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Final Exit: Practicalities of Self-deliverance and Assisted Suicide for the Dying Hardcover – 31 Oct 1991


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Carol Publishing Group; 1st edition edition (31 Oct 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0960603034
  • ISBN-13: 978-0960603039
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 14 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 533,325 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Derek Humphry was born in Bath, England, 04.29.1930 and brought up in a broken family. Despite a poor education, further damaged by six years of war, Derek determined to become a writer. Starting as a newspaper messenger boy on the Yorkshire Post at 15, he worked his way up as a reporter on the Bristol Evening World, the Manchester Evening News to the London Daily Mail, the London Sunday Times and finally the Los Angeles Times.

Always an advocacy journalist, Derek wrote books on race relations, police corruption and a biography of Michael X. For 'Because They're Black' he won the Martin Luther King Memorial Prize.

When the wife to whom he had been married for 22 years developed inoperable cancer, he nursed her for two years until she asked him to help her die. Close to the end, Jean chose to end her life with lethal drugs to avoid further suffering. In time, he married again and moved to America.

Derek published in l978 a little book Jean's Way describing Jean's final years and his part in helping her to die peacefully. It became a bestseller and was translated into major languages.

The public response to the book caused him to start the Hemlock Society USA in 1980 from his garage in Santa Monica. Hemlock's purpose was to help people in similar situations as Jean's and also to reform the laws to permit physician-assisted suicide.

Derek built Hemlock into a national organization, with 40,000 members and 80 chapters. In l991 he wrote 'Final Exit' - a 'how-to' book for the dying to bring their suffering to an end if they chose. To much surprise, it became a #1 bestseller within six months. It was translated into 12 languages. Random House keeps the 3rd edition of 'Final Exit' in print in 2010, and it is still in print in Spanish and Italian. USA TODAY in 2007 chose it as one of the most significant books of the past 25 years.

His latest book is a memoir --'Good Life, Good Death' -- covering 79 years of an eventful life -- ranging from an unusual childhood in a broken home, a father in prison, a mother who ran away to Australia, then experiencing an ugly war which started when he was nine. The book relates his remarkable experiences in journalism, outstanding interviews with famous people, and his struggle against racism. Derek immigrated to the USA at age 48.

The second half of the memoir deals with his impact on the right to die movement in America, starting and building the Hemlock Society for 12 years, and pioneering the Oregon Death With Dignity Act (l994), the first such physician-assisted suicide law in North America.

Proud to be a paperback writer, Derek has published 15 books in 40 years. Only two have been hardbacks.

Derek is president of the Euthanasia Research & Guidance Organization (ERGO), chairman of the advisory board of the Final Exit Network (successor to the now defunct Hemlock Society), and an advisor to the World Federation of Right to Die Societies, of which he has been president.

Although unlettered himself, Derek has been a guest lecturer at Harvard, Princeton, Stanford, USC, UCLA, University of Michigan, University of Chicago, and others.

In his book "A Merciful End: The Euthanasia Movement in Modern America,' Ian Dowbiggin

writes: "Humphry ranks as one of the preeminent pioneers of the American euthanasia movement." (OUP. 2003. Page 149). In their book 'Dying Right', the authors Daniel Hillyard and John Dombrink write: "Derek Humphry is widely acknowledged to be the initiatior of the euthanasia reform movement in the United States." (Routledge NY 2001. Page 82.)

A citizen of the USA and UK, he lived in Los Angeles l978-88 and since then in western Oregon. He has been married to Gretchen (nee Crocker) since l991.
Updated 3 June 2010

Product Description

Synopsis

Discusses passive and active euthanasia, describes the laws concerning assisted suicide, and examines suicide methods used by the terminally ill.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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First Sentence
This is the scenario: You are terminally ill, all medical treatments acceptable to you have been exhausted, and the suffering in its different forms is unbearable. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 28 Feb 1999
Format: Hardcover
This was a pioneering book when it was first published. It still has the merits of unmatched simplicity and clarity, but there is a MUCH more comprehensive (if harder to read) book on the same subject, "Suicide and Attempted Suicide: Methods and Consequences" by Geo Stone. I recommend both---they're surprisingly different---but if I were interested in anything other than plastic bag asphyxia (and even here Stone's book is more informative), Stone's would be my first choice.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 19 Nov 1995
Format: Hardcover
Final Exit has come to be the best book for those who wish
to escape terminal suffering either by self-deliverance or
assisted suicide. It was a bestseller in l991 and continues
to sell worldwide in solid quantities. This book does not
deal with the moral and ethical aspects - they should be
read elsewhere - but with the 'nuts and bolts' of a person
choosing to end their life because of unbearable
physical pain and distress.
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By fairwinds on 1 Mar 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Slightly disappointed with the content which focused more on the authors preferences instead of a professional survey. Worth a read, though.
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By DP ADAMS on 16 July 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
good book but has a lot of american terms and written a while ago but interesting anyway would recommend reading
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