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Host: Scott LaMar

RST: The Mancini case -- taking away the pain or assisted suicide?

Written by Scott LaMar, Smart Talk Host/Executive Producer | Aug 17, 2013 3:18 PM

What to look for on Radio Smart Talk, Monday, August 19:

Barbara Mancini and her father 300 x 170.jpg

Barbara Mancini and her father Joe Yourshaw (Compassion and Choices photo)

Ninety-three-year old Joe Yourshaw was being treated in a Central Pensylvania hospice unit, suffering from diabetes and heart disease.  Last February, his daughter, 57 year old Barbara Mancini, requested a dose of morphine because her father was in pain.  A few days later, Yourshaw died.  The coroner ruled the cause of death was morphine toxicity and called it a homicide.

Mancini has been charged with assisting her father's suicide.  She claims she was only trying to ease her father's pain and was not helping him take his own life.

The case has attracted national attention and prompted a campaign that encourages Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane to not pursue criminal charges against Mancini.

Monday's Radio Smart Talk examines the Mancini case and the end-of-life issues it raises.

Appearing on the program will be Michael Ciccocioppo , Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Pro Life Federation and Barbara Coombs Lee, president of the end-of-life advocacy group Compassion and Choices, which is behind the campaign urging Kane to drop the prosecution.

Michael Ciccocioppo RST.jpg

Michael Ciccocioppo

Four states allow physician assisted suicide, including the state of Oregon.  Lee helped write the Oregon law.

What are your thoughts on the Mancini case and physician assisted suicide?


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  • Lisa img 2013-08-19 08:26

    The charges against Ms. Mancini are ridiculous simply because morphine was administered by hospice several days AFTER she administered it to her father. Therefore any lethal dose would have occurred afterward by some other medical professional. It seems to me that the coroner had some sort of political agenda in ruling this a homicide. Is it routine to perform autopsies on 93-yr-olds who die under hospice care? The motivation of the coroner has not been mentioned, but where does he/she stand on the issue of assisted suicide? I'd guess, opposed.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2013-08-19 08:58

    Email from Thomas:
    my only question is.....does religious belief come in to play here. and are we not starting a slippery slope into drs. in the future making choices on who will live or die.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2013-08-19 08:59

    Email from Ben:
    Your Right to Life guest totally missed the point of the recent caller: You or your organization have NO right to impose your values or wishes on another. Freedom does mean freedom from your selfish values.

    • Golde img 2013-08-19 15:51

      I think it's telling that the American Medical Association and the World Medical Association agree that assisted suicide is a breach of medical ethics. The fact that disability rights groups have also voiced strong opposition to assisted suicide is instructive. Thankful to WITF for offering an enlightening, fair-minded program.

  • Frank Cunningham img 2013-08-19 15:30

    Let us remember;

    THE FOUR LAST THINGS ---- DEATH, JUDGMENT, HELL and HEAVEN, All of us!!!1 Which will yours be?

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