By Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director – Euthanasia Prevention Coalition
On Tuesday, the Minnesota Supreme Court declined to review the 2015 conviction of the “Final Exit Network” [FEN]. By Thursday the group distributed a press release that began, “The Board of Directors of Final Exit Network has authorized an appeal to the Supreme Court of the United States…”
As we reported previously, on May 14, 2015, a jury found FEN of assisting in Doreen Dunn’s suicide and interfering with the death scene.
On December 19, 2016, the Minnesota appeals court upheld the conviction of Dunn who died on May 30, 2007.
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.
Dunn’s husband of 29 years arrived home on May 30, 2007, to find her dead on the couch. Swank said Dunn had a blanket pulled up to her neck with her hands folded on her chest.
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 fiancée was scheduled to give birth that week. However, her husband was also planning to move out, the prosecutor said.
The Final Exit Network has been prosecuted in several assisted suicide cases. In Georgia, John Celmer, who was depressed after recovering from cancer, the Final Exit Network assisted his suicide. Celmer’s widow Susan Celmer, 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 in 2014. He died in 2016.
Editor’s note. This appeared on Mr. Schadenberg’s blog and is reposted with permission.