91-Year-Old Maker Of ‘Suicide Kits’ Raided At Gunpoint By FBI

91-Year-Old Maker Of ‘Suicide Kits’ Raided At Gunpoint By FBI

May 28



By Oliver Pickup
Daily Mail
May 27, 2011

Original Link

This is the first picture of the 91-year-old, California-based woman whose house was raided by the FBI earlier this week after she was found to be selling ‘suicide kits’.

Great-grandmother Sharlotte Hydorn’s asphyxiation equipment mail service enterprise, run for 20 years, came to light when when a depressive 29-year-old man killed himself.

Nicholas Klonoski, from Oregon, was described by his family as otherwise healthy.

But he bought one of the $60 ‘exit kits’ and took his own life in December.

On Wednesday the pensioner was ordered from her house at gunpoint by federal agents who raided her home and seized reams of documentation, computers and sewing machines.

Hydorn said about a dozen agents in flak jackets from the FBI and U.S. Postal Inspection Service arrived at her San Diego-area home at about 7am, and ordered her outside, shouting: ‘Come out, or I’ll shoot.’

‘I had guns in my face,’ she said. ‘I didn’t know what to say. I thought: “I’m dying on my feet.”

‘They took all my thread, and my spread sheets. I don’t even have my phone numbers.’

The agents presented her with a 37-page search warrant signed by a U.S. magistrate and proceeded to comb through her house for nearly 11 hours, leaving the dwelling in disarray when they left, she said.

Agents also left behind a 46-page list of items they confiscated, including her computers, sewing machines and all her tax and rental property documents.

Jake Klonoski, 30, remarked that ‘somewhere in her cash register is a check for $60 from my brother for his life’.

Hydorn was under investigation for alleged conspiracy, mail fraud, wire fraud, tax evasion and the ‘sale of adulterated or misbranded medical device’.

FBI and Postal Inspection Service officials in California confirmed their agents carried out a search warrant but declined to release further details of the investigation.

Hydorn says her so-called ‘exit kits’ are intended to help terminally ill people end their lives with dignity in their own homes, though she has acknowledged she performs no background checks or screening of individuals who order the apparatus.

She sells them for $60 each, including shipping and instructions, under the brand name GLADD, which stands for Glorious Life and Dignified Death.

Critics, including members of Klonoski’s family, have accused Hydorn of indiscriminately peddling suicide kits to some people who may be emotionally fragile, rather than terminally ill, and that troubled minors might be especially vulnerable.

Notoriety surrounding Klonoski’s suicide sparked a move among state legislators to outlaw sales of such devices in Oregon, one of only two states — the other is Washington — with laws on the books legalizing physician-assisted suicide for people with incurable, fatal illnesses.

Retired science teacher Hydorn, who lives with an adopted son on a quiet cul-de-sac in the suburb of El Cajon, just northeast of San Diego, said she has not yet sought out the services of a lawyer.

In the face of possible prosecution she remained bullish and said: ‘I’m tired of fighting 24/7, but I’m actually looking forward to being able to fight for the right to die with dignity.’


May 26, 2011

Original Link

Sharlotte Hydorn was surprised when her doorbell rang at 7:30 a.m. and she heard the voices of men threatening to bust their way in.

The 91-year-old says she opened the door Wednesday and was greeted by about a dozen federal agents who were there to seize helium hood kits that Hydorn sells online and that people can use to kill themselves.

Hydorn is the owner and founder of The GLADD Group. The company’s kits — essentially a plastic bag and clear tubing — can be purchased through mail or telephone order for $60.

A loophole in California law makes selling the kits legal, but the ethical controversy remains heated. (For the record, what Hydorn does is not illegal because she is not present when the person takes their own life.)

Hydorn insists she is no Kervorkian-in-the-making. She told CBS2′s Sharon Tay last month that she just wants the terminally ill to be able to end it … on their terms. When they are ready.

In December, a 29-year-old Eugene, Ore., man used a kit he bought from Hydorn to asphyxiate himself with helium. Oregon was the first state where it is legal for terminally ill people to end their lives by taking lethal medication supplied by a doctor.

State lawmakers, appalled by a newspaper’s March report about Nick Klonoski’s death, are working on a bill that would make it a felony to sell or transfer such a suicide kit to Oregonians.

According to Hydorn, the federal agents knocked on her door in El Cajon, Calif., Wednesday morning and spent the next 10 hours packing up “boxes and boxes and boxes” of stuff and leaving a mess.

Hydorn said she is being accused of mail fraud and that she still had not read through the roughly 15-page search and seizure warrant signed by a judge from the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California.

Special Agent Darrell Foxworth, of the FBI’s San Diego office, confirmed that agents were at Hydorn’s home Wednesday morning but said he could not comment on the contents of the warrant.

“We served a federal search warrant authorized by a federal judge in connection with a criminal matter,” Foxworth said. “It’s an ongoing investigation.”

In a phone interview 45 minutes after agents left her home, she said she was still shaken and eating ice cream to feel better.

“It was a new experience, and at my age, I’ve lived through enough things,” Hydorn said. She said she would be seeking legal counsel.

Hydorn said officials took about 20 suicide kits that were ready to mail out. She said officials also showed her a list of kits she put in the mail Tuesday and that they were intercepted at the post office.

Agents also seized Hydorn’s computers and sewing machine, and her correspondence with individuals at the Final Exit Network, a group that has 3,000 members nationwide and provides support to people seeking to end their lives.

The network has faced protracted legal battles in Arizona and Georgia about whether their support breaks state assisted-suicide laws.

Attorney Robert Rivas, the network’s general counsel, said the network is not breaking any laws and that its members strictly offer counseling and emotional support.



NHNE Death & Dying Resource Page
• Pulse on Death & Dying

The Peaceful Pill Handbook: Comprehensive Study Of Various Ways To End One’s Life
Right-To-Die Dr. Philip Nitschke on Wikipedia
EXIT website


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