Fibromyalgia linked to two deaths in the U.K.
Fibromyalgia has been linked to the deaths of two people in New Romney and the closure of an investigation after an inquest hearing. U.K. police believe both Jacqueline Ratcliff and her husband John committed suicide. Jacqueline, who suffered from severe fibromyalgia, relied on John to be her caretaker.
A tragedy in the U.K. has sparked questions about chronic pain, medications and suicide. Jacqueline Ratcliff was only 57 years old, but she dealt with excruciating pain on a daily basis due to her fibromyalgia. Her husband, John, was responsible for taking care of her, but their relationship was not perfect. Jacqueline suffered from depression, and it is believed that John may have also been dealing with his own mental health problems. During an argument, John announced he wanted to commit suicide and assaulted his wife because she tried to stop him. However, she did not want to press charges, so the case did not proceed beyond his initial arrest.
Police believe the argument had a lasting impact on the couple, and Jacqueline committed suicide at home a week after it occurred. Fibromyalgia and pain played a role in her decision. Large doses of morphine and zopiclone were found in Jacqueline Ratcliff’s autopsy. Although her health obviously had an important part in her tragic decision, police opened an investigation, and her husband was scheduled to testify at an inquest.
John Ratcliff never made it to the inquest. He committed suicide by hanging, and police believe he found it impossible to live without his wife. Despite their problems, they were committed to each other. Fibromyalgia and other chronic health problems can create an enormous amount of stress and anxiety for both the patient and the caretaker. It is not known if John had a support group helping him, but it has been suggested that the couple may have benefited from outside help.
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