Catholic Medical Quarterly Volume 70(1) February 2020


Dear Sir

I write, further to you article on the Mental Capacity Act in the May Quarterly [1]. My mother Hazel Turner, aged 86, was dehydrated in September 2015 at William Harvey Hospital, Ashford, Kent and whose case was submitted to the Ombudsman after her death. The Ombudsman found that she had been given inadequate nutrition, but the fluid given was inadequate as well. (It did not reach a legal threshold for dehydration when averaged out over several days but in the last few days she got 250 ml or less). Hazel, a diabetic, was denied a drink for one week even when under a BiPAP machine.

Catherine Ashenfelter (daughter)

[1] Treloar A, Cole A (2019) Would you refuse a dying man water? Concerns about the working of the Mental Capacity Act.  Catholic Medical Quarterly, 69 (2) : 13-16.