British girl says no to heart transplant

LONDON (AP) -- A young British girl is refusing a potentially life-saving heart transplant, saying she's already had "too much trauma."

Hannah Jones has been struggling with leukemia since age 4, then a heart condition. The 13-year-old has undergone nearly a dozen surgeries and says she's "been in the hospital too much." She tells Sky News she'd rather spend her remaining time at home.

Health authorities have accepted her decision after interviewing Hannah. Her story surfaced when her parents complained about hospital officials, who'd reportedly threatened legal action if Hannah wasn't brought to the hospital.

Heart transplants are risky operations on any patient -- and those risks increase with young people who have other conditions, like Hannah's leukemia.

The head of the British Medical Association's medical ethics committee tells BBC radio that a child like Hannah, supported by her parents, should be "perfectly capable" of making such a decision.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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