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The Canadian Medical Association, which has had a permanent policy saying doctors should not participate in euthanasia or assisted suicide, is softening its stance.

Delegates to the organization’s general council decided 19 August that the CMA now “supports the right of all physicians, within the bounds of existing legislation, to follow their conscience when deciding whether to provide medical aid in dying.”

This recognizes that, while assisting death is still a crime in Canada, the attitudes of Canadians, including those of physicians, are changing quickly, and so is the law.

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Final Exit Network is ten

10th Anniversary of Founding

The Final Exit Network will be ten years old this Thursday, having been founded in Chicago on August 14, 2004, by ten persons, eight of whom are still with us. It came into being as a result of the closure of the Hemlock Society USA (1980-2003)

For further details, such as who did it, see Richard Cote’s book “In Search of Gentle Death” at page 369.

Web: www.finalexitnetwork.org

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Following raids by law enforcement in US and Canada on manufacturers, nobody now supplies the ready-made helium hood kit for self-deliverance from a terminal illness. (GLADD is gone.)

But there is now a substitute in my pamphlet “How to make your own helium hood kit” which can be downloaded as an illustrated pdf at this web site:

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Derek Humphry’s three books on euthanasia, mostly centered on self-directed death also known as self-deliverance from a terminal or hopeless illness, are now available on Kindle.

(1) Final Exit: The Practicalities of Self-Deliverance and Assisted Suicide for the Dying.
(2) Jean’s Way: A Love story.
(3) Good Life, Good Death: Memoir of a journalist and right-to-die activist.

They are also available from ERGO Bookstore at www.finalexit.org/ergo-store in either paperback or ebook pdf download or from Amazon.com

There is also “Final Exit on DVD” which is the illustrated account of the famous book.

From ERGO Bookstore only, there is ‘How to Make Your Own Helium Hood Kit.” It can be downloaded at the ERGO internet bookstore.

For an Advance Directive (Living Will) dealing with the possibility of Alzheimer’s Disease, or dementia, in the future, download it from the ERGO Bookstore under the icon “Control and Choice”

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The House of Lords [UK] was split on 07/18/14 over whether to back assisted dying, as supporters argued it would end the excruciating suffering of the terminally ill and opponents warned it was “a whisker away” from euthanasia.

The assisted dying bill, proposed by the former lord chancellor Charles Falconer, would allow doctors to prescribe a lethal dose to patients judged to have less than six months to live. By the end of an emotionally fraught 10-hour debate, about 65 peers had spoken in favour of the legislation and 62 against. There was no consensus among the professions, with doctors, senior lawyers, police chiefs, politicians and the clergy speaking on each side.

Many warned it would lead to pressure on disabled people not to be a “burden” on relatives. Grey-Thompson questioned whether it would lead to Dignitas-style clinics in Britain and argued it would not provide people with a “Hollywood death”. A few even made comparisons with the mass euthanasia undertaken by the Nazis.

With the House so evenly divided, the peers nodded Falconer’s bill through to its next stage in parliament for further debate. It is unlikely to make it into law because of a lack of time, but David Cameron, while “unconvinced” of the arguments, has said he is open to a similar debate in the Commons.

The House of Lords cannot pass laws; only the House of Commons can do that. The present government seems opposed to this law reform, thus not likely to grant time in the Commons. This parliament has been debating this issue on and off since l936 !

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World Federation of Right to Die Societies, 20th Conference

Dignity . Control . Choice

SEPTEMBER 17-21, 2014
See the new web page for the World Conference in Chicago:


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Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne’s suicide pact has been extended to cover any life-threatening condition, as well as Alzheimer’s disease.

“If I can’t live my life the way I’m living it now – and I don’t mean financially – then that’s it…[Switzerland],” he said.

“If I can’t get up and go to the bathroom myself and I’ve got tubes up my ass and an enema in my throat, then I’ve said to Sharon, ‘Just turn the machine off.’

“If I had a stroke and was paralysed I don’t want to be here. I’ve made a will and it’s all going to Sharon if I die before her, so ultimately it will all go to the kids.”

Sharon Osbourne wrote in her 2007 memoir that the couple had agreed to go to assisted dying organisation, Dignitas, should either of them suffer from the common form of dementia.

Now, Ozzy has said that their agreement came about after his near-fatal quad bike accident in 2003, which left the musician seriously injured.

The musician has battled with drink and drug-related issues for years, but is now sober, thanks to the support of his wife.

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In England, Lord Falconer’s Assisted Dying Bill will receive its Second Reading in the House of Lords on Friday, 18 July 2014. This would apply to England and Wales – the Scottish have their own legal system.

The principles of the Bill will be debated and, subject to opposition, voted on. It is broadly similar to the laws passed already — and operating — in Oregon, Washington and Vermont states.

The Westminster Parliament has been debating versions of assisted dying laws on and off since l936. Perhaps at last they will make up their minds?

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In an historic 94 to 22 vote at the National Assembly of Quebec, Bill 52,
An Act Respecting End of Life Care, passed into law at 4:14 pm on June 5, 2014.

This is the first time that medical aid to die becomes an option for adult citizens of Quebec who are capable of giving their informed consent, and who are suffering from a terminal, serious, incurable illness, in an advanced state of irreversible decline in capability, and suffering constant unbearable physical or psychological pain which cannot be relieved in a manner the patient deems tolerable.

There may be legal challenges before the law becomes operative.

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More than 100 people died in Washington last year after requesting and taking a lethal prescription through Washington’s Death with Dignity law, the state’s Department of Health reported 4 June 2014.

Officials said that 173 people requested and received lethal doses of medication in 2013, a 43 percent increase from the year before. Of those people, 159 are known to have died, state officials said, including 119 who died after taking the medication. Twenty-six people died without taking the medication, and the department said it’s not known whether 14 others who died took the medication.

The state does not know the status of the remaining 14 people who filled the prescription, either because they are still alive or because their doctors haven’t turned in reports yet on their deaths.

The prescriptions were written by 89 different physicians and dispensed by 23 different pharmacists, the health department report said.

The health department shared other details about the program participants who have died:

— They ranged in age between 29 and 95.

— More than 95 percent lived west of the Cascade Mountains.

— 77 percent had cancer, while 15 percent had a neuro-degenerative disease and 8 percent had heart disease or another illness.

— 95 percent had health insurance.

— 97 percent were white.

—52 percent were married.

—76 percent had at least some college education.

Most of the people who asked their doctors for a lethal prescription told them they were concerned about losing autonomy, dignity or the ability to participate in activities that made life enjoyable. Most died at home and were in hospice care at the time of their deaths.

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