Tag Archives: Elder Law

60 Minutes on Assisted Suicide

The most recent episode of CBS’s 60 Minutes featured a story about assisted suicide.

Here is how it began:

A young woman with brain cancer named Brittany Maynard made news recently when she spoke about her decision to end her life rather than succumb to the last ravages of her disease. Maynard moved to Oregon because it has a law that enables terminally ill people to obtain a lethal dose of barbiturates.

Whether doctors and caregivers should be allowed to help someone like Maynard hasten her own death is the subject of a long-running, state-by-state battle. Our story tonight is about a woman who was prosecuted for allegedly helping her 93-year-old father kill himself. Barbara Mancini lives in Pennsylvania, a state that does not have a law like Oregon’s. Her father was terminally ill and in pain and had repeatedly said he wanted to die. One morning while she was caring for him, Mancini says he asked her to hand him his bottle of morphine.

Barbara Mancini: He asked me to hand him the bottle and I did. I had the dosing syringe in my hand. He took the cap off and he drank what was remaining in the bottle. . . .

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Why Elder Law Professors Love La Crosse, Wisconsin

The most recent episode of the Planet Money podcast was about La Crosse, Wisconsin, which it describes as “The Town That Loves Death.” Despite this ominous description, La Crosse, Wisconsin is not as sinister as it sounds.  Instead, it is a city that any elder law professor would be proud to live in as 96% of adult citizens of La Crosse, Wisconsin have express advance directives to prepare for their passing.  

Here is a description of the podcast from the Planet Money website: 

People in La Crosse, Wisconsin are used to talking about death. In fact, 96 percent of people who die in this small, Midwestern city have specific directions laid out for when they pass. That number is astounding. Nationwide, it’s more like 50 percent.

In today’s episode, we’ll take you to a place where dying has become acceptable dinner conversation for teenagers and senior citizens alike. A place that also happens to have the lowest healthcare spending of any region in the country.

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March 3, 2014 · 3:49 pm