Utah police sued for alleged deathbed intrusion
According to the Salt Lake Tribune —
A former Vernal resident has filed a federal lawsuit against the city, police officials and two police officers who showed up at his home shortly after his wife died of an illness to count and confiscate her prescription drugs.
. . . . Ben D. Mahaffey was still by his wife’s side in their bedroom, saying goodbye and crying, while waiting for a mortician and hospice workers. When they arrived, two police officers showed up at the home at the same time.
As Mahaffey tried to help the mortician prepare his wife’s body to be taken from the home, the officers asked that he instead help them gather the prescription drugs in the home. The officers then proceeded to count the pills in the same room where Barbara Mahaffey’s body remained.
Cracking down on prescriptive-drug abuse seems like a good idea, but this is a bit much. At least wait until the body has been removed. Maybe I’ve watched too many Quincy episodes, but I would think you would want the medication to remain on site until after other formalities have been wrapped up. Not to mention, it would be a lot easier just to require that everything be returned to the pharmacy for counting and disposal.
A copy of the lawsuit is at this link.