ME assisted suicide. From BBC - UK.

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by KerryK, Jan 25, 2010.

  1. KerryK

    KerryK Member

    Mother cleared in ME death trial
    A mother has been found not guilty of the attempted murder of her severely ill daughter who had ME.

    Bridget Kathleen Gilderdale, 55, of Stonegate, East Sussex, was cleared of attempting to murder Lynn Gilderdale by jurors at Lewes Crown Court.

    Gilderdale had previously admitted aiding and abetting the suicide of her 31-year-old daughter and was given a 12-month conditional discharge.

    Miss Gilderdale was found dead at their home on 4 December.

    Bryony Mackenzie, BBC South East, Lewes
    As the not guilty verdict was read out close friends and family of Bridget Gilderdale shouted "Yes" and cheered.

    Mrs Gilderdale, know as Kay, smiled and said: "Thank you, thank you".

    The judge then turned to the jury and said: "I do not normally comment on the verdicts of juries but in this case their decision shows common sense, decency and humanity."

    The judge then told Mrs Gilderdale: "Your daughter was intelligent and capable of making her own decisions. She had made a living will and contemplated suicide.

    "You and your husband Richard, respected her for it but did not encourage her. You only took any further action when you were concerned she would suffer."

    After the jury had delivered its verdict, Mr Justice Bean said: "I do not normally comment on the verdicts of juries but in this case their decision, if I may say so, shows common sense, decency and humanity which makes jury trials so important in a case of this kind.

    "There is no dispute that you were a caring and loving mother and that you considered that you were acting in the best interests of your daughter."

    Following the trial Gilderdale's son, Steve, read out a statement on the steps of the court flanked by his mother and father, which praised the verdict.

    He said: "We believe this not guilty verdict properly reflects the selfless actions my mother took on finding that Lynn had decided to take her own life, to make her daughter's final moments as peaceful and painless as possible.

    "These actions exhibit the same qualities of dedication, love and care that mum demonstrated throughout the 17 years of Lynn's illness.

    "I'm very proud of her and I hope she will be afforded the peace that she deserves to rebuild her life and finally grieve for the death of her daughter."

    Jurors were told that after Miss Gilderdale made a failed suicide bid her mother crushed up pills with a pestle and mortar and fed them to her through her nasal tube, handed her morphine and injected three syringes of air into her vein.

    The court was told the 55-year-old tried to stop her daughter ending her life but backed down after she told her: "I want the pain to go."

    Jurors heard she was a loving and devoted mother who gave round-the-clock care during Miss Gilderdale's 17-year battle with ME.

    After developing the illness at the age of 14, Miss Gilderdale became paralysed and unable to swallow so she had to be fed through a tube and communicated with her parents through a form of sign language.

    The court was told she had attempted suicide in the past, placed a Do Not Resuscitate note on her medical records and had thought about ending her life at Swiss-based assisted suicide clinic Dignitas.

    Mr Justice Bean asked prosecutor Sally Howes "why it was considered to be in the public interest" to pursue Gilderdale on the attempted murder charge when she had pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting suicide.

    “ There is no sense of success or failure in this case, but we are satisfied that our role in the justice process has been fulfilled ”
    Det Supt Andy Griffiths
    Ms Howes said the prosecution decided at "the highest level" to try Gilderdale after she told her GP and police she had given her daughter an air embolism with the intent to end her life.

    Sarah Wootton, chief executive of charity Dignity in Dying, said the law made little distinction between the act of murder, euthanasia, assisted dying and assisted suicide.

    She added: "Given that Lynn Gilderdale was mentally competent, made persistent requests to die and had an Advance Decision stating that she did not want to be kept alive, it seems that [Bridget] Kay Gilderdale's actions should have been investigated under the Suicide Act, rather than under murder law.

    "Ultimately, the government needs to review the law in this area, as this case highlights at present the law is a mess."

    Sussex Police Det Supt Andy Griffiths said: "This has been a tragic and desperately sad case for all concerned and our thoughts are with Lynn's family and friends at this time."

    He added: "The moral issues surrounding the tragic circumstances of Lynn's death are not for us to comment on. Sussex Police has a duty to uphold the law and investigate offences reported to us.

    "There is no sense of success or failure in this case, but we are satisfied that our role in the justice process has been fulfilled."

    Story from BBC NEWS:

    Published: 2010/01/25 17:24:26 GMT

    © BBC MMX

    Print Sponsor
  2. 3gs

    3gs New Member

    My heart goes out to this family. I hope now they can have some peace in thier lives.

    Lynn had the right to make the best decision for her life.
  3. TeaBisqit

    TeaBisqit Member

    That girl shouldn't have had to suffer like that or feel that her only way out was death. I don't understand how the governments and media of this world can continue to deny how severe this disease is when we get cases like this.
  4. znewby

    znewby Member

    I too cannot understand the governments of the world denying research funding to this illness.
  5. QuayMan

    QuayMan Member

    I agree with the sentiments znewby:
    "I too cannot understand the governments of the world denying research funding to this illness."
    but having got frustrated over the years with the small percentage of people who give to research (maybe 1% of those affected from the area I know about and see little evidence it's higher elsewhere), I'd add I can't understand why more people with the illness don't give and/or fundraise and/or try to persuade family and friends to give and fund-raise.

    I'd be happy if people gave 1% of what they spent on treatments. Using the percentage of what people spend on treatments adjusts for people's disposal income (loads of people may say they can't afford to give anything but somehow can spend thousands, sometimes tens of thousands on treatments during the course of their illness). They could see it as investiment in future treatments. But unfortunately so many give/raise nothing ...

    [This Message was Edited on 01/28/2010]
  6. QuayMan

    QuayMan Member

    Of course, if people buy through ProHealth, they can support research when they nominate a non-profit to support.
    [I have no commercial interest in ProHealth]
  7. karynwolfe

    karynwolfe New Member

    I was wondering when someone was going to post about this. It's a miracle that she was found not guilty, maybe now she can finally find closure, or maybe she'll continue to be an advocate since she's such a public figure now.