A MUM who fought for her daughter's right to die for four years has helped to shape new guidelines so other families are not subjected to the same heartbreak.

Jodie Simpson from Barrow suffered bouts of depression throughout her adult life - though she continued to hold down a full time job at an opticians while raising her two children.

In August 2012, she was looking forward to a family holiday she had booked for later in the year.

But while on a drinking binge during a low period, mum-of-two Jodie took some diabetic medication without realising the harm it would cause to someone without the condition.

Her brother Michael Devlin raised the alarm after finding her unconscious.

Tragically, she had suffered a permanent brain injury from which there was no hope of recovery, rehabilitation or return.

After 10 weeks at Furness General Hospital she was transferred to Abbey Meadow Nursing Home, in Flass Lane.

Jodie's mum Jean Simpson, a former community nurse of 30 years, visited her daughter every day and watched in agony as Jodie suffered constant seizures and was unable to eat or drink.

"Being in a vegetative state is not peaceful. It's anything but," Mrs Simpson, of Abbotsvale Mews, said.

"I witnessed facial expressions that showed pain, anguish, despair and there were brief moments when I thought she may have had some awareness which is awful to think about."

For the following three years her heartbroken mum fought for her daughter's right to die.

"She would not have wanted to exist like that," she said.

Finally in June 2016 at the Court of Protection, Mr Justice Hayden, the UK's foremost right to die judge, agreed that Jodie should be allowed to die peacefully at the age of 42.

Last year the British Medical Association (BMA) and the Royal College of Physicians carried out an assessment of the existing guidance on clinically assisted nutrition and hydration (CANH) and asked for Mrs Simpson's input.

Crucially, the new guidelines published this year state that there is now no requirement for decisions about the withdrawal of CANH to be approved by the Court of Protection, as long as there is agreement upon what is in the best interests of the patient.

Mrs Simpson has welcomed the new guidelines.

She said: "I hope to encourage anyone with a grievance to be strong and not give up the fight for justice as some positive changes can result."

Dr John Chisholm CBE, the chair of the BMA's medical ethics guidelines, said to Mrs Simpson in a letter seen by The Mail: "Not only did you help develop our thinking around the guidance, but your views served as a powerful reminder about the importance of making sure we get this right.

"It was abundantly clear from speaking to you that these decisions have a huge impact on families."