Boston Globe is under fire after columnist Kevin Cullen ‘signed legal note that helped retired nurse, 76, die by assisted suicide in Vermont’ – before writing about the experience

A Boston Globe journalist is under fire after he signed a legal memo that helped a retired nurse die by assisted suicide before writing about the experience.

Lynda Bluestein, 76, traveled from Connecticut to Vermont earlier this month to end her life by taking prescribed lethal medication – a journey chronicled by the Globe‘s Kevin Cullen and published alongside heartbreaking photos showing her final hours.

It has since emerged that Cullen not only witnessed the event, but also signed a form testifying that Bluestein was in a clear state of mind when he decided to die.

There is no suggestion that Cullen broke the law, but critics are now questioning the ethics of his decision.

The Globe’s executive editor, Nancy Barnes, added a note to the newspaper’s front-page story Sunday, saying that Cullen’s actions violated the Globe’s standards and that Cullen regretted taking the form signed for Bluestein.

Lynda Bluestein, 76, traveled from Connecticut to Vermont earlier this month to end her life by taking prescribed lethal medication

Lynda Bluestein, 76, traveled from Connecticut to Vermont earlier this month to end her life by taking prescribed lethal medication

Boston Globe journalist Kevin Cullen signed a form testifying that Bluestein was in a clear state of mind

Boston Globe journalist Kevin Cullen signed a form testifying that Bluestein was in a clear state of mind

The Globe's executive editor, Nancy Barnes, added a note to the story published in the newspaper on Sunday

The Globe’s executive editor, Nancy Barnes, added a note to the story published in the paper on Sunday

The editor’s notereads in part: ‘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 change that it was out of bounds.’

“After reviewing these details, we concluded that this error did not significantly affect the outcome of this story – Bluestein died on January 4th and she would likely have found another signer in the months before then.

‘For that reason, we have chosen to publish this powerful story, which includes exceptional photojournalism, while also sharing these details in full transparency.’

The online story contains a link to the editor’s note, but not the note itself. DailyMail.com has reached out to the Boston Globe for comment.

Boston Herald columnist Rick Sobey claims Cullen committed the ‘deadly sin’ of journalism by getting involved in a story as journalists must remain independent.

John Watson, a professor of journalism ethics at American University, told Sobey he found the situation troubling because the reporter “played an essential role in this story happening.”

“They disqualified themselves from telling the story, and they should have walked away once they realized the reporter had committed a mortal sin,” the ethics professor said.

Watson also criticized the Globe for publishing the article after admitting to the ethics violation.

Bluestein's last words were: 'I'm so glad I don't have to do this (suffer) anymore,' her husband, Paul, wrote in an email to the group Compassion & Choices.

Bluestein’s last words were: ‘I’m so glad I don’t have to do this (suffer) anymore,’ her husband, Paul, wrote in an email to the group Compassion & Choices.

Bluestein was diagnosed with cancer in March 2021.  At the time, she was given six months to three years to live

Bluestein was diagnosed with cancer in March 2021. At the time, she was given six months to three years to live

Herald columnist Sobey noted that Cullen had previously found himself in hot water when he was accused of exaggerating his reporting on the Boston Marathon bombings.

Cullen was suspended from the Globe for three months in 2018 after he was said to have embellished details about the 2013 bombings in radio interviews and other public appearances.

As DailyMail.com previously reported, Vermont is the first state in the country to change its laws to allow non-residents to use the law to die there.

There are 10 states that allow medically assisted suicide. Critics of such laws say that without the residency requirements, states run the risk of becoming assisted suicide tourism destinations.

Vermont’s law, which has been in effect since 2013, allows doctors to prescribe lethal medication to people with an incurable disease that is expected to kill them within six months.

Last May, Vermont became the first state in the nation to change its physician-assisted suicide law to allow terminally ill people from out of state to take advantage of it to end their lives.

Bluestein sued Vermont in federal court in 2022, claiming that its residency requirement violated the Constitution’s commerce, equal protection, and privileges and immunities clauses.

Supporters say the law has strict safeguards, including a requirement that those who want to use it be able to make their health care decisions and communicate to a doctor.

Patients are required to make two requests verbally to the doctor over a certain time frame and then submit a written request, signed in the presence of two or more witnesses who are not interested parties.

The witnesses must sign and confirm that patients apparently understood the nature of the document and were free from coercion or undue influence at the time.

Others express moral opposition to assisted suicide, saying there are no safeguards to protect vulnerable patients from coercion.

Bluestein, a lifelong activist who has advocated for similar legislation to be passed in Connecticut and New York, which has yet to happen, wanted to make sure she didn’t die like her mother, in a hospital bed after a long illness.

She said last year that she wanted to die surrounded by her husband, children, grandchildren, wonderful neighbors, friends and dog.

“I wanted a death that was meaningful, but that didn’t take forever … for me to die,” she insisted.

“I want to live the way I always did, and I want my death to match the way I always wanted my life to be,” Bluestein said.

Her last words were: ‘I’m so glad I don’t have to do this (suffer) anymore,’ her husband, Paul, wrote in an email to the group Compassion & Choices.