June 10th, 2011
06:03 PM ET

Ending one's life a right, doctor says

Dr. Lawrence Egbert is the former medical director for the Final Exit Network, a group that supports “the human right to a death with dignity.” Throughout his tenure with FEN, Egbert reviewed and processed hundreds of applications for assisted suicide. Below, in his own words, Egbert explains his philosophy. He’ll be a guest on "Sanjay Gupta, MD" this weekend (Saturday – Sunday at 7:30 a.m. ET) to defend his stance that suicide is a viable option to end pain and suffering.

My name is Lawrence Deems Egbert, but most friends call me Larry. I graduated from Johns Hopkins University in 1948, the University of Maryland School of Medicine in 1952, and was then called into the Navy. I served seven years, where I was assigned to the U.S. Naval Hospital in Philadelphia, as a resident specializing in anesthesia.

Not surprisingly I have given a lot of thought to [why I work with the Final Exit Network]. Being arrested and needing a criminal lawyer gets one’s attention! Simple answer: Such work needs doing and I have the technical background to help out.

A person is suffering unbearably. The situation is hopeless and the doctors are doing all sorts of “treatments” which are painful and do not seem to help very much. The situation is hopeless, over and over again, hopeless. There are a lot of such persons and some simply cannot stand it any more and want out. And I have the technical skills which could help them out.

Nowadays (at least until my arrest) people were asking me would I help them out of the hopeless situation. Oh, of course I could simply tell such a person where to buy a rifle. Many Americans opt out by using a rifle. I am told Canadians and Australians in the same fix opt out using a rope. And repeatedly I have heard that doctors find ways to not stay involved.

I like to think I am a person who says yes to such questions, at least sometimes. Odd, because I have said NO loudly and repeatedly to us “helping” the state with its executions, the so-called “lethal injections.” The difference is that the patient with the horrible disease has asked for such care. I have never offered to help a person die. Actually, I have helped with some people’s thinking it thru and deciding NOT to die right now.

I solidly approve of the idea that competent individuals suffering unbearably should have the right to end their lives when their quality of life is personally unacceptable and their future holds only hopelessness and misery. Such a right should include when to die, where, and how.

I do not believe our work has been illegal but it is quite obvious that some people think it immoral as defined by their religious faith. All I can do for such people is refer them to U.S. Constitutional Amendment # 1.

Post by:
Filed under: Death and Dying

soundoff (229 Responses)
  1. Buy backlinks assurance chien

    Some truly interesting info , well written and loosely user friendly.


    September 20, 2019 at 14:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Johnyknv

    articles March 15

    constructing a Room accessory First establish a Room application

    non commercial regain , 2006

    constructing a Room gain can be one of the better investment it is possible to in your property area. making a room tallying, including a lounge room improver, alternatively plus freedom can also add breathtaking fresh, new home to you personally.

    bench mark Donovan

    having a car port improvement developing master plan moreover price price ranges

    abode service , 2006

    troublesome extra a service area connection to a home is one of the greatest home enchancment contracts a owner of a house may well make. A mechanic tallying facilitates important tool and might immensely improve value.

    Read a little something ArticleVacation living in tuscany sensitive escape apartments versus places

    best travel articles March 15, 2006

    commercial home rentals regarding people in france can be obtained from various price ranges. If you are searching for luxury, there's rentals obtainable. in case that something whole lot rustic fits a person's sample and in addition tight budget, th.

    Read your whole ArticleVacation space leases so family vacation stores vacation to get well suited excitement

    quality travel articles March 15, 2006

    one particular first placement to begin with consider is where you want to spend your vacation vacation? are you presently somebody that prefers to be down the middle of affairs, tell him residing a town, aka making use of a kid who '.

    Read the actual whole ArticleVacation procurment or travels property seo at a bargain price

    top travel articles March 15, 2006

    an individual has a holiday rental or possibly a fun day domicile and would like to rent this kind of? right, But where and how and how much money planning values? various kinds of topics that each charmingdate.com family trip property owner comes armed with. you can be certain that.

    Adam truman

    illustration showing contract statement

    business articles March 15, 2006

    something in a contract set up? That is a fantastic ask, And if you have never seen a hired offer do not be concerned, it's not just you. for those at the moment college such as university additionally going.

    November 30, 2020 at 03:39 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3

Leave a Reply to Adara


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.