A family advocate in Minnesota believes the reopening of a criminal case involving assisted suicide is indicative of a culture that devalues life at every stage.
Former nurse William Melchert-Dinkel used the Internet to encourage others to commit suicide, and at least two of them did: a Canadian teen and a man in Britain. Dinkel was convicted of assisting suicides, but a higher court overturned the conviction saying Dinkel was exercising free-speech rights.
Autumn Leva, with the Minnesota Family Council, explains the case.
“Now the case is back to the trial court where they're going to decide whether or not the nurse did actually, as the court will interpret it, assist in the suicides of several individuals by providing them with detailed instructions as to how to actually commit suicide,” she says.
Prosecutors say that aspect goes beyond free speech, arguing instead that it constitutes active involvement in assisting suicide.
“And it reflects the culture that we live in where, if you accept abortion, you accept the ending of life, the life inside the womb,” Leva tells OneNewsNow. “You thereby promote a culture of death and a devaluation of life at every stage, and I think that's a tragic turn from really valuing life as a cherished gift from God.”
In the case of Dinkel, the Minnesota Supreme Court struck down the part of the assisted suicide law dealing with free speech but left intact the provision outlawing actual assistance, which is why the former nurse is back in court.