Viorel Verka, M.D., MBA, was born in Seleus (ex-Yugoslavia, Republic of Serbia) in a small Romanian minority enclave known as Banat. After completing nursing school at Stevica Jovanovic in Pancevo, Viorel (“Vio”) continued his medical studies as an exchange student in Romania at the renowned University of Medicine and Pharmacy, “Iuliu Hatieganu,” in Cluj-Napoca.

Vio spent his summer vacations traveling throughout Europe, or working on his family’s farm, all the while reading classic and science fiction literature, poetry and research in the domain of science. Soon after completing his residency in general surgery in Romania, Dr. Verka joined his family in New York City.

Humanist by nature, his concern for the well-being of others – especially in the area of human rights – motivated Dr. Verka to continue his education at Ohio’s Cleveland State University, where he completed his Masters in Business Administration (MBA) in Health Care.

Empathic Exit is Dr. Verka’s first book, derived from his unshakeable belief that ethics and justice — both in decision-making and wealth distribution — are learned behaviors, society specific, and typically based on information availability, rarely on source credibility, honesty and altruism.

“This is why,” the author exhorts, “decisions regarding religion, life and death – which are naturally and exclusively personal rights – should belong to each individual alone.”

Dr.Verka presently lives with his family in North Carolina.


At its core, Empathic Exit is about whether we, as individuals, have the right to decide how to live and how to die – with the emphasis on physician-assisted suicide (PAS).

Empathic Exit
 explores many concepts that influence our ways of thinking about death – including how we deal with death as a society, and how we deal with it as individuals – what makes us think one way or another about death.

The book’s title is reflective of the purpose of PAS; that is, Dr. Verka believes that empathy is at the core of PAS and our existence, as well.

We acknowledge the suffering of others, we may try to help ease their suffering, we may even understand their pain and suffering, from our own direct experience.

And yet, many people decide to act on these instincts in ways that are totally opposite to what we would wish for ourselves – often because of their religious views.

Through religion, people have developed a way of viewing “death” as something we can address in conjunction with many other concepts and beliefs (e.g., heaven, hell, sin, redemption, soul, reincarnation, etc.).

Many of the various religion’s representatives and leaders, believing it is their responsibility to do so, create their own “church” rules and punishments relating to “how to do death,” and
 then they seek to influence politicians and governments to legislate in their favor.

To make matters worse, over the years, we seem to have turned death into a science – something clinical, an event we can codify and sanction (or not) according to various beliefs and reasons (many of which seem contradictory).

In Empathic Exit, there are many examples of the flaws in our thinking and reasoning, and how these influence each other. But these flaws do not need to stand in the way of our ability to “do the right thing,” especially when it comes to supporting and caring for someone who is terminally ill and is in continuous pain and suffering.

 “I believe that empathy is the most important human quality – and that only through understanding and empathy can we do justice to the dying, and to the living, as well. I believe that without respecting individual rights and choices, especially when such rights and choices do not affect others, a civilized society cannot exist, let alone prosper and thrive.” – Dr. Viorel Verka



"I live only because it is in my power to die when I choose to:

without the idea of suicide, I'd have killed myself right away."

Emil Cioran

(8 April 1911 - 20 June 1995)

Website Builder