VALLEYFIELD, QUE, October 3, 2001 ( – Herbert Lerner, 78, of Cote-St.-Luc, Que. has been sentenced to five years in prison for suffocating his 73-old wife Jenny with a plastic bag on June 12, 2000. Lerner pleaded guilty to manslaughter in July of this year and claimed it was a mercy killing since his wife was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.

Quebec Court Judge Pierre Laberge rejected the mercy – killing defence, noting that the woman was only at the earliest stages of Alzheimer’s. Laberge said there was no evidence that Jenny Lerner was suffering nor were there any requests for her husband’s aid in taking her life.

Since killing his wife and attempting to take his own life, Lerner has been in a Quebec institute for the criminally insane.

Alex Schadenberg of the Canadian Euthanasia Prevention Coalition told LifeSite that the case “is a powerful illustration of the danger of distribution of the ‘exit bag’ (a thick plastic bag with a fastening mechanism for the neck) as is done by the Right to Die Society of Canada.” He also noted that the case shows the danger of legalizing euthanasia since the infirm will be made extremely vulnerable.

Schadenberg informed LifeSite that he has made a formal demand to the police to investigate the Right to Die Society’s distribution of the ‘exit bag.’

(with files from Pro-Life Infonet)