the following is a transcript of a radio interview on this case i will try to find more news stories.
euthanasia campaigner found guilty of attempted murder
am - thursday, 1 april , 2004 08:20:00
reporter: gillian bradford
tony eastley: a prominent new zealand euthanasia campaigner, found guilty of attempting to murder her mother, has vowed to keep fighting for the cause. lesley martin admitted in her book to die like a dog that she gave her mother, joy, a large dose of morphine and tried to smother her with a pillow.
those confessions led to her being charged and gave the jury little room to move. now ms martin faces a maximum 14-year jail term.
new zealand correspondent gillian bradford reports.
gillian bradford: lesley martin never thought a jury would find her guilty. even though euthanasia isn't legal in new zealand, just days before she was convicted, she remained convinced her peers would find she did the right thing trying to end her mother's suffering with bowel cancer
lesley martin: i don't believe for one minute that i'll go to jail. i don't think new zealanders will let me go to jail on this.
gillian bradford: lesley martin's mother joy asked her daughter, a trained intensive care nurse, to care for her at home in the final few weeks of her life. lesley martin says her mother wanted to the pain to end and asked her "not to let her lie there".
it was lesley martin's book on this ordeal that led police to charge her. in it she admits giving her mother a huge dose of morphine and trying to smother her with a pillow. if lesley martin hadn't written the book she probably would never have been charged because the post mortem on joy martin was inconclusive.
bruce corney is the from the pro-euthanasia group exit new zealand.
bruce corney: lesley has slammed the verdict because she like many others is caught between no law and love.
gillian bradford: but she didn't really leave the jury much room to manoeuvre, did she, because she admitted in this book that she gave her a large dose of morphine, tried to smother her. in new zealand, that's attempted murder.
bruce corney: it is indeed, yes, and that's how the jury saw it, certainly on the large dose of morphine. they acquitted her on the smothering charge.
gillian bradford: does lesley martin regret writing this book to die like a dog, in which she did essentially confess to those things? this is now what it seems have given her this conviction of attempted murder.
bruce corney: no regrets at all. writing the book was part of it and it was an attempt to stop other people going through exactly what lesley and joy went through.
gillian bradford: give us a sense of what lesley's experience was like, looking after her dying mother, who was terminally ill with bowel cancer back in 1999.
bruce corney: i think it would be the most horrendous thing that any person would have to go through, let alone a family member, just bad enough for a nurse - doing daily irrigations, changing the ileostomy bag, having... not having the support of the medical team that should have been there to support her and basically being on her own for the whole time.
tony eastley: bruce corney from exit new zealand, ending that report from correspondent gillian bradford.