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Regarding the nomination by Trump of Supreme Court justice Gorsuch:
The Washington Post article of 1 Feb.2017 contains a particularly interesting paragraph:

“If his writing is any indication, Gorsuch seems to have been alarmed by the sudden proliferation in the mid-1990s and early-2000s of proposals seeking to legalize physician-assisted suicide or euthanasia. He also cites the flurry of articles, books and defenses that emerged after the late Dr. Jack Kevorkian made headlines in 1990 for helping an Alzheimer’s patient kill herself.

“One particular work that seemed to bother him was Final Exit, a popular book by the right-to-die organization the Hemlock Society that describes various methods of ‘self-deliverance,’ including suicide by plastic bag and firearm.”

Gorsuch’s book, The Future of Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia (New Forum Books) Gorsuch, Neil M. is available on Amazon books.

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How to Get the Death You Want
A Practical and Moral Guide
By John Abraham
ISBN: 978-0-942679-40-3 Upper Access Books $14.95

A comprehensive manual for those reaching the end of life, and for their friends, relatives, advocates, and caretakers. Abraham describes in detail the challenges faced by those who wish to avoid months or years of painful treatment after losing hope of ever recovering any reasonable quality of life.
Subjects include:

*the nature of physical death;
*legal documents to clarify one’s wishes;
*The need for a strong advocate to have the patient’s wishes honored;
*moral issues that must be considered;
*means of dying painlessly once the decision is made;
and much more, including how to respond to reluctant doctors, and the value of humor in communicating with a dying patient.

What People are Saying

“John Abraham’s huge experience with end-of-life issues makes this book a veritable encyclopedia of the subject. There isn’t any aspect which he had not come across, thus addressed here are all the quirky and remote matters that tend to crop up at the close of life’s journey. The book is a clear and fast read, provocative and informative.”
Derek Humphry, founder of the Hemlock Society, author of Final Exit

“Whatever your opinions on the right-to-die movement, this is a book you must have in your library. It will help you unlock the complexities of this controversial subject with a treasure trove of creative insights and practical understanding. Provocative, evocative, and fearless, yet it is very readable with John Abraham’s warmth and humor. Highly recommended!”
Rabbi Earl A. Grollman, DHL, DD, Author of Living When a Loved One has Died and numerous other bestselling books on death, grieving, and related topics

View and order this paperback [$14.95] from

{Many of us know John Abraham as the leader of right-to-die activities in Arizona for many years}

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Dutch euthanasia not for strangers
Dutch law does not say one must be Dutch citizen. Where the core of
the law implies a very good, intense relationship with the doctor that
will comply with a request, it is considered to be practically
impossible to travel to the Netherlands for one purpose (euthanasia)

No doctor will welcome you in his/her practice as a new patient
with only one question: /please, terminate my life/, however much that
individual may comply with all (other) criteria.

By the way, during the parliamentary debates – and the texts of these
contributions are considered to be part of the law – it has been made
very clear that euthanasia tourism is out of the question, and the
prosecutor will prosecute a doctor that complies with a request from a

The only way open is to emigrate to the Netherlands, settle there and build a relationship with a Dutch family doctor, before raising the issue of end-of-life decisions and your wishes.
— Rob Jonquiere, Amsterdam
World Federation of Right to Die Societies

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The Washington Times reported 9 January 2017:

Congress will move to block the District of Columbia’s new assisted suicide law, the chairman of the House committee that oversees the city’s government said Monday.

Rep. Jason Chaffetz, the Utah Republican who heads the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said Capitol Hill takes the issue seriously and has a right to weigh in on the law, which would let patients with terminal illness diagnoses request fatal doses of drugs from their doctors.

“The assisted suicide issue is not something we take lightly,” Mr. Chaffetz said in briefing reporters about his committee’s priorities for the congressional session.

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Pioneer Press, Letters to the Editor for December 27, 2016


On Dec. 19, the Minnesota Court of Appeals upheld the conviction of Final Exit Network for “speech” that enabled one of its members to commit suicide after suffering severe chronic pain for more than a decade. The “crime” was giving this person a web-page address to purchase the best-selling book, Final Exit, which is widely available in public libraries.

The book, by Derek Humphry, the founder of the Hemlock Society, the original right-to-die organization, has a section that describes ways in which a dying person may consider hastening the end of their life if suffering is unbearable. It also explores the moral, legal, psychological and family relationship aspects of dying and hastened death. It strongly encourages the consideration of all other alternatives and options and supports the use of living wills and medical counseling to prepare for end-of-life choices.

If merely sharing information about such a book is illegal in Minnesota, our freedom of choice and speech is sadly restricted. Final Exit Network will appeal the case to the Minnesota Supreme Court to restore these liberties. I hope readers will join our effort.

— Gary M. Wederspahn, South St. Paul
The writer is a board member of Final Exit Network

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In a legal case testing whether Final Exit Network is allowed to teach about self-deliverance, the Court of Appeals of Minnesota has upheld the volunteer group’s 2015 conviction for “assisting” in a “suicide.”

Final Exit Network, Inc. — the corporation only, not any individual — was found guilty on May 14, 2015 of a felony, “assisting” in a “suicide,” and appealed for the Court of Appeals to reverse the conviction.

“This court was just one step on the appellate ladder,” said the Network’s president, Janis Landis. “Whether we won or lost in this court, we always knew the case would have to go to the Supreme Court of Minnesota, and maybe beyond. So now we’ll step up to the next court. We’re in this to stay until we obtain justice.”

The evidence at the trial in Dakota County, Minnesota showed that Exit Guides and other Network personnel gave information and support to the decedent, Doreen Dunn, 57. The evidence showed the Network volunteers provided no physical assistance in Ms. Dunn’s death on May 30, 2007, but only exercised their First Amendment-protected right to freedom of speech.

The jury was instructed that it was required to convict the corporation if its personnel gave Ms. Dunn instructions about how to terminate her suffering. “Once that jury instruction was given, we had little or no hope of being found ‘not guilty’ by the jury,” said Robert Rivas, the Network’s general counsel.

The trouble for the Network in the trial court and the Court of Appeals stemmed from an unrelated case involving a nurse from Faribault, Minnesota named William Francis Melchert-Dinkel. In his case, the Supreme Court of Minnesota held in 2014 that one could be convicted of “assisting” in a “suicide” for communicating “words” that “enabled” a “suicide.”

In an 18-page opinion released on Monday, December 19, the Court of Appeals held that the trial court’s jury instruction was properly based on the precedent established in the Melchert-Dinkel decision. The Court of Appeals repeatedly said it had no authority to overrule the Supreme Court of Minnesota. Therefore, the court held, it was compelled to affirm the Network’s conviction.

The trial court last year sentenced the corporation to pay the maximum $33,000 fine. Though a conviction for “assisting” in a “suicide” could carry a 15-year prison sentence for an individual, nobody could receive a prison sentence because only the corporation was tried and convicted.

Final Exit Network, PO Box 10071, Tallahassee, FL 32302

Full court decision at this link:

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The newest Death with Dignity law, the Colorado End of Life Options Act, went into effect 17 December 2016, after Governor Hickenlooper signed it into law. Colorado thus becomes the 5th state with an assisted dying statute. Qualified terminally ill Coloradans may now legally request and obtain medication to hasten their death.

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Dear Supporter of ERGO,
I know that you are being bombarded with appeals for financial support — some every day and currently also the usual end-of-year pleas.

ERGO (Euthanasia Research & Guidance Organization) makes this one appeal a year. Founded in l993, we are tax-deductible 501c3.

What does this small group do? We issue several times a week this digest of world news concerning issues of choices in dying. (There are more than 3,000 subscribers.) We have an internet bookstore supplying quality literature and a blog. Thousands of newcomers consult our literature daily.

Because of the fame of our books (notably Final Exit and Jean’s Way) we receive phone calls and emails every day from people needing advice with end-of-life problems of their own or family.
We have no office and no staff, except volunteers. But there are expenses – utilities, postage, internet fees, outsourcing of some tasks such as technical support, printing, book-keeping and legal.

Right from when we were the Hemlock Society starting in l980, we have always had two missions: (1) fight for medical aid-in-dying laws; (2) provide factual and moral support for persons who have a compassionate reason to end their lives but no helpful law.

Please consider giving ERGO what help you can. Details in the box at the bottom of this email. Thank you.
Derek Humphry, president, ERGO (based in Oregon)
ergo@finalexitorg. www.finalexit.org
Snailmail to ERGO, 24829 Norris Lane, Junction City, OR 97448

To donate to nonprofit ERGO via internet:

Broad Support for Medical Aid in Dying in MN Poll Results

Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research (Sept. 2016)

A new survey among likely voters in Minnesota finds broad and deep support for medical aid in dying. In principle, Minnesotans believe medical aid in dying should be a legal option for terminally ill individuals by a margin of 53 points, 73 percent – 20 percent, including 55 percent who strongly believe so.

A similar share of the electorate – 73 percent (49 percent strongly) – supports legislation that would make that option available for people who are over the age of 18, terminally ill and deemed mentally capable by medical experts.

The breadth of the support for this legislation is striking. There is bi-partisan support for this legislation and support across generations, geography and religious faiths.

Finally, the survey also found that 61 percent of voters would be more likely to support a candidate who supports legislation providing a legal option for medical aid in dying while just 21 percent would oppose a candidate who does. Much like support for a legal option itself, support for candidates with this position extends across demographic, religious and partisan lines.
Derek Humphry comments: This astounding public opinion in a state where the Final Exit Network was fined $30,000 earlier this year for giving help to a dying woman!!! (Appeal is pending.)

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Colorado passed a medical aid in dying measure 11/08/16 that will allow
adults suffering from terminal illness to take life-ending,
doctor-prescribed sleeping medication.

The ballot initiative passed overwhelmingly, by a two-thirds, one-third
split, according to unofficial returns. Supporters claimed victory an
hour after polls closed in Colorado.

There are now five states which have passed similar legislation: OR, WA, VT, CA, CO. Montana’s Supreme Court has ruled that doctors helping the dying should not be prosecuted. Montana’s legislature has declined to pass or reject such a law.

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