Feds Seize Suicide Kits Sold by 91-Year-Old Woman

It's helium hoods instead of tea cozies for Sharlotte Hydorn
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted May 27, 2011 2:20 AM CDT

(Newser) – While lots of grandmas are knitting tea cozies, 91-year-old Sharlotte Hydorn is stitching together suicide kits for her mail-order business. Now FBI agents have raided Hydorn's home in a search for material that could be used in a case against her, reports KTLA. Hydorn's kits consist of tubing and a plastic "helium hood" that can cause suffocation once linked to a tank of gas supplied by the user. At least one of the kits and a tank of helium obtained from a party store were used by a 29-year-old depressed customer in an Oregon suicide last year, according to authorities.

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The death has led to a new bill in Oregon that would make it a felony to sell or transfer equipment to another person to use in a suicide. Hydorn says her "exit kits" are intended to help terminally ill people end their lives with dignity in their own homes. (Read more California stories.)

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