Derek Humphry is a familiar name in the euthanasia debate. He headed the Hemlock Society for many years and wrote extensively on euthanasia and assisted suicide. Humphry promoted the use of helium bags to commit suicide for those wanting to “die with dignity.”
The Humphry philosophy and dying method claimed two lives in Milwaukee recently when a retired physician and his wife put helium bags over their heads and pumped helium gas into them to asphyxiate themselves. They were found in one of their cars by a daughter. In their home were suicide notes and a DVD of Humphry’s “Final Exit.”
A Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article says, “The [suicide] note describes Kitty Gute’s failing health, daily indignities and chronic pain. It touches on their determination not to allow the vibrant life they had shared come to an end in a nursing home, where they feared their deaths would be no better than dragged out and wrested from their control.” Kitty Gute was one year past her Alzheimer’s diagnosis.
The daughter who found them views her parents’ deaths as “courageous.” “I hope I can be as bold for my own children,” she says.
Humphry’s Hemlock Society has given way to a more sophisticated version of selling death called Compassion and Choices which has most recently been active in Montana, Idaho and Connecticut in attempting to legalize assisted suicide. Regardless of the organization’s name, the underlying promotion of a culture of death remains the same. Sadly, a Milwaukee couple bought it and have left a tainted legacy for their family.
Read news article here.