The Peaceful Pill Handbook series of books on rational suicide – assisted dying is based on a civil rights model of ‘euthanasia’ (a good death).
In this, euthanasia is seen as a civil right, rather than a medical treatment.
On the one hand, if euthanasia (or assisted suicide or whatever you want to call it) is a medical treatment, then a good death is only for those who are seriously ill or suffering unbearably (and who have been approved/ permitted assistance by the medical profession).
On the other hand, if euthanasia is a civil right, then dying well and as one wants, is a fundamental human right that should be accessible to every person of sound mind (no medical doctors involved).
The objective of The Peaceful Pill Handbook series is to provide our readers with the most accurate and reliable end-of-life information available.
Access to accurate, up-to-date information is critical in being able to make informed decisions about one’s life and death.
Some people will want this information in the context of palliative care. Some readers will not be ill at all.
An end of life plan is an ‘insurance policy’ for the future.
A well considered death with dignity plan is an important part of overall life-planning (just like an Advance Directive or Living Will, Testamentary Wills, Prepaid Funerals and so on).
Most people hope they will never need to use this information. But most of us want to know that we have a choice, just in case.
Ending one’s life in the context of serious illness/ old age is not a crime.
However, asking a loved one to help you is against the law & can attract harsh penalties in some countries.
This is why it makes sense to plan ahead and keep your loved ones safe.
In writing The Peaceful Pill Handbook series, the authors acknowledge the pioneering work of Dr Jack Kevorkian and Derek Humphry.
While he was firmly a medical man, Dr Jack Kevorkian helped over 100 patients to a peaceful death before being prosecuted and going on to spend the best part of a decade in prison.
Derek Humphry founded the Hemlock Society in 1980 and published the seminal Final Exit book in 1991.
Final Exit was the first book to treat euthanasia as a civil right and to provide information designed to enable readers to plan ahead.
Together, these activists are have written much of the history of the euthanasia and assisted suicide movement globally.
The Peaceful Pill Handbook was first published by Exit International USA in 2006 and has been updated in print regularly ever since. The eHandbook is updated around six times each year.