POTTSVILLE — An assisted suicide case that is getting national attention made its way to Schuylkill County court Thursday afternoon.
Lawyers for a woman accused of giving her father a lethal dose of morphine asked the judge to dismiss the case.
Barbara Mancini is accused of helping her terminally ill father Joseph Yourshaw kill himself earlier this year at his home in Pottsville.
State prosecutors say Mancini gave him a bottle of morphine which he drank. Yourshaw died in a hospital four days later.
Lawyers for Mancini are now asking a Schuylkill County judge to dismiss the charge.
Mancini’s supporters carried signs urging the court to go along with the request.
“This has been like a recurrent nightmare, day in and day out. You wake with it, you sleep with it, you work with it. It just never ends,” said Joe Mancini, Barbara’s husband.
Barbara Mancini is also being supported by a national group. It’s mission: to make sure that the terminally ill die with dignity.
“Over 6,000 people have gone to our website and signed an online petition or letter urging Attorney General Kane to drop this case and I hope she listens to them,” said Sean Crowley of Compassion & Choices. “This is a legal and political loser.”
Anna Rehnert held a picture of her uncle Joseph Yourshaw. She says another family member, her sister, died last year from a terminal disease.
“Unless you’ve been through it, no one knows when someone is dying,” Rehnert said. “And I don’t want anyone to struggle with what my cousin is struggling with right now.”
The judge in the case wants more information from the defense and possibly the prosecution before deciding if charges should be dismissed against Barbara Mancini.