Leaders of the
Right To Die Movement / Death With Dignity Movement

Click here for history of Euthanasia Movement, Death with Dignity (DWD), Final Exit & the Right to Die (RTD)
Click here for return to worldwide list of notable peacemakers (& for meaning of symbols).

c469-399 BC - Socrates - Athenian philosopher. A founder of Western philosophy. Drank hemlock because "the right time had come for him to die."

1860-1935 - Charlotte Perkins Gilman - Sociologist, writer, utopian feminist & advocate of euthanasia. "Chose chloroform over cancer" for herself.

1870-1952 - Killick Millard - Doctor. Founded the Voluntary Euthanasia Legalisation Society (now Dignity in Dying) in 1935. Helped found the first birth control clinic

1880-1937 - Richard (Dick) Shepard - Vicar of St Martin-in-the-Fields. Helped found Peace Pledge Union in 1934 & Euthanasia Society in 1935. P

1928-2011 - Jack Kevorkian - Pathologist & euthanasia activist. First "public assisted suicide" in 1990. Convicted in Michigan.

1928-2012 - Peter Goodwin - Doctor. Campaigned for Oregon's Death with Dignity law. Took own life using law he helped to pass.
1928-Alive - Larry Egbert - Anesthesiologist. Physicians for Social Responsibility. Final Exit Network. Acquited in Arizona. Husband of Ellen Barfield.

1930-Alive - Derek Humphry - Euthanasia advocate. Founded Hemlock Society in 1980 & ERGO in 1993. Advisor to Final Exit Network.

1931-Alive - Michael Irwin - GP, former UN medical director, humanist & secularist activist. President of World Federation of Right to Die Societies 2002-2004.

1932-Alive - Ludwig Minelli - Lawyer. Founded Dignitas in 1998. Also founded Swiss Society for the European Convention on Human Rights.

1936-Alive - Betty Rollin - NBC News correspondent & author. Helped her mother end her life in 1983.

1941-2003 - James Rachels - Philosopher specialized in ethics. Wrote "Active & Passive Euthanasia" in 1975.

1942-Alive - George Exoo - Unitarian-Universalist minister. Member of Hemlock Society & Final Exit Network. Arrested for death of Rosemary Toole in Ireland.

1946-Alive - Peter Singer - Philosopher. Supports euthanasia with consent of the subject. Wrote "Rethinking Life and Death: The Collapse of Our Traditional Ethics."

1947-Alive - Barbara Coombs Lee - Nurse & attorney. President of Compassion & Choices. C&C
1947-Alive - Ted Goodwin - Co-founder & President of Final Exit Network. President of World Fed of RTD Societies. One of 4 FEN members arrested in Feb 2009.
1947-Alive - Philip Nitschke - Doctor, humanist & author. Founder & director of the pro-euthanasia group Exit International.

c1950-Alive - Faye Girsh - Co-founder of Final Exit Network. President of World Federation of Right to Die Societies from 2012.
c1950-Alive - Timothy E. Quill - Physician in palliative care, University of Rochester. On board of Death with Dignity National Center. Lead plaintiff in Vacco v. Quill.

1951-Alive - Kathryn Tucker - Attorney. Legal affairs director for Compassion & Choices. C&C

1954-1985 - Karen Ann Quinlan - Lived in persistent vegetative state for almost a decade despite her parents' requesting the hospital to allow her to die.

1956-Alive - Ellen Barfield - Peace activist. US Army 1977-81. Peace Farm. In Veterans for Peace, WILPF, WRL, SOAW & NCNR. Wife of Larry Egbert (qv).

1957-Alive - Robert Rivas - Civil rights attorney. Active in ACLU. Counsel for Final Exit Network (FEN). Advisor to Rick A. Ross Institute.

c1960-Alive - Wendell Stephenson - Instructor in Humanities, Fresno City College. President of Final Exit Network.

1973-Alive - Jacob M. Appel - Author, bioethicist & social critic. Writes short stories, plays & essays on reproductive ethics, organ donation, neuroethics & euthanasia.