Woman Suffered From Dangerous Condition Diabulimia Prior To Taking Her Life
The family of a teacher who took her life have taken a major step forward in their fight for answers after the Attorney General granted permission for a new inquest to be held into her death.
Megan Davison, 27, from Cheshunt, Hertfordshire, took her own life in August 2017. Prior to this, she had been diagnosed with diabulimia – an often misunderstood combination of type-one diabetes and disordered eating (T1DE). A BBC documentary aired shortly after Megan’s death described diabulimia as 'the world's most dangerous eating disorder.'
An inquest into her death in March 2018 concluded the cause of her death to be suicide.
The family instructed specialist public law and human rights lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to help them challenge the original conclusion.
Following legal submissions, the Attorney General has now consented to Megan’s mum Lesley making an application to the High Court, seeking to quash the original inquest and for a fresh hearing to be held into Megan’s death.
As part of the submission the family’s legal team argued that the original inquest was flawed and that a new inquest is likely to result in a Report to Prevent Future Deaths with regards to the monitoring and treatment of diabulimia.
Expert Opinion“Megan’s loved ones, in particular her parents, have been through a traumatic ordeal. Not only have they had to deal with the loss of their beloved daughter but also had to relive it all during the inquest.
What’s made it all the worse is that they feel this wasn’t conducted properly and believe there wasn’t sufficient evidence provided on Megan’s condition or treatment.
They also feel a new inquest will result in a Report to Prevent Future Deaths to help others suffering from diabulimia by providing advice and recommendations on the monitoring and treatment of the condition, and hopefully instigating positive changes to prevent future deaths related to diabulimia.
We’re therefore pleased that Lesley has been granted permission by the Attorney General to apply for a new inquest. This is a significant milestone in the case and we’ll continue to support her and the rest of Megan’s family throughout the process in order to provide them with all the answers possible regarding Megan’s death.”
Oliver Carter - Associate Solicitor
Megan had a history of mental health illness. During the inquest in Hertfordshire in 2018, it was heard that shortly after being diagnosed with diabetes at the age of 16, Megan began the process of restricting insulin in an effort to control her weight.
The court heard that in January 2017, Megan began seeing a psychologist.
On 4 August 2017, Megan was found unresponsive by police officers. She had left a note addressed to her family. She had also sent a text message to her psychologist prior to taking her life, the inquest heard.
The coroner recorded Megan’s death was the result of suicide.
However, Lesley and husband Neal, both aged 64, had significant concerns about how the inquest was conducted. This included the failure to call any witnesses from the Community Eating Disorders Service who had worked with Megan.
In addition, no witnesses were called that had specialist knowledge or expertise in diabulimia. The couple feel a sufficient inquiry into the monitoring and treatment of Megan’s condition wasn’t carried out.
Lesley said: “Both Neal and I were absolutely devastated when we lost Megan. More than four years on, it continues to have a huge impact on family and friends and our lives will never be the same without her. A parent should never have to bury their child.
“When the inquest took place, we were hopeful we would get some kind of closure but that didn’t happen. When it finished, we were left feeling like something wasn’t right and that it hadn’t gone far enough in investigating Megan’s condition and mental health issues.
“We are therefore so grateful that I’ve been granted permission to apply for a new inquest. While nothing can change what’s happened or bring Megan back to us, we can at least try and stop it from happening to others.”