Lost his medical licence for openly practicing assisted suicide with his invention the
Mercitron which allowed a patient to activate a intravenous drip containing lethal
drugs. Continued to defy the law, using carbon monoxide instead of drugs, which
were unavailable to him once his licence was revoked. Brought before the
courts many times in Michigan (where he is regarded as a local hero) but for a long time no court returned a conviction, even though Michigan passed an emergency law
specifically aimed at preventing him from assisting in further suicides. He formed (1995) a coalition group with other doctors to press for legal reform but in 1999 he administered euthanasia to a patient and allowed the videotape of the action to be broadcast on TV. He dismissed legal counsel and tried to defend himself in court but was convicted and sent to prison.