Morphine allegedly used to end mother's life
Tue, 25 Oct 2011 6:55p.m.
By Anna Burns-Francis
The High Court trial has begun for a New Zealand man accused of attempting to murder his mother with a fatal dose of drugs.
The case against Sean Davison has once again sparked debate over the right-to-die argument.
Davison is accused of attempting to murder his terminally-ill mother Patricia by feeding her a fatal dose of morphine.
"Mr Davison would never attempt to murder his mother, he would never do anything to harm her," says his defence counsel, Roger Laybourn. "He would never do anything against her will."
Davison returned from South Africa to look after his cancer-ridden mother in her Broad Bay cottage in 2006. His diaries describe the 85-year-old's desperate efforts to end her suffering by going on a hunger strike.
After 33 days she was still alive.
"There is an entry on Tuesday, 23 October," says Crown counsel Robin Bates. "'I have told her I have morphine and asked her if she really wants me to kill her.
She said, "Do what you think is best. You are a really good boy." I think I have no choice but to do the unthinkable.'"
By his own admission, Davison says details of his mother's death were left out of diary excerpts he later published.
But a leaked transcript which included the deleted section allegedly describes the professor feeding his mother a cocktail of crushed morphine tablets and water.
"Just because things are said, doesn't mean they're necessarily accurate," says Mr Laybourn.
Davison is now estranged from one of his sisters and his brother is the only one of his three siblings to give evidence at the trial, which is expected to run in the Dunedin High Court for three weeks.
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