By Dave Andrusko
When the U.S. Supreme Court declined today to hear an appeal by the “Final Exit Network,” it means a 2015 conviction will stand against the assisted suicide advocacy group which was found guilty of assisting in the suicide of 57-year-old Doreen Dunn, of Apple Valley, Minnesota.
“Florida-based Final Exit Network argued that Minnesota’s law making it a crime to help other people kill themselves violates the freedom of speech,” the Associated Press reported. “But Minnesota’s appellate courts disagreed, saying the state’s assisted-suicide law is constitutional and that ‘assisting’ suicide can include speech instructing another person on methods.”
Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life followed the case closely. MCCL Executive Director Scott Fischbach issued the following statement:
Today’s U.S. Supreme Court decision not to hear an appeal by Final Exit Network lets stand its conviction of violating Minnesota’s law against assisted suicide. The Court has upheld the constitutionality of our law that prohibits assisting the suicide of another person. Final Exit Network purposely came into our state in 2007, broke our law and assisted in the suicide of a vulnerable person who needed care, not suicide.
Our law protecting Minnesotans from suicide predators like Final Exit Network and other assisted suicide advocates has been in place since 1992 and has served all of us well.
Legislation recently proposed at the Minnesota Legislature would endanger us all with legalized assisted suicide. It can lead to:
- Abuse: Abuse of people with disabilities, and elder abuse. An heir or abusive caregiver may steer someone towards assisted suicide, witness the request, pick up the lethal dose, and even give the drug.
- Mistakes: Diagnoses of terminal illness are too often wrong, leading people to give up on treatment and lose good years of their lives.
- Carelessness: People with a history of depression and suicide attempts have received the lethal drugs.
- Contagion: Assisted suicide is a contagion and can increase suicide rates for all populations.
- PTSD: Stress disorder rates increase for family and friends who participate in a suicide.
The upheld conviction of Final Exit Network will help to protect those who could become victims of assisted suicide in Minnesota.