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Final Exit: The Practicalities of Self-deliverance & Assisted Suicide for the Dying
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Final Exit: The Practicalities of Self-deliverance & Assisted Suicide for the Dying

3.77  ·  Rating Details  ·  458 Ratings  ·  56 Reviews
As the legal controversy continues--this newly revised and updated third edition of the landmark bestseller contains new, critically important information for patients, loved ones, and medical personnel.

The original publication of Final Exit stunned the nation by offering people with terminal illness a choice on how--and when--to end their suffering. It helped thousands by
Paperback, 3rd, 256 pages
Published November 26th 2002 by Delta (first published 1991)
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Author Derek Humphry wrote this book for terminal ill people, or people with diseases that make their everyday life a constant suffering without a hope for the cure. This book is aimed to people who are favor of euthanasia, for people who support the one's right to choose a "good-death", which makes this a book that is not about the debate of should or should not, nor is it a book where the ethical, religious and moral questions for favor and against are dealt with. There is other books for that ...more
Sep 17, 2007 Lou rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
Shelves: non-fiction
Why am I rating a book on assisted suicide so highly?

Because this is not a book about death. It's a book about life.

It doesn't attempt to answer questions for you even though it states an opinion. It only prompts you to ask various questions of yourself.

What is life?

Who's job is it to value it?

There are many questions worth answering and while Humphries does not pretend to be the purveyor of all of the answers on the subject, he'll definitely get you to thinking whether you agree with him or no
Dec 27, 2007 W.B. rated it did not like it
Don't do it, Kid! Hold on to that morphine clicker like a queen. Make them endure every last excruciating moment of you! That's what I plan on doing. Well if I follow the pattern in my family I'm going to be here half a century from now annoying you people. My grandfather was still chattering away on the afternoon he died. The hospital staff said "where does he get the energy??" They were sort of tired. Then he died.
Mary Woody
Jul 21, 2012 Mary Woody rated it really liked it
Final Exit was written for people that suffer from cancer, Lou Gehrig’s disease, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s, multiple sclerosis and muscular dystrophy, emphysema, congestive heart failure, stroke, AIDS and more. It says in the book that although suicide is not encouraged the book was written for people who suffer from a fatal or irreversible illness or intractable pain, someone who feels that their quality of life is unacceptable to them, or someone who may just feel that their futu ...more
Hootkat †
Jul 14, 2009 Hootkat † rated it it was amazing
Iv read it many times.
Im happy to say my major residence is in OR. A right to die state
I was rather torn on my rating of this... I saw this book as, bluntly, a how-to book on suicide. With my personal attachment to the idea of suicide, I found it very bothersome that this book has been published (albeit, understandably, self-published). There are diagrams, step-by-step guides, tips, etc. on various methods to commit suicide- i.e., his recommended "Nitrogen + Bag" method, to "use cash" when purchasing items so as to "not leave a trail", that it is "absolutely imperative to stay sil ...more
Jun 23, 2013 Sheila rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I purchased and read this book when it first came out in the 1990's. At the time, it was very controversial that this was even published, and I was always very supportive of all books controversial, all books that caused outrage.

The methods for committing suicide were quite varied as I recall. Eventually, this book was purged from my shelves, so I don't have it to look back at for all the details, but I remember that it gave enough information that it could be used by someone who did want to en
Oct 17, 2015 Janice rated it it was ok
It is the height of abhorrence that we treat our dying pets with more dignity and compassion than our dying loved ones!
Final Exit, published in 1991 is a dated, yet an historic expose of euthanasia alternatives at that time. Alternatives often violent, gruesome, and fraught with error, all due to spineless lawmakers and medical providers unwilling to respond with compassion.
Now, twenty-five years later, we have advanced little. An entire industry of prolonging death continues to evolve, with s
Rejeev Divakaran
Jun 26, 2011 Rejeev Divakaran rated it it was amazing
I was worried of getting bed ridden due to old age or illness. This is a fantastic book if you are thinking about how to end life if quality of life deteriorate (due to age, illness etc).
Jun 19, 2015 Pamela rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: All humans
A prediction: Whether an American state has legalized physician aid-in-dying will become a significant factor in choosing where to retire.

The baby boom generation gave rise to books like "Our Bodies, Our Selves." We lived through the advent of the birth control pill. Many of us are mystics and/or agnostics. We are accustomed to living with self-advocacy and self-determination. When it comes to dying, which is a task ahead for each and every one of us, we are not going to be inclined to simply c
Jan 15, 2009 Sunny added it
Final Exit by Derek Humphrey
This read like a master's thesis on active euthanasia. It not pleasure reading, but it is informative. It frequently referenced suicide hotlines for "emotional" suicides, did not list nonprescription medication toxicities, and cautioned heavily against the use of nonprescription drug overdoses. It gave careful consideration to how loved ones will feel following a suicide, how to get affairs in order, and how to be absolved of legal responsibility should you br present
Dec 30, 2008 Jeffrey added it
Shelves: medical-social
I can't recommend it, unless you are looking for ways to end your life. In that case, read it. It will help prevent costly and painful mistakes. It is actually disappointing to find out that there are really not that many "good" ways to kill yourself. Aside from the obvious and popular methods, it is a risky business.

A patient asked me for a note with his terminal diagnosis so that someone from the Final Exit web site could help him end his life. He told me about the book, but it turns out that
May 13, 2007 Jane rated it it was amazing
Until I found this book I was never really sure if the Hemlock Society was a valid and credible organization. The author founded the Hemlock Society and writes clearly and very courageously about the issues of rational suicide for the terminally and hopelessly ill. Although this is still a very controversial subject in the US, assisted suicide and euthanasia have been legal and accepted in several countries in Europe for some time now. The book is both a very practical how-to manual and a compas ...more
Nathan Burgoine
May 28, 2015 Nathan Burgoine rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
One of the more difficult books I've ever read, this one tackles the issue of Euthanasia, and is written towards the readership of someone who might be facing a terminal illness.

The issues involved are complex, but I personally go with the cover quote from Isaac Asimov: "No decent human being would allow an animal to suffer without putting it out of its misery. It is only to human beings than human beings are so cruel as to allow them to live on in pain, in hopelessness, in living death, withou
Jun 23, 2013 Gary rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The author waited until page 123 (of a 170 page book) to advise that if the reader is depressed, confused, or otherwise desirable of doing away with themselves for other than medical reasons the reader should contact a suicide prevention line. Fair enough.
What I took away from this book is that there are no clean or comfortable ways to make a final exit short of building your own Kervorkian machine. But then I fortunately do not find myself in the position of patient or assistant and I hope tha
Jun 07, 2015 Chris rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Read in grad school shortly after original publication, just reviewed for a discussion group. Gave 3 stars not because I "liked it", but I thought for it's time gave very good list and explanation of do's & don'ts r/t assisted suicide and euthanasia or what Humphry calls self-deliverance. Refers to resources and information available from the Hemlock Society. Parts are outdated or perhaps unnecessary as palliative care and hospice care have evolved to more fully address concerns of the termi ...more
May 20, 2014 Sevenponds rated it liked it
As a guide, Final Exit by Derek Humphry blends many styles of writing to advise terminally ill people who want to die with dignity and those who support and take care of them. Final Exit is part instruction manual, part memoir. As the founder of the Hemlock Society, Derek Humphry often writes what seems like propaganda.

The book is divided into two parts. The first part informs readers on a wide range of topics such making the decision to die with dignity, knowing when to do so, choosing the righ
Apr 17, 2014 Barbara rated it really liked it
Read this book many years ago. Still have the copy in my closet. I don't really know what to say about this or really what rating to post. It seems wrong to say this is a 4 star book or whatever.

It is very disturbing. I bought it because I wanted an easy way to commit suicide but discovered that it is not a very easy thing. And a lot of people get it wrong.

And then I had to ask myself about what experiments did they do to learn what things worked and what didn't. And who suffered because of it.
Jan 03, 2010 MissAnnThrope rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, health, 2010
My first read of 2010. Given the content of this book, one would think it not appropriate to start the New Year with such a book. However, I believe it has given me a fresh perspective to start the year off with a greater appreciation for life.

I truly admire Derek Humphry for having the courage to write such a controversial book in order to provide assistance for the dying.

This is most definitely NOT a book for those who are closed-minded.

Now.... I think I'll pack my bags for Switzerland.
Jun 24, 2009 J.M. rated it it was ok
Shelves: nonfiction
This book had everyone all up in arms when I was in high school, and when I finally got around to reading it, I thought, WTF? Really, why all the fuss? It doesn't give you tips on how to kill yourself or talk you into doing the deed.

Instead, it spends a lot of thought on terminal care, when the patient should choose an artificial end to life, and what procedures one must put into place before getting to that stage. I found it informative but not controversial.
Wendy Myers
Mar 23, 2016 Wendy Myers rated it liked it
I was expecting a more balanced discussion about the pros and cons of death with dignity. Instead, this is a very graphic "how to" book. I recognize that this has its place, but felt that the topic could have been treated a bit more even-handedly. I also felt that the author shamelessly plugged his own books and, as a result, felt that this was more of a sales pitch rather than a compassionate look at a very difficult subject.
Apr 06, 2011 RETRODOLL rated it it was ok
This book was on a list of 'most controversial books ever written' or something like that. So naturally I wanted to take a peek at it. I have not read the entire thing (it's not that type of book I don't think) because it's more a 'guide/instructional manual. The instructions are not how to put together Ikea furniture either -- it's about how to take your own life via suicide. Morbid I know, but insightful nonetheless.
Apr 06, 2008 Keith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book because of a need and a want. It opened my eyes, mind and heart for the possibility of having to erratic the excruciating pain and a life devoid of dignity of someone I love unconditionally. I am glad she pulled through and is living a life filled with love and quality. But we are both thankful that this important book will always be with us and for others who need it!
Jul 02, 2012 Lisa rated it it was amazing
My daughter and I watched a documentary on a guy named Gregg Gour who was dying of Aids and was using a method he read in this book to end his life, he spoke of it so many times in the documentary that I just had to read it...
Jun 21, 2009 Kara rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone who may need to leave life on their own accord
Recommended to Kara by: good friend
great book to keep on the shelf "just in case". read the first edition and still have that copy on my shelf.
Mar 03, 2013 Deanna rated it it was amazing
Practical instructions for compassionate people
Oct 29, 2008 Tim added it
Derek Humphrey is a big proponent for legalized suicide. This book does not argue whether or not people should be allowed the right to die, but takes the process to the next step by detailing "best practices" for killing themselves, how to tie up loose ends such as wills and finances, and legal issues faced by a person who is assisting someone to die. Also of note, a chapter is devoted to suicide and people with disabilities, namely important because it focuses on how many suicidal disabled peop ...more
Valene Hill
Jul 14, 2014 Valene Hill rated it really liked it
I have mixed emotions about this book.

I bought this book when I was suicidal. I thought how perfect, an easy way out. Obviously I'm still here. So for those who are suicidal this book is a bad idea to have.

Now for those suffering, I say this is an excellent book and I think that we should have the law here in our country to have doctor assisted suicides in cases where need be.
Apr 20, 2016 Pixismiler rated it it was ok
This is a very weird, but a very necessary book. It's not a debate on end of life issues. It is somewhat a how-to book on ending your life. I do think the writer takes necessary precautions on covering his bases very clearly in the beginning that this book is for those who have decided to or are seriously considering ending their life. He makes a point that it is to be only used by those who are terminally ill, not those who are considering suicide for any reason other than terminal illness. I w ...more
A must read if you want to die without the danger of waking up after the attempt. Written knowledgeably and with sensitivity. Aimed at those with terminal illness but very useful for anyone who want to succeed the first time.
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Derek Humphry is a British-born American journalist, author and principal founder in 1980 of the Hemlock Society USA and past president of the World Federation of Right to Die Societies, both of which support the notion of decriminalization of voluntary euthanasia. He is the author of Jean's Way and the bestseller Final Exit; he is also the president of the Euthanasia Research & Guidance Organ ...more
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