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Dying woman seeks backing for dose of morphine to hasten death

BMJ 2007; 334 doi: (Published 15 February 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;334:329
  1. Clare Dyer, legal correspondent
  1. BMJ

    A terminally ill woman launched an action in the High Court in London this week for the right to be sedated into unconsciousness by morphine, even though it will hasten her death.

    Kelly Taylor, 30, from Bristol, has Eisenmenger's syndrome, an irreparable heart defect that causes chest pain and other symptoms, and Klippel-Feil syndrome, a congenital defect marked by fusion of the vertebrae in the neck. Her doctors have not been able to find a combination of drugs to relieve her pain, and she has been told that she has less than a year to live.

    Her cardiologist and palliative care consultant are refusing to carry out her wishes, saying that to increase her dosage of morphine to such a high level would …

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