Apr 1, 2010
AN AUSTRALIAN liver transplant recipient, who sparked a storm of debate over her organ donation in her country, died at the Mount Elizabeth Hospital at noon on Thursday, after doctors battled for eight hours on Wednesday to remove blood clots that had formed around her heart.
Doctors said they had done all they could to save Ms Claire Murray, 25, from West Australia.
Her supporter and Perth doctor, George O'Neil, earlier told The West Australian news site that Ms Murray had been taken off life support on Thursday morning. 'This morning it looked as though they were taking her off the ventilator and she was in renal failure by 9am,' Dr O'Neill told the news portal. He said he expected doctors to 'declare she will be dead before lunchtime'.
According to a source close to the Murray family, the mother of two had too many blood clots. The operation had been expected to take four hours, but complications extended it to eight, The West Australian reported.
Ms Murray's organ donation sparked a storm of debate in Australia. Dr O'Neill commended her public fight. He said: 'I think a lot of people in the community have been interested but not really understood it could mean the death of a young, 25-year-old woman.' 'I have talked to (Ms Murray's family) and they are definitely in grieving mode.'
Her father, Michael, flew to Singapore to be with her on Wednesday. Her parents, brother, uncle and step-father are with her, although her two children remained in Perth.
Ms Murray, a recovering heroin addict, was refused a donor transplant by doctors in Perth because she relapsed soon after her first transplant in 2009. Ms Murray's aunt had donated part of her liver.
February 26, 2010
Minister refuses second liver transplant for drug addict Claire Murray
THE State Government has offered to foot the bill for a dying Perth drug addict to travel to New Zealand so she can be considered for life-saving surgery.
Claire Murray, a 24-year-old mother-of-two, has been told by doctors that she only has months to live if she does not receive a liver transplant.
Family's plea: Click here for video
It would be her second transplant after years of drug abuse, including heroin and amphetamines.
She has admitted to taking drugs after her first liver transplant last year - but has pledged to make the most of her second chance at life after being told she could not be considered for a second transplant in WA.
Health Minister Kim Hames said there were seven other people in WA who were waiting for their first liver transplant. He said it would be "patently unfair" for Ms Murray to jump the queue for a second liver.
But Dr Hames said the State Government was prepared to pay for her and her father to travel to New Zealand so she could be considered for a "live" liver transplant. The procedure would use a piece of a liver from a living family member.
Ms Murray's father Michael yesterday told ABc radio that his daughter would die within months without a second chance liver transplant.
“This is a complex and emotional case and the decision not to put Ms Murray back on the waiting list for a liver transplant was made by a team of experts in the field,'' Dr Hames said.
"It’s important to remember we do not have enough donor organs in Western Australia, and someone has to die to provide a sick person with an organ. Last year, three people died while waiting for a liver transplant.
"We have offered to fly Ms Murray to New Zealand where she can be reviewed for a live person-to-person liver transplant.
"That procedure is not done anywhere in Australia, but it involves taking about a third of the liver from a willing donor, and transplanting it into the patient.
"There are risks associated in that procedure both for the donor and the patient and there is no guarantee that Ms Murray would be suitable.
"I have a great deal of sympathy for the Murray family.”
April 9, 2009
She should not be allowed to be given a second liver, but this case is a bit different, a family member is the donater. I would not have allowed her to have the first transplant, if others with natural liver problems were in need. A chronic drug or Heroin user, should be the last prioriety for a transplant, in a given list of reasons why. In the USA to famous people raised some serious issues who were older acholics, who had lived long lives, but were given livers before probably many young or more deserving people. They were Larry Hagman from Dallas and Dream of Jeanie fame, and the great Mickey Mantle. Both probably capable of large donations to the providing hospitals, either in cash or in endorsments.
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