The Exit Guide Program

Personal autonomy and the right to self-deliverance aren’t worth much if one doesn’t have the knowledge to comfortably and safely exercise them. FEN’s Exit Guide Program exists to educate people so that self-deliverance is a peaceful and practical option they may consider, and to be a compassionate presence for people who choose that option. Self-deliverance is not illegal in any U.S. state, and free speech is protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution. Within that framework, FEN provides information and a compassionate presence. We provide nothing else.

Final Exit Network volunteer coordinators respond to calls and website contacts about end-of-life options and the Exit Guide Program. The coordinators answer questions, discuss options, direct callers to appropriate resources, and, for those interested in exit guide support, explain our process. The Exit Guide Program works with individuals in all 50 states and the District of Columbia who are suffering from intolerable medical circumstances, are mentally competent, want to end their lives, and meet our criteria for guide support.

These individuals have physical illnesses such as cancer, ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease), Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, Huntington’s, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, emphysema, congestive heart failure, stroke, AIDS, and many other lesser known but serious, frequently lengthy ailments. We also recognize the debilitating nature of constellations of physical problems that, taken together, seriously degrade quality of life. These can be age-related or they can stem from chronic diseases such as diabetes or auto-immune disorders.

Though we recognize the extreme suffering caused by mental illness, we do not accept applicants whose primary medical complaint is mental illness.

Our guides offer education on reliable, time-tested methods of self-deliverance for clients who want that option. Safeguards are in place to ensure that the person’s decision is voluntary and repeatedly stated. If our clients wish, our guides will be with them, providing companionship and comfort, if they choose to exit.

Final Exit Network serves those who do not have access to medical aid in dying, either because their state doesn’t yet have an aid in dying law or because their medical condition is not immediately terminal and would leave them suffering for years, unable to use a law even if one were available.

FEN membership is not required to apply for Exit Guide Services.