Janice Hunter, a British permanent resident of Paphos killed by her husband who claims it was assisted suicide, might not have had a terminal illness her doctor told court.
Janice Hunter, aged 74, passed away at her home near Paphos in December 2021. Her 75-year-old husband, David Hunter, a retired miner from Northumberland, admitted to the killing but has made a plea deal to lessen the charge to manslaughter instead of murder, asserting that his wife asked him to help end her life, as she was suffering from a terminal illness.
However, the plea deal collapsed in December and David Hunter, 75, is now facing murder charges.
In a recent court hearing, Hunter’s haematologist, Dr Ourania Seimeni testified that Janice Hunter had been suffering from a rare form of blood cancer called myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), which is not necessarily terminal. However, she noted that approximately 30% of MDS cases progress to leukaemia, the likelihood of such progression in Hunter’s case remains uncertain.
Another expert witness, Dr Andreas Pantelides, cited different sources suggesting a potential 45% chance of progression to a terminal illness.
Seimeni also told court she could not tell how long Hunter had to live and noted her patient’s increasing discomfort during injections and blood transfusions aimed at managing the anaemia associated with MDS.
Other symptoms such as weight loss, pain, and diarrhoea led to further investigations, including a recommended colonoscopy to identify underlying causes. Additionally, a myelogram, a leukaemia diagnostic test, was planned on November 9, 2021, however, Hunter missed the appointment.
Without the myelogram, Dr Seimeni said she could not conclusively state whether Mrs Hunter had leukaemia.
Seimeni also told court that David Hunter accompanied his wife to every appointment.
Mr Hunter is expected to give evidence on 15 May.
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