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Can we afford ill-health?

From Mr Maurice Waller

Sir: The following questions should be put to the Cambridge Health Authority with regard to the girl who is dying of leukaemia ("Cancer girl loses fight for treatment", 11 March):

1. Are the private doctors who have agreed to treat Girl "B" acting irresponsibly in doing so?

2. Is the anonymous benefactor wasting his/her money?

3. Should the girl be put through the ordeal of further treatment?

The implication of the Cambridge Health Authority's decision to deny treatment of Girl B is that the answers to the first two questions would be "yes" and the third would be "no."

If not, the price tag on the girl's life should be removed and she should be treated on the NHS without delay.

Further fundamental questions need to be answered by every citizen of this country: Do we or do we not want a National Health Service which will guarantee us a chance of life when that chance exists? If so, are we prepared to pay for such a service? Whether or not we take up that chance after weighing up all the available information should be up to us or our immediate families, and no one else.

Yours faithfully,



East Sussex

12 March