Doctors Starve Stroke Victim in UK

| 1 Comment

From The Times

HT: Wesley Smith

An elderly stroke victim begged for a beetroot sandwich and macaroni cheese in hospital but no attempt was made to feed her, an inquest was told yesterday.

Olive Nockels, 91, a former school matron, died after surviving for nearly a month on a subcutaneous drip that delivered only a quarter of the calorie intake specified by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as a short-term starvation diet.

Continued at Marlowe's Shade

1 Comment

WJS has an update that the coroner has concluded that she died of natural causes.

The trouble (as I note in a comment that for some reason hasn't appeared yet on the main page over there) is that the grounds of this conclusion aren't noted. It does appear that she wasn't dehydrated, because fluid administration stopped only a couple of days before she died. But starvation seems plausible based on reports of her expressing hunger and on the extremely low calorie intake. Did the coroner perhaps conclude that the doctors didn't _intend_ to kill her by starvation? But that would be a legal/moral rather than a medical judgement.

We Americans need to know that a coroner in the UK is not just a doctor but has a stronger legal role than in the U.S.

The doctors' excuse for not giving her a feeding tube is incredibly flimsy and amounts basically to their not being able to get her to talk to them and indicate definitely that she _did_ want one. They even admit that she seemed mentally confused, so why should they require her to say outright in response to questioning, "I want a feeding tube"? It sounds like there's a strong presumption against giving you tube feeding unless you practically have the request written on your forehead when you have your stroke!




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