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: Aycke Smook 1938-2023

ERGO regrets to report the death of one of its
directors, Dr.Aycke Smook in the Netherlands.

Aycke died in hospital on March 6th 2023 after a period of deteriorating health. He will be remembered for his unwavering commitment to the issue of the Right to Die in general, and to Right to Die Europe in particular.

After organising the 1990 WF Conference in Maastricht on behalf of Dutch Right-to-Die organisation NVVE, he took the initiative to start Right to Die Europe (RtD-E)in 1993 – originally as a European Division of the World Federation of Right to Die Socieries.

A retired gynacologist, Aycke was President of the WFRtDS from 1994 until 1996 and of ERGO from its inception in 1993.

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Advance Healthcare Directive (AHCD).

A California AHCD can be filled out online. The form and instructions are available on this link:

** California AHCD (https://oag.ca.gov/sites/all/files/agweb/pdfs/consumers/ProbateCodeAdvancedHealthCareDirectiveForm-fillable.pdf)

After completing the form, print, sign, and date it at the end. The form must also be signed by two qualified witnesses or a notary public.

Give a copy of the signed and completed form to your physician, any other health care providers you may have, to any health care institution at which you are receiving care, and to any health care agent(s) you have named. We recommend keeping a copy at home in plain sight in case paramedics need to come into your home.

Talk to the person you have named as your agent to make sure they understand your wishes and are willing to take the responsibility.

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Bring yourself up-to-date by reading

FINAL EXIT 2020 (digital only) at https://www.finalexit.org
Author: Derek Humphry

American Clinicians Academy on Medical Aid in Dying has issued this informative booklet by Lonny Shavelson M>D> –

“Medical Aid in Dying: A guide for patients and their supporters”

The Academy booklet is available at Amazon for Kindle or as a Paperback: https://tinyurl.com/Aid-in-DyingGuide

The American Clinicians Academy on Medical Aid in Dying, based in California. Email:


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You can read my memoir “Good Life, Good Death” at this web site:


It’s good read but not lengthy—- Derek Humphry

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Florida non-profit calls for medical aid in dying law

A Florida non-profit organization is pushing for a law to allow people with terminal illnesses to die on their own terms.

The effort comes after police say 76-year-old Ellen Gilland shot and killed her husband inside a Daytona Beach hospital as part of a planned mercy killing. Investigators say the woman made a pact with her husband to kill him if his condition worsened.

The plan to kill her husband then herself had been in the works for weeks, but after shooting him in the head, investigators say Gilland couldn’t go through with the rest of the plan.

Now, the group “Florida Death with Dignity” is pushing for a “medical aid in dying” law. They say Floridians with a terminal illness should be allowed the same autonomy and individual freedom while dying as they enjoyed while living.

Right now, 10 states have medical aid in dying statutes, as well as Montana where it was made legal by way of a 2009 state Supreme Court ruling. However, no such statute exists in Florida.

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Canada is delaying plans which would allow people with mental illness to access medically assisted death amid concern from some clinicians that the healthcare system is not prepared to handle the complicated cases.

Starting March 2023, Canada is expected to become one of the few countries in the world to allow physician-assisted death for chronic mental disorders.

But on Thursday, justice minister David Lametti said the government would seek to delay the expansion of medical assistance in dying (Maid), following criticism from psychiatrists and physicians across the country.

“We are listening to what we are hearing and being responsive, to make sure we move forward in a prudent way. We know we need to get this right in order to protect those who are vulnerable and also to support an individual’s autonomy and freedom of choice,” Lametti said.

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Report to the Final Exit Network Board by Brian Ruder, President

Mary Ewert and Brian Ruder were among 12 FEN members attending the 2022 World Federation of Right to Die Societies conference held in Toronto, Canada November 3-6th. There were 170 delegates. Following are some highlights from the meeting:

• The Canadian law is set to include mental illness next March. However, there was a
feeling that the date may not be met due to the difficulty of defining the assessment
process. It was also mentioned that the Canadian health system is very strained at this
time, which may impact the implementation and process.
• A presentation by the doctor who provided for the first person to die with dementia in
Canada noted she was under review for a year after the death, before she was
completely cleared, even though she had been very careful and followed the law
explicitly. Approximately 1% of the deaths in Canada within the law are due to
• In the Netherlands, there are several right-to-die-organizations, the largest of which has
about 174,000 members. The two oldest and largest organizations in Switzerland
combined (they accept Swiss citizens only) claim around the same number. These
organizations perform advocacy, support and education. And with these numbers, they
have a big influence. All have noted that there are right wing issues in their countries.
• In the Netherlands, 90% of the providers are GPs who have known the clients for some
time. In the Netherlands, over 4.5% of deaths are hastened and in Switzerland 1.8%. (In
Oregon, it is less than one half of one percent after 25 years.)
• The original Canadian law, C-14 was based on reasonably foreseeable natural death. It
was changed in 2021 (C-7) based on a challenge from the disability community. This
allows for support of patients with mental illness and mature young people.
• There are now two tracks for people who want to use the Canadian law. Track one for
those with reasonably foreseeable natural death and Track two for mental illness and
other conditions where reasonably foreseeable natural death does not apply. Criteria
for track two are not yet defined and will be much more time consuming and difficult to
• The Canadian law does not allow a doctor to discuss or recommend the law unless the
client brings it up first.
• In her Nov. 5 keynote address, Senator Pamela Wallin spoke of her ongoing effort to
include a dementia advance directive in Canadian law, which would allow patients to
consent in advance, prior to the loss of menta

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25 years of end-of-life options in Oregon
By Laurie Trieger

This month marks the 25th anniversary of Oregon’s Death With Dignity Act; in approving the law, Oregon was the first state to authorize medical aid in dying. Though it was originally passed via ballot measure in 1994, the law was challenged in the courts and did not become formally available until Oct. 27, 1997.

All these years later, nine more states and Washington, D.C., have made this compassionate end-of-life choice available to its residents, and people across the country are learning how to have difficult conversations with their loved ones about their end-of-life wishes. I am inspired by the advocates before me who have given us this option. One of those advocates was my mother, a longtime supporter of medical aid in dying.

A trusted and time-tested medical practice, medical aid in dying allows a terminally ill, mentally capable adult with a prognosis of six months or less to live the opportunity to request from their doctor a prescription for medication they can decide to self-ingest to die peacefully in their sleep. My mother was a member of the Hemlock Society and taught me from an early age how critical it is for all of us to have agency over our bodies, our lives and our deaths.

Read the entire article in the Eugene Register-Guard 10/26/2022 at


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