The Jan. 3 editorial “A spike in heroin deaths” mentioned good Samaritan laws among sensible steps that states can take to reduce heroin deaths. Our 27-year-old son, Andrew Woodmansee, died of a heroin overdose on Oct. 18, 2012. The person who sold him the heroin also used it with him. As best we can tell, as Andrew was slipping from consciousness, the dealer tried to revive him by slapping him and yelling his name. When that failed, we believe, he drove Andrew to a secluded spot and left him to die. His body was discovered in the passenger seat of his rental car two days later.
My wife and I were told that the dealer had a similar experience with someone else several months prior and, upon calling 911, was arrested. It is assumed that he did not call 911 for our son because he did not want to be arrested again. In May 2014, Maryland enacted the good Samaritan law. Such a law could have saved Andrew’s life.
We only partially agree with The Post’s skepticism that other measures, such as exposing drug dealers to homicide charges if they sell what turns out to be a lethal overdose, would be effective. We believe that this law would be worth pursuing only if it includes an exception for the situation in which the dealer is the person who calls 911 in an attempt to save the life of his customer. Otherwise, the wonderful effect of good Samaritan laws will be nullified and more lives will be lost.
James Woodmansee, Chesapeake Beach