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A good many people who are interested in choices in dying are also seeking information about organ donation. Here is some useful information on the subject compiled by a colleague, John Abraham, in Arizona. He writes:

I have long been a proponent of establishing body farms (not like the TN operation where bodies are left to decompose, but a place where organs can be harvested). We could have centers that retain and sustain “neomorts” (my term for newly dead bodies) from which organs could be salvaged. Given that this is unlikely in the foreseeable future, here is some additional information:

Donating your body serves science and might save you money. Some facilities that accept donations provide a free cremation. Check “body donation programs” maintained by the University of Florida State Anatomical Board. Most provide body pick-up and return the cremains within a year or two.

Most major medical schools have similar programs.

The Anatomy Gifts Registry receives body donations utilizing one of two possible methods:
(1) Gift of Body by Will – – Recently supported by new drafts of the Uniform Anatomical Gift Act (UAGA), this process is both a way to register in advance and alert your family members to your wishes. This method will not require your family’s authorization upon your death, and AGR’s comprehensive form also serves as an authorization to cremate.
(2) Gift of Body by Informed Consent – This method requires an AGR representative to obtain consent from your legal next-of-kin, or authorized agent, upon your death. The consent is typically obtained by telephonic recording. This method enables AGR, unlike many other similar programs, to obtain body donations without any advance registration.
Some organizations which claim to be “national” have a limited scope, such as Life Legacy which does not operate in some western states and only serves major metropolitan areas in other states such as MI and AZ.
Life Legacy

Science Care

BioGift Anatomical, Inc.

MedCure Inc.

Anatomy Gifts Registry

Medical Education & Research Institute

John Abraham, Tucson, AZ 520-235-5646 (J-O-H-N)
Video Link — http://youtu.be/0fnVUI48FxM

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It is a sad fact that some people urgently needing lethal medications to relieve their terminal suffering are being cheated by overseas dealers using the internet.
I am currently getting more reports of fraud than successes.
In particular, Thailand is infamous for its phony drug trade; even ordinary, domestic medications are often diluted. One source of barbiturates there asks for $500 to be sent Western Union and then will not fulfill until another $500 is sent for courier costs.
Some sources in China will supply, others will cheat. So it is impossible to identify which are the reliable dealers. (Therefore do not ask me.)
Mexican sources are sometimes honest, sometimes not.
It appears that some dealers are reliable to begin with, and then when a flurry of orders come in they take the money and run. Usual asking price is $500-$600 US dollars for something which probably cost them $30-$40.
Sorry to have to report these facts to those in dire need, but it is based on incoming information from victims.
Even when the purchased drugs do arrive, there remains the question of whether they are genuine
and of sufficient strength. Therefore the exit bag –helium hood kit — remains the most reliable method of self-deliverance from a terminal or hopeless illness.
Derek Humphry,

Derek Humphry notes August 2015: This post is now out-of-date.
Worthington Industries, maker of the Party Balloon Kits, is now diluting its helium tanks by 20 percent, making them useless for self-deliverance from a terminal illness. Seek pure helium elsewhere.

Re: The internet rumors about diluted helium

Suggest you read my new (Aug.2015) pamphlet on this: How to make your own inert gas hood kit” on www.finalexit.org/ergo-store
Well illustrated.

The following is now out-of-date information:
At a recent Compassion and Choices meeting in Sante Fe, New Mexico, an elderly member of the audience stated that helium was now being diluted, thus unsafe for use in self-deliverance. He said he got this information from the internet.

In the ten years since the method of accelerating death by use of the inert gas helium was announced, there has never come to notice a single case of diluted tank of gas. I have trolled all those in North America who know about helium cases and no person has ever come across a diluted tank. All the known self-deliverances from terminal or hopeless illness using this method were effective.

There are alternatives: nitrogen and argon are also inert gases which are lethal when inhaled in a enclosed space.
Derek Humphry, Oregon

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Discussion on TV of the helium hood method

Another sign of the public acceptance of assisted suicide for the terminally ill was a unusual scene on Monday, 20 May 2013, in the successful series program “The Big C” shown on the Showtime television channel in America and internationally.
This was the closure of the fourth and final season when the main character, played by Laura Linney as Catherine “Cathy” Jamison, who has been diagnosed with terminal (stage IV) melanoma several years previously, faces her end. She is now in hospice, which she loves and admires.
As she prepares to die, Cathy has a discussion of people round her bedside of the ways to accelerate death. There is a serious discussion of using a lethal overdose and then the helium hood method is considered in detail, using two tanks. Cathy remarks that it is not very dignified to have to put a plastic bag over one’s head but she does not dismiss the idea.
Then follows an unrealistic scene where somebody says that a doctor in Oregon will supply the lethal drugs provided somebody will fly from the east coast to get them. Cathy asks her brother to go for the drugs but he avoids this request. (It is most unlikely that any doctor in Oregon would do this; it would jeopardize his medical license.)
The character Cathy dies soon after from a natural cause.
The Big C is a Showtime original television series created by Darlene Hunt. It is a very tasteful and sincere program looking at the realities of death and dying. Taking in the self-deliverance option added to its significance.
—– Derek Humphry, author, Final Exit, and How to Make Your Own Helium Hood Kit

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World conference on choices in dying

For details about the 20th biennial conference of the World Federation
of Right to Die Societies, to be hosted in Chicago next year by the
Final Exit Network, go to this new link:


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The Vermont House and Senate have now both approved the same version of a law based on Oregon’s model Death with Dignity legislation, and the bill now heads to the governor’s desk for signature.
In the past, Governor Shumlin has indicated he’ll sign the bill if it reaches his desk. With the Governor’s signature, Vermont will become the third state with an assisted dying law and the first state to enact this law through a legislative process — a historic achievement.
The bill now heads to Governor Shumlin’s desk for final approval. With his signature, Vermont will take the historic step of becoming the first state to enact Death with Dignity through a legislative process.
The similar Oregon and Washington laws were passed by voters’ initiatives.

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Montana Senate rejects bill banning doctor-assisted suicide

The Montana Senate has rejected a measure that would have made it illegal for doctors and caregivers to help terminally ill people kill themselves.
House Bill 505 was struck down 15 April 2013 in a 27-23 floor vote.
The Montana Supreme Court had ruled in 2009 that nothing in state law
prohibits assisted suicide, effectively making Montana the third state
to allow it
. The Legislature previously failed to pass a bill regulating
the act, and this proposal would have criminalized it.
The bill’s sponsor said the plan would clarify the court ruling by unequivocally outlawing the procedure.
Other supporters of the bill said physician-assisted suicide is a recipe for elder abuse and the government has a responsibility to protect the vulnerable older population.
But assisted-suicide backers from both sides of the aisle argued the
procedure preserves the dignity and rights of the dying.

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2014 World Federation 20th Biennial Conference

Final Exit Network, host for the World Federation Right to Die (WFRTD) Societies Meeting, has announced the venue for the 2014 World Federation 20th Biennial Conference. The date of the conference is September 17 to 21, 2014, Wednesday through Sunday, and it will be held at the Embassy Suites Downtown/Lakefront Hotel, Chicago, Illinois.

The conference venue is the flagship hotel of U.S. Embassy Suites Hilton properties, an all-suites hotel with a sophisticated design concept and spectacular views of Chicago. Rooms are offered with the option of a King or two Queen beds; in addition, all suites have a living room/work area, a wet bar, microwave, and refrigerator and two 37-inch TVs, one in the living room and one in the bedroom.

The suite-concept will make the meeting much more luxurious for all attendees and encourage networking and socializing. The host, Final Exit Network, has secured an excellent price with considerable savings for early registration — $190 per night for early hotel registration ($225 after early registration). Conference registration will be $325 for early registration ($400 after late registration cutoff date). Early conference registration will open June 2013; hotel registration opens September 2013. Early registration will be open for at least six months from the beginning dates of registration. A conference website address will be announced in May.

The hotel is a short two-block walk to shopping on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile, three blocks to Lake Michigan and the Navy Pier, within comfortable walking distance of popular restaurants in a wide variety of price ranges. Two gourmet groceries are within one block and museums, art galleries, public transportation, public parks, walking trails, and any number of other amenities are all nearby. A full hot and cold breakfast and evening reception are included in the price of the room. More details will be published in subsequent communications.

The FEN WF conference planning committee is creating an inspiring schedule with world-class speakers in the RTD movement. With the theme “Dignity, Control, Choice – Around the World,” the committee is focusing on leaders who work on the front lines of legal and philosophical right to die issues throughout the world. Delegates will join FEN hosts to share the latest news, will have the opportunity to network with each other, and will work together to promote the agendas of RTD societies around the world.

Everyone is invited and welcome to join Final Exit Network hosts and World Federation delegates and to be a part of this inspiring opportunity. Plan now to join us in Chicago.

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The case against assisted-suicide advocate thrown out

HASTINGS, Minn. — A Minnesota judge has dismissed charges against the former head of a national right-to-die group accused in the death of an Apple Valley woman.
Judge Karen Asphaug ruled Minnesota’s law against advising suicide is unconstitutionally overbroad. She dismissed charges against Thomas Goodwin, former president of Final Exit Network.
Last year, four members of the group were charged in the 2007 death of Doreen Dunn, who killed herself in her home. Prosecutors said the defendants provided Dunn with information and support to follow through with her suicide.
Final Exit members claim they do not encourage suicide, but that the act of giving information and emotional support could be interpreted as “encouraging” under Minnesota’s assisted-suicide law. They claim the law is unconstitutional because it violates a person’s right to freedom of speech.

The Oregon Death With Dignity Act, 15 years on:

As of January 14, 2013, prescriptions for lethal medications were
written for 115 people during 2012 under the provisions of the Death
With Dignity Act (DWDA), compared to 114 during 2011.

At the time of this report, there were 77 known DWDA deaths during 2012.
This corresponds to 23.5 DWDA deaths per 10,000 total deaths.

* Since the law was passed in 1997, a total of 1,050 people have had
DWDA prescriptions written and 673 patients have died from ingesting
medications prescribed under the DWDA.

* Of the 115 patients for whom DWDA prescriptions were written during
2012, 67 (58.3%) ingested the medication; 66 died from ingesting the
medication, and one patient ingested the medication but regained
consciousness before dying of underlying illness and is therefore not
counted as a DWDA death. The patient regained consciousness two days
following ingestion, but remained minimally responsive and died six days
following ingestion.

* Eleven (11) patients with prescriptions written during the previous
year (2011) died after ingesting the medication during 2012.
* Twenty-three (23) of the 115 patients who received DWDA prescriptions
during 2012 did not take the medications and Continue Reading »

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