Linda McNeely of Bothell, Washington began having seizures during the summer of 2010. She soon learned that she had a fast growing tumor in her brain. By fall of 2011, doctors only gave her 6 months to live. Linda McNeely’s children wrote letters to the court detailing the pain she was suffering. These letters explained that brain cancer put her in a great deal of pain and that she frequently moaned while sleeping. During lucid moments, she voiced that she wanted an end to her suffering.
Washington state does have “Death with Dignity” law that allows the terminally ill that fit into certain parameters to ask their doctors for medication for terminating their lives. Linda’s family pursued legal suicide. However, Linda was not a candidate due to her dementia.
After Linda’s many pleas to take her life, Donald McNeely, Linda’s husband, shot her on March 14, 2012. He told the emergency dispatcher that she could no longer bear the pain and that he was sorry. According to the Herald Net in Washington, Linda was found dead with one gunshot wound in the chest.
The McNeelys’ children asked the court for leniency and stressed that their father had acted out of compassion. After pleading guilty, Donald was sentenced to two years in prison. The court noted that Donald had acted out of compassion and did not pose a threat to the community. However, the court could not condone Donald’s actions.