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Letter: Heart dilemmas

Sir: Your article about the dilemmas facing Chris and Daphne Ford when they discovered that their baby son had been buried without his heart (Review, 17 March) highlights issues which the NHS and healthcare professionals must take very seriously.

Clarity in giving information and integrity in seeking consent are essential in maintaining the confidence of patients and parents.

Practices which were previously taken for granted are no longer acceptable. It was the determined arguments of Daphne and Chris Ford in 1992 that led us to change our policies at Great Ormond Street Hospital then, and similar policies are now in place at other paediatric centres.

But there may be an argument for a legislative framework or central guidance, and we have made it clear that we wish to contribute to that debate.


Chief Executive

Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Trust

London WC1