Derek Humphry

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Derek Humphry

Derek Humphry (born 1930), journalist, author and principal founder of the Hemlock Society. Today (2014) he is president of ERGO (Euthanasia Research & Guidance Org.) and chair of the advisory board of the Final Exit Network.

Final Exit[edit]

  • If you are thinking of ending your life because you are depressed, or cannot cope with the pressures of this difficult world, do not use this book. … Please respect the true intentions of Final Exit: the right of a terminally ill person with unbearable suffering to know how to choose to die.
    • Cautionary words.
  • Frequently I am asked if I will take my life when I have a terminal illness. My answer is: "I'll wait and see." If my dying is bearable, the pain well managed, and my self-control and dignity are not damaged, then I shall hang on and die naturally. But if I am one of the unlucky few who suffer abysmally, then I shall make a quick exit. This book is intended for readers who think much the same as me.
    • "Introduction", p. XX.
  • I tend to choose a doctor in the forties age range, male or female, in general preference to an older one. … They understand the full implications of modern medical technology a great deal better than their elders, are more open to new ideas, and usually are keenly aware of today's medical controversies, including law and ethics.
    • "Shopping for the Right Doctor", p. 12.
  • If you have to help a person die, say nothing. Let the police do their own sleuthing.
    • "Beware of the Law", p. 18.
  • Too soon is to waste the good aspects of life, and perhaps unkind to those who love and need you. Too late means you might lose control.
    • "When Is the Time to Die?", p. 101.
  • Ugh! The plastic bag! Agreed. Not very aesthetic, but not so bad with a little a little prior practice to become accustomed to it.
    • "The Final Act", p. 150.


  • The right to choose to die in a manner and by a means of ones own choosing is the ultimate personal and civil liberty.
  • Ninety-nine percent of requested deaths go unrecorded. It's a secret crime.

External links[edit]

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