Tread­well was ac­tive and well - doc­tor

Nelson Mail - - NEWS - STUFF RE­PORTER

Now re­tired doc­tor, Lorna McCann, was asked at the High Court in Welling­ton yes­ter­day about a Novem­ber 2015 en­try in the di­ary of her pa­tient An­nemarie Tread­well, where Tread­well wrote that she told her doc­tor she did not feel bad enough to take her own life im­me­di­ately, but she had told her daugh­ter, ‘‘not an­other win­ter’’, and she was a mem­ber of Exit.

McCann said she did not rec­ol­lect the con­ver­sa­tion, and hoped she would have recorded it, if it hap­pened.

She agreed the di­ary en­try might have been quite in­ac­cu­rate.

Tread­well, 77, took her own life in June 2016, us­ing the drug pen­to­bar­bi­tone at the Kil­birnie, Welling­ton, re­tire­ment vil­lage where she had lived for sev­eral years.

The Crown al­leges the chair­man of the Welling­ton branch of euthana­sia or­gan­i­sa­tion Exit In­ter­na­tional, Su­san Dale Austen, 67, aided Tread­well’s sui­cide.

Some of the ev­i­dence against Austen comes from Tread­well’s di­ary en­tries that spoke about her at­tempts to get pen­to­bar­bi­tone, and help she had from ‘‘Suzy’’.

Austen has pleaded not guilty to charges of aid­ing Tread­well’s sui­cide, and two charges of im­port­ing pen­to­bar­bi­tone, a bar­bi­tu­rate whose only le­gal use in New Zealand was to eu­thanise an­i­mals.

Tread­well’s daugh­ter has al­ready told Austen’s trial that her mother had dis­abling pain in her hands that was spread­ing to her feet, and some­times her hips. She also had de­pres­sion. McCann said Tread­well re­ported hav­ing aches and pains and took parac­eta­mol, and some­times stronger pain re­lief, and took med­i­ca­tion for de­pres­sion. The an­tide­pres­sant dose was higher in the win­ter.

De­spite her prob­lems, Tread­well struck the doc­tor as be­ing good at mak­ing pos­i­tive de­ci­sions for her­self. Among her many older pa­tients Tread­well had been one of the more ac­tive, well peo­ple, McCann said.

The trial was in its sec­ond day and could last three weeks.


Dr Lorna McCann said she did not re­call her for­mer pa­tient An­nemarie Tread­well talk­ing to her about euthana­sia.

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