No slim-pill death link, says coroner

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The Independent Online
A husband's fight to link his wife's death with slimming pills failed yesterday. John Ellis, 44, had fought for more than a year to have an inquest held into the death of his 48-year-old wife Jennifer. Mrs Ellis, a clerical assistant, from Acomb, York, died from a brain haemorrhage in hospital on 22 March 1996. Unknown to her husband, she had been taking the slimming drug Phentermine, prescribed by a private slimming clinic, on and off for the past seven years.

Her death was at first treated as natural and no inquest was held. But after representations from Mr Ellis's lawyers, York coroner Donald Coverdale agreed to hold the inquest. Mr Coverdale yesterday recorded a verdict of death by natural causes. Expert witness, Dr Peter Kopelman, told the hearing there was no evidence of the slimming drug being linked to brain haemorrhages.