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Re Newsweek article on Dr Larry Egbert in which a lawyer said this “The idea of someone gagging to death in a helium-filled hood is “ghoulish and frightening,” says Kathryn Tucker, legislative director for Compassion & Choices.

Which brought this response:

I, as an Exit member since 2005, found that article very disturbing. I can only hope the good doctor was misquoted regarding the “gasping for breath” death induced under hood and helium
—————-June Lennon, NJ

(It was not the doctor but a lawyer who said this.)

The words “gagging” and “gasping” readers of the article are likely to think of highly unpleasant, maybe traumatic suffocation instead of the real cause of death which is brain death due to its lack of oxygen. It has been replaced by the helium.
In the several events I have observed the person breathes the odorless, tasteless helium deeply about three or four times and then is unconscious, no gagging or gasping. Death follows in 4-5 minutes. A peaceful process.

————Jim Chastain, Florida

The allegation about ‘gagging’ was made within the Dr. Egbert Newsweek web article by the lawyer for Compassion and Choices, not Dr Egbert. In the approximate 300 cases which have been reported to me there has never been mention of choking or gagging. When I witnessed the helium death of a friend of mine it could not have been more peaceful.

———–Derek Humphry, Oregon

4 Responses to “Helium deaths do not involve gagging say observers”

  1. Al Dav says:

    I see that Exit Bags can be ordered by cash via mail from GLAAD. Can Final Exit 3rd Edition w/ addendum and DVD be ordered by cash via mail from ERGO bookstore?

  2. ergo says:

    Yes they can.

  3. kennedyc62 says:

    Just received my first ERGO Newsletter….. It’s timing impeccable! I bought ‘ Final Exit ‘ some time ago and cannot thank Derek Humphry enough for it and for having the guts to make it available to us. I have put my ‘ house in order ‘ and paid, in full , my cremation etc.,I will not be asking any of my friends to ‘ assist ‘ me next month when I intend to ‘move on ‘, I am completely calm and comfortable about it all and wouldn’t have it any other way.I have had my Helium ‘ gear ‘ made up for four months now ( the bag I intend using is from a roasting bag pack and from the ‘dummy’ run I did recently it seems sturdy enough for the purpose ). Since planning this, I have been the calmest I have ever been and KNOW that this IS now my time.Courage my friends and Goodbye!

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