Miss Wooltorton, 26, who was suffering depression over her inability to have a child, drank poison at home and called an ambulance. However, she remained conscious and handed doctors a letter saying she wanted medical staff only to make her comfortable and not to try to save her life.
Doctors said her wishes were “abundantly clear” and although it was a “horrible thing” there had been no alternative but to let her die.
They feared they would be charged with assault if they treated her because they believed she understood what she was doing and was mentally capable of refusing treatment.
It is thought to be the first time someone has used a living will to commit suicide. The documents are more commonly associated with patients who are terminally ill and want to refuse treatment.
Yes, I know, I\’m very out of step here with the modern world. However, by my definition, anyone who is sufficiently depressed to attempt suicide is not sufficiently compos mentis for their decisions about treatment to be taken seriously.
And, of course, it shows what is likely to happen when all this assisted suicide and even euthanasia (if that latter ever becomes law in the UK, which sadly I\’m pretty sure it will) starts to happen. It won\’t just be old grannies shuffled into the hereafter a few days of intolerable pain before their time. It\’ll be, as here, those suffering from (treatable?) mental illnesses, not just untreatable physical.