Exit Action is Exit International’s ‘militant pro-euthanasia program’ aimed at coordinating direct action strategies to force broad legislative change on issues such as the decriminalization of possession of end of life drugs.
Exit Action is the embodiment of the civil rights model of control over one’s end of life choices.
Exit Action is critical of the ‘medical model’ that sees voluntary euthanasia as a privilege given to the very sick by the medical profession.
The right to a peaceful and reliable death at the time of one’s choosing is a fundamental human right. It is not a medical privilege to be bestowed on those who fit strict medico-legal criteria.
‘Exit Action believes that a peaceful death, and access to the best euthanasia drugs, is a right of all competent adults, regardless of sickness or permission from the medical profession’ said Dr Philip Nitschke from Amsterdam.
These drugs would then be stored securely at home. The comfort from knowing one has choices at the end of one’s life is often said to be ‘an insurance policy for the future, just in case’.
Nitschke said one of the foci of Exit Action was the possibility of an online ‘buyers’ club’ for euthanasia drugs. Exit Members, he said, were interested in the Dallas Buyers’ Club of the 1980s.
The Dallas Buyers Club was a 2013 American Hollywood feature film based on the true story of Ron Woodroff. Suffering from AIDS, Woodroff smuggled unapproved drugs into the US (Texas) to treat his AIDS symptoms. From there he sought to help others in the same situation. He thereby established a buyers’ club that distributed drugs to those dying of AIDS.
Exit Action sees parallels with civil disobedience of this nature when it comes to older people who feel they have lived enough of life and to those whose quality of life is slipping but who are not strictly terminally ill and who do not qualify for legal assistance under the laws of states such as California, Colorado or such as that proposed in the Australian state of Victoria.
According to Philip Nitschke, Exit Action is the logical next step in his campaign for a ‘good death’ (euthanasia) to be available to any legally competent adult, not just those who are sick and have the support of a medical professional.