THE SCOTTISH VOLUNTARY EUTHANASIA SOCIETY - PIONEERS IN SELF-DELIVERANCE In July 1979, Exit - then the Voluntary Euthanasia Society (Great Britain) decided that a book on how to end one's own life would be a good idea. After announcing their intention, membership rose at a rate of 1,000 a month from an initial 2,000. The following year however, concerned over conflicting legal opinions, they decided not to publish. The Scottish Branch voted to become independent in order to publish and so, in 1980, the Scottish Voluntary Euthanasia Society (Scottish Exit) became the first right to die society in the world to publish such a booklet for its members. It was called "How to Die With Dignity." The booklet was based on the opinions of a single doctor and contained many errors, as have subsequent books, and so eventually in 1993 an International Drugs Consensus Working Party met at the Society's headquarters to finalise a scientifically researched volume called "Departing Drugs." The academic foundations were published in a later work called "Beyond Final Exit", and the legality of publication examined by the Scottish Regius Professor of Law, Joseph Thomson.
Sound shocking? Consider this: a 2005 study of euthanasia in the Netherlands found that % of all euthanasia was done without consent from the patient. By the time this study was done, euthanasia had been legalized in the Netherlands. Now consider another study done in 1991 which was done before euthanasia was legalized which indicated that % of euthanasia done in the Netherlands was done without the patients consent. This shows that the legalization of euthanasia actually had the reverse of the expected effect and cut the unacceptable practice of no consent euthanasia in half. By these numbers, euthanasia has in fact saved lives since it now provides a protected and regulated framework with which doctors must first obtain explicit consent before conducting euthanasia. This same framework makes it more difficult and less grey for those seeking to perform euthanasia with impure or irresponsible intentions.