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Published annual reports from the Oregon Health Authority and Washington State Department of Health that ranged from 1998 to 2017 in Oregon and from 2009 to 2017 in Washington show some interesting facts about how the law is used.

They found that 2,558 – 76% – of the 3,368 written prescriptions resulted
in patients’ deaths, with patients more likely to be non-Hispanic white
(94.8%) and 65 years or older (72.4%).

The most common underlying illnesses
were cancer (76.4%), neurologic illness (10.2%), lung disease (5.6%) and
heart disease (4.6%), with loss of autonomy, impaired quality of life and
loss of dignity the most common reasons reported by clinicians for patients
who pursue medical aid-in-dying. Ages of all participants over the time
periods ranged from 20 to 102, and participation was nearly equally split
between males and females.

“Among patients who ingested the lethal drugs and were evaluable for
complications, only 4% experienced complications, the most common being
difficulty ingesting or regurgitation of the lethal drug,” according to the
study, published 9 Aug. 2019 in JAMA Network Open. “Short median times to
unconsciousness and death prevent undue and lengthy suffering and reflect
the efficacy of drugs used in (medical aid-in-dying).”

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After the publication of ‘Final Exit‘ in l991, it was often used by writers to illustrate their works, particularly TV. Wikipedia’s entry on the book lists 11 such instances Book still selling consistently in 2019. It has never won any prizes — but I suppose you wouldn’t expect that a how-to book on dying well would!! Today it is popular worldwide on ebook and KINDLE.

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The original publication of Final Exit in 1991 stunned the nation by offering people with terminal illness a choice on how–and when–to end their suffering. It helped thousands by giving clear instructions to doctors, nurses, and families on how to handle a patient’s request for euthanasia.

In the wake of court cases and legislative mandates, this revised and updated third edition goes far beyond the original to provide new information about the legality of euthanasia and assisted suicide, and a thoughtful examination of the personal issues involved. It has become the essential source to help loved ones and supportive doctors remain within existing laws and keep a person’s dying intimate, private, and dignified.

With deep compassion and sensitivity, author Derek Humphry spells out why a living will may not be sufficient to have a person’s wishes carried out–and what document is a better alternative. It updates where to get proper drugs and exactly how to carry out the quickest, most peaceful way to make a final exit. Finally, it gently talks to a person considering self-deliverance about alternatives, planning, and the means to make every death a “good death” at our time of greatest need.
Latest edition of ‘Final Exit’ (2019) available on Amazon Books, Walmart Books, KINDLE, and ebook or paperback (signed by author Derek Humphry) at

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Good Life, Good Death — YouTube video
Derek Humphry
The writer Derek Humphry talks about his memoir, ‘Good Life Good Death’.
4 minutes:

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Amazon Books today ordered 9 copies of ‘Jean’s Way’ – a memoir I first published in l978 !! I’ve never changed a word of it through all the editions. The book has come to memorialize Jean’s courage in the face of death at age 42.

‘Jean’s Way: A Love Story’ is also available on Kindle.

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Literature from Derek Humphry:

Final Exit, Digital Edition eBook

or paperack in the mail.

Updated 25th Anniversary Edition
‘How To Make Your Own Inert Gas Hood Kit’

06/2019 Go to

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To obtain the newly-updated edocument (pdf download)
“How to make your own inert gas hood kit” go to

The separate advantages of both helium and nitrogen are

There is nowhere in the world that such a kit
can be found. So it’s strictly D I Y. This is an
ERGO publication, written by Derek Humphry. 06/2019

This information is for adults at the end of life
who desire self-deliverance from their suffering.


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The chairman of the World Federation of Right to Die Societies, Sean Davison, has narrowly escaped a prison sentence after being accused of ‘murdering’ three friends who were in advanced terminal illness and wished to die quickly.
The accusations were brought in Sean’s homeland, South Africa, which has made no progress in
improving laws on the right to choose to die, death with dignity. Here is Sean’s statement
after a plea bargain deal was announced:

Sean Davison writes:
Dear friends and supporters

In a plea bargain agreement with the South African court I pleaded
guilty to the three murder charges I faced and received a three-year
house arrest sentence at my home in Cape Town.

I accept my sentence. I will be in the news today, and I will be
forgotten tomorrow. But there will be another Sean Davison, and then
another, and another, because this issue will not go away until we have
a new law, a compassionate law, a law that does not confuse euthanasia
with murder.

I have made a solemn promise to the court not to break the law again. I
also make a promise Continue Reading »

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The Hastings Center has announced a significant research project: ‘Dementia and the Ethics of Choosing When to Die’ will focus on basic issues surrounding an individual’s ability to exercise end of life choices when suffering from dementia.

Here’s a one significant paragraph extract from the announcement:

In 2018, 5.7 million Americans were living with dementia.
An estimated
12 million others will be at high risk for developing dementia over the
next 30 years as the baby boom generation lives into their 80s and 90s.

In the U.S., the basic legal right to be free of unwanted treatment is
long established. People with decision-making capacity have the right to
forgo life-sustaining treatment they do not want. People who lack
decision-making capacity have the same right through the use of an
advance directive or a surrogate decision-maker. However, this
longstanding legal framework and ethical consensus does not fully
reflect the situation of a person facing dementia if this person has no
medical treatments to refuse. Also, the time frame in which a terminally
ill person with decision-making capacity can request and use medical
aid-in-dying (MAID),
now legal in nine U.S. jurisdictions, does not
correspond to the dementia trajectory. (end extract)

Read the whole article at

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For many years people have been thinking up new ways
that a legal, peaceful, swift dying can be achieved.
None have tried harder than Dr.Philip Nitschke, an Australian now living in the Netherlands.

Nitschke has created a 3D-printed suicide machine that allows users to administer their own death in a matter of minutes. Called Sarco, the futuristic-looking machine features a coffin-like sealed pod with transparent panels. It sits on top of a raised platform that leans at an angle.

By pressing a button on the inside of the pod the machine floods with liquid nitrogen, an unregulated substance that can be easily purchased.

This lowers the oxygen level within the capsule, making the user feel “slightly tipsy” before falling unconscious and ultimately, dying.

Although users must pass an artificial intelligence-powered test to determine their mental capacity to open the hatch, details of the test are not specified.

According to Nitschke, the aim of the machine is to “allow rational adults the option of a peaceful, elective and lawful death in an elegant and stylish environment”.

The machine is portable, meaning it can be moved to the user’s desired location.

“You can tow it off and have it overlooking the Alps or the lakes. When you’re ready you Continue Reading »

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