Former chef charged with 14 counts of murder for selling "suicide kits"

Originally published at: Former chef charged with 14 counts of murder for selling "suicide kits" | Boing Boing


Does that make him Kenneth Lawbreaker now?

Eighty-eight deaths!

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88 deaths, but he attempted all of them. These people wanted to die.

Pausing for a moment to restate the comment in the story - if you feel suicidal, please get help - but that is an important aspect.

I feel that we should have the right to die, but not assisted by someone selling an additive over the internet but instead in a more clinical setting. I was very undecided on it until years ago I watched my favorite author Terry Pratchett, feeling the very edges of Alzheimer’s, made a very interesting documentary on the topic. Having it in a more dignified setting also ensures the person is doing it for the right reasons, and not just having a bad day.

If you feel like you want to end it, I cannot restate how important it is to at least talk to someone. It’s the only reason I’m still here.


how do you know?

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I read the article.

The charges filed against Kenneth Law, 58, are on top of 14 he already faces for allegedly “counseling or aiding” suicides across Ontario province, according to documents.

He was basically being Jack Kevorkian


I suspect that it isn’t legally relevant; but this seems like a situation where it would be helpful to know more about what “targeted vulnerable people online” actually implies.

That could mean anything from “sold products to the interested who specifically sought them out” to “actively harassed people off the ledge to improve conversion rates”; and there’s a lot of daylight between those two positions.

The fact that there aren’t such lurid accounts, and that the legal definitions are generally drawn such that nobody(except a very limited pool of unpleasant terminal disease cases in specific jurisdictions who have done the necessary paperwork) is considered to have a potentially legitimate interest in such services makes me suspect, but obviously doesn’t prove, that they don’t actually have much beyond evidence that he sold to people who had purposes that are considered pathological by definition; rather than that he was ruthlessly preying on the weak.


Was he, though? Was he verifying that these people had terminal illnesses? I seriously doubt it. This guy is not Jack Kervorkian. He’s a soulless grifter who preyed on vulnerable people for profit.


I didn’t say he was vetting them, I said he was selling someone a kit to kill themselves that they specifically asked for.


I’m no expert on the complicated topic of assisted suicide but I do know that it’s creepy AF to build a for-profit business model around helping vulnerable strangers end their lives.


He TARGETED people online… people weren’t just coming to him for help. He marketed this online, rather than helping people who had terminal illnesses.

Also, HE’S A FUCKING CHEF… what makes him in a position to help others commit suicide…

Really, the core responsibility of a chef! /s

He marketed them online. He was selling suicide kits for profit. He’s no fucking humanitarian here…

The Office Thank You GIF

I’m all for assisted suicide being legal. I’m not for someone selling “kill yourself” kits online with no regulation and with no background in either medicine or psychology.


Great! Now do the gun and ammo manufacturers. Lot more than 88 deaths there.


You are misleadingly ignoring the comment of yours I was replying to. You compared him to Jack Kevorkian. Kevorkian was motivated by a belief that people had a right to determine the time and manner of their death when they were terminally ill. He wasn’t getting rich off of his work. Hell, after all he had to spend on legal fees, quite the opposite.


I also was 100% for both right to die and physician assisted suicide…until I took an Ethics in Health Law class this past semester and learned that almost all disability rights groups in the US oppose such laws. That got me to wondering why, and it really should have been obvious to me, and to anyone who believes that the US health care system sucks. It’s because the US health care system sucks. We force the permanently disabled who are mostly unable to work to live in abject poverty unless they happen to come from a wealthy family. The only health insurance they can often qualify for is Medicaid and Medicare, and because they qualify for Medicare through disability, the same income and asset restrictions that apply to Medicaid apply to their Medicare. They have to be poor and stay poor or they lose their healthcare coverage. Also, they only really get the bare minimum of coverage, often. So they don’t usually have access to the most advanced, state-of-the-art treatments. And the same often goes for the terminally ill. If you’re rich, you’re fine. If not, you’re fucked, and your quality of life is fucked, and it shouldn’t be any surprise that people often just want to die instead. I am all for letting people determine the time and manner of their death…but only when that decision isn’t being seriously compromised by an absolutely abysmal healthcare system.


Even so, facilitating that desire was criminal, according to the law of the land where it happened.

Not getting into the morality aspect of this topic, just stating a fact.


Absolutely, and if we have an assisted suicide law, then it should go along with a major overhaul of our health care system, one that puts human beings at the center of the care, rather than profits…

Still, with regards to the general idea of such things, I’m in support of it.

Seth Meyers Reaction GIF by Late Night with Seth Meyers


New Jersey, by the way, does have a Medical Aid in Dying Act that was enacted in 2019. If you are terminally ill, and jump through a bunch of hoops that include verification that you are terminally ill and counseling, then you can get a prescription for a cocktail of medications that will end your life. You have to administer the medicine yourself (I believe it’s a few pills). I don’t know how many people have done this, but I know that people have. I also think I read somewhere that most people who have filled the prescription haven’t taken the medicine. A lot of this is often about control. People want to feel like they’re in some control of a situation where they usually otherwise have none.


I can see that.

Dying on one’s own terms is the last act of agency in this life.


It looks like I was wrong, though. At least in New Jersey, most of the people who filled the prescription took the medicine, in 2021 anyway. 50 cases were filed with the state ME (meaning 50 people died by use of the Medical Aid in Dying program), and in addition, 3 people filled the prescription but had not yet taken it, and 5 filled the prescription but died without taking it.



You’re right - I did forget that Kevorkian was a doctor and had deeper beliefs. That was too quick of an off the cuff reply and a bad comparison. I apologize for making it.


That’s a viewpoint I hadn’t actually considered until now, that much of the “desire” to end one’s life is related to the lack of care available to them because of definite flaws in the system.

I can see why disability care advocates are against it, then. We have other things to fix before people reach that point, and this is entirely too close to state sponsored euthanasia programs.

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