Woman battling depression poisoned herself as per instructions given on suicide forum while others egged her on
The family of a 25-year-old woman from Pennsylvania who was battling severe depression and anxiety have slammed a 'pro-choice' suicide forum and have claimed that she received 'detailed instructions' on how to kill herself.
25-year-old Shawn Shatto was discovered blue and cold by her mother on May 22 at her family's Newberry Township home. The mother Jackie Bieber thought that her daughter was asleep. Bieber spoke to the York Daily Record and said that her daughter had followed instructions on a 'pro-choice' suicide website which gave a three-day regimen which also included purchasing over the counter medicines to stop her from vomiting.
Bieber also added that Shatto had written instructions in her journal along which also included a list of ingredients from the recipe and also the exact doses that she needed to take. According to screenshots of Shatto's posts on the site, she shared that she had fallen asleep and missed one of the steps to which a forum member responded saying not to worry.
"Not one person said there is another way. It's like a cult," Bieber shared. On May 22, Shatto shared a final message on the internet saying, "Just took it. I'm f***ing terrified." Another member replied saying, "Safe travels and I hope you find peace," along with a thumbs up emoji. Shatto's stepfather Chip Bieber shared, "She had her issues. We were working on it. But this website never gave her a chance."
Her aunt, Elizabeth Hoffman said other members of the forum were “cheering her on to the finish line of a suicide.”
Her family has handed the screenshots of Shatto's posts to the authorities. Newberry Township Police Chief, Steve Lutz shared that investigators were "looking into the website and the claims made by Shatto's family." The family has described the website as evil and are hoping to warn other families that 'pro-choice' suicide websites exist and want to hold someone accountable for Shatto's death.
As reported by Fox 43, they have pointed out Suzy's law which was passed in 2013 in California which criminalizes websites which promote suicide. Shatto had sought help and treatment from doctors, therapists, and also a hypnotherapist. She had attended the Harrisburg Area Community College and Penn State Harrisburg and had studied science.
York County Coroner Pam Gay had described Shatto's death as "very disturbing" and had also questioned why others online did not try and get her more mental help. An administrator from the website had also acknowledged Shatto's death and confirmed that it had deleted her final and last messages. The site now has a disclaimer which states that the site is a place "to discuss mental illness and suicide from a perspective of suicidal people, as well as its moral implications".
"This is a pro-choice forum, not a pro-suicide forum. We are not a pro-suicide forum, nor do we encourage anyone here to commit suicide. We do not provide the means or the tools to do so either," the site reads. The administrator from the website shared, "To say that our community encourages people to commit suicide is simply not true. To say that this forum murdered this member is false."
The disclaimer also urged anyone feeling suicidal to call a suicide hotline, but also warned that some people may be involuntarily committed to a mental health facility if they do so.
If you or someone you know is in crisis you can call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline - 1 (800) 273- 8255 - anonymously to just talk to someone about what you're going through.
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