Mercy death trial doctor 'was fond of patient'
Nigel Cox, 46, rheumatology consultant at the Royal Hampshire County Hospital in Winchester, denies attempting to murder Lillian Boyes, 70, on 16 August last year. His trial is viewed by many in the euthanasia debate as a test case.
Mrs Boyes, a widow, who was suffering from acute rheumatoid arthritis and severe complications, died minutes after receiving a fatal dose of potassium chloride.
Nicola Creasey, a staff nurse on the rheumatology ward, told the court: 'Dr Cox had known Mrs Boyes for a long time and was very fond of her, as he was of a lot of patients. She was very fond of him and often used to tell people how he had held her hand in intensive care and how kind he had been. I think she was a bit surprised because he was not usually a man to show his feelings.'
Mrs Creasey said that Mrs Boyes was 'hours, maybe even minutes' away from death when she was given the injection.
The Rev Richard Clarke, hospital chaplain, said he had been shocked by her deterioration. 'I have never seen anyone so emaciated, so eaten into by disease and so pain-ridden. Her arm was no thicker than my two fingers.'
Mr Clarke said he saw Mrs Boyes on the day she died. 'She howled out in pain when her son touched her hand with his finger tip. I shall never forget it.'
Mrs Boyes's two sons, who were with her when she died, both told Mr Justice Ognall that they had never made a complaint against Dr Cox, who had been their mother's consultant since 1978.
Patrick Boyes said that the final straw had come when her eyesight began to fail. Six days before she died, she told him that she no longer wished to live and would stop taking medication. The next day, she seemed much happier. 'It was as if she had got a weight off her shoulders.'
Roisin Hart, the ward sister who reported Dr Cox to the hospital authorities, said in a written submission to the court that she had been 'really shocked' when she read the entry about potassium chloride in Mrs Boyes's medical notes.
'To be honest, I didn't know what to do about it,' she said. 'I was in a dilemma and decided to give myself the weekend to think it over.' Five days later, after failing to find an opportunity to speak to Dr Cox, she informed the director of nursing services.
Paul Byrne, a junior doctor, said that Mrs Boyes asked him several times to give her a drug to help her to die. 'She seemed to be fairly insistent and almost desperate in her request.' Previously, he said, he had always been struck by her 'remarkable will to live'.
The hearing was adjourned until Monday.
Fracking is turning the US into a bigger oil producer than Saudi Arabia
Missing Malaysia Airlines plane: Details emerge of two young Iranians using stolen passports in search for a better life
Three-quarters of Britons are saying it wrong - the top ten most common mispronunciations
Oscar Pistorius trial: Athlete's friend asked him if 'he was f***ing mad' after shooting through sunroof
Oscar Pistorius trial: Forensic analyst says athlete 'was not wearing prosthetic legs' when he shot Reeva Steenkamp through locked door
Britain's top vet sparks controversy with call for ban on slashing animals' throats in 'ritual' slaughters for halal and kosher meat products
Exclusive: Impact of immigrants on British workers ‘negligible’
Katie Hopkins continues campaign to become Britain's most hated talking head with poorly timed Bob Crow tweet
Grace Dent: Who cares if she spells it Barraco Barner? Gemma Worrall is more employable than some bookish arts graduate
Ukraine crisis: Russia pledges to 'retaliate against sanctions' as Ukrainian president says Crimea vote will not be recognised
The quiet diplomat: Catherine Ashton - recognised and admired in all the world’s troubled countries, yet ridiculed at home
- 1 Three-quarters of Britons are saying it wrong - the top ten most common mispronunciations
- 2 Boy George: Bad karma
- 3 Grace Dent: Who cares if she spells it Barraco Barner? Gemma Worrall is more employable than some bookish arts graduate
- 4 First Kiss video: Filmmaker gets 20 strangers to make out on YouTube with awkward results
- 5 Ian Wright breaks down in ITV documentary charting his rise to Arsenal and England striker
Competitive: Austen Lloyd: Corporate Commercial Solicitor - City of London We...
£20000 - £30000 per annum: Randstad Education Birmingham: Randstad Education B...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Cardiff: Randstad Education Cardiff are current...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Cardiff: Randstad Education are currently seeki...