Trial not set for Philly woman accused of helping dad commit suicide

    A Schuylkill County judge is asking for more information before she decides whether a Philadelphia woman will go on trial on charges of helping her elderly father commit suicide.

    Barbara Mancini, 57, is accused of aiding in the suicide of her 93-year-old father by handing him a bottle of morphine, according to state prosecutors.

    He died days later in the hospital, after being resuscitated and receiving more morphine, defense lawyers said.

    An end-of-life planning advocacy group is asking that the case be dropped. Gwen Fitzgerald, with Compassion and Choices, said the organization will keep supporting Mancini if the judge allows the case to go to trial.

    “We will also continue to pressure Attorney General [Kathleen] Kane to the last minute to drop these charges and we will continue to provide legal advice from Compassion and Choices to Barbara’s legal defense team and stand with her 100 percent,” Fitzgerald said Thursday.

    The state attorney general’s office is bringing the charge after being referred to the case by the county district attorney who cited a conflict of interest.

    Mancini’s supporters say Pennsylvania’s law against assisted suicide is being misapplied in the case, because she was trying to ease her father’s suffering according to his own wishes.

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