Thursday, June 1, 2017

An Open Letter to Mitchell Hamline School of Law: "Losing Your Freedom Is Like Losing Your Hair"

Mitchell Hamline Panel, 04 27 17
In April, I was honored to be one of four speakers at the Mitchell Hamline School of Law. The event was a panel discussion regarding legislation seeking to legalize assisted suicide and euthanasia in Minnesota.  

I arrived at the event with a legal analysis and other materials addressing problems with the legislation. For example and contrary to backers’ claims, patient voluntariness is not assured. 

I started to hand out my materials. Proponents of the legislation, however, objected and a law student organizer backed them up to prevent distribution. 

The event went forward and I was able to get my points out, albeit without written backup. I had been the sole opposition speaker. 

In another life, I was a young lawyer who attended a presentation sponsored by the Washington State Supreme Court. The speaker, a businessman named Fred Harrington, had been held hostage in Iraq by Saddam Hussein. Harrington, whose head featured a bald pate, described what it was like to lose his freedom:
Losing your freedom is like losing your hair.  One day you look in the mirror and it’s gone.
Today, we live in a free country. But if we don’t stand up for the right to speak and have open public discourse, our right to do so, like Mr. Harrington’s hair will suddenly be gone.I hope that Mitchell Hamline will clarify its policies to embrace free speech and open public discourse. Before it’s too late.

Margaret Dore, Esq., MBA

Below find links to the documents that I was not allowed to distribute: 

1. Legal Analysis of Minneota Bills,HF 1885 & SF 1572:

2. Jeanette Hall “It’s Great to Be Alive” flyer (front and back, shown here as a single page):

Fred Harrington in 2012
 The Seattle Times.