Page last updated at 13:32 GMT, Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Hannah Jones: Your Comments

A terminally ill girl has won the right to refuse treatment after a hospital ended its bid to force her to have a heart transplant.

Hannah Jones, 13, of Marden, near Hereford, said she wanted to die with dignity.

BBC website readers have been sending in their thoughts and comments.


What's undignified about dying during surgery or on medication? An impressionable child is going to lose her life thanks to terms like "dying with dignity" being accepted in our society. Death is not a release from suffering or pain, it is an end to life. You have to be alive to feel relief from something. I think this is a tragic loss of life of a child too young to understand the consequences. Death is death, it is not an answer.
Dave Smith, St Albans Herts, UK

There are so few organs for transplant, they must go to those who want to live.
Helen, London, UK

A truly upsetting story, all the best to Hannah, you more than deserve the freedom you have had to unfairly fight for, my thoughts are with you.
John Thompson, Kent, UK

I can't imagine what this family must be going through and of course they will have their daughter's best interests at heart.

But how can a 13-year-old be able to make a decision of that magnitude? The Child Protection Officer may absolutely feel that she made the decision on her own but that doesn't necessarily make it the right one or ok for her to do so.

If 13-year-olds are not allowed to vote, drive, choose whether to smoke or choose whether/whom to marry because society does not feel they are mature enough for those decisions, how can one possibly choose whether they should live or die?

An horrific circumstance they have found themselves in and I feel for them.
Marie , Woking, UK

What a sad sad story.
Mark Townsend, London, UK

I am incredibly moved by Hannah's case, what a brave young lady. May her family be comforted by their happy memories of her and may she die with dignity within the love of her family.
Nikki, Ruislip, Middlesex, UK

The right to die is a tricky situation. I know if my children were in the same situation I would be doing everything I needed so they could live. I would not wish death upon my children , this way the parents although trying to do the best I think are misguided and the child in question must take drugs for the rest of her life, would lead possibly a normal life. The path they have chosen surely leads to the end of life without any possibilities.
Thomas , Chesterfield, UK

I find it pretty appalling that a trust will spend money to force someone to have a heart transplant which they have refused, I do not get what gives them the right to do this and surely in a case like this the trust should have got a professional to try and talk her in to it.

Amazing how in today's climate and the problems with the NHS that they will spend money forcing people into operations but not on life altering cancer drugs.
Tom F, Notts, UK

Who did these people think they were, trying to force unwanted treatment? They should be sacked for such disgraceful abuse of a patient.
Cathy, England, UK

To Mr & Mrs Jones, and to Hannah. My prayers are with you all. But I hope others will join me in voting for this view that you should reconsider. Hannah, you are an inspiration and you have a very worthwhile life ahead of you. Why not give it a go, one step at a time ? You have nothing to lose. God Bless.
Anthony, Cheltenham, UK

This is a completely misleading headline. This girl has taken the brave and totally legitimate decision to refuse highly invasive treatment that might not work. Every patient must have the right to do this.

That is completely different to someone choosing to actively end her life. The headline suggests that this is something related to euthanasia.
Adrian, London, UK

I plea with Hannah to think again - there is nothing to stop her having a career and the joy of a relationship, to travel (as Alison did) or to immerse herself in whatever makes her feel good, for many years to come. There may be a chance the operation 'might not work', but the only other way is a certain death.

Surely the chance that 'it might work' and then give an opportunity for life to be relished, is the choice to make?
Andrea, Hyde, Cheshire, UK

The parents need to give the poor girl a clip round the ear and march her off to hospital. There is no way that at 13 she is mature enough to make this decision, so it must be made for her by people who understand what she needs, not what she wants.
Jim Campbell, Bath, UK

What a brave and mature decision for a 13 year old to make!! I respect her decision very much, and can only hope that the Hospital staff can do the same. To presume that her parents don't want the best for her is very silly - which person, as a parent, wants to see their daughter die?
JC, London, England, UK

I think, as she is a minor girl, should be understand the importance of operation. Winning a right to die is not a great thing.
Dr Abdul , Ajman, U.A.E

I think at 13 you have enough reasoning skills to assess the risks associated with an extremely complex operation and decide for yourself whether to accept a known set of circumstances or take a chance with what even the doctors and surgeons will not predict with any certainty. The fact that her family are supporting her decision shows they have a great deal of respect and admiration for their daughter.
Carolyn Harlow, Bedford, UK

This story really touched me. If the operation could kill her i see no reason why she should be forced to go for it. I felt for the little girl, may God help her.
Chimaroke, Lagos, Nigeria

What a brave decision by Hannah. I do understand why the local authority acted as they did - it would have been remiss of them not to challenge the decision, given the age of the girl. I hope that whatever time Hannah has left is spent doing what she wants to do, in the love and security of her family.
Chriss, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

Just because we can, doesn't mean we should. And no one should be forced to have treatment that may or may not prolong life.
Christine Deverell, Bath, UK



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