Euthanasia Group Sues to Overturn Minnesota Assisted Suicide Ban After It Was Convicted for Breaking Law

State   Bill Poehler   Apr 20, 2018   |   4:02PM    St. Paul, Minnesota

The national assisted suicide advocacy group Final Exit Network (FEN) filed suit in federal court this week against the State of Minnesota in its ongoing challenge to the state’s law against assisted suicide.

In 2015, a Dakota Co. jury found FEN guilty of assisting the suicide of an Apple Valley woman who took her life in 2007. FEN was fined more than $30,000 for violating state law protecting people who could become victims of assisted suicide.

FEN appealed the conviction, which was upheld by the Minnesota Court of Appeals in 2016. FEN then petitioned the Minnesota Supreme Court, which denied the appeal in March 2017.

“Final Exit Network purposely came into our state, broke our law and assisted in a suicide of a vulnerable person who needed care, not suicide,” said MCCL Executive Director Scott Fischbach. “Following FEN’s conviction we anticipated it would take its fight against our protective law to federal court.”

Minnesota’s law protecting citizens from suicide predators like Final Exit Network has been in place since 1992 and has served the people of the state well.

Legislation recently proposed at the Minnesota Legislature would legalize assisted suicide. That would be a serious mistake. Assisted suicide 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.

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• 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.

“Now the federal courts need to recognize and affirm not only the constitutionality of Minnesota’s law against assisted suicide, but also its just intent to protect those who could be victimized by FEN and others,” Fischbach said.