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The purpose of the police or sheriff making ‘wellness visits’ is to find out if a person has taken their life, or intending to. Such visits are lawful under US health laws; they are not criminal inquiries because suicide is not a crime.
A person does not have to let them indoors unless they have a valid search warrant. Advisable just pleasantly to assure them in the doorway that everything is fine, thank you, and suicide is not currently contemplated — that connecting with GLADD was merely a precaution against a FUTURE unbearable terminal illness.
The FBI and police seem not to understand that many thoughtful people plan well in advance — while still healthy –against a future terminal or hopeless illness. (Why else has “Final Exit” sold over a million copies?)
In the more than ten cases reported to me so far (there are probably many more) the wellness visits have ended satisfactorily once the law enforcement people have been assured that no hasty self-deliverance is contemplated.
One man tells me that he wrote a letter of support to Sharlotte Hydorn after the 25 May FBI raid which closed her operation down, and within days had the ‘wellness police’ at his door. He had ordered or paid nothing, just sympathized.
This GLADD imbroglio has happened because, while the helium hood kit was developed by me and others in 2001 exclusively as a choice for terminal, competent adults, it turned out that many persons who are mentally troubled, or clinically depressed, spotted this different method of suicide and began to order the kits. This was by no means intended. I regret this development.
I wonder why gunshops are not similarly under attack, as most suicidal American men shoot themselves?
Derek Humphry
(jnlst & author) 15 June 2011

4 Responses to “Be pleasant when law enforcement calls re GLADD kits”

  1. jsiss says:

    “I wonder why gunshops are not similarly under attack, as most suicidal American men shoot themselves?”

    I am strongly in support of a right to die for those faced with terminal illness and/or intolerable suffering, and also strongly in favor of gun control, but for the purpose of discussion I suppose the argument is that guns have many uses other than suicide (hunting, recreation, self-defense), whereas helium hoods only serve one purpose. Of course, whether that justifies law enforcement targeting a business that provides a means of self-deliverance (which is not in itself illegal) is another question entirely.

  2. Colima says:

    There are so, so many violent, painful, and possibly unsuccessful ways to kill yourself. If the government applied the same protocol to other methods, they would need to outlaw firearms, rope, household poisons, prescription medications, high bridges and buildings, all methods of carbon monoxide, and multiple other items. The helium hood is in no way fatal by itself, no more so than a plastic bag or various tubing (including medical, mechanical, etc).

  3. jerriblankstare says:

    Is there going to be any way to acquire the helium hood kit for those of us still living in Oregon?

  4. nordiet says:

    Just this afternoon my husband and I had a visit from 2 Beaverton, OR policemen. We had ordered a hood kit from Glaad in March, 2011. Our check still has not been cashed but we received the hood. Unfortunately I had not read your blog in sometime and so was completely surprised. My husband has Alzheimer’s and the male policeman asked if he could talk to him alone inside. I was asked to wait outside with a female poicewoman for at least 15-20 minutes. She would not tell me what my husband had done. It was agonizing. When I was finally allowed into my own home I asked what it was all about and was asked if we had ordered a hood kit from Glaad. I said yes and asked why that was cause to separate us. Turns out the policeman was trying to convince my husband that suicide was not the answer but God was. My husband said he acted like those people who come to the door and try to convert you to their religion. Out of line I told them. I am furious but will not report him to his superior unless he comes back again. I understand health checks but proselytizing NO!

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