X-Message-Number: 9251
From: Olaf Henny <>
Subject: Murder Charge in Euthanasia Case Dismissed
Date: Sat, 7 Mar 1998 14:02:58 -0800

Below is a report on a high-profile case in Canada, in which a 
physician, who provided an extremely severely suffering patient 
with Euthanasia was charged with murder.  The case was dismissed 
by a reasonable judge during a preliminary hearing, but not before 
she suffered through what must have been an excruciatingly 
agonizing 15 months of persecution.  

I do not know if the case will serve as a legal precedent for other 
similar cases, since it was dismissed in a preliminary hearing. Any 
legal brains out there?

Dead Man's Relatives hope Prosecution Is History

Halifax - Canadian Press - Relatives of the man at the centre of 
the Nancy Morrison case say they hope it's over.

The Halifax respirologist was charged last May with the first 
degree murder of Paul Mills, a Moncton, New Brunswick man who was 
dying of cancer.  A judge on Friday threw out all charges against 

Mills' brother, Calixte Mills , said he trusts the judge's 
decision and he believes, that Morrison acted with good intent. 
Paul Mills died Nov. 10 1996 at the Queen Elizabeth Health 
Services Centre in Halifax.  Calixte Mills said that the family 
had asked, that his brother be taken off life-support.  Paul 
Mills had been operated on 10 times in the month before he died.  
His esophagus had been removed and, noted Judge Hughes Randall, 
"infection had developed to the point where all healing from all 
his surgical procedures became irreversible".  

Evidence shows Mills had begged a nurse to let him die.  "I just 
want to go" he was quoted as saying a month before.  Nurse 
Elizabeth Bland-MacInnes described Mills' death as the most 
excruciating she had seen in 10 years intensive care.  The 
patient was gasping for air and his chest - minus part of the 
breast bone - was split wide open with gauze.  "Mr. Mills was a 
person filled with puss and bile," said hi surgeon, Dr. Drew 
Bethune, "Mr. Mills was in great distress and great discomfort 
and was in the process of dying in an agonizing way."

The prosecution in the case is considering, whether to proceed 
with a preferred indictment of manslaughter against Morrison.  
The procedure is used mainly to bypass preliminary hearing, to 
speed a case to trial.  A preferred indictment was used by the 
Ontario Government in March 1994 to cancel the preliminary 
hearing of Paul Bernado, who was later convicted of abducting 
and killing two teens.

But a preferred indictment can also be used as a form of appeal 
if the Crown disagrees with a judge's preliminary hearing ruling.

Dalhousie University law professor Steve Coughlan says that, 
without the option to pursue a preferred indictment, prosecutors 
have no course of appeal, when a case is dismissed.   "An oddity 
in the Criminal Code is that the Crown doesn't have the right to 
appeal the decision of a judge in a preliminary inquiry," he 

Noted Ottawa defense lawyer Heather Perkins-McVey says to deny a 
judge's ruling would be unfair to the accused and, in Morrison's 
politically charged case would be an abuse of power.  "I would 
say , that it was being used for political means rather than to 
meet the ends of criminal justice.

Coughlan says the defence could ask for a review of the 
indictment.  The most likely argument would be that the 
prosecution was malicious. (End of article)
I am at this time trying to find out if Dr. Morrison can be 
reached by e-mail.  I am sure that she could use some moral 
supportand would appreciate messages of encouragement, 
especially, since she still has the threat of this 
"preferred indictment" hanging over her head.


Olaf Henny

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