Feed on

Choices in dying.  Donation ?

A modest donation to ERGO (nonprofit) would help with our research and our support of inquirers.

See the 9th icon (‘How you can contribute…..’) at our web site:


Or mail to

ERGO, 24829 Norris Lane, Junction City, OR 97448

                            Thank you  — Derek Humphry

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

A fascinating article in the Guardian 21 Nov. about a terminally ill UK person traveling to Switzerland to get a medically assisted death contains this bleak outlook for law reform in England:

Assisted death is legal in Switzerland, as well as in several other countries including Canada, the Netherlands and Belgium. (plus 10 USA states). Although the details differ, the success of each system is grounded in tight regulation and documentation.

In the UK, however, anyone who does anything that could be construed as “encouraging or assisting” another person to die, such as buying their plane ticket, pushing their wheelchair through an airport, or even talking about how it might happen, may be committing an offence that carries a potential prison sentence of up to 14 years.

The British Medical Association recently dropped its opposition to assisted dying but, despite widespread support from the public and half of doctors surveyed personally believing there should be a change in the law to permit them to prescribe life-ending drugs, little has changed.

A bill that would allow some people with a terminal illness to end their life at a time of their choosing is progressing through parliament, but is not expected to become law. “It’s unlikely to pass unless it gets taken up by MPs in the Commons and the government gives it time for debate,” says Trevor Moore, chair of the campaign group My Death, My Decision, which is calling for a public inquiry into the law. “There are some supportive MPs, but it takes up parliamentary time, and there are a lot of other things going on.”

Worth reading the whole article in the Guardian at –















Tags: , , , , , , , ,

The Economist of 8 November has a long article surveying the benefits and problems of medical assisted dying worldwide.

Death on demand
In the West, assisted dying is rapidly becoming legal and accepted

It is raising hard questions and changing how people think about death

Extract :

Change has been rapid. Assisted dying is now legal or decriminalised in at least a dozen countries, with legislation or court challenges pending in many others. On November 5th Portugal’s parliament approved a revised bill which would allow those with “grave, incurable and irreversible” conditions to receive help to end their lives (the constitutional court had in March blocked an earlier version as being too imprecise).

Other largely Catholic countries such as Chile, Ireland, Italy and Uruguay are also moving towards enshrining a right to die. In Belgium, Colombia and the Netherlands governments have broadened assisted dying laws to include terminally ill children.

After years of struggle, activists and politicians have found ways through or around reluctant legislators. The right to die has been ticked through American ballot boxes, squeezed through Australian legislatures, and gavelled through Canadian and European courts. Proponents are using public consultations, campaigns and petitions to demonstrate public support. And growing evidence from countries with assisted-dying laws has undermined fears it will become easy to “kill granny”. The changes are snowballing as advocates in one country learn from their counterparts elsewhere.

Assisted dying remains uncommon. Most cases are cancer-related, and the number of deaths is tiny. But they are nonetheless changing how people think about dying. In some countries assisted dying has been extended to those with mental disorders and dementia, and even to old people who feel tired of life. A clandestine network of baby-boomers who share methods to kill themselves has sprung up on the internet. Even some proponents are beginning to worry about a slippery slope.  (end extract)

Read entire article at


Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

The Associated Press is reporting this story of considerable significance to the right-to-die movement:

A Portland doctor who says he wants to offer his terminally ill Washington patients the option of assisted suicide filed a federal lawsuit Thursday, saying the residency requirements for Oregon’s assisted suicide law violate the U.S. Constitution.

Oregon was the first state to legalize medical aid in dying in 1997, when it allowed adult residents with a terminal diagnosis and prognosis of six months or less to live to end their lives by taking a lethal dose of prescribed medication. The new lawsuit is by the national advocacy organization Compassion & Choices and an Oregon Health & Science University professor of family medicine.

Experts believe the legal action could have broad implications as the first challenge in the nation to raise the question of whether such residency requirements are constitutional, Oregon Public Broadcasting reported.

Oregon’s law was the basis for laws since adopted in eight other states and Washington, DC. California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, New Jersey, New Mexico, and Vermont and Washington state allow aid in dying for residents of their states only.

The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in Portland on Thursday. It asks the court to prohibit Oregon officials from enforcing the residency provision of the law.

It says the residency requirement violates the privileges and immunities clause in Article IV of the Constitution and the commerce clause in Article I.

The plaintiff in the case, Dr. Nick Gideonse, is a family practice physician and associate professor of family medicine at OHSU and a longtime supporter of medical aid in dying.

“I’ve been providing medical aid in dying since the early days of Oregon’s law. It’s profoundly beneficial to patients who have nothing left but suffering at the end of their life,” Gideonse said.

Washington allows medical aid in dying. But according to the lawsuit, Gideonse cannot offer his Washington patients medical aid in dying without risking his medical license or criminal prosecution.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

After an eight hour debate in the House of Lords on Friday, Baroness Meacher's Assisted
Dying Bill passed its Second Reading unopposed. This is a huge win for the campaign.

 The Bill will now go to committee stage where it will be further scrutinized.
After that it must go to the House of Commons for consideration.

The British parliament has been considering reform on right-to-die laws since l936
and always defeated.  But this law looks more likely to succeed given the many 
ccountries that have now introduced -- without problems -- similar laws.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Assisted dying will become legal in New Zealand as the End of Life Choice Act is set to come into force from 7 November.

The country’s health minister Andrew Little on Tuesday said healthcare systems were ready to implement the law. Mr Little cited a public referendum that was held alongside general elections last year and said assisted dying received the approval of 65 per cent of the public.

A person seeking assisted dying will have to be aged 18 years or over, be a citizen or permanent resident of New Zealand, suffer from a terminal illness that is likely to end their life within six months and be in an advanced state of irreversible decline in physical capability, according to the eligibility criteria.




Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Sir Patrick Stewart, the actor, has endorsed the campaign to legalize assisted dying in Scotland. The 81-year-old, whose credits include Star Trek: The Next Generation on television and the X-Men series of blockbuster movies, told The Sunday Times that such legislation “is the mark of a forward-thinking, progressive society”.

Last month Liam McArthur, a Liberal Democrat MSP, launched a public consultation on his proposed member’s bill to give mentally competent terminally ill people the choice of assisted dying to avoid a protracted, painful and undignified death.

Assisted dying is legal in countries including Australia, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Canada and nine states in the the US including California, where Stewart lives. The actor told how he had been affected by the death of someone close who ended her life in appalling circumstances.


Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

On Oct. 5, 2021, the bill to improve the California End of Life Option Act, was signed into law.
SB 380 goes into effect on January 1, 2022 and makes the following changes:
The mandatory minimum waiting period between the 1st and 2nd oral request will be reduced from 15 days to 48 hours.
Healthcare systems and hospices will have to post their aid-in-dying policies on their websites.
The final attestation form will be eliminated.
If a patient makes a request for medical aid in dying and their doctor cannot support them in it, the doctor will be required to tell the patient they will not support them, document the request in the patient’s medical record and transfer the patient’s medical records upon request

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Farewell to Hemlock: Killed by its Name

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Queensland will become the fifth Australian state to legalize voluntary assisted dying (VAD) after state Parliament passed a historic bill on Thursday.

After more than two days of emotionally charged debate, the bill passed with 61 MPs supporting the legislation and 30 voting against it.

The new laws — which are not set to take effect until January 2023 — will allow people aged 18 and older who are expected to die within 12 months, and who meet strict eligibility criteria, to seek medical assistance to end their lives.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »