Thursday, July 03, 2008

The parents of a terminally ill girl will fight the decision of a hospital to with-hold life-saving treatment

From the BBC (UK) and the Telegraph:

The parents (Cardiff, Wales) of a young girl with a terminal illness face a legal battle with a hospital after being told that doctors will withhold life-saving treatment in the future. They say doctors have told them that their daughter, who is on a ventilator and is currently being treated for a severe chest infection, is at the end of her life and that the courts would be asked to decide upon the issue.

Amber Hartland is 6 years-old. She has an incurable disorder called Infantile Tay-Sachs, and is almost totally paralyzed, unable to speak and has severe epilespy. She can, however, communicate by cooing and can see and hear, her parents say.

“We believe it is about money. Amber costs money at the end of the day” said Lesley Hartland, Amber’s mother. “But my father, my husband’s mother and father, they have all paid their taxes and have never used the health service. Everyone is entitled to the health service.” Amber has a right to life,” she said.

Hospital sources have said that cost was not an issue; one of the concerns they have is that the treatments that Amber receives in intensive care are "painful for her." Doctors were doing everything they could for Amber and she was receiving "high quality and compassionate care," they said.

For more information about Infantile Tay-Sachs disease, see here.