“We live in a pivotal moment in human history, when evidence from many sources reveals that physical death is not the end of consciousness. These sources range from near-death experiences, experienced by an estimated fifteen million Americans; to modern quantum physics, suggesting that consciousness is fundamental in shaping our world; to empirical evidence for the non-local nature of consciousness in research laboratories around the world. The resulting picture is that our consciousness is unbounded and unlimited in space and time, and therefore unitary, immortal, and eternal. Dying to Die is an important data point in this growing body of evidence, a human translation of these growing filaments of wisdom. It is an answer to the morbid message of materialism, that curse of the modern age which insists that death is the end of all we are. Janet Adkins’ story is one of courage, pathos, and tenderness. It is an assertion that autonomy and privacy are a personal human right in all of life’s phases. It expresses how the expanding vectors of human knowing point to transcendence. Dying to Die is hope in book form. It is a poignant reminder that human consciousness is not just precious but also unquenchable.”

~ Larry Dossey, MD

Author, One Mind: How Our Individual Mind Is
Part of a Greater Consciousness and
Why It Matters



Dying to Die is a powerful, reflective, story of love between Janet and Ron Adkins and their family. Dr. Kevorkian was a man who saw the inevitable, devastating, long suffering of Janet, as she was dying from Alzheimer’s disease. Her final wish was to end her life, and Dr. Kevorkian used his 'suicide machine' to make her wish, her reality. As a society, it’s acceptable to euthanize our sick, beloved pets. When it comes to our family and loved ones, do we value and cherish them enough to consciously end their suffering and carry out their final wish? As I was dying in the hospital, due to AIDS complications, I was ready to die, and my family was devastated and heartbroken. All I needed, was to hold my precious daughter, Jeaneen, in my arms one more time, before I took my final breath of life. I had a profound near-death experience and chose to return to my daughter. The message I heard from Infinite Spirit guided me toward my new life purpose, ‘Break the silence about death and dying and bring back the sacredness of life and death.’”

~ Sharon Lund, DD – Maui, HI

Author, Sacred Living Sacred Dying: A Guide to Embracing
Life and Death and There Is More . . . 18 Near-Death Experiences


"I found the whole book both fascinating and insightful. Fascinating because of the way Susan Clevenger, the author, just happened to meet with Ron, so many years after Janet’s death, and in the way Janet Adkins just happened to see an advert by Dr Kervorkian. Insightful in that the letters and interviews help describe Janet and how she and her family and her friends dealt with life, and her illness. My Mother died after nearly eight years of Alzheimer’s so I completely understand why Janet would not wish to go through the final stages of this insidious illness, nor have her family endure seeing her decline. I noted numerous times in the book the word ‘control’. Clearly Janet, an intelligent articulate woman, wanted to be in control during her life, but none more so than when faced with how she might die. This ties in with the main reason people give for wanting to access assisted dying in Oregon - loss of autonomy. Sadly, although Janet was a pioneer for assisted dying as a compassionate end of life choice, as I understand the Oregon Death with Dignity Act, she would not have been able to access this assistance under the current law. She would have had to revert back to her Plan A as it was in November 1989. Also sadly, the religious arguments used against Janet’s choice in 1990 are still used today to lobby against jurisdictions considering VAD legislation, in spite of the more than 20 years of evidence now available from Oregon clearly demonstrating the law is used by very few but gives comfort to many. It would be far more loving and Christian for these opponents to say: “This would never be for me, but I would not deny that choice to others’! I recommend the book."

~ Ian Wood
Former community pharmacist.(retired in 2000)
Co-founder in 2009 and national Spokesperson for Christians Supporting Voluntary Assisted Dying, Australia

“These chapters are amazing. Janet Adkins didn’t only change the right to die with dignity movement. In her medical process of getting two physician opinions, having long-term therapy beforehand, and having to be conscious enough to push her own button, she has basically created what is now the law for assisted suicide. Very, very compelling. Love this love story.”

~ Jill Elsdon – Retired Nurse Practitioner – Maui, HI


“What a great read. Thank you for sharing Janet and Ron’s story. Sounds like they had quite the journey! What a special lady. I am grateful that she had the opportunity to die on her own terms. Shame on the press for harassing the family, it is hard enough to lose a loved one. You did a great job telling the story, it was easy to read and hard to put down! You are talented! The debate section was interesting because both sides were able to explain why they feel the way they do. I tend to lean toward personal choice, there is no need for people to suffer. It is interesting that we can stop food/water but we can’t push a button. It’s a sad subject; however, it needs to be talked about. Thank you for putting this out there.”

~ Cami Jones – Nurse – San Diego, CA


“OMG! I sat down to only read the introduction but was instantly spellbound, mainly because of the topic. But, what captured me most was hearing firsthand how the family reacted to the loss of Janet. This was such a publicized ordeal with most of the attention going to Dr. Kevorkian, I hadn’t thought much on how the family felt. This book tells a lot of their side of the story, the actual events from their words and thoughts. The style, thought patterns, descriptive words flow . . . telling the story in a way that absolutely kept me reading. The love I feel for the family is incredible but not sappy. Their process of letting go and respecting her wishes, right or wrong, each one having to deal with all the emotion and loss; the process. My heart went out to each one of them. Knowing that this book was written in an unbiased manner, from actual events, actual interviews, helped me understand some of what they went through. It had to be so devastating to their hearts. I appreciated reading this true story into a very controversial subject! Well done!”

~ Wendy Schell – Retired Nurse – WA State


“As a person in their mid-30’s, with baby boomer parents who are in the veterinarian field, I grew up with death being a normal part of our family conversation. It was presented to me as a part of life, something to be sensitive about, but also to be responsible as a custodian to our pets in guiding them through their last transition into death. It’s a gift, a responsibility, a humble obligation we go through with them. So, why wouldn’t we want to help our parents with this transition, the people we love more than anything else in the world? I hope that one day my spouse and I will be able to choose this option for ourselves. If we can help our animals to leave in a quiet, peaceful manner, in their favorite bed with us surrounding them, why can’t we have that for ourselves? My husband didn’t grow up around this conversation; and when it came time to make the challenging decision to let our first pet go, he struggled, he let it drag on further than doctors recommended. This stirred up strong conversations between us. We, as a society, need to remove the fear of talking about death in our conversations.”

~ Virginia Bassetti – Interior Designer – Seattle, WA


Dying to Die brought up new thoughts about assisted suicide and stimulated conversation between me and my wife. I enjoyed the way you told Janet’s story and then brought her and Ron’s family and friends into the picture. Interesting how folks have different opinions on the path Janet took. I would think the book would spark a lot of conversation and thought for the general public as a whole.”

~ Tom Clevenger – CFO, Small Business  – Post Falls, ID


“OMG! I was just going to sample a bit of the writing, but once I started I couldn’t stop. So very provocative! Made me think about the fact that while I was still caring for my mom, each night when I put her to bed she would ask me to kill her in her sleep, explaining that I could hold the pillow over her face. She longed to be released from life and to enter what she considered her next life, where she would be reunited with her beloved Albert. I would explain that I simply couldn’t do that. In the morning when I would wake her, she would express her disappointment in me. Actually, during the final two years of her life when she did not speak or interact and lost weight down to 78 pounds, I had to admit to having had second thoughts.”

~ Beatrice Roy – Devout Catholic

Living with Multiple Myeloma Cancer – Tacoma, WA


“Susan, Thank you for allowing me to read this. I have goosebumps, and I could not stop reading. This powerful information has been presented in such a way that I felt like I was close to Janet, the family and friends. Your detailed research shows how important human life is and how we all should have the right to Die with Dignity. I can’t say enough about your fantastic writing!”

~ Laura Williams – Banker – Spokane Valley, WA