Interim Special

Dr. Nancy Morrison acted out of compassion when she ended a patient’s life with a lethal injection last November, relatives of the Halifax physician said yesterday.

“He was gasping for air,” a family member who asked not to be named said tearfully outside Halifax provincial court. Other family members nodded in agreement.

“He had about an hour left to live at the most. Nancy is a very compassionate woman who didn’t want to see him suffer. It’s unbelievable what has happened to her. Her career may be over because she was trying to help.”

Another supporter expressed shock the story made national headlines in early May.

“I can’t believe this has made national news,” he said. “I just wish we could get her side out. It’s not what it seems. It’s all very strange.”

Morrison, a respirologist and a professor of medicine at Dalhousie University, appeared tired and shaky May 7 when she was arraigned in Halifax provincial court on a charge of first-degree murder in the death of a 65-year-old Moncton man.

Chief Justice Constance Glube later released the doctor from custody on $10,000 surety and on condition she surrendered her passport and remained in Nova Scotia. She also said Morrison cannot work in intensive care until after the matter has been settled.

June court date

The petite blonde woman kept her head down but did not hide her face as she brushed by a throng of reporters with her husband Greg Baker yesterday. She will return to court June 11 to set dates for a preliminary inquiry. A jury trial is expected.

Paul Mills died last November 10 at the Victoria General hospital after a long battle with esophageal cancer. His family has agreed with doctors to have him gradually taken off life support.

Crown attorney Craig Botterill refused to comment on details of the case to reporters, though he presented a version of events at Morrison’s bail hearing in Nova Scotia Supreme Court. Glube placed a ban on publication of all evidence presented during the hearing.

Defense lawyer Joel Pink would not say whether he will argue this to be a case of mercy killing. “It’s too soon to say,” he said.

Botterill stressed yesterday Morrison is not charged with assisted suicide. He is not aware of a similar case in Canada, he said.

“This is a first-degree murder charge,” he said. “I’m arguing she killed him.”

Halifax regional police continued to sift through computer and paper files yesterday. Mills’ body, buried in Moncton, may be exhumed as the investigation progresses, police said.

Morrison has been registered with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia since 1988.

-via Pro-Life E News Canada