Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Teen girl wins right to die

'I'd had enough of hospitals and wanted to come home,' said Hananh Jones, 13. -- PHOTO: WWW.MIRROR.CO.UK

LONDON - A TEENAGE girl has won the right to refuse a potentially life-saving heart operation after health authorities agreed to drop legal action to force her to undergo treatment.

Terminally ill Hannah Jones, 13, persuaded health officials in Herefordshire not to pursue a court order after she decided she wanted to spend her remaining time with her family rather than risk a heart transplant, newspapers reported on Tuesday.

'They explained everything to me but I just didn't want to go through any more operations', she told the Daily Mirror. 'I'd had enough of hospitals and wanted to come home'.

The young girl has spent much of the past eight years in hospital wards undergoing treatment for leukaemia and the crippling heart condition cardiomyopathy.

Her heart can only pump at 10 per cent of its capacity and Hannah has already had three operations to fit pacemakers.

Doctors said she would die within six months unless she had a transplant and warned Hannah's family they faced a court order if they refused to bring her back to hospital.

But they backed down after Hannah explained her case to health officials.

'Hannah must have done a good job of convincing them because after consulting lawyers they said no further action would be taken', her father Andrew, 43, told the Mirror.

'Hannah knows she can change her mind at any time and go on the waiting list for a transplant', he said.

Her mother Kirsty, 42, a former intensive care nurse, said if Hannah did have a transplant it was likely she would need another within five years.

'Hannah has been through quite a lot of trauma and I'm quite happy with the decision she made. I think, for her, it was right', she told the paper.

In a letter to her family, Herefordshire Primary Care Trust said it had concluded a court order was not appropriate.

'Hannah appears to understand the serious nature of her condition. She demonstrated awareness she could die', the authority said, the paper reported.

'Treatment options were discussed and Hannah was able to express her clear views that she did not wish to go back into hospital for cardiac treatment'.

'Hannah is clearly attached to her family and wishes to be cared for at home'. -- REUTERS

No comments: