Barbara Mancini was featured on a 60 Minutes episode about end-of-life related to patients with terminal illnesses. This loving daughter faced a felony charge in Pennsylvania for helping provide home hospice care for her dying father. She was arrested and prosecuted for simply handing her terminally-ill father his morphine. A hospice worker was the one who called the police.
She is speaking Sunday, January 25 from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. at the University of New Mexico Law School, 1117 Stanford Drive NE, Room 2402. Free and open to the public, sponsored by Compassion and Choices.
Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane pursued an unjust “assisted suicide” case against Mancini for the death of her terminally ill father, 93-year-old Joe Yourshaw. Police claimed Mancini, a nurse whom Yourshaw had designated his medical power of attorney to ensure his wishes would be honored, handed him a partially filled bottle of prescribed morphine at his request. Yourshaw drank it to ease his agonizing pain from end-stage diabetes, heart disease and kidney failure.
A hospice nurse arrived at Yourshaw’s home after he drank his morphine and found him unresponsive. Despite his clear instructions to hospice caregivers and his do-not-resuscitate order, a hospice representative called 911. EMTs took Yourshaw to the hospital. And a police captain took Mancini to the courthouse and charged her with a felony.
When Yourshaw was revived at the hospital, he was horrified to learn that police had arrested Mancini for trying to honor his wishes. Yourshaw died four days later. Incredibly, Barbara Mancini faced up to 10 years in prison for this bogus “assisted suicide” charge.
In addition, on Monday, January 26, there will be an oral argument on New Mexico’s physician aid-in-dying case, Morris v New Mexico. The Court of Appeals oral argument is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. at the Albuquerque Court of Appeals – Pamela Minzner Law Center, 2211 Tucker NE, Albuquerque, NM 87106. The argument, which is expected to last an hour, is open to the public. This appeal is part of the process of furthering the case to the New Mexico Supreme Court.