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The Worldwide Quest For The Peaceful Pill

For many years there has been an urban myth that there exists a little red pill which, when swallowed, brings instant death, thus wonderfully relieving the sufferer from further pain. I have had requests for it scores of times from folk who genuinely believed such a fatal capsule was freely available.

It has been called the ‘Drion Pill’ (after a Dutch judge of that name who pushed the idea in the l990s), the ‘LastWillPill” and – much more popularly recently — the ‘Peaceful Pill’.

But this magic tablet does not exist, unless you exclude a cyanide capsule which only secret services are able to obtain. (Even then it is a painful — if fast — death that you would not want family to observe.) Puffer fish and some Australian snails are equally lethal, in seconds, but they do not of course come in pill form.

Over the years I have discussed the peaceful pill in my books ‘Final Exit’ (pages 110 and 139) and in “The Good Euthanasia Guide” (page 21).

As such a lethal pill does not yet exist, the term has come to mean any form of painless, quick, dignified death which the patient wishes to have. It is a metaphor, not an object.

The most deadly substance on the market is pentobarbital (often called Nembutal commercially) that is a barbiturate and powerful sleep-aid. It is usually the substance used in medical euthanasia where that action is legal. Worldwide, it is always on prescription, which few doctors will write because its connection with suicide is notorious. Even with pentobarbital’s high toxicity, it is still necessary to take in nine grams of it to ensure certain death – hardly pill popping!

The term has come back into attention with the publication of Nitschke/Stewart new book, ‘The Peaceful Pill Handbook.’ They are careful to point out that this is a handbook outlining numerous methods of ending one’s life, not a single way out.

Thus the hunt for the deadly elixir or pill continues. So read the latest ‘Final Exit’ and its new Addendum for your options.

Currently, the favored means of exit in America is the careful inhalation of helium gas, which the book outlines with illustrations.

But what we really need is legal, medical, voluntary euthanasia and assisted suicide in all countries so that there is no need for these improvised pills and gases.

—- Derek Humphry 4/2007
President, Euthanasia Research & Guidance Organization (ERGO)

3 Responses to “Euthanasia, assisted suicide seek the peaceful pill”

  1. Debbie says:

    How can I be sure two tanks of disposible helium will be enough I have to tanks of disposable for 50 ballons they are bright pink tanks do I need to get large tanks from a commercial place to make sure? I don’t want anymistakes to occur. How do I know they wil continue to deliver helium for the time needed. I have ordered they exit bag. How do you obtain a caring friend of the society to help support you? Thanks, Debbie
    Experience with several hundred cases of helium hood deaths shows that only a few full deep breaths of the inert gas will cause instant, total brain damage. The extra tank is in case the first is empty, or partly empty, through carelessness.
    And if you need some guidance, contact the Final Exit Network at http://www.finalexitnetwork.org

    —————-Derek Humphry 15 July 07

  2. jclancy says:

    Interesting. CBS’s Ghost Whisperer will be airing an episode this Friday at 8pm ET/PT on this very subject. Check it out and post your comments.

  3. John says:

    I don’t know why Debbie thinks tanks blowing up 50 balloons is necessary, but is there an advantage to that over the 8.9 cubic feet tank that blows up 30 balloons?

    What about a control valve to regulate the flow?

    Derek Humphry (Author, Final Exit) responds: In large scale experience, we have not found a control valve to be necessary unless one was using the giant sort of tank used by toy stores. This size tank would be hard to use at home. But there is no harm is using a flow regulator even on the small party balloon tanks, although we have not found this to be necessary.

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