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The Suicide Plan
Coming November 13, 2012

FRONTLINE on PBS TV explores the underground world of assisted suicide

In this groundbreaking 90-minute film, FRONTLINE explores the underground world of assisted suicide and takes viewers inside one of the most polarizing social issues of our time – told not only by the people choosing to die, but also by their “assisters,” individuals and right-to-die organizations that put themselves in legal jeopardy by helping others to die.

Check your local listings on PBS for Tuesday evening.

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‘FRONTLINE’ on assisted suicide

A TV film called The Suicide Plan, airs Tuesday, November 13, 2012, from 9:30-11 p.m. ET, on FRONTLINE/PBS.

But be sure to check your local PBS listings.

Of course I have not seen this video, but I understand it is mostly about the work of the FINAL EXIT NETWORK in the USA. FRONTLINE is also shown worldwide in due course.

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In Search of Gentle Death: The Fight for Your Right to Die With Dignity, by Richard N. Cote (Corinthian Books, 2012) Hardcover and ebook.

Reviewed by Zoe FitzGerald Carter

Faced with my mother’s decision to end her life after suffering from Parkinson’s disease for many years, I spent the last year of her life wrestling with how to respond. Because her doctors were unwilling to help her – and because assisted suicide is illegal in my hometown (Washington D.C.) — my mother decided to stop eating and drinking, believing it would pose less of a legal risk to my sisters and me. Despite the near total cessation of food and liquid, she lived for close to two weeks and would have lived longer if she hadn’t taken an overdose of morphine several nights before she died in order to speed things along.
Although I did not initially embraced her decision to end her life, I was angry and distressed at how hard it was for her to accomplish her “good death” and, in the years since, I have become deeply convinced that choosing when and how you die is a basic civil right. In his cogent, detailed chronicle of the modern right-to-die movement, In Search of Gentle Death: The Fight for Your Right to Die With Dignity, social historian and author, Richard N. Cote, makes this argument in eloquent, quietly reasoned prose.
In a passage that I found deeply resonant, he writes: “Only the suffering person is capable of determining Continue Reading »

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There are reports in the financial pages that there is currently a worldwide shortage of the inert gas helium and the price is going up. Helium is extensively used in science, industry and medicine. A few people use helium, together with a hood kit, to bring their terminal illness to a peaceful, painless end (or plan to do so later on)
ERGO and the Final Exit Network are getting reports that helium is not easily available (in party balloon kits) from stores in North America. This may be partly due to August not being a big party time, and stores have let stocks diminish until nearer Christmastime.
Persons with helium hood kits are advised to get in a stock of two helium tanks now, and store them away securely. Tanks are probably secure for 2-3 years.
If you have recent experience of purchasing — or not being able to purchase — helium, please let ERGO know on this blog, or email ergo@finalexit.org
The amount of helium used in choice in dying is infinitesimal compared to the amount used in industry and science, so it is not likely to go away.
BTW, nitrogen is an inert gas and equally effective in self-deliverance.

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Corinthian Books announces that the eBook version of In Search of Gentle Death: the Fight for Your Right to Die With Dignity by Richard N. Cote’ is now available not only from Amazon.com in the U.S., but also from Amazon sites all around the world, including Amazon Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, and the United Kingdom.
The price is US $9.95 (or the equivalent in local currency). It includes the full 479-page book (in English) in digital format, with 92 photographs and links to fourteen custom-made YouTube video interviews made with the founders, leaders and leading activists of the international death-with-dignity movement.
One may read the eBook version even if they don’t have an Amazon Kindle e-reader device. Just download one of the Continue Reading »

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An increasing number of persons interested in the right to choose to die at life’s end have been purchasing, or considering purchasing,
NEMBUTAL from Chinese sources. I am frequently asked if this is a good idea. All I can reply is that I have not actually heard of a successful or an unsuccessful self-deliverance using Chinese substances. The following New York Times story is a cautionary tale……Derek Humphry, ERGO

2,000 Arrested in China in Counterfeit Drug Crackdown

By DAVID BARBOZA, the New York Times, August 5, 2012

SHANGHAI — Chinese government authorities have detained nearly 2,000 people as part of a nationwide crackdown on the sale of fake or counterfeit drugs and health care products, according to a report on Sunday from Xinhua, the official news agency.
The government said that it had mobilized more than 18,000 officers in recent weeks to break up drug counterfeiting rings and that officials had seized about $182 million in fake medicine, including fraudulent drugs for the treatment of cancer, hypertension and diabetes.
The crackdown comes amid growing concerns about the prevalence of counterfeit drugs and tainted food supplies in China, and increasingly sophisticated counterfeiting operations. The government acknowledged Sunday that the manufacturing of fake drugs had become harder to detect. Earlier this Continue Reading »

Derek Humphry, author of the bestselling book ‘Final Exit: The Practicalities of Self-Deliverance and Assisted Suicide for the Dying‘ has issued a denial of a story by an Oklahoma tv and radio station that his book describes how to kill oneself by the so-called ‘detergent suicide’ method.
Newson6 Mobile (Newson6.com) claimed in a story — also distributed by Google Alerts — that this book has a detailed description of this method and is causing more suicides.
A medical examiner, Amy Elliott, is reported as saying, relevant to a local woman found dead in her car from the use of a mixture of hazardous chemicals, that she used the method: “It [Final Exit] just tells them step-by-step how to carry out this process.”
Humphry, the founder of the Hemlock Society USA, replied that the method is not mentioned in his book, which has been on sale for 22 years. It is published by Random House and was a New York Times bestseller for 18 weeks.
“My book describes safe and non-violent ways in which, either by using prescription drugs or helium gas, a terminally-ill person who is not mentally ill can bring their suffering to an end if they wish,” he said.
“No right-to-die group in the world supports this awful chemical way of dying, which originated in Japan and spread via the internet. Also, it is extremely dangerous to people who might discover the body.”

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I just read Richard Cote’s “In Search of Gentle Death” and applaud his
extensive knowledge in this thorough account of the Hemlock movement. It
was especially nostalgic for me, as a former member of the national
board from 1993-99.
Although my chapter, “Connecticut Hemlock Society”, is no longer active, there is still an interest in how to end our lives peacefully. People will
call me on occasion to talk and get information.
This book is a MUST for your library. I was especially interested in
hearing how dying with dignity was dealt with in other countries and he
covered this topic extensively. I didn’t want the book to end and hope
the States that permit referendums will be successful in passing laws.
Because this is such a volatile topic for legislators, who fear not
being re-elected because of offending “the religious right”, we can’t
expect success unless the people have their independent vote.
I’d like to see a sequel to Cote’s book on this subject. Good luck,
Dick! I’m recommending the book to everyone I speak to.
—Ilene Kaplan
Founder, Ct. Hemlock Society (1989-2005)
Footnote: Cote’s book is available from Amazon.com
or direct from its publisher, Corinthian Books, SC www.corinthianbooks.com

The story of Hemlock on Wikipedia at

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Two new videos on YouTube are concerned with the background to the US movement for the right to choose to die when at life’s end.
They are short and to the point.
Here are the links:


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I am happy to announce the publication
of my book, “In Search of Gentle Death: The Fight
for Your Right to Die With Dignity.”
479-page, deluxe hardcover edition, which took
five years to research and write, contains 92
photographs and illustrations, a full
bibliography, and a comprehensive index.
An ebook version will also be available soon, and for
those without an ebook reader, or who live
outside the U.S., a PDF version on a USB flash
drive is also available now. The book charts the
founding and explosive growth of the movement
from 1975 to present, and presents the reader
with the full range of procedures he or she can
employ to ensure that their eventual death takes
place at the time, place, and under the
conditions of their own choosing. The hardcover
and flash drive versions are available now for
immediate shipment worldwide from the publisher’s
website: www.corinthianbooks.com. It accepts
orders and payment via virtually any debit or
credit card.
I would again like to thank the countless people who generously opened
their minds and hearts to me, sharing their facts, feelings, experiences, and photographs, for without them, this book could never have told
the Movement’s story, purpose, goals, and achievements to the extent that it has. – Richard N. Cote’, Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina USA /
(PS There is a foreword to this book by Derek Humphry.)

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