Sunday, November 09, 2008

Final Exit: Dying with Dignity

Derek Humphry, 1991, 1996, Final Exit: The Practicalities of Self-Deliverance and Assisted Suicide for the Dying, New York: Dell Publishing. 2nd ed.

Derek Humphry, 1992, Dying with Dignity: Understanding Euthanasia, Secaucas, NJ: Carol Publishing Group

Derek Humphry caused a national sensation in the United States when he published Final Exit in which he argues that everyone has a right to die and has a right to ask others to help them to die. Humphry's personal experience when his first wife, Jean, who was suffering from terminal breast cancer and asked him to help her die affected him deeply.

After her death in 1975, he started the National Hemlock Society in 1980 which lobbies for legalisation of euthanasia and a 'right to die' movement.

Humphry's second book, Dying with Dignity serves as a companion to Final Exit in which he presented a 'systematic' considerations for the right-to-die movement.

Humphry writes a blog,Assisted-Suicide Blog.

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Blogger Kansas Bob said...

Dr Kevorkian created a huge stir here in the states Alex.

As a doctor, have you ever see an instance where euthanasia dignified a person's death?

7:18 AM  
Blogger Alex Tang said...

Hi Bob,

I have been approached a few times and so have my colleagues by patients wanting euthanasia. However, all them them, after a long talk and identifying their problems (depression, inadequate pain control, emotional and psychological stress, loneliness and fear) and helping them alleviate them, all of them decided that they do not want euthanasia.

Basically, I believe most people want to hang on to life as long as possible.

I do not think euthanasia dignified anyone's death. We euthanise dogs, cats, animals but not human beings. There is no dignity in such deaths.

6:23 PM  
Blogger Kansas Bob said...

Thanks Alex. I stood at the side of my wife when she breathed her last.. she died with dignity not because of the way that she died but because of the way that she lived and the way that she loved.

Suicide, assisted or otherwise, will never bring dignity. Thank you for spending time with those who would seek to determine the moment of their passing.. thank you for helping them see a better way.

Blessings, Bob

9:36 PM  
Blogger Kansas Bob said...

By the way.. my wife died of heart disease.. not suicide.. felt I needed to make that clear.

9:38 PM  
Blogger Alex Tang said...

hi Bob,

Thanking you for sharing.

Yes, a dignified death is a milestone of the end of living a dignified loving and full life here on earth and the beginning of another phase of our existence.

12:39 AM  
Blogger Paul said...

Having had to minister to 2 people who had terminal cancer, I must say that i am grateful for the HOSPICE ministry in NZ.

5:45 AM  

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