About Final Exit Network:
Final Exit Network is a registered non profit organization that operates throughout the United States. (We do not operate outside of the U.S., however you may go to the World Federation of Right to Die Society's website for international information.)
We believe in death with dignity and an individual's right to self determination. We are the only organization that publicly provides education on all end of life choices as well as a compassionate presence to those who are suffering from incurable diseases and have chosen to end their suffering. Unfortunately, we are not able to support individuals with primary mental illnesses. We do not put an artificial requirement for an individual to be certified as likely to die in six months. Suffering does not recognize that restriction and neither do we.
To ensure that the maximum amount of your money is used to alleviate suffering we operate virtually, conducting our administrative business as much as possible through technology. Outreach to individuals seeking information from us is done entirely through volunteers and almost all our travel is done for that exclusive purpose.
Final Exit Network is a national, nonprofit, 501 (c)(3) tax-exempt corporation.
Gifts and memberships to Final Exit Network are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.
Phone: (866) 654-9156
Final Exit Network Mailing Address:
Final Exit Network
P.O. Box 10071
Tallahassee, FL 32302
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WE ARE NOT A SUICIDE HOTLINE. IF YOU ARE EXPERIENCING A PERSONAL CRISIS,
PLEASE CALL THE NATIONAL SUICIDE HOTLINE NOW -
By calling 1-800-273-TALK (8255) you’ll be connected to a skilled, trained counselor
at a crisis center in your area, anytime 24/7; a live chat contact is also available.
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FEN takes Death with Dignity case to the U.S. Supreme Court
The Board of Directors of Final Exit Network has authorized an appeal to the Supreme Court of the United States from the corporation’s conviction in Minnesota on a charge of “assisting” in a “suicide.”
On Tuesday, March 14, the Supreme Court of Minnesota declined to review the Network’s 2015 conviction. The Network’s petition for review by the Supreme Court of the United States is required to be filed within 90 days of the Supreme Court of Minnesota’s denial of review.
In May 2015, Final Exit Network, Inc. was convicted by a jury in Hastings, Minnesota of “assisting” in a “suicide” for having provided Exit Guide services to a woman who elected to terminate her extreme suffering. The Network was fined $30,000 and required to pay an additional $3,000 in restitution to the “victims,” the family of the deceased Network member, to cover her funeral expenses.
The Network appealed the 2015 conviction to the intermediate Court of Appeals of Minnesota, which affirmed the conviction last December. The Supreme Court of Minnesota denied review of the Court of Appeals’ decision.
Even though it was established at the trial that the Network’s Exit Guides, in accordance with the Network’s practices and protocols, did not provide any physical assistance in the death, the Network was convicted merely for giving information to Doreen Dunn, 57, of Apple Valley, Minnesota.
Under the Minnesota courts’ interpretation of that state’s law against “assisting” in a “suicide,” the Network was convicted for giving the Apple Valley member the website address where she could purchase Derek Humphrey’s landmark bestseller, “Final Exit,” the Network’s namesake.
In all the Minnesota courts, the Network has asserted and will continue to assert in the Supreme Court of the United States that Final Exit Network’s giving of information to its members is a First Amendment-protected exercise of free speech, and therefore Minnesota cannot make it a crime.
“No other state in the country makes it a crime to give information about self-deliverance,” said the Network’s president, Janis Landis. “We find the Minnesota law intolerable and wrong and we will not give up the fight. This will be an expensive project and I call upon supporters of death with dignity and freedom of speech to contribute to our legal defense fund.”
Final Exit Network
Why celebrate January 2 and the month of January?
When you plan your New Year's resolutions, go ahead and plan conversations with your family and friends about your - and their - end-of-life choices. This is one of the most important and life-changing resolutions that you can make.
And now you can talk with your doctor about your end-of-life choices. Plan to call your doctor in January and make an appointment for this important discussion.
As an organization, Final Exit Network is celebrating the 25th anniversary of the publishing of Final Exit, the book, which marked the beginning of the death with dignity movement within the United States
Turned down by commercial publishers, but still determined, Derek Humphriy self-published his ground-breaking book Final Exit. The book is in its third edition, has been published in many languages, is sold around the world, and has been on the New York Times bestseller list.
Derek Humphry was also one of the original founders of the Hemlock Society and then later one of the original founders of Final Exit Network. It is with great appreciation that we are honored to celebrate the month of January, beginning January 2, with celebrations aimed at furthering everyone's discussion of their own personal final wishes.
Talk with your family, talk with your friends - talk with your doctor. Initiate the discussion with your children and other family members. Ask them to consider their final wishes and discuss end-of-life issues with you - and their respective families. Discuss what your life has meant to you, to them, discuss the importance of a good death. The discussion alone opens many doors and may well become the impetus for many heartfelt family discussions.
We hope to make the month of January a month-long opportunity for all of us to further this important discussion. Please return to this site for more information as our plans progress.
Celebrate the Death with Dignity movement!
Explore death with dignity through film movie list
Film list by Faye Girsh, President, Hemlock Society of San Diego
Faye Girsh's Movie List
Hemlock of San Diego (with some additions!)
Movies that explore the many facets of the topic of death and dying.
Me Before You
Me Before You is a 2016 British-American romantic drama film starring Emilia Clarke, Sam Claflin, and Steve Peacocke. Set in the UK, the film is shot in various historic locations around the country, including Pembroke Castle in Wales, and Chenies Manor House in Buckinghamshire, England.
A sensitive award-winning Japanese film about a young man who stumbled across a job working as a Japanese ritual mortician. Shunned by his wife and friends for working with death, they changed their minds when they realize the beauty and dignity he brings to the dead and the comfort he provides their loved ones.
Harold and Maude
1971 dark comedy film classic: Harold, obsessed with death, meets the 79-year-old carefree Maude.
An Italian film about a young woman who helps people die.
What happens when her guidelines are violated? How does this occupation affect her life? Are there other “Honeys” around? Should there be?
How to Die in Oregon
How terminally ill persons, their family, and friends consider whether and when to take a lethal medication overdose as allowed in Oregon since 1997 and soon to be available in California through the End of Life Option Act. Winner of Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize. Presented by the Hemlock Society of San Diego.
Based on the best-selling book by Dr. Atul Gawande, this documentary shows him meeting with colleagues and patients to discuss treatment choices at the end of life. Up-close and even better than the book!
The Farewell Party (Israel)
Residents of a retirement community figure out how to help their fellow retirees who are suffering a bad death.
La Grande Bouffe (The Big Feast)
In this 1973 award-winning French-Italian film with Marcello Mastroianni, four gourmet friends rent a chateau. If you ever thought about how it would be to eat yourself to death, this will amuse and entertain you.
A Final Promise
A boy helps his brother die and makes a vow to himself to end his own life at 37— until he falls in love with a woman with ALS who needs his help. Based on the novel, How Angel's Die, by British musician, Guy Blews.
A beautiful woman, a handsome charming magician who is also a quadriplegic—in a beautiful house with wonderful music. But he wants to die —and the court denies him. A love story with a bittersweet ending.
The Sea Inside - Xavier Barden
A Spanish film about a quadriplegic man who gets help to die from a Spanish RTD group.
One True Thing - Meryl Streep and Renee Zelwegger
Cancer patient dies from an overdose. Who did it?
Documentary of a doctor dying by stopping eating and drinking
A Short Stay in Switzerland
Fictional account of a true story of a doctor going to Dignitas to die
The Suicide Plan
Frontline account about Final Exit Network and other RTD activities
The Barbarian Invasions
Canadian fictional account of a disagreeable man who dies peacefully
Whose Life Is It Anyway? - Richard Dreyfuss
(Classic movie of a quadriplegic who wants treatment removed)
Grace Quigley - Katherine Hepburn and Nick Nolte
(Old lady finds a reluctant hit man to help her older friends die)
Amour (shown at a movie theater)
An older man caring for his wife who has repeated strokes
Right of Way - Bette Davis and Jimmy Stewart
An older couple want to die together despite daughter's protestations
Shaking Hands with Death
Speech given by British author, Terry Pratchett, about his dementia
You Don't Know Jack - Al Pacino and John Goodman
TV movie about Jack Kevorkian and his crusade to provide a peaceful death
Mademoiselle and the Doctor
80 year old healthy woman wants to die
The Suicide Tourist
Documentary about an ALS patient who goes to Dignitas
Talk to your family, let them know your wishes - Ideas for getting started . . .
There many ways to donate to Final Exit Network
Aside from sending us a check or credit card there are many ways you can donate to Final Exit Network. Many companies have matching grants and we are already receiving these from Fidelity, Prudential, and Pfizer. Just ask your company if they offer this wonderful benefit.
< Note these important details.
You can also send us stock. One member just sent us $500 in stock to pay for her lifetime membership.Qualified Charitable Distribution is a feature of the tax code that allows a person to send money from an IRA distribution directly to a charity and deduct it from the adjusted gross income. Similarly, they can also contribute stock and get a deduction. There are rules to follow, so please check your eligibility if you are considering this option.
And of course, we hope you will remember Final Exit Network in your will. These bequests are very helpful. All you need to know is the Final Exit Network EIN number, which is #80-0119137, and our mailing address, P.O. Box 10071, Tallahassee, FL 32302.
Please call 1-(866) 654-9156 to have a Network representative contact you about an estate gift for this very worthy cause.
Gifts and membership dues to Final Exit Network are tax-deductible to the full extent allowed by law as a 501(c)(3) organization.
Letter from a member . . .
The following is my letter to the Scott County Times, Forest, Mississippi, my hometown, in response to an excellent article in that weekly newspaper about the difficulties associated with dying.
My letter is an example of my effort to raise the bar of awareness with those around me of the alternatives associated with facing death that organizations like ours are providing. I
Subject: Death's Final Scene.
I appreciate Ms. Rich's article about death---a difficult, essential, unpleasant, unavoidable topic. This letter addresses the unpleasant part.
We cannot avoid death, but we can often make it less unpleasant. We do that for the dogs, cats and horses, et al, who we loved and who enriched our lives.
On that clear, beautiful, crisp night of 23 January, 2002, the day before Buddy's 17th birthday, the weather cooperated so my Lab and I slept in the backyard, I in my sleeping bag, he on his. The next morning I called Buddy's vet but could not utter the two words the vet and I had already agreed upon: "It's time." Being an experienced vet, he intuited by my silence what I wanted---fifteen minutes later was in our driveway---moments more in our kitchen where Buddy's head rested in my lap on the floor---quickly, silently, painlessly inserted the needle into Buddy's hind leg. Buddy was comfortable in my lap and did not alert to our vet friend nor react to the shot, and almost immediately closed his eyes, never to open them again. I could have kept Buddy with me for a few more days, maybe even a few weeks, but the intense pain throughout his arthritic body told both of us: "It's time."
The time has already arrived in a few of our United States where humans have the right to choose the time that ends their lives. There should be no disagreement that when death is certain and pain relentless, the individual's decision should be honored so as to minimize his or her suffering and that of their family and friends, and to end mounting expenses. Unfortunately, we have not yet matured enough to make it so. Two organizations working to make it so are: www.finalexitnetworks.org and deathwithdignity.org. It's time!
Clyde H. Morgan
Final Exit Network member
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Donate when you shop: Link to End of Life Options California:
During the FEN Annual Board meeting in Chicago, the board took up the question as to whether it is within FEN’s mission to pursue forcing hospitals to be more accountable for following patients’ Advance Directives following a presentation about a case in Georgia in which a woman's Advance Directives were not followed, causing great anxiety to the woman and her family. The case was won on appeals in the Georgia Supreme Court and the hospital and doctor settled out of court. We are hearing of more and more reports of Advance Directives not being followed or being totally ignored by health care facilities.
A committee of three board members was formed to address these concerns and they would like you to respond with your opinions. If you have a personal experience within the last five years that you would like to share with us for a potential case, please send us an email through the “Contact Us” button on our website, or send us a note by mail.
Georgia Supreme Court Decides
in Favor of Plaintiff [299 Ga. 315, Supreme Court of Georgia. Doctors Hospital of Augusta, LLC et al. v. Alicea, Administratrix]
The case that prompted the board discussion was brought by Jacqueline Alicia in Georgia after her 91-year-old grandmother’s Advance Directive was clearly not followed. Even after multiple, clear conversations with medical staff, the granddaughter was not called and her grandmother was intubated and placed on a ventilator without her granddaughter’s consent.
According to court records, “In May 2013, Alicea, acting as the administratix of her grandmother’s estate, sued the Hospital and Dr. Phillip Catalano (collectively, “Defendants”). Alicea alleged among other things that they intubated her grandmother, Bucilla Stephenson, and put her on a mechanical ventilator, which prolonged her life when she was in a terminal condition and caused her unnecessary pain and suffering.”
Mrs. Stephenson had made her wishes very clear to her granddaughter, as Jacqueline Alicia’s father had been taken to the hospital with pneumonia without an Advance Directive. He died, but only after Jacqueline (whose mother suffered from Alzheimer’s) was forced by circumstances to make the decision to remove him from a ventilator. The grandmother did not want her granddaughter to go through the heartbreak of having to remove her from a ventilator as Jacqueline had had to do for her father.
We are hearing of more cases throughout the country where similar events are happening, especially as Catholic hospitals become the main healthcare providers in some areas.
To provide practical education about self-deliverance with dignity for those people who qualify and are facing intractable pain, unbounded suffering, or an unacceptable quality of life, and to provide a compas-sionate presence for those who so choose.
Support our important mission.
- Dr. Zubin Damania - health care pioneer in new ways of considering healthcare delivery and conversations. ZdoggMD (http://zdoggmd.com/aint-the-way-to-die/)
- Shanaaz Gokool - CEO, Dying with Dignity Canada, a leading activist in changing Canadian laws
- Asunción Alvarez, PhD, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, DMD Mexico
- Dr. Stefanie Green, Victoria, Canada - a pioneer physician in Canada who has changed her practice from OB-GYN to MAiD, Medical Aid in Dying
- Dr. James Downar, Critical Care and Palliative Care Physician at the University Health Network and Sinai Health System in Toronto
- Caitlin Doughty - "Ask A Mortician," Caitlin is a leader in new ways of thinking about and having conversations on dying (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caitlin_Doughty)
- Dr. Aroop Mangalik - Physician and author, "Dealing with Doctors, Denial and Death"
- Faye Girsh, EdD - Hemlock Society of San Diego, a pioneer in the DwD movement in the United States
- Taimie Bryant, PhD, JD - Legal scholar, UCLA professor
- Thaddeus Pope, PhD - Legal scholar, expert on VSED
- Robert Rivas, JD - Pioneer attorney on RTD in the U.S., FEN General Counsel
- Mara Buchbinder, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Social Medicine, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
United Church of Christ (National) -
Unitarian Universalist - confirmed
. . . as well as panels of bioethicists, physicians and health professionals, palliative care specialists, psychologists, thanatologist, grief counselors, and other health professionals and religious representatives.
March 21-25, 2018
Dying in the Americas 2018
Henderson, NV I Hilton Lake Las Vegas Resort & Spa
Dying in the Americas 2018
March 21-25, 2018