Wisconsin Pro-Life Group Worried Court Ruling Promotes Assisted Suicides

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Sep 25, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Wisconsin Pro-Life Group Worried Court Ruling Promotes Assisted Suicides

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
September 25
, 2008

Madison, WI (LifeNews.com) — A Wisconsin pro-life group is concerned that a state appeals court ruling could pave the way for financial incentives for family members to encourage loved ones to commit suicides. The case involves a decision allowing family members to obtain a person’s inheritance after he killed himself.

At issue is a case in Clark County where Linda and Megan Schunk allegedly drove Edward Schunk, their husband/father, to a cabin on their property and left him there alone with a loaded shotgun. The man eventually committed suicide.

The Schunks are inheritors under Edward’s will and another of Edwards’s daughters, Donna, filed a lawsuit claiming that Linda and Megan should not be entitled to their inheritance because they assisted in Edward’s suicide.

The court concluded that the probate statutes only disallow inheritance when there is intentional killing, and concluded that assisting a suicide is not an intentional killing under the probate statutes.

That Wisconsin Court of Appeals, District IV ruling came despite a state law which specifically prohibits assisted suicide.

“Today’s court decision opens the door for individuals to assist a family member with suicide and then be able to collect an inheritance from the decedent’s estate,” Wisconsin Right to Life director Barb Lyons told LifeNews.com Thursday.

“This decision has ominous implications for Wisconsin citizens by giving a financial motive to those who provide the means for someone to kill themselves," she explained.

Lyons told LifeNews.com her group plans to weigh in on the case.

“Wisconsin Right to Life plans to seek either court or legislative action to close this loophole. For the protection of our citizens, the state should not provide a financial motive to those who participate in a suicide,” she stated.

Related web sites:
Wisconsin Right to Life – https://www.WisconsinRightToLife.org

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