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The Board of the World Federation of Right-to-Die Societies is very concerned by the recent arrest in Georgia of its Vice President, Ted Goodwin, and others. Many of us have known Ted for several years and regard him as a most compassionate individual.
Regarding the possible reasons for his arrest, we want to stress that desperate terminally-ill individuals and those suffering greatly from incurable chronic illnesses often look for a peaceful death when their suffering is more than they can bear. This is already legally possible in Oregon and Washington State, in the USA; and in Europe, in Belgium, The Netherlands, Switzerland, and soon in Luxembourg. In the absence of rational laws, organizations such as Final Exit Network sometimes may get close to the line in challenging the law, as perceived by opponents of the right to choose.
The Board of the World Federation of Right-to-Die Societies supports legal change so that those who are terminally-ill, or suffering greatly from incurable chronic illnesses, can obtain a legitimate way to achieve a dignified, humane death.
On behalf of the Boards of Directors
Juan Mendoza-Vega MD, President,
World Federation of Right to Die Societies
1 March 2009