Coroner urges Google and Amazon to take action following the suicide of a British woman.

According to a coroner, Chloe Macdermott conducted research on a forum regarding suicide methods and purchased lethal substance online from the US. The coroner emphasized that Google and Amazon should take action following the case where a British woman entered into a suicide pact with two online acquaintances and obtained the poison that caused her death through online means. The inquest revealed that Macdermott, aged 43, had been struggling with her mental health for years and had started exploring ways to end her life on an online forum. Two days before her demise, she formed a connection with the two individuals, and they collectively planned the suicide. A day later, Macdermott consumed the substance during her husband’s absence, resulting in her death the next morning.

Coroner Paul Rogers concluded that Macdermott’s death was a suicide and sent a report on the prevention of future deaths to Google and Amazon, as he believes these companies have the capability to prevent similar tragedies. The report has also been forwarded to the home, health, and culture secretaries, as well as the national lead for suicide prevention at the National Police Chiefs’ Council.

Rogers expressed concern over forums like the one Macdermott used, asserting that they promote, facilitate, and support suicide by providing information, methods, and counseling. He highlighted the absence of age restrictions to prevent vulnerable individuals, including children and teenagers, from accessing such content. Additionally, the lack of prominent signposting to organizations providing help for suicide prevention was a matter of concern. Rogers also raised apprehensions about the availability of lethal substances online and the absence of effective border controls to regulate their delivery from the US to the UK.

All organizations receiving the coroner’s correspondence are expected to respond within 56 days, outlining the actions they plan to undertake to prevent future deaths and specifying the timeline for implementation. In case no action is proposed, a justification must be provided.

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