How can I die quickly and painlessly

MARBURG. (hpd) Fall asleep and never wake up - wouldn't that be a nice death? The ideal remedy for this - a sleeping pill from the group of barbiturates that is not available in Germany thanks to the Medicines Act - is used in Switzerland for professional suicide accompaniment. However, what to do if you cannot legally purchase this drug? Or if, in the opinion of those who could give you access to it, you are not suffering enough or if you want to avoid dementia, for example, by taking preventive suicide?

Boudewijn Chabot shows alternatives in his book "Dignified Dying - A Guide - Death at Your Bidding", published in summer 2015. Reading this book requires readers who have not dealt with the subject very much to have a good knowledge of English. You can buy it as an e-book from Internet providers with just a few clicks of the mouse (or as print-on-demand, also in the print version). It is of great interest to everyone who wants extensive and reliable information about suicide methods. It is comforting for those who, after the passage of ยง217 StGB, would like to prepare a suicide soon in an acute or semi-acute situation, and desolate for those who wish for a future in which an uncomplicated and almost unrestricted ideal dying drug - e.g. sodium pentobarbital - is available.

Chabot is a doctor by nature, namely a psychiatrist, and has been in retirement for a few years. In the course of time he developed a great interest in the possibilities and problems of self-determined, humane dying. As early as 1997, he began conducting interviews with relatives of people who had voluntarily divorced their lives. He also obtains information from activists in Dutch right-to-die groups to whom he may refer those willing to die. Chabot is above all a theoretician and publicist in the field of suicide assistance, but you can put him at the side of the two Germans who have provided practical and political suicide assistance and provided information about it in recent years, namely Christian Uwe Arnold and Johann Friedrich Spittler, who through his detailed reports on people who assisted suicide at "Sterbehilfe Deutschland eV" availed (or not received) attempted to objectify the debate on rational suicide.

Chabot not only provides general, but very precise information about ways of killing yourself in a safe and humane way by means of suitable medication or by inhaling helium. A case study is reported for each of the two variants. The third possibility, namely fasting to death, is only briefly addressed in the introduction because there are already several books on this. Three groups of drugs are presented, namely barbiturates, opiates and chloroquine, an anti-malarial drug that is only effective in a few overseas regions. The particularly detailed helium method is supplemented by references to the alternative nitrogen, because helium is sometimes mixed with oxygen (although oxygen-free helium is still available). However, nitrogen is still in the probationary phase, so to speak - more will be able to be said about it in the near future.

Chabot's book is the mature result of his many years of study and previous publications. It is characterized by a high degree of empathy with those who ended their lives independently and their relatives, but also with the unknown reader who may seek advice out of desperation or with wise foresight. It is relentless at the same time, both through the concreteness of the descriptions and through the taking of risks. It is clearly structured, repeatedly contains summaries (eg "What one should know" or "What one should do") and also goes into various places on possible criminal prosecution or related precautionary measures (such as video documentation; Appendix 2: "The role of Witnesses in the event of an intended death "). For this, Chabot received the support of an experienced American lawyer. His knowledge of endurance drugs is backed up by the expertise of two pharmacists and a biochemist.

So that you can imagine the book a little better, I seem to pick out some subheadings or information here at random:

"The right to privacy and family life" - here the desire is addressed to end life prematurely with loved ones and to take advantage of their organizational help. This is under criminal law in various countries - including the Netherlands, but not in Germany - (the book is written for a worldwide readership). Chabot repeatedly emphasizes how important social security is for a good death, especially in the case of suicide.

"Why an inert gas instead of drugs?" is the title of text box 3.1. Two of the 5 responses are: "An inert gas is an option for those who do not want to illegally obtain a lethal drug; do not have the motivation and willpower to accelerate death by not eating and drinking."

"What do the eyewitnesses see?" is asked in the chapter on inert gases; and there: "What to do with the technical equipment after the person dies?" Here you can find out, for example, a lot about the course of death (which the dying person doesn't notice after a very short time) or about the risk of receiving a visit from the criminal police afterwards.