Minn. High Court to Hear Right-to-Die Appeal

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Minnesota's Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case involving Final Exit, a national right-to-die group suspected of playing a part in the 2007 suicide of an Apple Valley woman.

At the heart of the case is a state law prohibiting advising or encouraging suicide.

Last week, the high court agreed to hear Dakota County prosecutors' appeal of a Minnesota court's ruling that the law is unconstitutional.

The state Supreme Court will also hear Final Exit's cross-appeal, asserting the charges being brought against them are invalid. The group noted that while they provide information on assisted suicide they don't physically participate in the act or provide equipment.

"It's been a very confusing path we've been down," The Star Tribune quoted Robert Rivas, an attorney for Final Exit. "But I'm glad the Supreme Court is going to make the final decision. I think that the Court of Appeals decision is going to be affirmed. It'll be good to have it affirmed by an even higher court."

Dakota County Attorney Jim Backstrom was also pleased with the high court's decision to hear the case.

"We continue to believe that the acts of aiding, advising and encouraging someone to take their own life should be prohibited and subject to prosecution under Minnesota law," he said in a statement.

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