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The demographics of patients seeking medical aid in dying (MAID) seem to be similar in both Oregon and Washington, according to a study published in JAMA Network Open.

In a group of 3,368 prescriptions from 1998 to 2017 in Oregon and 2009 to 2017 in Washington, most patients in both states were insured, non-Hispanic white, and had some level of college education, the study showed. The most common diagnosis associated with MAID was cancer.

“Concerns that MAID would unintentionally target socially disadvantaged patients have not materialized, as evidenced by the data presented in this article,” wrote Luai Al Rabadi, MD, of Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, Oregon, and colleagues. “States considering MAID legalization may see similar results if they model their rules on those put into place in the US Pacific Northwest.”

Of the prescriptions given, 2,558 (76%) resulted in patient death from lethal ingestion. A little more than half of prescriptions were given to men (51.3%) and the majority were in patients older than age 65 years (76%) and white (94.8%).

Cancer was the most common underlying diagnoses associated with MAID (76.4%) followed by neurologic illness (10.2%), lung disease (5.6%) and heart disease (4.6%). Among the reasons given for MAID, loss of autonomy was the most common (87.4%). Only 4% of patients received referrals for psychiatric examinations.

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Two new books of interest, both by psychiatrists who believe in the
philosophy of assisted dying when desired and appropriate:

“A Dignified Ending:

Taking Control Over How We Die”
by Lewis Mitchel Cohen, MD.
(Rowman & Littlefield, NY 2019)

“O, Let Me Not Get ALZHEIMER’S Sweet Heaven!

Why Many People Prefer Death or Active Deliverance to
Living With Dementia”

By Colin Brewer MD
(Skyscraper Publications, London, 2019)

I found both highly informative and well worth reading. Available
on Amazon Books. — D.H.

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Published annual reports from the Oregon Health Authority and Washington State Department of Health that ranged from 1998 to 2017 in Oregon and from 2009 to 2017 in Washington show some interesting facts about how the law is used.

They found that 2,558 – 76% – of the 3,368 written prescriptions resulted
in patients’ deaths, with patients more likely to be non-Hispanic white
(94.8%) and 65 years or older (72.4%).

The most common underlying illnesses
were cancer (76.4%), neurologic illness (10.2%), lung disease (5.6%) and
heart disease (4.6%), with loss of autonomy, impaired quality of life and
loss of dignity the most common reasons reported by clinicians for patients
who pursue medical aid-in-dying. Ages of all participants over the time
periods ranged from 20 to 102, and participation was nearly equally split
between males and females.

“Among patients who ingested the lethal drugs and were evaluable for
complications, only 4% experienced complications, the most common being
difficulty ingesting or regurgitation of the lethal drug,” according to the
study, published 9 Aug. 2019 in JAMA Network Open. “Short median times to
unconsciousness and death prevent undue and lengthy suffering and reflect
the efficacy of drugs used in (medical aid-in-dying).”

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After the publication of ‘Final Exit‘ in l991, it was often used by writers to illustrate their works, particularly TV. Wikipedia’s entry on the book lists 11 such instances Book still selling consistently in 2019. It has never won any prizes — but I suppose you wouldn’t expect that a how-to book on dying well would!! Today it is popular worldwide on ebook and KINDLE.

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The original publication of Final Exit in 1991 stunned the nation by offering people with terminal illness a choice on how–and when–to end their suffering. It helped thousands by giving clear instructions to doctors, nurses, and families on how to handle a patient’s request for euthanasia.

In the wake of court cases and legislative mandates, this revised and updated third edition goes far beyond the original to provide new information about the legality of euthanasia and assisted suicide, and a thoughtful examination of the personal issues involved. It has become the essential source to help loved ones and supportive doctors remain within existing laws and keep a person’s dying intimate, private, and dignified.

With deep compassion and sensitivity, author Derek Humphry spells out why a living will may not be sufficient to have a person’s wishes carried out–and what document is a better alternative. It updates where to get proper drugs and exactly how to carry out the quickest, most peaceful way to make a final exit. Finally, it gently talks to a person considering self-deliverance about alternatives, planning, and the means to make every death a “good death” at our time of greatest need.
Latest edition of ‘Final Exit’ (2019) available on Amazon Books, Walmart Books, KINDLE, and ebook or paperback (signed by author Derek Humphry) at

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Good Life, Good Death — YouTube video
Derek Humphry
The writer Derek Humphry talks about his memoir, ‘Good Life Good Death’.
4 minutes:

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Amazon Books today ordered 9 copies of ‘Jean’s Way’ – a memoir I first published in l978 !! I’ve never changed a word of it through all the editions. The book has come to memorialize Jean’s courage in the face of death at age 42.

‘Jean’s Way: A Love Story’ is also available on Kindle.

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Literature from Derek Humphry:

Final Exit, Digital Edition eBook

or paperack in the mail.

Updated 25th Anniversary Edition
‘How To Make Your Own Inert Gas Hood Kit’

06/2019 Go to

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To obtain the newly-updated edocument (pdf download)
“How to make your own inert gas hood kit” go to

The separate advantages of both helium and nitrogen are

There is nowhere in the world that such a kit
can be found. So it’s strictly D I Y. This is an
ERGO publication, written by Derek Humphry. 06/2019

This information is for adults at the end of life
who desire self-deliverance from their suffering.


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The chairman of the World Federation of Right to Die Societies, Sean Davison, has narrowly escaped a prison sentence after being accused of ‘murdering’ three friends who were in advanced terminal illness and wished to die quickly.
The accusations were brought in Sean’s homeland, South Africa, which has made no progress in
improving laws on the right to choose to die, death with dignity. Here is Sean’s statement
after a plea bargain deal was announced:

Sean Davison writes:
Dear friends and supporters

In a plea bargain agreement with the South African court I pleaded
guilty to the three murder charges I faced and received a three-year
house arrest sentence at my home in Cape Town.

I accept my sentence. I will be in the news today, and I will be
forgotten tomorrow. But there will be another Sean Davison, and then
another, and another, because this issue will not go away until we have
a new law, a compassionate law, a law that does not confuse euthanasia
with murder.

I have made a solemn promise to the court not to break the law again. I
also make a promise Continue Reading »

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