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EUTHANASIA ADVOCATE WRITES INT’L SUICIDE GUIDE BOOK – Derek Humphry, who allegedly killed one wife and drove another to commit suicide is hoping to turn his knowledge of euthanasia into a bestseller. He plans to update the handbook every year. The guide lists details of countries that permit euthanasia, along with organizations that can assist in the process. Humphry, the founder of the pro-euthanasia Hemlock Society, is president of the Euthanasia Research & Guidance Organization (ERGO) and is editor of the “World Right-to-Die
Newsletter.” Pro-life activists note that, in cases involving euthanasia, it is often family members or euthanasia campaigners who are in control — not the individual who dies. In her 1993 book Deadly Compassion, ethics expert Rita Marker noted that Humphrys former wife, Ann, was apparently driven to commit suicide by Humphry himself, who left her after she was diagnosed with cancer. Ann wrote a suicide letter in which she told Derek, “What you did — desertion and abandonment and subsequent harassment of a dying woman — is so unspeakable there are no words to describe the horror of it.” In a handwritten note to Marker that had been added to the suicide letter, Ann wrote: “He (Derek) is a killer. I know. Jean (his previous wife) died of suffocation. I could never say it until now; who would believe me?” Humphry had told Ann that Jean wanted to die, but, later, Ann questioned his account. According to Deadly Compassion, Ann once said, “I will always find myself wondering what Jean would say if she could speak. I suspect it would be rather chilling.” Humphry’s book also contains details of how Oregon’s assisted suicide law has led to the deaths of dozens of people. From 1998 to 2003, 171 people used the law for assisted suicide. Their average age was 69, and 53 percent of them were men. Humphrey is now based in Eugene, Oregon, the hub of the American pro-euthanasia movement. Pro-life leaders note that, while there would be an outcry if a serial killer offered a handbook for homicide, the Humphry book is readily available. “However, rather than marketing compassion, Humphry appears to be trying to sell the world on the idea of killing.” As euthanasia opponent Rita Marker noted in her book, there is an “innate human dignity invested in each and every human being. Killing is a destructive answer; caring never is.” [Eugene, OR, Maria Gallagher, 2Jun04,; N. Valko RN, 3Jun04] Related web site: Int’l Task Force on Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide –