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The Background to the Peaceful Pill
Our research and development in suicide assistance goes back many years
It was the late Dutch Supreme Court Judge, Huib Drion, who was the first person in the world to call openly for the introduction of a pill that would provide a peaceful, pain-free death at a time of a person's individual choosing; a pill that is orally ingested and available to 'most' people who may require suicide assistance.
In his letter to a prominent Dutch newspaper, Drion argued that all people over a certain age should have the right to die at a time of their choosing. A pill would confer this power.
"Elderly and often ailing people realize that, at some time in the future, they will find themselves in an unacceptable and unbearable situation which only can get worse, never better."
"A pill to end life at one's own discretion would solve the problem. Not a pill for now, but for the unforeseeable future so that the end can be humane."
And just as the contraceptive pill broke new ground for women's reproductive rights in the 1960s, so Exit International believes the 'Peaceful Pill' will revolutionise the quality of life of other groups within our community.'
(from Killing Me Softly: VE and the Road to the Peaceful Pill, 2005)
Exit International & the Peaceful Pill
The possible role of a 'Peaceful Pill' was first outlined in a paper presented by Dr Philip Nitschke at the World Federation of Right-to-Die Organisations in Zurich in 1998.
Building on this concept, in late 2003, Exit carried out an exhaustive member survey of views and expectations about the organisation's research agenda. These results have guided the Exit's R&D into suicide assistance and matters of end of life options since
The 2003 survey of 1000+ members showed an overwhelming preference for the 'Peaceful Pill' over all other forms of self-deliverance, with 89% reporting they would prefer to take a pill than use traditional drugs, the Carbon Monoxide Generator, or an Exit bag.
ease of use (85%)
the likelihood of a dignified death (86%)
(See Killing Me Softly for a full discussion of the survey, methodology and results.)
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