[Right_to_die] Mother of paralyzed girl charged with attempted murder
World right-to-die news (nonprofit)
right-to-die at lists.opn.org
Thu Apr 16 14:47:33 PDT 2009
The Mailonline in the UK reported this 16 April 09:
Devoted mother charged with attempted murder of paralysed daughter who
was bed-ridden for 17 years
By Colin Fernandez
A mother was charged today with attempting to kill her paralysed
bed-ridden daughter - a move that is likely to re-ignite the debate on
Kay Gilderdale, 54, was the full-time carer for her daughter Lynn, 31,
who she had nursed for 17 years after she contracted the debilitating
After Lynn was found dead from a suspected morphine overdose last
December, Mrs Gilderdale's former husband Richard, a former police
sergeant, raised the alarm.
Lynn suffered from ME for 17 years and was paralysed by the illness
Kay Gilderdale returning home following her arrest for the suspected
murder of her daughter Lynette
Kay Gilderdale returning home in December following her arrest for the
suspected murder of her daughter
Mrs Gilderdale - a prominent campaigner for greater understanding of the
disease - was arrested two hours later on suspicion of murder and
released on bail.
After she was arrested, her family issued a statement praising her
'total dedication' to her daughter.
Today she was charged with attempted murder. If convicted she could
potentially face a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.
The Crown Prosecution Service's decision to charge her is likely to
reignite the debate on mercy killing in this country and will highlight
an apparent inconsistency in the law.
Families who take their chronically ill loved ones to die abroad have
not faced prosecution in recent years.
In the case of Daniel James, 23, a rugby player who was taken by his
parents Mark and Julie to die at the Dignitas Clinic in Switzerland last
year, the head of the CPS, Keir Starmer said a prosecution was not in
the public interest - even though there was 'sufficient evidence for a
realistic prospect of conviction.'
Lynn had been receiving a cocktail of drugs for her debilitating
condition which her family believe began after she had a tuberculosis
immunisation in 1991.
Before that she had played the piano and clarinet, won prizes for ballet
and loved swimming.
But over the years her body became steadily weaker, losing the use of
her legs and the ability to speak and had to eat food through a tube.
Since Mrs Gilderdale's arrest her family have stood by her.
In a statement released at the time of Lynn's death, her family said:
'Lynn was young, beautiful, loving and caring. At the age of 14 years
she was struck down by ME - an illness greatly misunderstood - and as a
result, suffered the stigma attached to this dreadful illness.
'She fought long and hard for 17 years with immense bravery, enduring
constant pain and sickness. Every system of her body was affected. She
required 24-hour care that was provided by her totally dedicated mother,
with continuous support from Lynn's father.'
Before her illness, Lynn loved sports and riding. She is pictured aged
13 with her brother Stephen in the sea at Eastbourne
Sussex Police have said that Mr Gilderdale, who split from his wife in
2002, and now works in a civilian role is not suspected in any role in
his daughter's death.
The couple, who also have a son, Steven, 34, have said their divorce had
not been caused by their daughter's illness.
In a statement, police said: 'Kathleen Gilderdale, 54, of Stonegate, has
been charged that between December 2 and December 4 2008, she attempted
to murder Lynn Gilderdale, who was found dead at her home in Stonegate,
near Heathfield, on December 4 last year.
'She has been bailed to appear at Brighton Magistrates' Court on Tuesday
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