Tuesday, November 11, 2008

In support of Hannah Jones

I was shocked to hear of how Hannah Jones, aged 13, was to be forced to have a heart transplant against her and her parents wishes.

Some times in the media heart transplants are portrayed as miracle cures, especially where child patients are concerned. They are not.

I should know as two member of my family have died after heart transplants. For one she received 2 years of life, which was of high quality and key importance for her young children, for the other, my father, he never left hospital. Your life expectancy is about 10 years, but that just an average. Its not an easy decision.

Now there are some truly promising developments in mechanical hearts, though of course due to NHS politics and professional rivalries they are not backed as they should be. But transplant success rates have dropped alarmingly at a number of British hospitals.

Hannah Jones has made a brave decision, and it is not unreasonable, though it was no doubt very difficult to arrive at.

There should be an investigation into the behaviour of the hospital concerned in the way they have tried to pressurise Hannah and her parents.

PS I don't see this as the "Right to Die", as the newspapers have it, but rather the right to live and control your own body.

And Hannah, may the peace of God that passes all understanding go with you.

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