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Final Exit (Third Edition): The Practicalities of Self-Deliverance and Assisted Suicide for the Dying (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 26. November 2002

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  • Taschenbuch: 256 Seiten
  • Verlag: Delta; Auflage: 0003 (26. November 2002)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 0385336535
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385336536
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 13,2 x 1,3 x 20,3 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 4.3 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (3 Kundenrezensionen)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 22.821 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)

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“Until there is a law which would allow physicians to help people who want a Final Exit, here is Derek Humphry’s book, fittingly named, to guide them.”
--Betty Rollin, author of First, You Cry and Last Wish

“An honest, clear, compelling book.”
--Dr. Frederick R. Abrams, physician and ethicist

Leseprobe. Abdruck erfolgt mit freundlicher Genehmigung der Rechteinhaber. Alle Rechte vorbehalten.

The Most Difficult Decision

This is the scenario: You are terminally ill, all medical treatments acceptable to you have been exhausted, and the suffering in its different forms is unbearable. Because the illness is serious, you recognize that your life is drawing to a close. Euthanasia comes to mind as a way of release.

The dilemma is awesome. But it has to be faced. Should you battle on, take the pain, endure the indignity, and await the inevitable end, which may be days, weeks, or months away? Or should you take control of the situation and resort to some form of euthanasia, which in its modern-language definition has come to mean "help with a good death"?

Today the euthanasia option--or the right to choose to die--comes in four ways:

Passive euthanasia. Popularly known as "pulling the plug," it is the disconnection of medical life-support equipment without which you cannot live. It could be a respirator to aid breathing, a feeding tube to provide liquids and nutrition, or even the sophisticated use of certain drugs to stave off death. There is not likely to be much ethical or legal trouble here provided that you have signed a Living Will and also a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care--they are also known as Advance Declarations--that express your wishes. (More on these later.)

Self-deliverance. Taking your own life to escape the suffering. This method does not involve any other person directly, although a loved one or friend should ideally be present. It is legal in all respects, and widely accepted ethically.

Assisted suicide. You get lethal drugs from somebody else, usually a physician, and swallow them to cause your death. It is legal for you to do so, but at present it is a felony for the person who supplied the drugs or took any action physically to help you. Despite the present criminality of assistance, this procedure is gaining increasing ethical acceptance. In 1996 two U.S. appeals courts ruled in favor of physician-assisted suicide, making it likely that this is the modified form of assisted death which will be adopted. But the U.S. Supreme Court quickly squashed that and the appeals court were overruled.

Active euthanasia. Death brought about by a physician's injection of lethal drugs. This procedure is illegal and, despite the necessity for it in certain cases, has limited ethical acceptance in the medical profession. It is already available in the Netherlands but is probably more distant in America.

Often, persons who have not properly thought these situations through claim they are not worried about a bad death because they have a Living Will and the plug can be pulled at their behest. Probably so, but roughly half the people who die in Western society are not connected to life-support equipment in their final days, so relief by that way is not an option.

Before we go any farther, let me say this: If you consider the God whom you worship to be the absolute master of your fate, then read no more. Seek the best pain management available and arrange for hospice care.

If you want personal control and choice over your final exit, it will require forethought, planning, documentation, good friends, and decisive, courageous action by you. This book will help in many ways, but in the last analysis, whether you bring your life to a quick end, and how you achieve this, is entirely your responsibility, ethically and legally.

The task of finding the right drugs, getting someone to help or at least be with you, and carrying out your exit in a place and in a manner that is not upsetting to other people is yours. Suicide, even the most rational and justified version, the sort we are talking about in this book, is not something other people are anxious to be involved in. It is best to seek the help of family or the closest of friends.

If you have not already done so, sign a Living Will and have it witnessed, but not by anybody who is going to gain from your other will dealing with your estate. A Living Will, which has nothing to do with property or money, is an advance declaration of your wish not to be connected to life-support equipment if it is judged that you are hopelessly and terminally ill.

Or, if you are already on the equipment because of an attempt to save you that has failed, a Living Will gives permission for its disconnection. By signing, you are agreeing to accept the fatal consequences.

Make sure you get the particular Living Will form that is relevant to your state. They all differ in small details. Strictly speaking, the Living Will of one state or nation does not apply in another place. But carry it when you are away from home, because any sensible physician would recognize it as a valid statement of your wishes. A valid Living Will is likely to survive a court challenge because all American states recognize them and the U.S. Supreme Court has given them its blessing.

But remember this: A Living Will is only a request to a doctor that you not be kept needlessly alive on support equipment. It is not an order. It may not be legally enforceable. But as your signed "release" of his or her responsibility, it can be a valuable factor in the doctor's thinking about how to handle your last hours. The Living Will gives the doctor a measure of protection from lawsuits by relatives after your death. And it gives you a measure of control and choice.

A more powerful document is the Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care, which, in different forms, is available in all American states. Here you assign to someone else the power to make health care decisions if and when you cannot.

For example, if your doctor is unable to make you understand the consequences of what treatment or care is planned, then he or she will turn to the next of kin; you are considered incompetent. Now, if the family member is confused, or has different ethical values than you, that may not work well. You may end up getting medical attention of the sort you did not want when you were rational.

With the medical Power of Attorney given to someone in whom you have already confided your general or specific wishes, someone who has accepted the responsibility, then it is most likely that you will get the kind of treatment--or dignified death--that you desire. A doctor must get the approval of the person (also known as surrogate or attorney-in-fact) that you have named. This is especially important if there is disagreement in the family about what to do. The surrogate person has the absolute right to make the final decision, although only if you are too ill to make it yourself.

The medical Power of Attorney is legally enforceable, whereas the Living Will is not. It may seem like a man using both a belt and braces to keep his trousers up, but experience shows that if you care about a good death you cannot be too careful.

The Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care could be the most significant document you ever sign. As of today, however, it works only for passive euthanasia--the cessation of treatment. It does not empower anybody to assist in your suicide or provide euthanasia. Since 1991 the Patient Self-Determination Act, passed by Congress, requires all federally funded hospitals in the United States to advise patients of their right to make out any Advance Declarations their state has. Some hospitals supply this information efficiently; others do not. So it is absolutely necessary for you to sign these documents when you are healthy and get copies into your medical files, your private files, with your attorney if you have one, and with the person who is to be your surrogate decision-maker. Also, hand copies to some or all of your adult children.

This book is chiefly about self-deliverance, assisted suicide, and euthanasia, which the Advance Declarations do not cover. But undoubtedly...

In diesem Buch

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29 von 33 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich Von Polygraph am 25. Februar 2007
Format: Taschenbuch
Zu jedem erdenklichen Thema findet sich mittlerweile eine Fülle von Ratgebern und Fachbüchern, warum nicht also auch ein Buch, das einem erklärt, wie man Selbstmord begeht?

Es ist ein Zeichen für die Verflachung und zunehmende Spaßfixiertheit unserer Gesellschaft, dass dieses Buch mit schlechten Bewertungen bombardiert wird. Ich möchte niemandem zu den Methoden raten, die in diesem Buch erläutert werden, aber ich denke, es sollte jedem freistehen, ob und wann er sein Leben beenden will.

Die Welt ist nun mal häufig kein Rosengarten, und auch wenn uns das immer wieder schockiert, hat das Leben mindestens genauso viel negative Schattierungen zu bieten, wie positive. Der erste Kuss, Schokolade, neugeborene Katzen und warme Sommerregen gehören ebenso zum Leben dazu, wie unheilbare Krankheiten, Langzeitarbeitslosigkeit, oder die Erkenntnis, dass die große Liebe den eigenen besten Freund vorzieht.

Dieses Buch sollte in jedem Hotelzimmer ausliegen, es sollte umsonst und überall verfügbar sein; es ermutigt den Leser nicht, Selbstmord zu begehen, aber es bringt ihm wieder die immer präsente Möglichkeit ins Gedächtnis.

Manche Krisen lösen sich von selbst, manche erst nach vielen Jahren; manche aber nicht. Und dann sollte man besser wissen, wo man dieses Buch findet.
Kommentar War diese Rezension für Sie hilfreich? Ja Nein Feedback senden...
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1 von 5 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich Von ALPACO am 5. Januar 2012
Format: Taschenbuch
die lieferung erfolgte schneller als erwartet in physisch einwandfreiem zustand.
Frage: wodurch unterscheidet sich die 3. von der 1.auflage ?
welches sind die vebesserungen/korrekturen?
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1 von 8 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich Von HaenschenSchulze am 8. September 2012
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
Das Thema verbiete wohl eine Rezension, auch deshalb, weil hier wohl keine literarische Qualität gefragt ist sonder die Richtigkeit der behaupteten Fakten. Und die könnte ich bestenfalls aus dem Jenseits bestätigen. Aber soweit bin ich noch nicht.
Es gilt allerdings, nach meinen beschränkten Recherchen, als eines der besseren zu diesem Thema.
Ich werde auch nicht den Suizid, oder ein Buch dazu, mit "Gefällt mir" bewerten.
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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 171 Rezensionen
236 von 250 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
A Book that Respects People's Choices About Dying 24. April 2004
Von Stephen Pletko - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch

After I read this book (first edition published in 1991) by Derek Humphry, I read some reviews of it on this site as well as on other sites. In many cases, I wondered whether a particular reviewer read the same book as I did! There seems to be some confusion as to the purpose of this book.

I think the confusion stems from a lack of understanding of two terms. "Suicide" is deliberately ending one's life. It is usually an irrational act. (For the record, I don't believe in irrational suicide.) "Self-Deliverance" is the action of an irreversible ill person (such as a person who is hopelessly ill or is terminally ill) who makes a rational, voluntary decision to end his/her own life.

The second of these two definitions is what this book is about. In the author's own words: "Please respect the true intensions of [this book]: the right of a terminally ill person with unbearable suffering to know how to choose to die."

Thus, this book is not for the depressed, mentally ill, or suicidal. The author elaborates: "I ask people with suicidal thoughts to share them with family or friends and if this does not help, to call one of the hot lines or help lines listed in their local telephone books."

There is an argument that the above three types of people might use the information in this book for their own early demise (despite the book's warnings) and therefore it should not have been published. But this is like saying tall buildings (or cars or bridges or etc.) should not be built because those with the intension of suicide might use them for an early demise. The fact is a suicidal person will always find a way.

Also, this book is not for the religious. The author, again, elaborates: "If the reader of this book is deeply religious, and takes all guidance from a divinity, then there is no point in reading [this book]. [As well], all I [the author] ask of persons to whom any form of euthanasia [or assisted dying] is morally repugnant is tolerance and understanding of the feelings of others who want the right to choose what happens to their [dying] bodies in a free society." Thus, "this book assumes the reader's ethical acceptance of the right to choose to die when terminally ill and [so] the arguments for and against are not addressed."

This 27-chapter book covers all the practicalities involved in self-deliverance. From the importance of certain documents, to the law, to consideration of others, to the pros and cons of various methods (including certain drugs), you'll find this book a compassionate and sensitive guide. It contains clear instructions for supportive doctors and families so they can keep a person's dying intimate, private, and dignified.

This book has four appendices. I think most people will find Appendix A: "Glossary of Terms Connected with Dying" most informative.

Finally, this is an excellent book for those (like me) who are interested in knowing more about this neglected subject. The obvious fact is that we all die sooner or later. Knowing some of the information in this book will help the reader understand and not deny that death exists. As well, I learned about rights. Some people want to endure every last minute of life no matter how painfully gloomy and that is certainly their right. (In fact, there is a chapter in this book entitled "The Hospice Option.") However, others do not want to endure pain and suffering and I think that should be their right.

In conclusion, this book should not to be read by the depressed, suicidal, mentally ill, or the strictly religious. For all other readers, it can be used as a practical guide or as an educational text to understand death and basic human rights.

79 von 80 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Final Exit - Your choice 26. September 2005
Von K. Tini - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
I found this book to be incredibly informative. Watching my parents in the throes of death has made me vow to not do this to my children. Any ideas I had prior to reading this book were dispelled and I'm grateful to know what doesn't work! The book is not for the weak at heart - especially the illustrations but I've already connected with a partner and hope, that when the time comes, I'll have the fortitude to carry through.
100 von 107 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Yes you discriminate. 29. Dezember 2009
Von R. - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch
Many of you guys complaining about depressed individuals committing suicide using this book fail to accept that you discriminate towards the mentally ill almost everyday. Ask a homeless man cleaning car windows and pumping gas to earn a days worth of food or alcohol or drugs to mask his pain whether or not he would want to end his life. You'll see why such a book can be beneficial to people who did not make the choice to enter this world to begin with and want out. Every human is living in a fantasy world not accepting that we are mere beasts. If we are willing to put a dog to sleep without its consent why not a human who decides to do so.
88 von 94 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
This is a manual, not a religous text 17. März 2003
Von Stephanie E. Ladd - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch
Final Exit does not discuss the spiritual and ethical issues surrounding suicide and euthanasia. Some have criticized Derek Humphry for not including such discussions, but I contend that author has acted appropriately: the scope of this book is inform others on how to effectively plan and execute the last moments of life. It would be presumptuous of the author to lecture his readers on their own faith. If you are looking for answers concerning the spiritual ramifications of ending your life, then you should refer directly to sources on which you base your faith.
Concerning Final Exit's effectiveness as a manual, the language is clear and concise, the description of materials and their use is accurate, and the book provides you with adequate information to help you troubleshoot any problems unique to your situation.
I left off one star only because some of the drugs mentioned in the book are next to impossible to obtain due to the termination of production by pharmaceutical companies. There are alternatives, but these will require a bit more effort on the part of the reader.
72 von 76 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Appreciating Life 18. Juni 2004
Von Ein Kunde - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch
What I like most about this man is that he genuinely appreciates life and encourages people to live....surprised? This book is not aimed at everyone, only the terminally ill. He strongly discourages people from taking their own life unless they're sick. I respect his view that humans have the right to end their existence, even if the problem is mental distress, not physical. I did see a few methods that anyone who can walk themselves to the store with some cash on hand can do. Those methods require no doctor or hard-to-get materials. For sure, anyone with access to a doctor can use this book as a guide to obtain the essential materials needed.
I did wish the book had more methods of self deliverence (that are available without prescription), and more detailed instructions on using prescribed drugs.
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