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Is the issue the price of a child's life, or the futility of heroic measures?

Publication Date
  • Research Article
  • Medicine


Britain's High Court has been asked to rule whether a $160,000 experimental treatment with a 1% chance of saving the life of a 10-year-old girl should be paid for by the National Health Service. Child B, who has had one bone-marrow transplant, has had acute myeloblastic leukemia for a year and is near death. However, after her Cambridge doctors advised that further treatment would not be beneficial, her family found a hematologist willing to try an experimental treatment and a second transplant. The media debate in Britain has focused on financial aspects of the situation, not on the usually futile use of heroic measures.

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