Nova Scotia

Man claims mercy killing of terminally ill wife

A Nova Scotia man who turned himself in to police after the death of his terminally ill wife blames the medical establishment.

'Nova Scotia medical system needs to be charged with murder,' man says

A Nova Scotia man who turned himself in to police after the death of his terminally ill wife blamed the medical establishment.

Stephan Bolton was released from the RCMP detachment in Liverpool around noon on Thursday, a day after he walked in claiming he played a role in his wife's death.

"The Nova Scotia medical system killed my wife," he told reporters upon his release. "They gave her drugs that would kill her. The Nova Scotia medical system needs to be charged with murder."

Early Thursday, RCMP confirmed that a 56-year-old man had confessed to being involved in the death of a 59-year-old woman.

When asked why the man was released without charges, RCMP spokesman Cpl. Grant Webber said, "It may be something that he believes. If I believe that I have done something wrong, maybe I haven't done something wrong."

Barbara Jollimore-Bolton, 59, had advanced breast cancer. A photographer and owner of a taxi company, she died at home on Jan. 22. Her remains have been cremated.

The RCMP said an investigation continues and they are treating it as a suspicious death. Bolton is a person of interest, police said.

Bolton told a local newspaper that he gave his wife a lethal mix of morphine and Nozinan last month. He told the Chronicle Herald that he came forward because he wanted to spur a public debate about euthanasia.

"I don't have an agenda," he said. "I have a guilty conscience."

He said she was very depressed, though not experiencing severe pain.

Opponents of euthanasia spoke out against mercy killing on Thursday.

"No one lacks sympathy for the situation, but we don't say, 'Please go ahead and kill them.' That's not acceptable," said Alex Shadenberg of the Ontario-based Euthanasia Prevention Coalition.

"What is acceptable is society doing as much as we can to make sure that a person is comfortable, that there's no extreme suffering in any way, shape or form, that the family has support systems in place."

Jollimore-Bolton's family issued a statement Thursday saying that Bolton does not speak for them. They expressed appreciation for her family physician and palliative care team.

"They worked hard, demonstrating unwavering compassion to a woman who had suffered through six years of cancer," the statement said.