Girl wins heart transplant battle

Leukaemia suffer in heart transplant

11.11.2008

Health bosses have abandoned a legal battle to force a terminally-ill teenager to have a heart transplant against her wishes, her family has revealed.

Hannah Jones, 13, a former leukaemia sufferer, was warned that the transplant itself might result in her death and elected to spend her remaining time at home.

Child protection officers initially used a court order to try to take her from her family, in Marden near Hereford, and make her have surgery. However, health chiefs abandoned the High Court proceedings after speaking to Hannah and her family.

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

The teenager has a hole in her heart - meaning it can only pump a fraction of its normal capacity. The damage was caused by treatment for a rare form of leukaemia diagnosed when she was five.

Her father Andrew, 43, said he received a phone call warning him that his daughter would be removed from the family unless they agreed to her having the transplant. But he said he persuaded the officials from Herefordshire Primary Care Trust to speak to Hannah before taking any action.

Copyright © Press Association 2008

Yogi Amin from law firm Irwin Mitchell said: "A child is to be given the opportunity to consider the doctor's advice and it may be that the child is mature enough to weigh up the pros and cons of a particular medical treatment option. In this way the child's human rights are properly respected and the child is judged to either be competent to make the decision themselves or their wishes full taken into account if others are to assess the child's best interests."