60 Minutes has announced it will air an interview with Compassion & Choices Pres. Barbara Coombs Lee this Sunday about the risk for dying patients and family caregivers who live in the 45 states that don’t authorize death with dignity for terminally ill, mentally competent adults. The story will detail the unjust felony prosecution of Philadelphia nurse Barbara Mancini for handing her dying, 93-year-old father, Joe Yourshaw, his prescription morphine at his request. He drank the partially-filled one ounce bottle of morphine and became drowsy. Despite Barbara Mancini’s pleas on behalf of her father as his healthcare proxy, the hospice provider ignored his do not resuscitate order (DNR), called 911 and the police arrested her. Joe Yourshaw was revived against his wishes at a local Pottsville hospital, where he died in agony after four days of futile, unwanted medical treatment. Compassion & Choices generated national news coverage criticizing this outrageous case, filed an amicus brief in Mancini’s defense and donated $20,000 from its Action Network Legal Defense Fund to help offset her legal fees of over $100,000. A year later, a judge dismissed the assisted suicide charge against Barbara Mancini, which could have resulted in a 10-year prison sentence.
Death with dignity, also known as the medical practice of aid in dying, is authorized in Oregon, Washington, Montana, Vermont, and New Mexico. Barbara Mancini’s case and the worldwide news coverage of 29-year-old Brittany Maynard having to uproot her family from California to Oregon to access its death-with-dignity law are galvanizing Compassion & Choices’ campaigns to authorize aid in dying in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Jersey.
Barbara Mancini, Nurse/Compassion & Choices Volunteer Advocate
Barbara Coombs Lee, Compassion & Choices President
CBS TV Network (see advance story clip at: http://bit.ly/60MinsBarbaraMancini)
Sun., Oct. 19, 7pm ET or immediately after end of 4:05pm or 4:25pm ET NFL game
Photos and video of Barbara Mancini and her family are available upon request
Sean Crowley, 202.495.8520-c, [email protected]