Compassion & Choices has sent out a press release suggesting that they are not like the Final Exit Network. The fact is that these two organizations are more alike than different.
First: Ted Goodwin, the former president (resigned Feb 23, 2009) of the Final Exit Network became the Vice-President of the World Federation of Right to Die Societies at their bi-annual conference in Paris in 2008. Goodwin is scheduled to become the President of the World Federation of Right to Die Societies at their conference in 2010. Compassion & Choices is a member of the World Federation of Right to Die Societies.
Second: Derek Humphrey founded the Final Exit Network and the Hemlock Society. Hemlock Society was one of the large groups that amalgamated to form Compassion & Choices.
Third: Compassion & Choices has its own suicide support service called the: Client Support Program. The Client Support Program has the same aims as the Final Exit Network.
I attended the World Federation of Right to Die Societies bi-annual Conference in Toronto (Sept 2006).
During a presentation about the Client Support Program - A Client Support Program volunteer stated that he had been involved in his first hastened death a few weeks earlier (before the conference) and he felt that it was the "right thing to do." Another Client Support Program volunteer stated that she became a volunteer because she wants to hasten her own death and thought that her involvement was a safety net for her own death. A Client Support Program - regional co-ordinator stated that volunteers are trained to know the law in order to avoid prosecution. The training program is designed to protect the volunteer from prosecution, but in the case of a charge, the training should enable them to be acquitted. She said: 'If you understand the law you can avoid conviction.'
The Final Exit Network also claims to be providing "Aid in Dying" which is a euphemism for assisted suicide, and like the Client Support Program, they claim to only act in support of a suicide and not actually assist the suicide.
It is interesting that Goodwin allegedly showed an investigator how he holds the hands of the client, making it impossible for the client to remove the "Exit Bag". This is the same Goodwin who is a mainstream leader of the World Federation of Right to Die Societies.
The Final Exit Network and the Compassion & Choices Client Support Program have the same purpose and are designed to do the same thing.