BALTIMORE (WJZ)—Dr. Lawrence Egbert admits he’s assisted in at least 100 suicides, six here in Maryland—which cost him his license to practice medicine.
Alex DeMetrick reports, today he went to court to win that license back.
Although he’s been arrested in the past, Dr. Lawrence Egbert has not been criminally convicted for his role as a medical advisor for “Final Exit”, an organization whose purpose is to aid patients with catastrophic diseases, kill themselves. It has however cost him his Maryland license to practice medicine.
Today Dr. Egbert went to court to appeal that decision, based on the statements of a relative of a woman who committed suicide in Annapolis.
“She had M.S. and she put up this for 15 years, a long, long time, awful. And so the relative said this was reasonable for her to do that,” said Dr. Egbert.
That word “reasonable” was important in court. To win his appeal, Egbert needed to convince the judge the state medical board was not reasonable, when it found it was not within the practice of medicine, and it was unprofessional of Egbert, to give people exposure to suicide paraphernalia and advice, not limited to terminal patients.
Judge Marcus Shar ruled those findings were reasonable and denied Dr. Egbert’s appeal, but he was sympathetic to what he called Egbert’s compassion to end suffering.
Judge Shar saying, “It may very well be the world will catch up to you…but at this point it hasn’t.”
“It’s catching up fast. People my age, it’s very reasonable to say life is finished. Me, I’m 87 years old. I’m older than any male relative of mine in history,” Egbert said.
And while he won’t try any more to win back his license, he’s not yet ready to give up on life:
“I’m very comfortably, happily married, and lucky. So what we’re doing is to say if I get unhappy with that, she’ll have the right to part,” said Egbert.
Dr. Egbert’s day s in court aren’t over. He’ll be part of an appeal involving the Final Exit organization in Minnesota.