the subject. There isn’t any aspect which he had not come across, thus addressed here are all the quirky and remote matters that tend to crop up at the close of life’s journey. The book is a clear and fast read, provocative and informative.”
Derek Humphry, founder of the Hemlock Society, author of Final Exit

“Whatever your opinions on the right-to-die movement, this is a book you must have in your library. It will help you unlock the complexities of this controversial subject with a treasure trove of creative insights and practical understanding. Provocative, evocative, and fearless, yet it is very readable with John Abraham’s warmth and humor. Highly recommended!”
Rabbi Earl A. Grollman, DHL, DD, Author of Living When a Loved One has Died and numerous other bestselling books on death, grieving, and related topics

View and order this paperback [$14.95] from

{Many of us know John Abraham as the leader of right-to-die activities in Arizona for many years}

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Dutch euthanasia not for strangers
Dutch law does not say one must be Dutch citizen. Where the core of
the law implies a very good, intense relationship with the doctor that
will comply with a request, it is considered to be practically
impossible to travel to the Netherlands for one purpose (euthanasia)

No doctor will welcome you in his/her practice as a new patient
with only one question: /please, terminate my life/, however much that
individual may comply with all (other) criteria.

By the way, during the parliamentary debates – and the texts of these
contributions are considered to be part of the law – it has been made
very clear that euthanasia tourism is out of the question, and the
prosecutor will prosecute a doctor that complies with a request from a

The only way open is to emigrate to the Netherlands, settle there and build a relationship with a Dutch family doctor, before raising the issue of end-of-life decisions and your wishes.
— Rob Jonquiere, Amsterdam
World Federation of Right to Die Societies

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The Washington Times reported 9 January 2017:

Congress will move to block the District of Columbia’s new assisted suicide law, the chairman of the House committee that oversees the city’s government said Monday.

Rep. Jason Chaffetz, the Utah Republican who heads the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said Capitol Hill takes the issue seriously and has a right to weigh in on the law, which would let patients with terminal illness diagnoses request fatal doses of drugs from their doctors.

“The assisted suicide issue is not something we take lightly,” Mr. Chaffetz said in briefing reporters about his committee’s priorities for the congressional session.

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Pioneer Press, Letters to the Editor for December 27, 2016


On Dec. 19, the Minnesota Court of Appeals upheld the conviction of Final Exit Network for “speech” that enabled one of its members to commit suicide after suffering severe chronic pain for more than a decade. The “crime” was giving this person a web-page address to purchase the best-selling book, Final Exit, which is widely available in public libraries.

The book, by Derek Humphry, the founder of the Hemlock Society, the original right-to-die organization, has a section that describes ways in which a dying person may consider hastening the end of their life if suffering is unbearable. It also explores the moral, legal, psychological and family relationship aspects of dying and hastened death. It strongly encourages the consideration of all other alternatives and options and supports the use of living wills and medical counseling to prepare for end-of-life choices.

If merely sharing information about such a book is illegal in Minnesota, our freedom of choice and speech is sadly restricted. Final Exit Network will appeal the case to the Minnesota Supreme Court to restore these liberties. I hope readers will join our effort.

— Gary M. Wederspahn, South St. Paul
The writer is a board member of Final Exit Network

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In a legal case testing whether Final Exit Network is allowed to teach about self-deliverance, the Court of Appeals of Minnesota has upheld the volunteer group’s 2015 conviction for “assisting” in a “suicide.”

Final Exit Network, Inc. — the corporation only, not any individual — was found guilty on May 14, 2015 of a felony, “assisting” in a “suicide,” and appealed for the Court of Appeals to reverse the conviction.

“This court was just one step on the appellate ladder,” said the Network’s president, Janis Landis. “Whether we won or lost in this court, we always knew the case would have to go to the Supreme Court of Minnesota, and maybe beyond. So now we’ll step up to the next court. We’re in this to stay until we obtain justice.”

The evidence at the trial in Dakota County, Minnesota showed that Exit Guides and other Network personnel gave information and support to the decedent, Doreen Dunn, 57. The evidence showed the Network volunteers provided no physical assistance in Ms. Dunn’s death on May 30, 2007, but only exercised their First Amendment-protected right to freedom of speech.

The jury was instructed that it was required to convict the corporation if its personnel gave Ms. Dunn instructions about how to terminate her suffering. “Once that jury instruction was given, we had little or no hope of being found ‘not guilty’ by the jury,” said Robert Rivas, the Network’s general counsel.

The trouble for the Network in the trial court and the Court of Appeals stemmed from an unrelated case involving a nurse from Faribault, Minnesota named William Francis Melchert-Dinkel. In his case, the Supreme Court of Minnesota held in 2014 that one could be convicted of “assisting” in a “suicide” for communicating “words” that “enabled” a “suicide.”

In an 18-page opinion released on Monday, December 19, the Court of Appeals held that the trial court’s jury instruction was properly based on the precedent established in the Melchert-Dinkel decision. The Court of Appeals repeatedly said it had no authority to overrule the Supreme Court of Minnesota. Therefore, the court held, it was compelled to affirm the Network’s conviction.

The trial court last year sentenced the corporation to pay the maximum $33,000 fine. Though a conviction for “assisting” in a “suicide” could carry a 15-year prison sentence for an individual, nobody could receive a prison sentence because only the corporation was tried and convicted.

Final Exit Network, PO Box 10071, Tallahassee, FL 32302

Full court decision at this link:

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