Cleared of assisted suicide, Philly woman continues advocacy for ‘death with dignity’

     Barbara Mancini dancing at her 1994 wedding with her father, Joe Yourshaw. (PRNewsFoto/Compassion & Choices)

    Barbara Mancini dancing at her 1994 wedding with her father, Joe Yourshaw. (PRNewsFoto/Compassion & Choices)

    The Philadelphia woman at the center of a dismissed court case on assisted suicide is explaining why she’s become an advocate for proposals to allow terminally ill patients to obtain life-ending medication.

     

     

    Barbara Mancini was cleared by a Schuylkill County judge earlier this year of charges that she aided in the suicide of her terminally ill father in February 2013 after she handed him a bottle of morphine.

    She said whether a person dies should be up to the individual – although she’s not sure it was her father’s choice when he requested his medicine.

    “A person deserves to have an autonomous choice in how their health is promoted and how their lives end,” said Mancini, a nurse. She made her comments on WITF’s “Smart Talk” program Monday.

    Mancini added that she believes legalizing what she calls “death with dignity” will improve end-of-life care and end the criminalization of assisted suicide in cases like her own.

    Opponents say legalizing assisted suicide undervalues life.

    One expert on end-of-life issues has said proposals in Pennsylvania are unlikely to advance, given the state’s conservatism relative to other states and opposition from the Catholic Church.

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