Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Managing an intentional overdose in a hospice
  1. Toby Dinnen1,
  2. Hannah Armstrong1 and
  3. Paul Perkins1,2
  1. 1Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, UK
  2. 2Palliative Medicine, Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Toby Dinnen, Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice, Church Road, Leckhampton Cheltenham, Gloucestershire GL53 0QJ, UK; dinnenta{at}


This case report describes a patient admitted unconscious to a hospice following an intentional overdose of oxycodone. She had previously declined conventional medical treatment for cancer and had made an advance decision stating that she wished to avoid hospital admission and refusing life-prolonging treatment. This case illustrates the practical and ethical challenges of managing an intentional overdose in a palliative care setting.

  • Hospice care
  • palliative care
  • ethics
  • suicide
  • advance care planning

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.


  • Contributors Background research by PP. Article written by TD and HA with editorial input from PP. Article submitted by TD. The guarantor for content is TD.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data sharing statement No data to share.