The Boston Globe, a newspaper that belongs to yacht-lover and Red Sox owner John Henry, helped a woman kill herself on Jan. 4 in Vermont, according to an editor’s note appended to a column from serial fabulist Kevin Cullen.
The column chronicled the government-assisted suicide of Lynda Bluestein, a Connecticut woman who travelled to Vermont to take part in the state’s “Medical Assistance in Dying” program.
According to the Editor’s Note on the column, Cullen took the wild step of becoming one of two signed witnesses who affirmed that Bluestein was mentally competent enough to make the decision to kill herself.
“Vermont’s law required two witnesses to sign a form attesting that Bluestein was in a clear state of mind when she made this decision, and they could not be family members, doctors, any beneficiaries, a nursing home owner or employee, etc.,” the editor wrote.
“Bluestein, with the support of her doctor, asked two people who were with her on July 10 to attest to this for her. Reporter Kevin Cullen was one of those people and he agreed to do so — a decision Cullen regrets,” they wrote.
“It is a violation of Globe standards for a reporter to insert themselves into a story they are covering. That it was intended primarily as a gesture of consideration and courtesy does not alter that it was out of bounds,” they wrote.
“After reviewing these details, we have concluded that this error did not meaningfully impact the outcome of this story — Bluestein died on Jan. 4 and she likely would have found another signatory in the months before then,” they wrote.
Bluestein had lived with ovarian cancer — terminal, according to Cullen — for three years. During that time, she was a vocal advocate for suicide.
In various media appearances, Cullen had implied that he was at the scene of the bombing, but that was a lie.
It’s unclear what disciplinary action, if any, the mendacious fiction writer will face for making himself an accessory to Bluestein’s death.
(Full disclosure: I used to work for Minihane and gleefully produced possibly the best podcast episode in human history, CULLEN.)