Woman who refused treatment after losing 'sparkle' to stay anonymous

A woman who died after refusing medical treatment because she had "lost her sparkle" cannot be named by the media, a judge has ruled.

The 50-year-old, who needed dialysis after damaging her kidneys with a drug overdose, died late last year.

The Court of Protection ruled that she had the capacity to refuse treatment and must not be named - and that anonymity has now been extended.

Mr Justice Charles said press coverage would cause distress to the family.

The woman had a number of daughters and a grandchild, and lawyers for one of the daughters said the dead woman should remain anonymous to protect her relatives' rights to a private and family life.

'Intensive and intrusive'

A number of media organisations opposed the application for reporting restrictions.

But Mr Justice Charles said the woman's family were "understandably distressed" by "intensive and intrusive media attention", and granted anonymity "until further order of the court and on the basis that it will cover the reporting of [the woman's] inquest".

"The history of the prurient nature of some of the earlier reporting is a clear indicator that such reporting might be repeated," he said in his ruling.

The Court of Protection rules on cases where there is doubt over whether someone has the mental capacity to make important decisions for themselves.

In an earlier hearing, the court was told the woman's life had "always revolved around her looks, men and material possessions".

In a statement, one of her daughters said: "'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."

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