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A judge has dismissed the assisted-suicide charge against Barbara Mancini, the 58-year-old Philadelphia nurse who was arrested last February after handing her 93-year-old terminally ill father a bottle of morphine.

“A jury may not receive a case where it must rely on conjecture to reach
a verdict,” Judge Jacqueline Russell said in her 47-page opinion.

The case “would not warrant submission to a jury due to the lack of
competent evidence,” she continued, adding that “the commonwealth’s
reliance on speculation” served “as an inappropriate means to prove its

The dismissal comes more than a year after Mancini’s Feb. 7 arrest.

“I’m very relieved and elated that Judge Russell ruled the way she did,”
Mancini said Tuesday night. “It’s a long opinion. She really took them
to task,” she said, referring to the state Attorney General’s Office,
which prosecuted the case.

Mancini’s father, Joseph Yourshaw, was terminally ill, in extreme pain,
and under hospice care when his daughter handed him his legally
prescribed morphine, and he drank it.

A hospice nurse then arrived at his home in Pottsville, saw him
unconscious, talked with his daughter, and then called police – against
Mancini’s wishes, according to testimony. Yourshaw had repeatedly said
he wanted to die, and die at home. He had completed a living will, and
had designated his daughter as his medical decision-maker.

Yourshaw was taken to a hospital, revived, and died there four days
later. He knew his daughter had been arrested, and according to his
son-in-law, his last words were “Don’t hurt Barbara.”

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