BALTIMORE, Md. — An anesthesiologist who has been dubbed the “new doctor death” for his Kevorkian-like practices has been stripped of his medical license in Maryland for aiding in the suicide deaths of six elderly residents.
The Maryland Board of Physicians revoked the license of Dr. Lawrence Egbert in December after conducting an investigation into his ties to the end of life group the Final Exit Network.
“It is undisputed that Dr. Egbert participated in six suicides in the state of Maryland as either a Senior Exit Guide or as a members only exit guide,” the board wrote in its determination.
Egbert is believed to has had a hand in approximately 300 deaths nationwide,and is currently awaiting trial for his alleged activities in Minnesota. He also has a previous arrest in Georgia but was never charged with a crime.
The six suicides in Maryland cited pertain to elderly persons—five men and one woman—who died after asphyxiating themselves with helium. The individuals were suffering from conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, depression and other issues, but were not considered to be terminal cases. Egbert is stated to have personally worked to help coordinate their suicides.
“Dr. Egbert reviewed their applications and medical records and recommended accepting them as members,” the board wrote. “Dr. Egbert attended their suicide rehearsals. He held each member’s hand and talked to him or her.”
Egbert claims. however, that he did not personally assist the six elderly persons with ending their lives.
“I did not help do anything physical,” he told the Associated Press. “I talked only. And I would say, ‘Well, if you want to do it, these are the ways it’s possible to do that.'”
The anesthesiologist was first investigated in 2012 after board members read a local news report that suggested that he was involved in assisted suicide in the state. In 2013, a judge suggested that he be stripped of his medical license over the matter.
On Dec. 12, the board agreed, concluding that Egbert engaged in “unprofessional conduct in the practice of medicine.”
But Egbert says that he is going to repeal the ruling and is defending his actions in the name of God.
“This is something that’s legitimate,” he told the Baltimore Sun. “It’s in the Bible as legitimate.”
Assisted suicide is legal in five states: Oregon, Washington, Montana, Vermont and New Mexico. New Jersey is currently considering legalizing the practice after a bill was initially approved in the state, while other states have overwhelmingly rejected the legislation.
“Contrary to what we’re told by assisted suicide advocates, these laws do not offer a patient ‘dignity,’ but only abandonment from health care workers and family who are supposed to be caring for patients and loved ones,” commented Burke Balch, J.D., director of National Right to Life’s Robert Powell Center for Medical Ethics in November, stating that society has turned its back on the “medically vulnerable” who are “at risk because they are either depressed or worried about what their future holds.”