In 2014, a Maryland doctor lost his medical license after suffocating six people to death in assisted suicide. As LifeNews previously reported, the Baltimore Sun said that the suicides were among approximately 300 nationwide that Dr. Lawrence D. Egbert facilitated in an “exit guide” for the right-to-die group Final Exit Network (FEN).
Now Baltimore City Circuit Judge Marcus Shar has refused to reinstate Dr. Egbert’s medical license despite his apparent sympathies for the physician. Unbelievably, he told the doctor that “soon the world will catch up with this and Maryland will catch up to you.” The judge added, “I do not question that this was done altruistically and out of concern and compassion for those patients, but that’s not the question before the court.”
Currently Maryland has so-called Death with Dignity legislation on hold, which gave the judge no choice but to deny the doctor’s request to get reinstated. Although most people would shiver at the thought of Dr. Egbert’s crimes, the doctor believes he was doing good. He said, “We’re proud of what we’re doing. A huge number of people are suffering.” However, the truth is FEN supports assisting even mentally ill patients in killing themselves and some of Dr. Egbert’s patients weren’t suffering from terminal illnesses.
Shockingly, Dr. Edbert admitted that he advised patients in how to take their own life by covering their heads with plastic bags and inhaling helium. He also acknowledged that he held their hands as they died and sometimes disposed of the equipment. Although he hasn’t been criminally charged in any of the cases, Attorney General David Finker told the Bellington Herald that Dr. Edbert acted illegally.
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Sponsors of the Maryland Death With Dignity Act withdrew the bill during this year’s legislative session, saying it needed more study. A group of state senators and delegates will start working on revisions in August or September, said Delegate Shane Pendergrass, D-Howard, the lead House sponsor.
The bill would have allowed adults with just six months to live to fill a prescription for drugs that would end their lives. Egbert, 87, said he won’t appeal the ruling. He said he no longer works with Final Exit, based in Tallahassee, Florida, but his medical license qualified him to examine and testify about people who claim to have been tortured and are seeking asylum in the United States.
Egbert says he was present at the suicides of more than 100 people nationwide and that he processed paperwork for hundreds more as Final Exit’s medical director. The group was convicted in May of assisting in a Minnesota woman’s suicide. Egbert was granted immunity so he could testify.
He was acquitted of manslaughter in Arizona in 2011 and avoided prosecution for allegedly violating a Georgia assisted-suicide law when the Georgia Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional in 2012.