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Scientist pleads guilty to helping mom die in NZ

AP News
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Posted: Nov 23, 2011 7:00 PM
Scientist pleads guilty to helping mom die in NZ

A scientist who helped his terminally ill mother die in New Zealand has been sentenced to five months of home detention.

The Otago Daily Times newspaper reports that 50-year-old Sean Davison, a South Africa-based microbiologist, wrote a book in which he describes how his 85-year-old mother, Patricia, who lived in New Zealand, was in pain in 2006 during the last few months of her life.

In the book, he notes that at his mother's request, he gave her crushed morphine tablets in a glass of water. The admission led to charges last year, and on Thursday he pleaded guilty to helping his mother commit suicide.

Davison's lawyer described his client's actions as an "act of love."

A judge said she accepted that Davison's actions were driven by compassion.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

DUNEDIN, New Zealand (AP) _ A scientist who helped his terminally ill mother die has been sentenced to five months of home detention.

The Otago Daily Times newspaper reports that 50-year-old Sean Davison, a South Africa-based microbiologist, wrote a book in which he describes how his 85-year-old mother Patricia, who lived in New Zealand, was in pain in 2006 during the last few months of her life.

In the book, he notes that at his mother's request, he gave her crushed morphine tablets in a glass of water. The admission led to charges last year, and on Thursday he pleaded guilty to helping his mother commit suicide.

Davison's lawyer described his client's actions as an "act of love."

A judge said she accepted that Davisson's actions were driven by compassion and described his offense as at the lower end of the scale.