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July 2, 1997

Journal of Image Guided Surgery.

Author Affiliations

University of Minnesota Minneapolis
Medical University of South Carolina Charleston

JAMA. 1997;278(1):79-81. doi:10.1001/jama.1997.03550010093052

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


The second edition of this notorious how-to manual on suicide is enhanced and better written, though it is still a very strange book. The author is the founder and former director of the Hemlock Society. He is now with the Euthanasia Research and Guidance Organization (ERGO!), which operates a useful website on assisted suicide at www. rights.org/~deathnet. I oppose legalizing physician-assisted suicide and reviewed the first edition of Final Exit for JAMA in 1991.

This 20th century do-it-yourself memento mori describes a true faith, sins, and a liturgy. "The way of a true believer in voluntary euthanasia is with drugs [with or without a plastic bag over the head] in the company of loved ones." The text discusses suicide by cyanide, air injection, gunshot, car exhaust, over-the-counter medications, narcotics, antidepressants, lye, freezing to death on a mountain ("not so bizarre and a method for which I have respect")