Intended for healthcare professionals


Coroner rules that treating 26 year old woman who wanted to die would have been unlawful

BMJ 2009; 339 doi: (Published 05 October 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;339:b4070
  1. Clare Dyer
  1. 1BMJ

    A 26 year old woman who swallowed antifreeze and died after doctors refused to carry out life saving treatment against her wishes had refused the treatment “in full knowledge of the consequences and died as a result,” a coroner has ruled.

    Some UK media outlets reported that doctors had been forced to let Kerrie Wooltorton, from Norwich, die because she arrived at hospital brandishing a living will.

    However, she arrived fully conscious by ambulance and was deemed mentally competent and therefore by law entitled to refuse …

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