She knows that the heart transplant may or may not be successful. Even if it is successful, she knows she’ll probably need another one before the end of her teenage years. She knows that the anti-rejection drugs that she’ll have to take after the operation carry a significant risk bringing her leukaemia back and she knows full well the pain and suffering that lies down that particular road. On balance, Hannah, with the support of her parents said, “No, thank-you. Let me be. If I am to die, I’m going to enjoy the rest of my days rather than spend them in a hospital bed.”
So far, this is another of those sad stories that you come across from time to time if you work in a hospital. However, somebody in the Primary Care Trust didn’t like Hannah’s decision. Somebody thought that she shouldn’t have the right to decide what was going to happen to her own body. As a result, Hannah was threatened with being taken away from her parents into care and forced to have the operation against her will.
It’s really unbelievable. The courts have seen good sense and have respected Hannah’s decision, but all the hassle and anguish that comes with a court case could have been avoided if people had just listened to Hannah in the first place. After all, isn’t that what the NHS is supposed to be about? Listening to our patients and making their care our first concern?
The mind boggles.