Name: Stella Hamilton.
Died: July 31, 2016.
Age at death: 72.
Cause of death: Undetermined.
Location: Malanda, Queensland, Australia.
Disability: Dementia, terminally ill.
Stella’s family talked to staff at her nursing home, asking whether she could be euthanized, and were told that this was illegal. They also requested that 24 hours’ worth of morphine be left in her room, and were refused. One of her children said another had told them that if they covered her face, she would “go quicker”. Shortly after the family’s request for euthanasia, Stella was found dead with a blanket over her face. She could not have pulled the blanket up herself, but other residents theoretically had access to her room. Her family was seen celebrating that she had died, though this could have been relief that she was no longer in pain.
Inquest determined that, despite the troubling factors in Stella’s death, her cause of death could not be determined because she was already terminally ill.