By John Ostapkovich
POTTSVILLE, Pa. (CBS) — Advocates for a Philadelphia nurse are calling on the Pennsylvania attorney general to stop prosecution in an assisted suicide case, which is heading toward a preliminary hearing tomorrow.
The death in February 2013 of 93-year-old Joe Yourshaw of Pottsville (Schuylkill County) is a matter of record. So too is the charge of assisting a suicide brought against his daughter, 57-year-old Barbara Mancini of Roxborough, who handed him the bottle of morphine at issue here.
Mancini’s lawyer, Fred Finelli, notes that Yourshaw was in hospice care at the time, meaning it had been determined that he had less than six months to live.
“He didn’t need to call anybody to get his medicine. He didn’t need to ask anybody’s permission. He was a grown man who was competent and capable of making a decision and knew when he needed pain relief,” Finelli says.
A hospice nurse who found him unresponsive called 911 and the cops. The probable cause affidavit says Mancini admitted the plan was suicide.
Mancini’s legal team says that when Yourshaw died four days later, it was in the hospital from pneumonia, where doctors had given him more morphine.