Mercy Killing

American sailor jailed over assisted suicide

Michael Cook | 15 August 2012

Google “assisted suicide” on Google News and you can scroll through a number of current cases which have been discribed as “assisted suicide” or “mercy killing”. As a particularly sordid example of how assisted suicide can be abused, consider the case of Gerard Curran and Paul Stephen Bricker, two American sailors living in Virginia.

Lessons from Bonanza about mercy killing

Michael Cook | 09 August 2012

The classic 60s family-friendly cowboy TV series Bonanza, about a patriarch and his three sons on a half a million acres in 1870s Nevada may not seem like a place to look for lessons about euthanasia.

A taste for death—but not mercy killing

Michael Cook | 26 July 2012

The illustrious English crime writer and Conservative peer P.D.James may make her living by imagining murders, but she has no time for euthanasia (although she does not oppose suicide). In a delightful interview with the Observer, the 91-year-old author answered questions from readers and other writers. Here are some excerpts.

We we should not decriminalise assisted suicide

Paul Russell | 04 May 2011
Recent news in respect to court proceedings against Mr. David Scott Mathers for the assisted suicide of his partner, Eva Griffith in July 2009, deserve scrutiny; as do comments from Dr. Nitschke and from Michael Duffy in the Sydney Morning Herald.

A son who decided dad’s time was up

Michael Cook | 20 January 2011
The number of Alzheimer’s and dementia patients will probably double in the United States over the next 20 years. Here’s a real life example from Connecticut of what may happen to some of them.

Too heavy a burden?

Michael Cook | 19 January 2011
We’ll have to wait to see what happens in this case from France, but it shows what can happen when parents are pushed to the limit in caring for handicapped children.

Can you really kill out of mercy?

Michael Cook | 17 January 2011
After reading about an 84-year-old man in Taipei who helped his wife to die, I thought that the concept of "mercy killing" needs to be examined more carefully. The wife of Wang Ching-hsi had Parkinson’s disease and was bed-ridden with two broken legs. They were a lonely, but financially comfortable couple. Mr Wang wrote at least two blog entries about euthanasia and suicide on November 27 and December 5.

Spanish retirement home orderly admits killing 11

Jared Yee | 02 December 2010
Orderly confesses he acted “to end their suffering”

Elderly man shoots sick wife in ‘‘mercy killing’’ at nursing home

Jared Yee | 27 November 2010
Roy Charles Laird, 88, was arrested this week after allegedly shooting his 86-year-old wife, Clara Laird, in her California nursing home. The couple’s daughter described the act as a “mercy killing”. Laird staunchly persisted in feeding and bathing his wife, Clara, 86, as dementia and crippling illness took away her ability to walk, sit up, feed herself or recognise visitors, according to the daughter, Kathy Palmateer, 68.

Careful! is MercatorNet's blog about end-of-life issues. We respect the dignity of each person from the beginning of life to its natural end. Leave your comments at the foot of our articles. The more the better! Write to us at

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