Letter: The 'saving' of Irma

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Sir: What have we done for (or rather to) little Irma Hadzimuratovic? Was the overwhelming outpouring of feeling at her plight in war-ravaged Bosnia misplaced?

She is now, apparently, paralysed from the neck down, needs the constant support of a respirator and nurses to clear her throat. She may have only a short lifespan, due to the meningitis she contracted or to any sudden infection to which people in a similar condition are prone. She is unaware of her mother's death or, indeed, of her own condition. She has yet to come to terms with both. She is now to be transferred to a rehabilitation centre to ensure she receives the constant attention she needs to survive.

The gift of life is precious but is there any 'quality of life' for Irma? We have certainly freed her from much of her medical pain, but what awaits her? The pain of knowing of her condition, her prognosis and the loss of her mother?

Should I feel relief or remorse?

Yours faithfully,


Hexham, Northumberland