Parents Take Major Step Forward In Establishing Answers Over Death Of Daughter Suffering From Diabulimia
The parents of a Hertfordshire teacher diagnosed with an eating disorder have taken a major step forward in obtaining answers regarding her death after the High Court granted their application for a new inquest.
Megan Davison from Cheshunt died in August 2017, aged 27. Before her death, she had been suffering from diabulimia (T1DE), which is a combination of Type 1 diabetes and an eating disorder.
An inquest in March 2018 concluded Megan died as a result of suicide. However, her parents Lesley, 64, and Neal, 65, raised concerns over how the inquest had been conducted and believed there hadn’t been sufficient evidence regarding her diabulimia. They instructed public law and human rights experts at Irwin Mitchell to help them seek a new inquest.
In October last year, the Attorney General gave permission to Lesley to submit an application. During a subsequent hearing in the High Court, the two senior judges hearing the case ruled a fresh inquest into Megan’s death should be held.
Expert Opinion“The High Court’s ruling that it is in the interests of justice for a fresh inquest into Megan’s death to be heard is a vindication of Lesley and Neal’s campaign for justice following the original inquest in March 2018.
The purpose of an inquest is to fully and fairly investigate how a person died and, if possible, to learn lessons to prevent future deaths. After the original inquest, Lesley and Neal had understandable concerns that the Coroner only heard from two witnesses who barely knew Megan, and heard no expert evidence relating to diabulimia.
Lesley and Neal have spent a long time pushing for a new inquest as they firmly believe there should be more focus on Megan’s condition and that the opportunity for lessons to be learned from Megan’s death was missed.
While nothing can make up for what the family are going through we’re pleased that the application for a new inquest has been successful and thank the court for granting it.
We continue to support Lesley and Neal to help provide them with all the answers they deserve and to push for vital lessons to be learned to help other people with diabulimia.”
Oliver Carter - Associate Solicitor
Megan was diagnosed with diabetes at the age of 16. Shortly afterwards, she began restricting her insulin intake to control her weight.
She started seeing a psychologist in January 2017. She was found unresponsive on 4 August that year.
Lesley said: “Nothing will ever make up for losing Megan. She was our loving, caring daughter and it’s still so tough to accept she’s not here anymore.
“When the initial inquest was held, we hoped it would give us some kind of closure but we definitely feel that wasn’t the case. We don’t feel there was enough done to investigate her diabulimia, as no specialist witnesses were called, but this was the condition she was struggling with just before she died. We would’ve expected more focus on it.
“We’ve spent the last four years fighting for another inquest to be held and we’re so grateful that this is now going to happen. While nothing can bring Megan back to us, we’re determined to make people more aware of this dangerous condition.
“We would also like to thank the court for hearing our concerns and giving us this opportunity.”
The decision to grant a new inquest was made in May. A full judgment for the reasons behind the ruling is due to be published at a later date.
A date for the inquest is yet to be fixed.
Lucy McKay, spokesperson for the charity INQUEST, said: “This family and their legal team have made a huge step forward in accessing truth and justice with this High Court decision. This is not only positive for them, it is in the public interest to ensure deaths like Megan’s receive sufficient scrutiny to protect other people in future.
“It is unjust that a grieving family are still having to fight for this, five years since Megan’s death, when the inquest and investigation system should have taken sufficient steps in the first instance.
“Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness. We hope the fresh inquest will properly establish the circumstances in this case, and ensure ongoing issues are identified and addressed to help prevent yet more deaths.”
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