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Jean's Way (eBook)


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Jean's Way:
A Love Story

by Derek Humphry,
founder of the Hemlock Society

Downloadable eBook PDF Format • (1.1MB)
Price: $6.00
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2003 Reprint • Norris Lane Press
eBook ISBN 978-0-9637280-2-9 • 0-9637280-2-4
Paperback ISBN 978-0-9637280-7-4 • 0-9637280-7-5
ebook PDF • 160 pages

The moving account of a terminally ill woman's carefully planned self-deliverance from suffering.

2003 printing updated with new preface.


This is the true, moving account of a woman with advanced terminal illness who planned to hasten her end with the help of her husband, Derek Humphry. Not only was assisted suicide against the law but it was also a huge taboo.

But Jean Humphry proceeded with her plan so that she could die in peace and dignity in her own home rather than in hospital. This was an individual decision; the couple did not know then (1975) about euthanasia and assisted suicide, which later became highly controversial as the right to die issue mushroomed. Living Wills were then just becoming known.

She had suffered for more than two years from breast cancer, and now it had spread into her whole body. She decided it was her time for an assisted death.

At Jean's request, Derek had secured a lethal overdose from a sympathetic doctor and stored it in a secure place in their home in Wiltshire, England. When the pain and distress became too great to bear, Jean asked for the drugs so that she could die that afternoon.

When she was ready, Derek mixed the lethal potion into a mug of coffee. After saying 'Goodbye, My Love' Jean emptied the drink and died within the hour.

Three years later Derek (already a journalist on the London Sunday Times and author of 'Because They're Black') published this memoir. It became a bestseller in the UK and was translated into four languages.

The popularity of 'Jean's Way' started the movement to legalize assisted suicide as a choice for competent adults at the end of life. It foreshadowed the Oregon Death With Dignity Act, in the passing of which Derek was a team player.

Derek founded the Hemlock Society USA to campaign for greater acceptance of justifiable assisted suicide and also wrote the international bestselling book 'Final Exit.'

Both in the application of the new Oregon law and Swiss law, with legally approved ways of assisting deaths at the end of life, Jean's way is the method used. In Switzerland it is used by DIGNITAS and EXIT.

Read an extract from the book Jean's Way: A Love Story

Order a printed version of this book at Jean's Way: A Love Story (printed version)

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