Girl, 13, wins right to die after doctors tried to take her to court to force a heart transplant
This story is framed in a really astonishing way, it basically sets out to make the hospital and social services look like the bad guys and does so in really emotive terms.
At 13 and with a terminal heart condition, Hannah Jones has had enough of hospitals.
So when doctors suggested she might need a heart transplant, she took a deep breath and just said No.
Hannah explained that she would rather spend any time she had left at home with her family.
Her local hospital, however, decided she was wrong, and took the first steps to High Court proceedings to force her to have the operation.
It took a determined plea from Hannah at home in her bed to persuade the hospital to back down.
Yesterday, her parents Andrew and Kirsty, an intensive care nurse, said they were disgusted by the initial decision to pursue the case.
Now, this has elicited 58 comments so far, of which all but 2 or 3 are absolutely outraged at the authorities for daring to question whether a 13-year-old girl is capable of making an informed decision about whether she wants to die. Her age is pretty crucial, as far as I'm concerned I think it's fine for adults, but it's a bit of a grey area when we're talking about kids.
True to form, the story later reveals that this went absolutely nowhere fucking near going to court.
But the family then received a telephone call from Hereford Hospital, where Hannah had regular check-ups, warning it could apply for a High Court order to admit her to hospital.
The next day a female child protection officer interviewed Hannah at home. The hospital then decided not to go ahead with any case.
So, they sent an expert to talk to her, and then decided not to take it further. To me that seems fine, surely a hospital has a duty of care to 13-year-old kids and ought to make damn sure this is the right decision? Apparently not, according to the rabid comments:
I think whomever made this decision should be strung, it is disgraceful. Im pretty sure she and her parents knew what was best for her and not some docotr willing to play around with someones life who has nothing to do with him and of course he wouldn't have to live with the consequences.
- Scotch Eggs Rule, London, 10/11/2008 17:01
Yeah, now they just have to live with the consequences of letting a child die, instead of trying to save their life. Have I gone mental here? When did Mail readers unanimously start supporting the euthanasia of children? What surprises me is the really black-and-white view of this. For me, I don't know what the right thing to do is, but I think the authorities should do something like what they did and make sure such a momentous decision isn't taken lightly, not just go 'oh, you want to die? No problem!'. Surely this is just a really sad case and one in which we should all maybe try and understand everyone's point of view, rather than starting with the finger-pointing?
A Tory councillor is also disgusted:
What disgusts me is the high-handed attitude of the hospital who as usual always know what's best., the petty egos who cannot bear to admit that they just may be wrong.
I don't know what Hannah said, but ultimately it seems that we have at least one child protection officer in the UK who really does listen and hasn't fallen into the usual trap of thinking that she knows better than the child what is going on in that child's head..
Common sense at last, unfortunately not from the Big-State Hospital.
Enjoy your time Hannah and family with some privacy and away from the needles, tubes and fussing experts....
- Cllr Jeremy Zeid (Conservative), Harrow, England, 11/11/2008 0:30
Ah well, at least some much-needed perspective arrives from Serbia:
It is high time that Social Services were disbanded.
- Peter, Pirot, Serbia, 11/11/2008 6:54