50-Year-Old Who Lost Her 'Sparkle' Wins Right to Die

Inside the case of the 'extraordinary C'
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 2, 2015 10:45 AM CST
50-Year-Old Who Lost Her 'Sparkle' Wins Right to Die
File photo.   (Shutterstock)

Among the more contentious cases in which the right to die has been granted by the courts, this one stands out because, as the BBC puts it, "of the extraordinary C." The 50-year-old British woman, identified only by that initial, has led what the judge describes as a life replete with excess and impulsiveness and free of "guilt or regret" about her choices. Those choices include four marriages, several affairs, reckless spending, and "out-of-control" drinking, reports the Guardian. "In particular, it is clear that during her life C has placed a significant premium on youth and beauty and on living a life that, in C’s words, ‘sparkles,'" writes Mr Justice MacDonald in his now-published decision. What he was weighing in on: whether life-saving treatment could be forced upon her (the BBC emphasizes that the case has nothing to do with assisted suicide).

C overdosed on acetaminophen and Veuve Clicquot champagne after learning she had breast cancer, reports the BBC, and though she survived, damage to her organs has necessitated dialysis—and she won't do it. As one of her three daughters explained in a statement to the court, "'Recovery' to her does not just relate to her kidney function, but to regaining her 'sparkle' (her expensive, material and looks-oriented social life), which she believes she is too old to regain." The upshot of the judgment, which the Press Association reports was issued Nov. 13, is that the Court of Protection can't force C to undergo dialysis. King's College Hospital in London had asked the court to weigh in, arguing that the treatment should be "imposed" on her, even if it meant drugging her into a complacent state to do so. But the judge found she had the mental capacity to make her own choice, a decision that her own daughter called "horrible" but publicly supported in court. (Read why this healthy woman ended her life.)

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