Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Freedom to Die

Freedom to Die

People, Politics, and the Right-to-Die Movement

Derek Humphrey and Mary Clement

St. Martin's Press




The strength of the right-to-die movement was underscored as early as 1991, when Derek Humphry published Final Exit, the movement's call to arms that inspired literally hundreds of thousands of Americans who wished to understand the concepts of assisted suicide and the right to die with dignity. Now Humphry has joined forces with attorney Mary Clement to write Freedom to Die, which places this civil rights story within the framework of American social history. More than a chronology of the movement, this book explores the inner motivations of an entire society. Reaching back to the years just after World War II, Freedom to Die explores the roots of the movement and answers the question: Why now, at the end of the twentieth century, has the right-to-die movement become part of the mainstream debate? In a reasoned voice, which stands out dramatically amid the vituperative clamoring of the religious right, the authors examine the potential dangers of assisted suicide - suggesting ways to avert the negative consequences of legalization - even as they argue why it should be legalized.


Freedom To Die

The Impetus for Change
Chapter 1
Medical Technology's Onslaught
Public interest is the lever that activates the government and other institutions to...


Praise for Freedom to Die

"In 1991, Humphry, founder of the Hemlock Society, published his best-selling Final Exit (Hemlock Society), fueling the national debate over physician-assisted suicide. Now, he and lawyer Clement provide a history of the right-to-die debate ...All individuals interested in this question should read this work; highly recommended for public and academic libraries." -Library Journal

About the author

Derek Humphrey and Mary Clement

Derek Humphry is a journalist and author who has spent more than thirty years campaigning for lawful physician-assisted dying to be an option for the terminally and hopelessly ill. He started this campaign in 1975 after the death of his first wife, Jean, from bone cancer which had become so painful and distressing that she took her own life with his help.

Born on April 29, 1930, in Bath, England, of a British father and an Irish mother, he was raised on the Mendip Hills in Somerset. His education was slender because of a broken home followed by the 1939-45 war when most English schools were in chaos. He attended perhaps a dozen different schools, leaving at age 15 to pursue a career in journalism.

Mary Clement is an attorney and president of Gentle Closure, Inc., a company that addresses all end-of-life concerns. She is coauthor, with Derek Humphry, of Freedom to Die.

Derek Humphrey

Mary Clement

From the Publisher

St. Martin's Press

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