This book is intended for Seniors and people who are seriously ill (and their families). This book is not intended for young people or anyone suffering from psychiatric illness or depression. As authors we acknowledge that there is a small risk that this book may be misused by people for whom this information is clearly not appropriate.
The risk that information of this nature may be misused was a fact acknowledged by the ‘godfather’ of the right-to-die movement, former British journalist, Derek Humphry. When Derek first published Final Exit in 1991 he was criticised for endangering suicidal teens the world over. However, as he would later point out, the suicide statistics failed to show the much talked about ‘blip’. There has been no rise in the suicide rate. Providing people with information does not incite or encourage people to die. And this is a critical point.
Rather, reliable, accurate information empowers people to make informed decisions about their own end-of-life circumstances. Good information should not only prevent grim, horrible deaths of gunshot and hanging (the most common causes of suicide in the US, UK and Australia respectively) but it should allay fears. It is a paradox, perhaps. By equipping Seniors and those who are seriously ill, with knowledge that empowers and returns control, these same people are more likely to stop worrying and get on with living. Anecdotal evidence to this effect can be seen at each and every Exit meeting. Fears are addressed and participants feel back in control.