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.
- 1 PlayStation and Xbox hacked by Lizard Squad
- 2 Katie Hopkins speaks out on childhood obesity: 'Parents of fat children should be prosecuted for child cruelty'
- 3 The Grace Dent Christmas Questionnaire
- 4 The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
- 5 Vagina canoe artist defends herself over ‘obscenity’ charges
PlayStation and Xbox hacked by Lizard Squad
Antonio Martin shooting: Black teenager may have tried to ambush patrolman, says police officer's lawyer
Boxing Day snowfall set to push even more bargain-hunters online for sales
Katie Hopkins speaks out on childhood obesity: 'Parents of fat children should be prosecuted for child cruelty'
The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever
Alex Salmond has 'broken his word to the Scottish people' says Scottish Lib Dem leader
£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executiv...
£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: An international organisa...
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwicksh...
£70000 - £75000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager/Marketi...