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Strangled mum full of morphine

Published: 1:10PM Tuesday March 06, 2001

A scientist giving evidence in the depositions hearing of a doctor accused of murdering his terminally ill mother has testified her levels of morphine were high.

ESR Scientist Doctor Helen Polsen said the levels of morphine in Marjorie Simpson's body were ten times higher than the recommended therapeutic dose.

Florence Majorie Simpson, 81, was terminally ill and died in October after being strangled by the cord of her morphine pump.

The Crown Prosecutor has said Simpson was in the advanced stages of bowel cancer and close to death when her doctor son Christopher chose to terminate her life by strangling her.

The accused's brother testified he saw him putting a pillow over his mother's head.

Melvyn Simpson said it appeared that his brother, Dr Chris Simpson, had "lost his marbles" the night she died.

Melvyn Simpson told the Manukau District Court that at one point, his brother put a pillow over her head.

During the evening, he heard a thump and saw his mother's body half off the bed and Dr Simpson coming out of the room.

Melvyn Simpson also said his mother was a card-holding member of the Voluntary Euthanasia Society.

However on Monday Dr Chris Simpson stated in the court that he and his mother were against euthanasia.

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