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 (874 Responses)
  1. life coach

    You are so cool! I do not suppose I've truly read through a single thing like that before. So good to discover someone with a few original thoughts on this subject. Seriously.. thank you for starting this up. This site is one thing that's needed on the internet, someone with a bit of originality!


    May 4, 2021 at 14:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. 4x4 truck repair near me


    May 4, 2021 at 16:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. weekender rv


    May 4, 2021 at 17:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. visualization group


    May 4, 2021 at 17:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Eye Care Center


    May 4, 2021 at 19:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. RV Bay Doors Riverside

    It’s hard to come by well-informed people about this topic, but you seem like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks


    May 4, 2021 at 20:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. truck repair shop near me


    May 4, 2021 at 21:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. RV Inspection Orange County

    I must thank you for the efforts you have put in writing this website. I'm hoping to check out the same high-grade content from you in the future as well. In truth, your creative writing abilities has motivated me to get my own, personal website now 😉


    May 4, 2021 at 23:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. airstream atlas

    Good info. Lucky me I found your blog by accident (stumbleupon). I've saved it for later!


    May 4, 2021 at 23:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. purpose coach


    May 5, 2021 at 00:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Best Progressive Lenses


    May 5, 2021 at 04:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. RV Dent Repair Riverside


    May 5, 2021 at 06:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. RV Leak Los Angeles

    This is a topic that's near to my heart... Thank you! Where are your contact details though?


    May 5, 2021 at 07:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. trailer trailer repair


    May 5, 2021 at 08:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. truck oil change near me


    May 5, 2021 at 08:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. chevy dealers near me


    May 5, 2021 at 20:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. accountability coach near me


    May 5, 2021 at 20:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. RV Restoration Riverside

    Great info. Lucky me I ran across your blog by chance (stumbleupon). I've bookmarked it for later!


    May 6, 2021 at 03:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Optometrist Near Me

    Excellent blog you have got here.. It’s hard to find good quality writing like yours these days. I truly appreciate individuals like you! Take care!!


    May 6, 2021 at 04:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. truck lift gate repair


    May 6, 2021 at 05:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. online personal coach

    Pretty! This has been an incredibly wonderful article. Thank you for supplying these details.


    May 6, 2021 at 11:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. success membership

    I could not refrain from commenting. Well written!


    May 6, 2021 at 12:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. auto shop near me


    May 6, 2021 at 13:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. puppies for sale near me


    May 6, 2021 at 17:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. fiberglass company near me

    Very good article. I certainly appreciate this website. Keep writing!


    May 6, 2021 at 17:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Used Forklift Extensions California


    May 6, 2021 at 18:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Stella Artois Kegs

    I’m impressed, I must say. Rarely do I encounter a blog that’s both educative and engaging, and let me tell you, you have hit the nail on the head. The problem is something that not enough folks are speaking intelligently about. I'm very happy I found this during my search for something concerning this.


    May 6, 2021 at 18:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. obgyn near me


    May 7, 2021 at 04:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Forklift Parts Near Me


    May 7, 2021 at 04:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. stake center near me

    I like it when folks get together and share views. Great website, keep it up!


    May 7, 2021 at 06:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Stout Beer

    Good blog post. I absolutely appreciate this site. Continue the good work!


    May 7, 2021 at 09:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Forklift Parts California

    There is certainly a great deal to find out about this subject. I love all of the points you made.


    May 7, 2021 at 09:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. car rentals near me

    Great information. Lucky me I discovered your blog by chance (stumbleupon). I have bookmarked it for later!


    May 7, 2021 at 15:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Internet Marketing Jobs Near Me

    I’m impressed, I have to admit. Seldom do I encounter a blog that’s both equally educative and amusing, and without a doubt, you have hit the nail on the head. The problem is something which not enough folks are speaking intelligently about. I'm very happy I came across this in my search for something relating to this.


    May 7, 2021 at 23:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. semi truck ac repair near me

    This is a topic which is near to my heart... Take care! Exactly where are your contact details though?


    May 7, 2021 at 23:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Local Marketing Experts


    May 8, 2021 at 02:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Internet Marketing Jobs


    May 8, 2021 at 07:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. truck shop orange county


    May 8, 2021 at 14:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Internet Marketing Specialist


    May 8, 2021 at 15:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Social Media Marketing Agency Around Me

    I seriously love your website.. Very nice colors & theme. Did you develop this site yourself? Please reply back as I’m trying to create my own personal website and would like to find out where you got this from or just what the theme is named. Many thanks!


    May 8, 2021 at 21:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Digital Marketing Pro

    Excellent write-up. I absolutely appreciate this site. Thanks!


    May 9, 2021 at 00:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. RV Bedroom Riverside


    May 9, 2021 at 02:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Raquel

    No dudes en buscar una comuna sobre todo si estas empezando y quieres muchas herramientas, http://bit.ly/comunaseo esta es la mejor opción que conozco, échenle una ojeada , cupón ( Dscto20 )


    May 9, 2021 at 06:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Lola

    Para mi la mejor conjunta sin duda es http://bit.ly/comunaseo, con este cupon Dscto20 descuento tienen un 20 de descuento para siempre, tienen muchas herramientas y constantemente añaden mas, aparte de tener un soporte buenisimo


    May 9, 2021 at 08:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Seo Marketing Agencies


    May 9, 2021 at 09:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Digital Marketing Agencies


    May 9, 2021 at 11:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Ariadna

    No tengas dudas en buscar una comuna especialmente si estas empezando y quieres muchas herramientas, http://bit.ly/comunaseo esta es la mejor opción que conozco, échenle una ojeada , cupón ( Dscto20 )


    May 9, 2021 at 13:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Internet Marketing Agency


    May 10, 2021 at 14:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Content Marketing Quotes


    May 10, 2021 at 14:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Digital Marketing Consultant Near Me


    May 10, 2021 at 14:30 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15

Leave a Reply to RV Repair Shops Near Me


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.