Barbara Mancini, a Pennsylvania nurse prosecuted for allegedly aiding the attempted suicide of her dying father, is the guest on this week’s Seekers of Meaning Podcast. Mancini has written a memoir about her experience with the medical and legal system, Cruel Death, Heartless Aftermath.
About the Guest
In 2013, Barbara Mancini was arrested and prosecuted in Pennsylvania on the charge of aiding the attempted suicide of her dying 93-year-old father after handing him his prescribed morphine. A hospice nurse and police authorities ignored his written advance directives, and he was hospitalized and treated in defiance of his end-of-life wishes. Her case garnered national attention and was roundly criticized throughout the media. A year later, a judge dismissed the case against her.
Her case was featured on TV’s 60 Minutes and National Public Radio. She has traveled the country speaking about her experience, and has become a vocal advocate for honoring wishes, improving care and expanding options at the end of life. Her memoir, Cruel Death, Heartless Aftermath, was published by Sunbury Press in November 2019.
Barbara’s experience with the criminal justice system also led her to advocate for a more fair criminal justice system. She completed an internship with the Pennsylvania Innocence Project, and later worked as a pre-trial assistant with the Montgomery County (PA) Office of the Public Defender.
Barbara has a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing, and a Master of Science degree in Burn, Emergency, and Trauma Nursing. She worked as a nurse for over three decades and also holds a certificate in paralegal studies. Her advocacy focuses on self-determination and decision-making of the dying, the broader issues that influenced the ordeal she and her family experienced, and the social and ethical implications regarding how people are allowed to die.