Sharlotte Hydorn is 92 years old. She lost her husband to colon cancer. According to Sharlotte, he was anything but comfortable during his last days in the hospital.
In order to offer the terminally ill the opportunity to pass peacefully while surrounded by family and friends at home, Hydorn created and sold over 1,300 helium hood kits. Each kit included tubing, material for the hood, and a user diagram. A helium source was not included.
Hydorn didn’t take steps to verify who was actually buying the kits. One purchaser was a 19-year-old boy, who took his own life. Last year, at least four others used the kit to end their lives.
None of them were terminally ill.
Authorities raided her suburban San Diego home and located thousands of dollars in cash from buyers. She was charged with failure to file tax returns on the income earned from the kits since 2007.
The Associated Press is reporting Hydorn was sentenced earlier today to five years supervised probation for the tax charges.
State prosecutors agreed to not press charges in involvement with six suicides, despite her telling authorities she knew the helium kits were intended to be used to commit suicide. Her lawyer said her “involvement in the suicide kits was an act of compassion and not based on greed.”
There is no federal law on assisted suicides.
Considering her age, I can’t argue too much with the sentencing. The cost to take care of a 92-year-old woman behind bars is a waste when probation monitoring procedures should suffice.