British woman sentenced for smothering man to death

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 as stating:

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. 

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