A Swift Route to Suicide

The controversial book Final Exit by Derek Humphry, former president of the Hemlock Society, suggests ways in which terminally ill patients can kill themselves easily and quickly. But could it increase the number of successful suicides among physically healthy people? That possibility is raised in a study by New York City's Cornell Medical Center, to be published this week in the New England Journal of Medicine. The paper notes a dramatic rise in the number of people who asphyxiate themselves by tying plastic bags over their heads, a method recommended in Final Exit for "self-deliverance" within three to four minutes. In...

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