Saturday, 23 January 2010

Saturday January 23

There is a case being heard at Lewis Crown Court currently, which touches me closely. The the case is about charges of murder against the mother of Lynn Gilderdale, aged 32, and whether she is guilty in helping her daughter to commit suicide, by injecting her with morphine she had supplied.

Lynn was unable to speak or eat having suffered from ME for many years which started the day after she had the regular school vaccination for TB. This is a case which touches me very closely because I run a website which tells people to change their diet to tackle ME I had ME once very badly. At one point I thought, for about 30 awful, slightly "mad" seconds about how jumping off a London bridge would be pleasant compared with the torture of going on with it. But I decided that it would be a sin, a defiance of God's commands against taking life and a denial of faith. I recovered. I know the issues and impossible situation of the family and of Lynn. But I am concerned that if Kate Gilderdale , Lynn's mother is let off "scott free", this will endanger the lives of other completely dependent patients, who do not see suicide as a mortal sin, who, in the longer run would get better.

On the other hand, in view of the terrible marginalisation of ME patients, the suffering of their families, the lack of knowledge and interest of the medical profession; in view of the dreadful treatment of graded exercise which the NHS pushes on some people, after which apparently Lynn got worse; in view of the fact that few people with ME do change their lifestyle (instead trusting in some "scientific discovery" to solve their terrible illness), suicide could be seen as the only way out of a depth of suffering (and horrible malaise and brain dysfunction for the patient) which in some cases, it is not possible to endure for a lifetime.


  1. "I consider myself to be anti euthanasia and can understand the need for laws to protect vulnerable people with chronic long term illnesses. Having said that, I really think the prosecution of Kay Gilderdale is against the public interest. I really think she's sufferred enough. If her daughter's health needs were handled approrpriately in the first place, I doubt their situation would've deteriorated as much as it had. I also think there's p*ss poor provision when it comes to support for carers and most people are just left to get on with it. These situations don't become desperately unbearable on their own and the factors that made their lives so horrible need to be addressed (if anyone wants to prevent this from happening again), rather than adopt a simplistic approach of suggesting the mother should be punished. Ironically I also believe that suicide is sinful, but that's my personal religious belief and UK law isn't there to govern or apply laws to our personal religious beliefs- but that's a whole other topic,
    (posted by Neelu Bird)

  2. Thanks, Neelu. The reason Kate Gilderdale is on trial is probably ME tiself (but that too, we have to believe, is also in God's control). Another issue is that someone we remotely know with ME jumped under a train three months ago. She was able to walk to a station to do that (but Lynn was unable to get out of bed). There is no permission in the ... See MoreBible for suicide, and mercy killing is not according to God's revealed will. It is forbidden to us : our life is not in our hands. If Mrs Gilderdale gets off without trial (or some sanction against such actions), what signal will that send to others "burdened" by people with ME? Those thinking about suicide do not realise that it is not a personal act: it weakens the sanctity of life itself, the hold of others on life: it undermines the weakest in ME. The law is there to stop that. I have always said that the only "answer" to ME is to get better (even marginally) and to do that "crying out to God" from despair may still be possible (even in deep brain damage).