Thursday, January 20, 2011

Or Murder?

A son who decided dad’s time was up

by Michael Cook | 20 Jan 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 them.

In September, an elderly lawyer with Alzheimer’s, George Brodigan, died at home. Beside his bed was a half-empty bottle of rum and a copy of Derek Humphry's "Final Exit," a suicide manual. Yellow pills were found beneath his body.

Someone had obviously helped Mr Brodigan to kill himself. Police arrested his 46-year-old son Bruce, a teacher, who lives in the neighbouring state of Massachusetts. During the investigation the son lied repeatedly, police said. He denied that he was present when his father died; he denied helping in preparing the suicide; he was misleading about the use of medications. He helped his father write a suicide note and did not discourage him from acting. He intentionally waited until he was sure that his father was dead before notifying anyone. Several copies of the father’s do-not-resuscitate orders, his obituary and his insurance policy were laid out.

Doesn’t this show clearly how easy it would be to persuade confused elderly people that their time was up? How do you distinguish between assisted suicide and elder abuse? ~ Hartford Courant, Jan 7

Retrieved January 19, 2011 from

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