Judge rules woman who died after refusing kidney treatment cannot be named


A judge has refused to allow journalists to name a woman who died after being at the centre of Court of Protection litigation.

Mr Justice Charles had heard argument from lawyers representing one of the woman's relatives and from lawyers representing journalists at a Court of Protection hearing in London in December.

He announced his decision on Monday.

The 50-year-old woman hit the headlines late in 2015 when she refused life-saving kidney treatment after saying she had lost her ''sparkle'' and did not want to grow old.

Hospital bosses had asked another judge to decide whether she had the mental capacity to make the decision to refuse treatment.

Mr Justice MacDonald had concluded that she did after analysing evidence at a separate Court of Protection hearing in London.

He ruled that the woman's identity should not be made public while she was alive - although he said the London-based King's College Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which asked for the ruling, could be named.

Lawyers representing one of the woman's daughters then said the woman should remain anonymous following her death - to protect relatives' rights to private and family life.

But a number of national newspapers argued that such a move would be wrong and an unfair interference with freedom of expression.

Mr Justice Charles, the second most senior Court of Protection judge in England and Wales, had then analysed legal argument about the issue of anonymity after death at a separate hearing.