Being manic-depressive myself, I was concerned today to read the very sad case of Kerrie Woolterton, who, having a history of mental health problems, swallowed weedkiller - not for the first time - and called an ambulance, handing staff a letter saying that she did not want life-saving treatment to be instigated.
This was covered by the Mental Capacity Act 2005, under which one can make an "advance statement" ("living will"), which means that, if the document is signed by another capable adult, health professionals may not apply life-giving treatment. I was disappointed to see that the act does not provide for negotiation if the person is mentally ill at the time they hand over their living will.
The poor woman, according to reports, was depressed, and decided that it was time to exit stage left. I wonder how far her treatment had progressed, and if there were any barriers to treatment erected by the organisation of mental health trusts?
Recently we've heard about multiple sclerosis (a terrible ilness which can cause depression and suicidal thoughts) sufferer Debbie Purdie challenging the High Court as to what charges might be laid against her husband should he help her to go to the Dignitas clinic in Switzerland to be assisted to die, and the police have been questioning people as to Daniel James' travelling to Switzerland to be helped to die after a rugby accident that left him paralysed and depressed.
Am I alone in seeing a theme here?
May God be with the departed and the left.