If He’d Mercy Killed Wife, Would be Applauded

by Wesley J. Smith

A correspondent from the UK sends me an article about a man arrested for providing a morphine patch for his demented wife newly in a care home. From the Telegraph story:

An 83-year-old man was arrested and locked up for seven hours for giving his wife painkiller patches at a care home. Walter Crompton was detained by police when he went to visit Ellen, his wife of 60 years, who suffers from dementia.

Care home staff had contacted officers four days earlier after Mr Compton gave her the morphine patches. He was arrested for administering a toxic substance and his subsequent bail conditions bar him from seeing his wife until the end of the month.

Mr Compton insisted the treatment had been prescribed by a doctor. “It’s a patch. Nobody ever killed anybody with a patch. I don’t understand why they needed to arrest me. I was just trying to help my wife and I didn’t know it was against the rules,” he said.

Now, he’s barred from seeing his wife until further court proceedings. That seems cruel to both husband and wife.

My correspondent opined that had he mercy-killed her, instead of trying to relieve her pain, he would not only have not been prosecuted by UK’s assisted-suicide compliant prosecutors, but indeed, would be applauded far and wide as a man of compassion.

I’m certainly not saying that Mr. Crompton acted appropriately. No doubt, he made a mistake and account must be taken.

But I also can’t say that my correspondent is wrong in her assessment.