Episode 20 “Ruth Proskauer Smith”: with Ian Dowbiggin,

Professor at University of Prince Edward Island.

Ruth Proskauer Smith, or Ruth P. Smith as she became more commonly known as, was a historic pro-choice reproductive rights, and pro-right to die advocate. Even after she was over one hundred years old, she spent much of her time teaching other senior citizens about the Supreme Court, as she wanted to pass on her knowledge to others before she died.

In her directive before death, she willed that her remains would be donated to NYU Medical Center for cadaver research, and once NYU was done with her body, she was to be cremated and her remains to be given to her family for a dignified burial. But contrary to her wishes she was interred in a mass grave on Hart Island. A representative from NYU called it a mistake.

Join us as professor Dowbiggin recounts Ruth P. Smith’s incredible life and death.