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Sir Keir Starmer, who was the UK Director of Public Prosecutions in 2009 when, for the first time, the Crown Prosecution Service announced the criteria for the prosecution – or otherwise — of persons who had assisted a suicide, has been elected Leader of the Labour Party in Britain.
Although the action remains a possible crime under law, at least people now knew where they stood about assisted dying legally.
Labour are not in power in the Westminster parliament, but if and when the subject comes up again (as it has spasmodically ever since l936) perhaps there will be a sympathetic voice?

This is the latest data on assisted suicide in England & Wales:
Update as of 31 January 2020:

From 1 April 2009 up to 31 January 2020, there have been 156 cases referred to the CPS by the police that have been recorded as assisted suicide. Of these 156 cases, 105 were not proceeded with by the CPS and 31 cases were withdrawn by the police.

There are currently four ongoing cases. Three cases of encouraging or assisting suicide have been successfully prosecuted. One case of assisted suicide was charged and acquitted after trial in May 2015 and nine cases were referred onwards for prosecution for homicide or other serious crime.

Source: CPS Consultation at

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The Encyclopedia Britannica recently asked me to name the four most important dates in my campaign for choices in dying at life’s end. This was my reply:

1980 Derek Humphry founded the Hemlock Society USA in Los Angeles, the first group in US to advocate self-deliverance and medical assisted dying at the end of life. In 2004 it became the Final Exit Network.

1980 Sidney D Rosoff and Derek Humphry founded in Oxford UK the World Federation of Right to Die Societies. In 2020 45 nations were members.

1986 Hemlock Society published the first US model law for medical assisted dying. It prefigured all future US legislation.

1991 Derek Humphry published ‘Final Exit’ – a how-to guide to self-deliverance from a painful terminal illness. It remained on the New York Times bestseller list for 18 weeks. Now in Ebook.

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Many of us who support the right to choose at life’s end will sympathize with this letter to the editor of the New York Times from Final Exit Network published on April 2, 2020.

To the Editor:

“I Love the World, but I Cannot Stay,” by Mary Pipher (Sunday Review,
March 8), captures a sentiment that many of us older people try to
articulate to our families and friends. How do I want to deal with
death and what should I expect when I die?

It makes me wonder why more people don’t want to make efforts to
manage their death in a way that supports their beliefs. I suspect
that some people will be discussing this as they deal with the
Covid-19 virus and all of its unknowns.

I, for one, want to live as long as I can without severe suffering or
a significant loss of autonomy. I don’t want doctors to tell me when I
should die, and I don’t want to waste a lot of money trying to live
for a few more months.

I have procured the things I need for a peaceful death, and hope that
I never have to use them, but feel very good knowing that I have them.

Brian Ruder, Portland, Oregon
The writer is president of the Final Exit Network.
Download FINAL EXIT 2020 Ebook at

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Final Exit Network (FEN) announces that its new website
is up and running. It has been some time since the site was updated,
and this provided an opportunity to make the site more focused and
easier to navigate.

The process for applying for Exit Guide services is clearly outlined,
and the Request for Guide Services form allows for quicker responses
to those who are suffering or simply need information. (USA only)

The Donate button allows you to choose your membership level and
includes instructions on other ways to donate.

This is a basic redesign with ongoing improvements planned. You are
invited to take a spin through the site at www.finalexitnetwork.org.
If you have comments or suggestions, please send them to

Mary Ewert, Executive Director, Final Exit Network USA

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A reader asks this:

What is more peaceful, Nembutal or Nitrogen/Exit bag?

Answer from Derek Humphry: Both ways are equally peaceful — provided they are carried out according to known methods of self-deliverance from a hopeless illness at end end of life. Planing and great care are essential.

For these, see the ebook ‘Final Exit 2020’ download at

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FINAL EXIT 2020 is now available for downloading. Also,
Final Exit paperback, 3rd edition, now comes with an extensive addendum updating it. Both versions only from https://www.finalexit.org/ergo-store

FINAL EXIT 2020 Ebook just out

A reader of the new Ebook writes:
I ordered the online copy some weeks ago but only recently got around to reading it all. Congratulations! I think you have done a fine job of laying the basic information out there for people to read and learn.

I am very happy that I bought it and read it, as I intend to recommend it to people who call looking for current information. Thanks so much for doing this. I know it demands a good deal of time and energy. You have given us a real gift. With admiration, Ann M.

Download Final Exit 2020 (and any other book or Advanced Directive) at

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(Euthanasia Research and Guidance Organization)

For 25 years ERGO has been pounding away via blogs, listserv, books, pamphlets and video
for the right of terminally or hopelessly ill persons to choose when and where they die.
Much progress has been made — better understanding of self-deliverance (Final Exit) and some
law reforms. Still some way to go!

ERGO has no staff, no offices, but running expenses such as internet fees, utilities, office supplies, printing and postage and so on, mount up. Your help with a holiday donation would be most helpful.
ERGO has been tax-exempt and tax deductible since l993. The IRS ID # is 93-1118314.

If you can help our mutual cause, many thanks.
Happy Holidays! ** Derek Humphry, president

By mail:
ERGO, 24829 Norris Lane, Junction City, ORegon 97448, USA
By internet
(See the gift icon)

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The outrageous cost of the two most effective drugs used in Medical Aid in Dying are at last being questioned by Senators and Congress reps in Washington.

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley and U.S. Reps. Earl Blumenauer, Peter DeFazio, Suzanne Bonamici and Kurt Schrader have questioned the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) on its role in barriers faced by people seeking death with dignity, including prohibitively high costs and availability of medication prescribed by physicians.

In a letter to DEA Acting Administrator Uttam Dhillon, the Oregon lawmakers asked for details on the agency’s process for approving applications to import medication used for death with dignity, or “medical aid in dying”, specifically the commonly prescribed and short-acting barbiturates pentobarbital and secobarbital.

Although approximately 20 percent of the United States population now lives in a state where medical aid in dying is legal, it remains difficult for people to access the medications prescribed by their physicians. The DEA has the authority to approve the importation of certain drugs, including pentobarbital and secobarbital, yet applications are currently languishing at the agency to import these medications and lower the cost of end of life decisions for people choosing death with dignity.

“People facing a terminal illness should be able to spend their remaining days with loved ones. They should not have to struggle to locate medicine that allows them to determine their end of life story, or worry about the financial impact on them and the loved ones they leave behind,” the lawmakers wrote.

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Final Exit 2020 eBook

Final Exit 2020 is only available through the ERGO Bookstore. Order and download the eBook at https://www.finalexit.org/ergo-store

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