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Of interest to lovers of history and literature:

– On April 26, 1564, in the parish register of Holy Trinity Church, Stratford-upon-Avon, the vicar, John Bretchgirdle, recorded the baptism of ‘Gulielmus filius Johannes Shakspere.’ A few months later the vicar noted the death of an apprentice weaver, scribbling in the margins ‘hic incipit pestis’ (here begins the plague). That epidemic took the lives of a fifth of the town. Baby Will Shakespeare and family were spared.

Shakespeare, a shareholder, actor and principal playwright in his company, grappled with these closures. In one five-year period London’s theaters were unlikely to have been open for more than nine months. And yet the plague is rarely mentioned in his plays and poems. Yes, the mortally wounded Mercutio calls ‘A plague on both your houses’ on the feuding Capulets and Montagues, and Lear deems daughter Goneril ‘a plague-sore…in my corrupted blood.’ So no plague play, but we’re glad the Bard dodged the virus and survived to write a few decent dramas. (Part-lifted from the New Yorker, May 2020.)

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Derek Humphry’s new ebook, “Final Exit 2020”
is getting response throughout the world. Orders for the download include customers from Moscow,
Zagreb, Oslo, Tokyo, Sydney, Paris and London.
Most of the orders are from North American people who want the updated version of the original l991 New York Times bestseller, the first book to describe self-deliverance from a terminal or hopeless illness. Profits from the ebook go to right-to-die organizations..
Visit the ERGO Bookstore at this secure site:


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Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Reached 90 years old today!
Ninety! Through a combination of good luck (in the Blitz at age 10-11 etc), never smoking and good medical care. (Heart surgeries l997 and 2019.) Still mobile but slower. Will press on and see how far it goes!

You all stay carefully safe and well in these troubled times.

. Derek Humphry, Oregon (Citizen US/UK)
Email: ergo@finalexit.org
See my books at

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Interest in reading my Ebook ‘Final Exit 2020’ has recently come from Tokyo, Moscow, Bejing, Norway and Australia. Not massively, but consistent. Obviously a deep interest.
Take a look at

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Here is a document about CHOICES in the event of severe novel coronavirus illness. Think it over carefully. It is not legally enforceable, but might be a useful guide to hospital staffs.

April 2020
My Choices If I Become Sick
in the COVID Pandemic

Choose only one in each group of three.

MEDICAL FACILITY: I want to be transferred to a medical facility as soon as my symptoms
are not easily managed at home.

IT DEPENDS: I want to stay at home unless my symptoms cannot be adequately managed at
home, in which case I want to be transferred to a medical facility.

HOME: I want to stay at home, if possible, even if my distress becomes considerable.

Symptom Management

LOW: I want minimal sedation and want to be clear and conscious as long as possible.

MEDIUM: I want adequate sedation but would like to be clear and conscious enough to
communicate if possible.

HIGH: I want maximum treatment of my symptoms, including pain, and understand this
might hasten my death.

Life Support Machines (Including Ventilators)

If I become sick enough to need a life support machine…

YES: I want to be on a life support machine if one is available.

MAYBE: I would prefer to be on a life support machine, but do not want to be put on a life
support machine if there are others who are more likely to survive who need it.

NO: I do not want to be put on a life support machine even if one is available.

Name (printed):



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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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