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Doctors Had No Choice in Antifreeze Suicide Woman Case

by Rajashri on October 1, 2009 at 8:04 PM
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 Doctors Had No Choice in Antifreeze Suicide Woman Case

Doctors had no choice but to allow a young woman who attempted suicide by drinking anti-freeze to die, an inquest heard.

This is because Kerrie Wooltorton, 26, had made a living will in September 2007 asking for no medical intervention if she tried to take her own life.

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She had attempted suicide nine time previously by drinking anti-freeze. However at all these times she had accepted treatment at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.

Consultant renal physician Alexander Heaton told the inquest they tried to discern if Miss Wooltorton changed her decision in any way after she was admitted to the hospital on September 18.
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"It's my duty to follow her wishes," he told the inquest. "I would have been breaking the law and I wasn't worried about her suing me. She was in no state to resist me and I could have forced treatment on her. But I don't think it was the right thing to do, I feel it would have been assault."

The coroner William Armstrong agreed that any treatment in absence of her consent would have been unlawful, "A deliberate decision to die may appear repugnant, but any treatment to have saved Kerrie's life in the absence of her consent would have been unlawful."


Source: Medindia
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