NHS dehydration charge - hospital staff cleared

Last August, I wrote a post called NHS and Dehydration Charge which told of a widow who had asked for an inquest into the death of her husband, Harold Speed, believing that he had been dehydrated to death. The case of other patients was also raised, including that of Olive Nockels.

In the case of Olive Nockels, the hospital staff have been exonerated by the coroner who said that her death was due to natural causes. I am grateful to a commenter who sent me this information for the sake of balance and I am happy to publish the links that were sent.

The BBC report Patient did not die of starvation simply tells of the coroner's decision. There is a more detailed article on EDP24: Hospital Staff Cleared Over Pensioner's Death. This gives the text of a statement by Ivy West, the daughter of Olive Nockels:
We are glad that our very real concerns about my mother's treatment have been raised and heard in public. We hope this will give families of stroke victims the confidence to ask for adequate nutrition and hydration for those who have suffered a stroke. We are seeking legal advice about whether the coroner's comments on the GMC guidance were legally correct.”
I do understand that the reputation of professional medical staff is at stake in this case and I am happy to correct the record with this further information. Unfortunately, such distressing cases are likely to be more frequent as a result of the Bland judgement and the Mental Capacity Act - the actions of medical staff who are acting ethically will be called into question because of the legal possibility of starving or dehydrating someone to death.

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