The WNC chapter of the Final Exit Network will present a program including skits and discussion concerning the right-to-die movement at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Asheville on Sunday, Oct. 7, at 2 p.m. The public is invited to attend the free event.
The right-to-die movement coalesced when Derek Humphry founded the Hemlock Society in 1980. In the early years of the movement, the group’s main focus was passage of laws that support an individual’s right to a peaceful, dignified death. Many states passed legislation supporting advance directives, so-called “living wills.” The organization’s next goal was passage of physician aid-in-dying laws, but to date, only Oregon has affirmed that right.
Due to conflict within the movement leading to board resignations, Humphry and other members of the group re-formed as Final Exit Network in 2004. Final Exit is an all-volunteer organization dedicated to serving people who are suffering from an intolerable condition. The network offers counseling, support and guidance relating to “self-deliverance at a time and place of your choosing.” The groups stresses personal choice and notes in its literature that “we will never encourage you to hasten your death.”
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The Unitarian Unversalist Church of Asheville is located at 1 Edwin Place. For more information about the event, call 254-6001.
— Cecil Bothwell, staff writer