Aussie heroin addict may get new liver in NZ

By ~lostgurl~ · Mar 6, 2010 · ·
  1. ~lostgurl~
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    27 Feb 2010
    3 News NZ

    An Australian former heroin addict will be assessed in New Zealand for a second liver transplant, even though her first failed when she returned to taking drugs.
    Claire Murray, a 24-year-old mother-of-two, has been told she will die within six months without another liver transplant, but she has been barred from the Western Australia liver transplant list.
    “I'm prepared to give my life so my daughter can live,” her father Michael says.
    Mr Murray is pleading for understanding.
    “I'm asking for help to save my daughter's life, and whatever way that comes...”
    Only a second transplant can save her. Her first failed after she went back to using heroin.
    Doctors in Perth won't put her back on the transplant programme.
    “I can categorically tell you that my daughter would prefer to die than take somebody else’s place in the transplant list.”
    The Government has offered to fly Claire and one of her parents to be assessed for a live donor transplant in Auckland – the procedure is not performed in Australia.
    It's a difficult operation which involves the removal of about one third of the donor's liver for transplant into the recipient.
    The death rate for donors is about one in a hundred.
    The Australian Government is prepared to foot the bill of $250,000.
    Health Minister Kim Hames says the situation does set a precedent, but says she is mindful of the “desperate need of the family”.
    The transplant is Claire's only hope to survive and see her two children grow up.

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  1. missparkles
    I think this is so sad. It's a very contentious subject. I mean if someone causes their own illness should they get treatment? I think the answer must be yes, they should get treatment.

    Nowadays people who are overweight, who smoke, or have alcohol issues are prevented from getting life saving treatment. Should we further stigmatise people who perhaps, through no fault of their own, end up addicted to food, alcohol or drugs? no, we shouldn't.

    After all, if you have wealth, you can go to a country (such as China) where you can get on a transplant list with very few problems. As long as you can pay, you're on the list.

    I can see the thinking behind this decision, but I think it's the wrong decision.

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