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About ERGO

What Does ERGO Do?

The Euthanasia Research & Guidance Organization (ERGO), a nonprofit educational corporation based in Oregon, USA, was founded in 1993 to improve the quality of background research and information for hastened dying for persons who are terminally or hopelessly ill and wish to end their suffering.

ERGO holds that voluntary euthanasia, assisted suicide, physician-assisted suicide, physician-assisted dying and self-deliverance, are all appropriate life endings depending on the individual medical and ethical circumstances.

(Self-deliverance is what the law would call ‘suicide’ but that term is not considered appropriate for an adult near the end of life who chooses to accelerate their inevitable death. Such endings can be brought about by overdose of barbiturates or using an exit bag containing the inert gases helium or nitrogen.)

ERGO is not able to advise people with mental health problems or depression. They are recommended to seek appropriate medical help.

ERGO also develops and publishes guidelines - ethical, psychological and legal - for patients and physicians to better prepare them to make justifiable life-ending decisions. A Living Will (Advance Directive) dealing with dementia is available as an edocument.

ERGO moderates an international Listserv providing current right-to-die news in email digest form.

The organization supplies literature to, and does research for, other right-to-die groups worldwide, and also briefs journalists, authors, and students who are coming fresh to the issue.

The president of ERGO is Derek Humphry, the founder in 1980 of the original Hemlock Society USA, which he built into a national organization. He retired as its executive director in 1992 to concentrate on writing and lecturing. Hemlock closed in 2003 and was replaced by Compassion and Choices and the Final Exit Network. Humphry is chairman of the advisory board of the Network. Humphry has authored five books on euthanasia between 1978 and 2013, the best-known of which are ‘Jean’s Way’ and 'Final Exit', both international bestsellers.

Help ERGO In Its Work To Achieve Choices In Dying

Running a nonprofit organization with worldwide visibility like ERGO requires funding and support from people like you. Please consider becoming a member of ERGO and/or making a tax-deductible contribution to ERGO to help to further the cause of choice in dying.

Your annual membership dues are not tax-deductible but separate contributions are. The Euthanasia Research & Guidance Organization (ERGO) is a tax-exempt and tax-deductible Oregon corporation and is 501(c)(3)H of the IRS tax code. ID number 93-1118314. Founded: 1993.

For more information please contact or write to ERGO at the address below.