A father whose daughter died in a hospital after deliberately swallowing poison says the law which allowed it to happen makes him ashamed to be English.
Kerrie Wooltorton arrived at hospital after taking poison to kill herself, but was carrying what she said was a ‘living will’ asking not to be treated.
After consulting lawyers the hospital staff decided to abide by Kerrie’s request, despite the fact that she was severely depressed.
The doctors reportedly acted in fear of prosecution or losing their jobs if they treated her against her will because the Mental Capacity Act gives legal force to living wills.
But speaking after an inquest into Kerrie’s death, which took place two years ago, her father, Colin, said: “I am ashamed to be English with the way the law stands. It is plain daft.
“Hospitals should not be allowed to let people die like this.”
Kerrie’s story has prompted wider concern that doctors are no longer abiding by the Hippocratic principle of maintaining “the utmost respect for human life”.
Dr Martin Scurr, a GP and Daily Mail columnist, wrote: “The tragic death of Kerrie Wooltorton has exposed a brutal truth: that the absurdities of the fashionable ‘rights’ agenda are undermining the integrity of the medical profession.
“Once, doctors knew that their primary duty was to protect their patients.
“Today, however, the dogma of political correctness has obliterated such certainties.”
Telegraph columnist George Pitcher also commented on the story.
“The dreadful truth is that emergency services and medical staff could have saved Kerrie’s life”, he wrote.
“You don’t have to be a parent to understand where that knowledge must place Mr Wooltorton. You just have to be a human being.”
Mr Pitcher said a pro-suicide attitude has been encouraged by “the euthanasia lobbyists Dignity in Dying, Lord Falconer’s frustrated assisted-suicide amendments in the House of Lords and the commercialisation of self-destruction by Swiss clinic Dignitas”.
He continued: “These people have successfully usurped what generations of humankind have known as the sanctity of life.
“That doesn’t have to be a religious belief. It is simply the intuition that we hold and value human life over the taking of it.
“And the pro-death lobbyists and Lords, evidently, have now infected the intuitive responses of our medical emergency services.
“They would argue they were only following legal orders. Tell that to the Wooltorton family.”
Mr Wooltorton has called for the law to be changed. “The last thing we want is for there to be another Kerrie.
“I can’t bear the thought of anyone copying her and leaving another family with a death on their hands.”