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Trials raise questions over assisted suicide laws, out-of-hours scrutiny continues and the toddlers fed too little fat

By Richard Staines

Our roundup of news headlines on Tuesday 26 January.

The trial of Bridget Gilderdale, who was acquitted of the attempted murder of her daughter who had ME,dominates the headlines today.

A jury at Lewes Crown Court decided Ms Gilderdale was not guilty of attempting to kill her daughter Lynn, who was paralysed from the waist down after contracting ME following a viral infection when she was 14.

Bridget, from Stonegate, East Sussex, had found her daughter attempting to kill herself by injecting morphine in December 2008. The mum admitted to her GP she gave her daughter various deadly drugs including anti-depressants over the next 30 hours and tried to inject air into her daughter's veins three times. She subsequently pleaded guilty to a charge of helping Lynn take her own life.

Many papers reported that the case had reopened the debate about assisted suicide, after Mr Justice Bean described Ms Gilderdale as a ‘caring, loving mother'.

In another similar trial, Ralph Stephenson admitted strangling his dying father in hospital because he could not bear to see him suffering.

But Newcastle Crown Court heard he used excessive strength to kill his father, Ralph Stephenson senior, in June last year.

Ralph Stephenson senior had Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease and was also suffering from Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease when he was admitted to University Hospital of North Durham last May.

After admitted manslaughter due to diminished responsibility, Stephenson junior was remanded in custody until sentencing next month.

The diet of young children and toddlers comes under scrutiny in the Daily Mail, with concerns raised that they are not eating enough carbohydrates, fat and protein.

Although 10 nurseries surveyed by Hampshire Trading Standards were keeping salt content low, none was providing enough fat or energy.

A separate BBC Panorama investigation shows children were not receiving enough oily fish or zinc.

Out-of-hours GP service Take Care Now warned staff about the dangers of giving incorrect doses after two patients were treated in hospital in the year before Daniel Ubani issued a fatal dose of diamorphine to patient David Gray, the BBC reports.

An inquest heard TCN clinical governance lead Dr Christopher Browning had warned staff about the dangers of incorrect dosages before the tragedy.

The inquest is being heard by Cambridgeshire North and East coroner William Morris.

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