As one who had a problem with asthma when I was young, I can say that letting someone die from an asthma attack is a cruel form of torture.
I was born in 1929, and when I was 9 or 10 (about 1938-39) I had asthma. Three times during that period the doctor had to come to our house in the middle of the night and give me a shot of adrenalin so I could breathe. This was before hospitals had ERs – there were no cellphones, dial phones, TVs, computers, etc. Fortunately, I apparently outgrew the asthma, and I've had no problem with it since, but I can really sympathize with the person who died from it. If the police had just called a doctor, they could have save the man's life.