letters | an overdose and its aftermath

Law is in place to motivate acts of good Samaritans, but we need to promote it

I read with horror the story of the death of Harry Kasper from a heroin overdose (“A father’s unstoppable need to know,” Page A1, June 8). He was not taken to the emergency room or given a medication, such as naloxone, or Narcan, that could have saved his life. Instead, his companions watched him die.

This story is also my story, as my daughter died of an overdose in 1999. This has changed my life and that of my family and friends. As a result of her death, my husband and I became active in the drug-education community and in learning how to prevent these deaths. We worked for many years to pass the so-called Good Samaritan Law, which finally came about in 2012.


This law encourages witnesses to an overdose to call 911 without fear of prosecution. It was not in effect when my daughter died or when Kasper died. But it is now.

There has been a lot of discussion in the media about the uptick in heroin overdoses and the use of Narcan. However, there has been little discussion about the value of the Good Samaritan Law. This article would have been the perfect occasion to highlight it.

Susan Sheehan


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