Terminally ill man deprived of right to die at home


A retired 77 year old Yorkshire miner was denied the right to return home and spend the last days of his life in the care of his brother.

The man, only identified as RK and suffering from diabetes and Alzheimer’s, lived with his brother for his whole life. After being admitted to hospital in 2009 he was repeatedly denied requests to return home despite telling carers that he did not want to die in a hospital or care home.

His brother too, identified in the report released by the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman and the Local Government Ombudsman as TK, had made repeated appeals to have RK returned home, and said,

“I complied with all agencies involved and never stopped the fight to try and get my brother home.”

The report found that the requests should have been honoured,

“Even if that decision had in some respects led to his [life]being less comfortable – possibly even shortened his life – it would have been what he wanted: to continue living, and then to die, in his own home.”

Parliamentary and Health Service Obudsman, Julie Mello, added,

“The trust should have reacted urgently to this distressed man’s letter to the care home pleading for them to let his sick brother go home to die”

Five organizations were found to have been responsible for the error yesterday, including the Derbyshire County Primary Care Trust (PCT), Moss Valley Medical Practice, Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Derbyshire County Council and Sheffield City Council, and were each charged £200, except for the now defunct PCT, whose fine will be paid by the Department of Health.

Image credit: Maiara Bolsson


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