Final Exit

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Final Exit: The Practicalities of Self-Deliverance and Assisted Suicide for the Dying
Final Exit book cover.jpg
Author Derek Humphry
Country United States
Language English
Subject Self-euthanasia
Publisher Dell
Publication date
March 1, 1991
Media type Print
Pages 213
ISBN 0-440-50488-0
OCLC 26465758
Preceded by Jean's Way

Final Exit (fully titled Final Exit: The Practicalities of Self-Deliverance and Assisted Suicide for the Dying) is a 1991 book written by Derek Humphry, a British-born American journalist, author, and assisted suicide advocate who co-founded the now-defunct Hemlock Society in 1980 and co-founded the Final Exit Network in 2004. The book was first published in 1991 by Dell Publishing under the name Dell Trade. The current edition was published in 2010.[1]

The book, often described as a "suicide manual", describes the means that the terminally ill may use to end their lives. The book further outlines relevant laws, techniques, and living wills.[2] Final Exit was perceived as controversial,[3] and the book drove debate regarding the right to die. Another concern was that people who were mentally ill could use the information found in the book to end their lives.[4][5] Despite the controversy, Final Exit reached #1 on the New York Times Best Seller list in August.[6]

Final Exit Network claims that approximately 750,000 copies have been sold in the United States and Canada and approximately 500,000 elsewhere. The book is banned in France.[7] Final Exit is Derek Humphry’s third book on the subject of self-euthanasia; it was preceded by Jean's Way (1978) and The Right to Die: Understanding Euthanasia (1986)

Success of the book[edit]

In 1991, Final Exit spent 18 weeks on the New York Times non-fiction Best Seller list, it reached #1 in August,, and was 25th on USA Today's April 2007 list of 25 books that leave a legacy.[8]

It has been translated into 12 languages.[9] The original English language version is in its third edition.

In 2000, Derek Humphry recorded a VHS video version of the information in the book[10]; a DVD version[11] and a Kindle version[12] were released in 2006 and 2011, respectively.

The ethicist Peter Singer included it on a list of his top ten books in The Guardian.[13]

References in pop culture[edit]

  • Industrial metal band Fear Factory uses quotes from Humphry's video in the last track, "Final Exit", of their seventh studio album Mechanize.[citation needed]
  • In a Christmas episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000 Dr. Forrester gives TV's Frank a copy of the book as a gift after he reveals that he stole Frank's blood to pay for it.
  • In episode 11 of the sixth season of Married... with Children, Al Bundy can be seen reading this book while in bed.
  • In episode 6 of the first season of The Powers That Be (1992), Theodore Van Horne (David Hyde Pierce) reads this book in bed ticking off the methods he's tried.
  • Bill Hicks incorporated this book in several of his bootleg shows as a build-up to one of his controversial sketches on how euthanasia can make movies more interesting and believable, quoting a phrase "Put 'em in the movies...
  • In episode 10 of season one of the Showtime TV show Huff, Beth Huffstodt finds a copy of the book in her mother-in-law's closet and worries that her mother-in-law is planning to kill herself.[14]
  • In the novel All My Puny Sorrows, suicidal Elfrieda orders a copy of this book and her husband and sister debate whether or not to dispose of it.
  • The book is mentioned in the novel The Treatment (where it is found in the house of a man who has committed suicide)[15][non-primary source needed]
  • Humphry summarizes the world reaction to 'Final Exit' in his memoir "Good Life, Good Death" (Carrel Books, NY, 2017)
  • On episode 14 of the final season of Golden Girls (Old Boyfriends), Rose is reading the personals column of their local newspaper for Sophia. One of the ads makes a reference to the "Final Exit" as one of the hobbies of an individual seeking a date partner.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]