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Katie Engelhart’s new book “The Inevitable” was discussed on the radio recently. This is an extract:

BROOKE GLADSTONE This is On the Media on WNYC Radio New on WNYC Radio New York  on 3 December 2021:

BROOKE GLADSTONE What do you think about books like ‘Final Exit: The   of Self Deliverance and Assisted Suicide for the Dying’  by Derek Humphry. There’s also another one A ‘Chosen Death: The Dying Confront Assisted Suicide’  by Lonny Shavelson. These authors can’t be charged with assisting in suicide, can they?

KATIE ENGELHART Well, people are really fearful of dying badly. They want to know that something will work quickly and that it won’t leave a mess for family members to find afterwards. And that’s what these manuals help people with. The book Final Exit was a surprise New York Times bestseller, I think, in the 90s.

I contacted the author, and all these years later, he still sells a couple of copies a day, and he still gets calls from people all over the world who want to ask very specific questions about some say, cardiac medication they’ve been hoarding.

As to the question of whether someone can get in trouble for sharing this information, that’s actually pretty interesting. To commit suicide in the United States is legal, but to assist someone else in the legal act of committing suicide is illegal. And that brings us to the question of what constitutes assistance, which is complicated and vary state by state.

So I did interview a lawyer who’s involved in a group that helps provide people with information, and he’d done this big survey. And he basically found that in most places, when we say ‘assisting a suicide,’ the courts mean physical assistance. You handed someone medication, you injected someone with a drug, but in a few places, the definition is fuzzier and perhaps will allow for someone to be charged with assistance just for providing information or means. And this lawyer,

Robert Rivas, said to me, if that interpretation is correct, it could be that in some states, someone could ask a librarian for a copy of this New York Times bestselling book Final Exit, have the librarian hand over the copy and later have the librarian be charged if that person goes home, reads the book and uses it to end his life.

 Read the entire radio interview  at WNYC New York.  The book is on Amazon.


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