Founded in 1980, the World Federation of Right To Die Societies consists of 49 right to die organizations from 26 countries. The Federation provides an international link for organizations working to secure or protect the rights of individuals to self-determination at the end of their lives. It is supported by dues from its member organizations.
The Federation meets every two years to exchange news and views, to elect Directors and Officers of the Federation, and to conduct other business.
The most recent meeting was held in Cape Town in 2018. The 2020 meeting was postponed due to COVID-19 concerns.
The WFRtDS wishes to see a world in which all people
- have the right to die with dignity, peacefully and without suffering;
- can make their own choices about death while taking into account the reasonable interests of others; and
- can make their well-considered end of life decisions in a safe and peaceful environment supported by the law.
To achieve its vision The WFRtDS
- disseminates current information and educational materials about self-determined end of life, as well as other end of life issues to interested groups, scholars, and individuals on request;
- facilitates international conferences on end of life issues to promote cooperation between, and support to, member societies; and to utilize the experience and expertise of professionals already lawfully assisting people to die to foster our global aims;
- where requested, assists interested groups and individuals to establish Right to Die Societies in countries where such societies do not currently exist;
- supports requests for publicity-seeking activities including civil disobedience in the countries of the member societies;
- links networks of lawyers involved in this area of law with the aim of sharing experiences and expertise from court cases which can be used by member societies in situations of juridical examination to draft new laws or change assisted dying laws.
- assists, where requested, in the foundation of similar societies in countries which do not have them.
The cofounder of Final Exit Network, was also a cofounder of the World Federation and its president from 1998-2000. Derek felt that having a world organization would give more credibility to the movement in the US.