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Published On: Fri, Nov 22nd, 2013

Assisted suicide, euthanasia become key issues in New Jersey, Minnesota

Legalization of assisted suicide moves ahead in New Jersey as a related case is to be heard before the Minnesota Supreme Court.

NVVE is an "End of Life" group offering assisted suicides and euthanasia in the Netherlands photo http://www.nvve.nl/

NVVE is an “End of Life” group offering assisted suicides and euthanasia in the Netherlands photo http://www.nvve.nl/

The “Death with Dignity Act” A3328 has moved out of committee in New Jersey and will go to the floor while a similar bill in the State Senate is also moving forward.

A high court Minnesota will hear a case involving the Final Exit Network, a volunteer group which has been called into question over their role in several suicides.

The activist “counsel” adults “who suffer from a fatal or irreversible physical illness, from intractable physical pain, or from a constellation of chronic, progressive physical disabilities have a basic human right to choose to end their lives when they judge the quality of their life to be unacceptable,” as their website states.

Their mission says: “This right by its nature implies that the ending of one’s life is one’s choice, including the timing and persons present, and should be free of any restrictions by the law, clergy, medical profession, and even friends and relatives no matter how well-intentioned.  We do not encourage anyone to end their life,  are opposed to anyone’s encouraging another to end his life,  do not provide the means to do so, and do not  assist in a person’s death.”

The group has been sued because Doreen Dunn used their helium and plastic bag method to end her life after consultation. Dunn was living with coronary artery disease.

Minnesota has a very strong law against assisting suicide. In Minnesota, not only it is a crime to assist in a suicide, but it is also illegal to “advise or encourage” a suicide. After several cases and appeals, Minnesota’s intermediate appellate court–the Court of Appeals–found that the Minnesota statue violated Final Exit Network members’ first amendment right to express themselves.

 

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About the Author

- Catherine "Kaye" Wonderhouse, a proud descendant of the Wunderhaus family is the Colorado Correspondent who will add more coverage, interviews and reports from this midwest area.

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