By Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition
On May 22, 2019, Jackie Bieber found her daughter Shawn Shatto on her bedroom floor unresponsive and cold. She attempted CPR but in vain.
Initially she did not think Shawn had died by suicide. What she would soon learn, however, was that her daughter, who had been dealing with depression and anxiety, was provided lethal directions and encouraged to die by suicide through an assisted suicide website.
An article written by Jennifer Passmore, published by Moms.com explains:
Shawn had been dealing with depression and anxiety for years, and had been seeing a therapist and took medication. Originally, Bieber didn’t think her daughter took her own life. That is, until she had found several disturbing things on her daughter’s cell phone, including messages from a website that teaches people how to commit suicide.
Shatto’s aunt, Elizabeth Hoffman said, “They were cheering her on to the finish line of a suicide.” On the post, various people were telling her what kind of drugs to mix in order to kill herself. Then they had the audacity to wish her ‘good luck’ and ‘safe travels.’ Bieber believes if it was not for that website, her daughter may still be alive today.
Jackie responded by wanting to protect people like her daughter by working to get Shawn’s Law passed. Passmore states:
Ever since the day Shawn took her life, Jackie has been advocating for “Shawn’s Law,” which “strengthens penalties against anyone who assists in a suicide, but especially anyone who is under the age of 18 or has a mental disability.” Bieber would like to see Shawn’s Law signed by Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf. She doesn’t want anyone to feel as lost and hopeless as her daughter did the day she died.
So far, Shawn’s Law has passed the House, and is now in the Senate. If you are interested in helping in getting this law passed, you can call your local senator and ask them to vote in favor of the law.
Shawn’s law is a proactive way to protect people from assisted suicide and websites that instruct and encourage suicide.
Shawn Shatto is not the first person who was struggling with depression and anxiety to come across an assisted suicide website that provided instructions and encouraged suicide.
Don’t believe the assisted suicide lobby when they say that suicide and assisted suicide are different, when the assisted suicide lobby themselves are involved with peddling suicide.
If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.
Editor’s note. This appeared on Mr. Schadenberg’s blog and is reposted with permission.
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