Dear Members and Friends of Final Exit Network:
I am coming up on my last quarter as President of Final Exit Network. When I took office, four years ago, I was fortunate to be handed an organization in good shape and with great people. As I leave office, I think my predecessor will say the same. But – it’s been a tumultuous four years maintaining that equilibrium.
We had a totally unexpected legal challenge in the form of a prosecution in Minnesota. Thanks to the support of our dedicated members, guides and legal counsel, we fought a tenacious battle and were successful in not having any Exit Guide found guilty. The organization itself did have to pay a fine, but the District Attorney’s efforts to shut us down did not succeed and we continue our work, nationwide.
At about the same time, we had a totally unexpected technical challenge: the dilution of helium tanks, which made them no longer usable for self-deliverance. Thanks again to our members and specialists we were able to find alternatives and our work has gone forward uninterrupted.
We also had a number of our most stalwart and experienced volunteers pass away or retire due to ill health. I am deeply thankful to the long-time and new members who stepped forward to fill the void. As a result, we have trained new Guides and Coordinators and recruited new members of our Medical Evaluation Committee. We have reinvigorated our public education programs, revamped our training, established comprehensive policy guidelines and supported efforts to find even better end of life options.
When I took on this role, my main goal was to ensure the continued existence of Final Exit Network so that we could fulfill our compassionate work. As I enter into my last quarter as President, I feel proud to have accomplished that. But my overriding emotion is gratitude: to all of you who collectively and individually are the most compassionate and selfless people I have ever worked with. I plan to continue my active involvement and help in any way I can. And I know that our new leadership – to be elected at our Annual Meeting this summer – will count on that same support and commitment that I have received.
Thank you all.
With warm regards,
President of the Board
Final Exit Network, Inc.