Nurse Is At Center Of Assisted Suicide Case

PHILADELPHIA (August 18, 2013)—Barbara Mancini, 57, a Philadelphia nurse, is the latest lightning rod in the nation's long-running debate over assisted suicide.

Mancini is accused of giving a bottle of morphine to her dying father, Joe Yourshaw, 93, of Schuylkill County.

While four states allow some types of assisted suicide, the majority outlaw the practice.

Advocates for end-of-life choices say Mancini's criminal case will lead the terminally ill to avoid talking to loved ones about their wishes.

The group Compassion & Choices has criticized Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane for pursuing the case.

Because of a gag order, Kane's office isn't commenting.

Medical ethicist Art Caplan says most assisted suicide cases "are motivated by love ... or mercy," but he says he believes it's important to review them, because of the potential for abuse.

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