Suicide book climbs to the top of best-seller list

August 09, 1991|By New York Times

A new book advising terminally ill people how to commit

suicide has surged to No. 1 in its first week in the hard-cover advice category on the New York Times best-seller list to be published on Aug. 18. The list was compiled last night.

NB The book is "Final Exit" by Derek Humphry, who is executive di

rector of the Hemlock Society, an organization in Eugene, Ore., that advises on how to commit suicide.

The book, which is published by the society and distributed by Carol Publishing of Secaucus, N.J., outlines a variety of ways to commit suicide and provides specific instructions.

"That is an indication of how large the issue of euthanasia looms in our society now," said Arthur Caplan, a bioethicist at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.

"It is frightening and disturbing, and that kind of sales figures is a shot across the bow. It is the loudest statement of protest of how medicine is dealing with terminal illness and dying," Caplan added.

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