Blackburn cancer patient died at friend's home
9:04am Friday 20th July 2012 in News
A 55-year-old cancer patient died at his friend’s home, having accidentally overdosed on alcohol and morphine, a coroner’s court heard yesterday.
Electrical engineer Kenneth McCaughey, of Bolton Road, Blackburn, had been staying at Tony Hanratty’s house in Swallow Drive, Blackburn, while he having treatment for palate cancer. Mr Hanrattty found his friend dead in bed on May 16.
Mr McCaughey, who was said to be a heavy drinker and who lead a “chaotic lifestyle”, had been prescribed morphine to cope with pain caused by radiotherapy.
Mr Hanratty said his friend had been “perfectly tranquil” the night before, and neither he or Mr McCaughey’s family believed he was suicidal.
A post-mortem examination revealed Mr McCaughey’s blood alcohol level was three or four times the legal driving limit, and the morphine was twice the fatal level. The cause of death was cardio respiratory failure due to morphine and ethanol toxicity.
Coroner Michael Singleton recorded a verdict of death by misadventure. He said: “It may have his judgement became impaired about how much morphine was needed.”