Monday, July 25, 2005

Was this a rational suicide?

25 July 2005
Today's 'San Francisco Chronicle' carries a long article about the suicide of Bob Stern, which is to be shown on film on Tuesday evening (PBS TV, Point of View) throughout north America.

Several different points of view on rational suicide are reported in the article, including mine, which is correctly quoted as

"Derek Humphry, author of "Final Exit" and founder of the Hemlock Society,
was unequivocal when asked, is your life your own to terminate?

"My view is that life is a personal responsibility. If you feel you have reasons to take your life, so be it."

When Bob Stern's case was described to him, Humphry expressed concern about the means -- firearm -- but not the motive.

"Elderly suicidal people recognize that life has run its course and if that's what the person wants,'' Humphry said, that is the individual's choice. "Don't shock or hurt your family, of course, which is why I recommend lethal drug dosages or helium."

Humphry, though, believes in having safeguards in place, as in Oregon's Death With Dignity law, which is now being challenged before the U.S. Supreme Court. Oregon requires that two doctors verify the patient isn't depressed. "

Read the whole Chronicle article, with pictures, at



Post a Comment

<< Home