Right to die movement


Hemlock Society is created

Approx. 1980

Derek Humphry created the first right-to-die organization. His wife had breast cancer and was terminally ill, so he assisted in her suicide. After 5 years he has found a Hemlock Society, which is considered the first organization in the U.S. Many people were against his movement, but he was sure that America is ready for such a step forward to help terminally ill people. 12 years after organization grew to 80 chapters.

Dr. Death first patient

Approx. 1990

Dr. Jack Kevorkian who is also known as Dr. Death kills his first patient as a doctor fro Hemlock Society which was created earlier in 1980. His patient was a woman from Portland, she was 54 years old and she had an Alzheimer's disease. in next 8 years he will kill 130 more patients. " My job is too make euthanasia a positive experience, as a doctor its my responsibility to help my patients, even with death"- Dr. Jack Kevorkian stated in 1990.

Doctor Helps Woman to Die which sparks Nationwide Debate


Dr. Timothy Quill, a palliative care physician has prescribed his patient a dose of pills which cause her to die. His patient was terminally ill, she had leukemia. After describing her will to die to the doctor, he directed her to the Hemlock Society, after meeting with the group, she asked the doctor for pills that she knew will cause her to die. This case caused a nationwide debate. Some people still are against the euthanasia or any assistance in suicide.

California Rejects “Aid in Dying” Measure


Voters rejected aid in dying measure, the Hemlock Society was trying to pass it, but the resolution was a fail for the movement. The main problem was Dr. Death he was a very public person, even though he has joined Hemlock Society after 10 years it has been created, Americans saw euthanasia as death without dignity.

Compassion in Dying Formed


this group was sponsoring suits challenging state laws against assisted suicide. It also has provided all the information for all the terminally ill hot to die with assistance, without suffering.

California bars and Death with Dignity organization


Death with dignity organization was created in 1994 its a non-profitable organization who taught people that assisted suicide is wrong and they should take death as a natural end. At the same time The California Bar approves physician-assisted suicide, after the vote 85% of all voters have approved it and with no opposition against particular case it was legal. That meant that doctors could prescribe their terminally ill patients pills to help them die.

Major Study on End-of-Life Care


The Journal of the American Medical Association has researched a massive study on End-of-life care. The study included 5 U.S. hospitals and almost 10 thousands terminally ill patients. In their study they wrote sometimes its hard with patient to speak to a doctor, because do not want CPR in order to bring them back to life. Many do not want to experience severe pain again.
“To improve the experience of seriously ill and dying patients, greater individual and societal commitment and more proactive and forceful measures may be needed.” (Major Study on End-of-Life Care,1995)

Oregon Reaffirms Physician-Assisted Suicide


Many religious groups are trying to repeal the assistance in dying law in the state of Oregon. Vote happens again in 1997, but religious organizations dreams were crushed of repealing this law, after they saw the results of them losing by 60% to their 40%

Dr Death Assists a Suicide on National Television


Jack Kevorkian went on the national television, he was invited to "60 minutes" show, where he has demonstrated a videotape how he assist Thomas Youk who was suffering from Lou Gehrig's disease in suicide by lethal injection. It was a big step for Hemlock Society, it showed that it was not as scary as America has thought. It demonstrated that it was his choice to die, because he patient did not enjoying a full life.

Dr death goes in jail


after the video that he has shown to the public when he kills a patient -Thomas Youk ,he gets committed of the 2 degree murder and has been sentenced from 10 to 25 years in prison. Its a massive step back for the Hemlock Society.

Maine Death with Dignity Act Is Defeated


Maine makes a ballot initiative, should people who are terminally ill be allowed to choose to die or to stay alive? Die with dignity act loses by 1 percent. 51% of voters voted yes, and 49 % have voted no.

Attorney-General Aschroft Challenges the Oregon Death with Dignity Act


U.S. attorney- general Aschroft challenges the Oregon in order to cancel the law, he asks the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to change the findings of a lower court judge from a law which was passed in 2000 in which his side lost by 1 percent of the vote.

Final Exit Network Emerges


Right to die movement create their own movement after being inspired by Humphrey's book ( who is a founder of Hemlock Society). The purpose of their movement to make euthanasia not only legal for terminally ill but for everyone. Their organization breaks-out pretty quick, its gets 3000 members and a lot of volunteers.

Major Right-to-Die Groups Merge


Hemlock Society joins with other organization who are fighting for the same reason, together they created a biggest Right to die movement. They change their quote from "assistance in suicide" to "aid in dying". They help people outside of Washington and Oregon find ways to end their sufferings.

US Supreme Court Upholds Oregon's Death with Dignity Act


Controlled Substances Act is was in the consideration, but the Supreme Court has ruled in favour of right to die movement. Earlier they tried to get substances that they used in assisting suicide banned.

Dr. Death Released


After serving 8 years in prisons he was released on parole. He was sentenced 25 years in prison after showing him assisting in euthanasia to one his patients, who was terminally ill.

Washington Death with Dignity Act Is Passed


Washington becomes a second state to allow right to die bill. It takes affect in 2009.

State of Montana Affirms Physician-Assisted Suicide


State of Montana Affirms Physician-Assisted Suicide is not against public policy. The state resisted in further allowing the law,but it was not illegal for doctors to help their patients to commit suicide.



Final Exit tries to pass the law so assisted suicide would be legalized but hey loose by 60 thousands votes. It's illegal to aid in dying in the state of Massachusetts.

Euthanasia becomes legal in California


California has became a fifth state to allow aid in dying legally after Oregon, Washington, Montana, and Vermont. Law was going into force after 90 days. So now its legal to commit suicide with medical assistance in 5 states in the United States.