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British woman sentenced for smothering man to death

by | Jun 8, 2015

By Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director – Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Heather Davidson & David Paterson

Heather Davidson & David Paterson

A British woman was given the mandatory minimum sentence (at least 9 years) for smothering a man to death. Heather Davidson (54) pled guilty to smothering David Paterson (81) to death on February 11, 2015.

According to the York Press Davidson claimed that she was motivated by “mercy” whereas the Paterson family said that David was murdered.

The case was based on the fact that Paterson clearly wanted to die a natural death. The York Press reported the Paterson family’s powerful tribute:

Uncle David was such a strong character, great fun and outwardly very sociable, inwardly he was an incredibly private and guarded person. Towards the end of his life, Uncle David became less able to manage and needed our help which he accepted with great grace. However, he still retained his privacy and dignity.

Only a few months ago we were helping to sort his home out in the anticipation he would be able to leave hospital and live there.

We all knew of, and respected his deeply held Christian beliefs. We are, and Uncle David would have been, horrified that someone he classed as a friend and who he thought shared his Christian values, would have acted in this way. … She had no right to do this to him.

We were anticipating a funeral that would be a celebration of his life but instead of having the space and time to remember all the good he brought, this has thrown our lives and thoughts into chaos.

We have been deprived of the opportunity to grieve as we should have. We all have moments considering the horror of Uncle David’s last few minutes and console ourselves with the thought that as he had been almost unconscious for most of the time, he would hopefully not have known anything about it.

Our overriding emotions are of shock and horror, we all want to know why this has happened. It makes no sense at all. Heather Davidson was a person Uncle David had helped, a person he trusted and considered a friend, she has taken away our opportunity to grieve for him, as we had the right to do.

All the attention into his private and personal affairs is the last thing he would have wanted. He did not have a lot of dignity at the end. Davidson took away the last remnants of this and thrust him and his life into the limelight. She had no right to do that, and for all of us, including Uncle David, we want to know why.

When we think of Uncle David we can’t help smile but now that smile is tinged with the emotion clouding the dreadful way his life finally finished.

The euthanasia lobby will say that David Paterson was denied his right of self-determination, which was wrong, but they need to admit that promoting euthanasia based on “suffering” demeans the “sufferer” and leads to people believing that ending the life of the sufferer is a societal good.

We need to create a society that eliminates suffering by caring and not killing.

Editor’s note. This was posted at and is reprinted with permission.

Categories: Crime