Charges Dropped Against Man Killing Father in Assisted Suicide

State   |   Chelsea Zimmerman   |   Dec 12, 2011   |   12:59PM   |   Hartford, CT

Last year a Connecticut trial judge rejected a lawsuit by “right to die” advocates seeking to overturn the Connecticut ban on assisted suicide. While their lawsuit technically wasn’t successful, it seems their public campaign to normalize suicide for the sick may have still had an impact.

This week prosecutors in Connecticut dropped all charges against a Massachusetts man who was accused of helping his West Hartford Conn. father commit suicide. Bruce Brodigan was charged with second-degree manslaughter, tampering with or fabricating evidence, and providing a false statement.

Brodigan allegedly helped his father, George Brodigan, take his own life through an overdose of drugs and alcohol (gee, what a dignified way to die, like a common drug addict). George had had Alzheimer’s disease and police say Bruce told them that he wanted to end his life before becoming incapacitated.

According to the LA Times, Judge David Gold would not grant Brodigan a “special form” of probation, which would have allowed him to clear his record upon successful completion. So, after speaking with Brodigan’s family and learning that he had completed 200 hours of community service, Prosecutor Thomas Garcia decided to drop the charges saying that there was “no purpose of saddling him with a criminal record.”

Only three states in America currently have legal assisted suicide, but as this story indicates, we are increasingly becoming a suicide friendly nation, regardless of the law. This is largely due to the fact that assisted suicide has successfully been rebranded as “compassionate care” and a “dignified” way of dying. But what, I wonder, is dignified about giving up when life gets too hard or painful?

Witholding someone’s food and water or injecting poison into their bloodstream when they’re at their lowest point is not caring. It is, as Mark Pickup noted last week, profound abandonment. Note: Chelsea Zimmerman is a 28-year-old Catholic pro-life advocate from Missouri who received a spinal cord injury in a car accident that left her paralyzed from the chest down. She serves on the board of Missouri Right to Life and blogs at Reflections of a Paralytic.