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USATODAY Sept. 29, 2017

Floridians favor physician-assisted suicide

The state outlaws it, but a clear majority of Floridians favor giving terminally ill patients the option of ending their own lives with the help of a doctor, a new survey suggests.

Nearly six of 10 respondents – 59 percent – to the University of South Florida-Nielsen Sunshine State Survey said they view allowing physician-assisted suicide as “going in the right direction.” That’s three times more than the 18 percent who opted for “wrong direction.” Another 24 percent weren’t sure or had no opinion.

Support is highest among older Floridians 65-79 (65 percent), whites (64 percent), Hispanics (63 percent), and the unemployed (62 percent). Support levels are lowest among blacks (32 percent), many of whom believe it is morally wrong based on their religion, the survey found.

“Other (blacks) are distrustful of the health-care system,” Susan MacManus, a political science professor at USF, wrote in the survey. “Because they see it as racist, they are reticent to allow physicians to end their own or a loved one’s life.”

Regionally, residents of the Orlando region (68 percent) express the strongest support for the option. The greatest opposition is from North Florida — home to the state’s highest share of religious conservatives and a younger population overall.

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AN INVITATION
A Broadway Bound Musical – Death with Dignity Inspired

Duke Theater
229 42nd St, New York NY 10036

Goodbye New York’s first performance is on 10/5 at 7pm and tickets are now available at: https://tickets.dukeon42.org/single/PSDetail.aspx?psn=8960

Can also follow on:

Facebook page – Goodbye New York: A New Musical
https://www.facebook.com/GoodbyeNYMusical/

Instagram – @goodbyenewyorkmusical

10/5 will be a showcase festival, meaning that it will have a 25 minute performance to show what the musical is about in front of a producer/emmy winner panel and audience.

The producers write to me:

Goodbye New York is inspired by choices made by the terminally ill while contemplating to end life on their own terms in Oregon.
We have just finished writing the show and have been accepted into the New York New Works Festival in NYC this fall! We know that our showcase date will be on 10/5.

“We were wondering if you or any of your colleagues or friends were in the area on that date if you’d be available to attend? Having support from advocates like yourselves would help our cause immensely. “
…….

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“Dying in the Americas 2018” conference

Visit www.finalexitnetwork.org for more information.

Explore the future of dying in the Americas: Where we are today and help define a path to the future.
March 21-25, 2018 Las Vegas/Henderson, NV
Hilton Lake Las Vegas Resort & Spa located on Lake Las Vegas

Join us to re-imagine the dying experience in America. Keynote Speakers:

– *Dr. Zubin Damania* – health care pioneer in new ways of considering healthcare delivery and conversations. ZdoggMD* (*
http://zdoggmd.com/aint-the-way-to-die/)
– *Shanaaz Gokool *- CEO, Dying with Dignity Canada, a compelling
speaker and leading activist in changing Canadian laws
– *Dr. Stefanie Green, Victoria, Canada *- a pioneer physician in Canada who has changed her practice from OB-GYN to MAiD, Medical Aid in Dying.

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Oregon’s Death With Dignity Act: Two Decades of Data

By Tara Haelle

Oregon’s Death With Dignity Act (DWDA), passed through a voter-approved ballot initiative in 1997, lays out strict requirements for patients interested in requesting a prescription from their physician that would enable the patient to end to his or her life. In the 20 years since its passage, 0.2% of deaths in Oregon resulted from DWDA prescriptions but the number is increasing, researchers report in an article published online today in Annals of Internal Medicine.

To obtain a DWDA prescription, patients must be adults of sound mind, have Oregon residency status, and have a terminal illness diagnosis. In addition, two physicians must confirm the patient’s diagnosis and prognosis, the patient must be offered hospice care, and the patient must make one witnessed written request and two oral requests at least 15 days apart.

Among the 1857 Oregon residents who received DWDA prescriptions between 1998 and June 2017, 64% died from taking the prescribed drugs. These deaths represented a rate of 19 per 10,000 total deaths out of the 614,972 all-cause deaths of Oregon adults during that period.

Cancer was the diagnosis for 77% of DWDA patients, 8% had amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, 5% had chronic respiratory disease, and 2% had heart disease. Among adults with these same diagnoses who did not elect DWDA prescriptions, the rate of death was 54.6 per 10,000 deaths.

DWDA death rates showed relative increases of 14% each year from 1998 to 2013 and 36% annually from 2013 to 2015. Although DWDA deaths appeared to level off in 2016, it’s unclear Continue Reading »

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NEW book, the memoir of Derek Humphry ‘Good Life, Good Death’ in hardback is now available at
http://www.finalexit.org/ergo-store/books-c-65/
Memoir is autographed. Could also be inscribed to you by request. New low price $20+$6 -USA

ERGO Bookstore at www.finalexit.org/ergo-store

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DIGNITAS (Switzerland) newsletter for August 2017

According to the Swiss government’s deaths statistics, a mere 1.2 % of all deaths registered in 2014 were accompanied suicides.

DIGNITAS has calculated – based on the data published by the Swiss self-determination organizations – that also in the two subsequent years, the number of assisted suicides stayed below 1.5 %. The Swiss system of freedom of choice and self-responsibility in end-of-life questions has proved sensible for 35 years now.

http://dignitas.ch/images/stories/pdf/join.pdf

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Letter to the Editor of the Register-Guard, Eugene, Oregon, 21 August 2017:

Death With Dignity law falls short

I read with interest about the new organization in Oregon dealing with death with dignity (guest viewpoint, Aug. 16).

The Oregon Death With Dignity law is good, but can be more compassionate. It could be expanded to be more inclusive of people who are suffering needlessly. There are many people lying in bed with miserable qualities of life who wish there was a third option to terminate their suffering.

I recently started a drive to get a petition going to change the Oregon law. I recently was in contact with Derek Humphry, author of “Final Exit.” He was also an original driver behind our first law. He originally wanted it expanded to begin with, but had to compromise.

I’ve been in contact with the national Death With Dignity groups and they didn’t want to talk to me. Humphry explained that Oregon’s law is the model for the rest of the nation. Proponents are afraid that if we try to change it, that’ll proved it’s a flawed law and will hurt their efforts.

My reply is yes, we have a good law, but it needs to be more compassionate. Oregon is a compassionate state; that’s already proven. Why stick the other states with the original restrictive law? Help us fix our law and be a better example.

—Bruce Yelle, Florence, Oregon

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The blog of the Oxford University Press August 22, 2017, printed this article about free speech and the right-to-die movement:

Is advocating suicide a crime under the First Amendment?
Rational Suicide, Irrational Laws: Examining Current Approaches to Suicide in Policy and Law

By Susan Stefan
Two different cases raising similar issues about advocating suicide may shape US policy for years to come. In Massachusetts, Michelle Carter was sentenced to two and a half years in prison for urging her friend Conrad Roy not to abandon his plan to kill himself by inhaling carbon monoxide: “Get back in that car!” she texted, and he did. The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court has already ruled that prosecuting her for involuntary manslaughter was permissible, even though she was not on the scene. The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court was careful to insist that its holding did not criminalize assisting the suicide of a person with a terminal illness:

It is important to articulate what this case is not about. It is not about a person seeking to ameliorate the anguish of someone coping with a terminal illness and questioning the value of life. Nor is it about a person offering support, comfort and even assistance to a mature adult who, confronted with such circumstances, has decided to end his or her life.

And now the case of Final Exit v. Minnesota is before the Supreme Court, with Final Exit asking the Supreme Court to take the case and overturn its conviction for assisting the suicide of Doreen Dunn on First Amendment grounds. Notably, no individual was convicted in that case: the medical director was given use immunity to testify against the organization, which was found guilty of the crime, and was fined $30,000.

Final Exit Network was convicted Continue Reading »

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Attorney Robert Rivas posted in Final Exit Network web page:

“The Scotusblog (“Scotus” = Supreme Court of the United States), a blog by experts in the Scotus, has selected Final Exit Network’s Petition for a Writ of Certiorari as its featured “Petition of the Day” for July 27, 2017. Scotusblog says its “Petition of the Day” features petitions that are likely to appear on its “Petitions to Watch” list when they are scheduled for consideration by the Justices.

“Petitions of the day” are described as those that are “identified as raising one or more questions that have a reasonable chance of being granted in an appropriate case.” Fingers crossed. This is the appeal on First Amendment grounds from the Minnesota conviction.

http://www.scotusblog.com/2017/07/petition-of-the-day-1192/Petition of the day – SCOTUSblog”

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Inaugural 2017 NuTech Prize

It is with great pleasure that Exit International announces the establishment of a prize to be awarded to the most innovative use of technology to improve the means of providing a peaceful, elective and autonomous (DIY) death.

The US$5000 prize will be awarded at the NuTech 2017 gathering in Toronto on 28th October 2017.
There is no entry fee required, and all submitted ideas will be considered for the award.

To submit a proposal (idea, draft, concept, or prototype) you are invited to contact NuTech at nutech@protonmail.com with a short (<500 word) summary of your proposal and (if applicable) related images.

A person submitting a proposal is welcome to attend the Toronto meeting, either in person or by video link, to speak about their idea.
Proposals will be considered by a specially convened judging panel consisting of:

Derek Humphry
Derek has had a lifetime of experience in the right to die movement, and authored the pioneering self-help manual Final Exit in 1991. Derek was instrumental in the establishment of the NuTech movement.

Tom Curran
Tom lives in Ireland and is the European coordinator of Exit International. He came to international prominence when, together with his partner, MS sufferer Marie Fleming, took a case for access to legal assistance to die to the Irish Supreme and High Courts.

Miriam de Bontridder
Miriam is an Appeals Court judge in NL with a long history of involvement in the Dutch right to die movement. Miriam lives in Amsterdam and is a Chairperson of Stichting De Einder.

For further information about the prize, or the NuTech (Toronto) gathering, please contact NuTech nutech@protonmail.com or by phone Philip Nitschke +31 630 966 992

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