Wednesday, October 4, 2017

US Supreme Court upholds conviction of assisted suicide group in Minnesota death.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

On Monday, October 2, 2017 the United States Supreme Court declined to review the conviction of the Final Exit Network. By declining to review the conviction, the US Supreme Court therefore upheld the conviction and determined that the Minnesota assisted suicide is constitutionally valid.

On May 14, 2015, the Final Exit Network was found guilty of assisting a suicide, by a juryin the death of Doreen Dunn on May 30, 2007 and were sentenced on August 24, 2015.

On December 19, 2016, the Minnesota appeals court upheld Final Exit Network conviction.

During the 2015 trial, the Lacrosse Tribune reported:
Dakota County prosecutor Elizabeth Swank told jurors that the evidence showed that two members of Final Exit Network went to Dunn's home in Apple Valley to assist her suicide. They then removed the equipment that she used for suicide so that it appeared she had died of natural causes.  
Swank said that despite Dunn's pain and depression, she had no life-threatening illness and her family was puzzled by her death. There were good things happening in her life: Her daughter who had been in Africa for about a year was coming home the next day and her son's fiancee was scheduled to give birth that week. However, her husband was also planning to move out, the prosecutor said.

The Final Exit Network has now been prosecuted in several assisted suicide cases. In Georgia, the Final Exit Network assisted the suicide of John Celmer, who was depressed after recovering from cancer. Susan Celmer, John's widow, testified against the Final Exit Network. 

The Final Exit Network assists the suicide of people at the most vulnerable time of their life. Larry Egbert, the former medical director for the Final Exit Network, lost his medical license in Maryland for participating in these acts. 

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