Bioethics Blogs

Minnesota Assisted Suicide Trial for Final Exit Network

The Minnesota trial of Final Exit Network and two of its Exit Guides has been scheduled for May 4, 2015.

On December 8, Dakota County District Judge Christian Wilton set aside February 26-27 for hearings on all pretrial motions. One of the major issues will be how to instruct the jury on the meaning of “assisting” in a “suicide.”  

FEN and four of its volunteers were indicted in May 2012 on charges stemming from the 2007 death of Doreen Dunn, 57, in Apple Valley. One of the defendants has died, and all charges have been dismissed against another.  

The trial was postponed for more than two years while FEN battled successfully in Minnesota’s appellate courts to narrow the scope of the charges. FEN and its Exit Guides were initially charged with “advising,” “encouraging,” or “assisting” in a suicide.  FEN’s appeals have established that the State may try the defendants only on proof that they actually “assisted” in the suicide.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.