Remember the despicable nurse who urged suicidal people to kill themselves so he could watch on webcam? His conviction of assisting suicide was reversed because he was merely engaging in free speech. From the Wall Street Journal story:
Encouraging someone to commit suicide is not a crime, Minnesota’s high court ruled Wednesday, reversing the conviction of a nurse who urged people to hang themselves and let him watch via webcam.
William F. Melchert-Dinkel had been found guilty under a law that made it illegal to “advise, encourage, or assist” in a suicide. The Minnesota Supreme Court concluded that advising or encouraging suicide was speech protected by the First Amendment and carved the words from the statute.
Same kind of thing happened in Georgia. Acts, not speech, must (in most cases) be the crimes.
The good news is that the act of assisting suicide remains criminally proscribed in Minnesota. May it remain perpetually so.
Of course, that hasn’t stopped the death with dignity crowd from rushing into the supposed vacuum to propose changing the law to legalize doctor-prescribed death. And of course, the suicide advocate promulgates the ludicrous notion of careful “safeguards” as the honey that helps the hemlock go down. From, “11 Steps Toward Empowering Minnesotans at the End of Life:”
Minnesota laws regarding end-of-life care should be revised again so that helping someone to make wise end-of-life medical choices does not result in a trial for committing the crime of assisting suicide. Perhaps the existing law should be replaced by a more detailed law against “causing premature death.” Our goal should be avoid both dying too soon and dying too late.
What would constitute “too soon” or “too late” would be entirely subjective and vary from person to person. Hence, it would be essentially unenforceable, which, of course, would be the point. Such a law would open the flood gates.
The article offers the usual protective guidelines, some of which would violate federal medical privacy laws–unless they would actually be mere suggestions, which would make them eye candy and not actual protections.
The idea is to pretend that tremendous time and care would go into the decision for suicide–a word never used in the column–including multiple conferences, mental health interventions, and much hand-wringing.
Who is the author kidding? In the age of Obamacare and 12 minute doctor/patient interactions? Please.
The article is part of the same old pattern: Urge limited assisted suicide, pretend guidelines will protect against abuse, stand back, and let the force of gravity to drag the culture off the cliff.