What facts are we missing in the Barbara Mancini case?

Here’s another article from my new hometime newspaper, PennLive (I just moved from Philadelphia to Central PA). PennLive.com has been reporting on the Barbara Mancini case.  Feel free to join the conversation in the comment sections.  I’ve pasted my comments below.

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KnowYourWishes

I’m pleased that this article recognizes that there may be information about this case that we (the public) do not yet know as a result of the gag order.

I am critical care doctor and end-of-life care advocate and writer (who just moved to central PA), and something about this case bothers me. My questions is this: why would the hospice nurse report Ms. Mancini to authorities? What was done that the hospice nurse felt inclined to report? I would be shocked if the hospice nurse didn’t understand the principle of double effect (that administering morphine to control symptoms is totally acceptable as a right to relieve suffering, even if life is shortened as a result. As long as the INTENTION was to relieve symptoms). Did the nurse feel that there was another intention and that is why she called police? Politics aside, I can’t help but wonder if there are some facts missing to the public as a result of the gag order.

Nevertheless, ALL patients have the right to pain and symptom control.

Lauren Van Scoy, MD

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