When Utah’s Barbara Mahaffey died of colon cancer last May, police were in the house within minutes searching for her prescription medication, as her distraught and mourning 80-year-old husband watched helplessly. “I was holding her hand saying goodbye when all the intrusion happened,” he said.
“I was indignant to think you can’t even have a private moment,” he added. “All these people were there and they’re not concerned about her or me. They’re concerned about the damn drugs. Isn’t that something?” Mahaffey said.
He said the authorities treated him as if he were going to sell his wife’s pain medication on the street.
Mahaffey has filed suit against the police for the search. His attorney said, “I don’t believe the public would intend for the government to be rummaging through your cupboards while your wife is lying in the next room being prepared to be taken to her final resting place. That’s an extraordinary violation of privacy.”