Ann Humphry & Wikipedia

Several months back, I read a book on Ann Humphry and how she was driven to suicide by her husband Derek Humphry.

Now, this would be bad enough, but Derek Humphry was (and is) an assisted suicide proponent. They jointly founded the Hemlock Society and authored books on how caring it was to kill someone.

International euthanasia activist and co-founder of the hemlock Society, Derek Humphry assisted his first wife , Jean, in committing suicide. He was the only witness to the death and later wrote the book Jean’s Way with his new wife, American Ann Wickett who helped him found the Hemlock Society.

From the book it is clear that it was Humphry who made the decision when it was time for Jean to die. Anti-euthanasia activist and author Brian Johnston points out, “Jean exhibited a classic psychological condition displayed by the gravely ill: the desire for affirmation, the self-deprecating “cry for help.” Her needs were clearly of an emotional nature.”

It became apparent, when his wife Ann developed breast cancer and did not intend to choose euthanasia, that Humphry was exceedingly uncomfortable with illness. He left Ann, made life difficult for her and maneuvered her out of Hemlock isolating her from all her friends until the only one she could turn to for assistance and understanding was her former opponent, anti-euthanasia activist Rita Marker.

She later said that her own illness and depression left her feeling very alone and caused her to have misgivings about the right-to-die movement. She now thought that not enough emphasis was given to providing a supportive environment to those with life-threatening illnesses.

“There. You got what you wanted,” she wrote her ex-husband: “Ever since I was diagnosed as having cancer, you have done everything conceivable to precipitate my death…what you did, desertion and abandonment and subsequent harassment of a dying woman, is so unspeakable there are not words to describe the horror of it.” 15

A postscript addressed to Marker read: “Rita, Derek…is a killer. I know. Jean actually died of suffocation. I could never say it until now, who would believe me? Do the best you can. Ann.”

One of the things the book talks about is the way that her husbond pushed her out of the Hemlock Society, which was also her employer. (This also created a crisis mid-treatment with her health insurer.) At the time I read the book, I went onto Wikipedia and noted that Derek’s attempts to remove her from the society had extended even there.

There was however one are where they could not edit out the truth of the situation – her own entry.

Well, today her entry is gone. Guess where it redirects to?

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