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Minnesota 's Four Pending End-of-Life Cases

Posted Jan 30 2013 4:03pm
There are now four end-of-life cases pending in the Minnesota Courts.

1.  Can a guardian consent to withholding or withdrawing life-sustaining treatment?  In re Tschumy, No. 27-GC-PR-07-496 (Hennepin Cty. Dist. Ct. Oct. 18, 2012) (ruling guardian lacks authority to consent), on appeal No. A12-2179 (Minn. filed Oct. 2012) (now briefing threshold jurisdiction question).  

2.  Is the prohibition of "encouraging" suicide unconstitutional under the 1st Amendment?  State v. Melchert-Dinkel, No. No. 66-CR-10-1193 (Rice Cty. Dist. Ct. May 2011) (conviction), aff’d, No. A11-0987, 816 N.W.2d 703 (Minn. App. July 17, 2012), on appeal No. A11-0987 (PFR granted Oct. 16, 2012) (App. brief filed Dec. 20, 2012; Resp. brief due Feb. 25, 2013).

3.  Is the prohibition of "advising" suicide unconstitutional under the 1st Amendment?  State v. Final Exit Network (Dakota Cty. Dec. 18, 2012) (omnibus motion hearing) (forthcoming order will probably be appealed).

4.  Does the implementation of a patient's advance directive break proximate causation between a criminal injurer and the patient's death?  State v. Eddie Cortez Smith, No. 62-CR-10-4146 (Ramsey Cty. Dist. Ct. June 2011) (conviction), aff’d No. A11–1687 (Minn. App. Sept. 4, 2012), on appeal No A11-1687 (Minn. PFR granted Nov. 20, 2012) (App. brief filed Dec.20, 2012; Resp. brief filed Jan. 23, 2012).


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