HARRISBURG – The PA House Judiciary Committee has advanced legislation known as “Shawn’s Law.” It’s named for Shawn Shatto, who took her own life in her parent’s Newberry Township, York County home after she received a step-by-step guide on how to commit suicide from an online chat forum. Shawn told forum members how she was scared to follow through with ending her life. At least one person on the forum told her that suicide was the best route and wished Shawn well on her journey instead of encouraging her to seek help. Under House Bill 184, anyone who intentionally aids or solicits another to commit suicide would be guilty of a second degree felony. Penalties for a person who encourages another who is under 18 or has an intellectual disability to commit suicide would be increased. Assistance to prevent suicide can be found by calling The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) 24-hours a day, seven days a week. The lifeline provides free and confidential support for people in distress, along with prevention and crisis resources.

SHAWN SHATTO