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Statement by the Board of the Euthanasia Research and Guidance Organization (ERGO)

ERGO is surprised and shocked by the arrests on 25 February 2009 of four members of the Final Exit Network for alleged assisted suicide. It is even more surprising that charges under the Rico laws for racketeering are involved. The Network is a membership organization and only provides services to its members. There are more than 3000 members all of whom pay $50/year. There is NO charge for the services provided. Dues and contributions are the only sources of income.

The laws relating to assisted suicide in America are a hodge-podge of ancient legal snippets with no relationship to the real world of dying in these modern times. How can it remain the case that physician-assisted suicide is legal in Oregon, Washington and Montana but other states still punish it as a felony or misdemeanor?

Bills which would legalize the practice are currently before the legislators of New Hampshire, Hawaii and New Mexico.

The man whom the Final Exit Network helped last year suffered from cancer of the throat and mouth. Had he been fortunate enough to live in Oregon he could have requested legal assisted dying from his doctor.

ERGO hopes this case will be fought through the courts and become the much needed test case to clarify America’s pot-pourri of laws on assisted suicide.

— Derek Humphry, president, ERGO
02.26.09 www.finalexit.org

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