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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 8/11/13

I helped to end my dad's life: Prosecution of People Who Assist the Dying Must End

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By Dave Lindorff

Morphine, if taken in larger doses, can stop breathing peacefully (
Morphine, if taken in larger doses, can stop breathing peacefully (
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Okay, I admit it. I helped my father last year to die quicker in a Connecticut rehab center, and I was also witness to an assisted suicide in New York.


It's time that we put this stuff out in the open and stopped the brutal prosecutorial nonsense around this issue.


As I write this, Barbara Mancini, a 57-year-old nurse here in the punishment state of Pennsylvania, has been charged with a serious felony, and is facing up to 10 years in jail because she put the morphine prescription for Joseph Yourshaw, her dying 93-year-old father, who was in home hospice care but in pain from terminal diabetes, heart disease and kidney disease, into his hands as he requested, so he could commit suicide.


Her father, a decorated WWII veteran, had expressed a desire to end his life at home and to receive no further medical intervention. He understood that he could do that by taking too many doses of morphine, and his daughter gave him the opportunity to make it happen. Unfortunately, the hospice nurse arrived at the home after he had done so, was informed of the action, and called 911.  Against his earlier stated wishes, Yourshaw was hauled off, comatose, to the hospital, where he was subjected to the medical establishment's best efforts to perversely prolong his doomed life, and he died four days later where he didn't want to be -- hooked up to life support in a hospital bed.


Then, piling on, the prosecutors stepped in, and went after Mancini. 


Don't they have anything better to do?


So back to my dad and that New York assisted suicide. 


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Dave Lindorff is a founding member of the collectively-owned, journalist-run online newspaper www.thiscantbehappening.net. He is a columnist for Counterpunch, is author of several recent books ("This Can't Be Happening! Resisting the (more...)
 

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