In 2004, Exit International undertook a major study of our supporters’ attitudes to various methods of dignified dying (n=1163). What we found was a strong and significant preference for a Pill over all other methods. Indeed, 89% of respondents (average age 72 years) said that they would prefer to take a Pill than use a plastic Exit bag, a carbon monoxide generator (COGenie) or seek help from a doctor to provide them with ‘slow euthanasia.’
A ‘Pill’ was defined as something that could be taken as a single oral dose (by mouth) in either tablet form or as a small drink.
The reasons behind the respondents’ preferences became clear as more of the data set was examined. Most of those surveyed saw the Peaceful Pill as an important way of providing independence (91%). It was seen as an advantage if one did not have to depend on friends and family for assistance when the time came.
A Peaceful Pill was also seen to provide ‘peace of mind’ (90%), was reliable (88%) and, unlike the Exit Bag or the Carbon Monoxide Generator, the Pill was easy-to-administer (87%) since it required no equipment and no technical know-how.
In this way, the Peaceful Pill was seen as a method that was accessible and usable, even by the most frail.