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Kidney Transplant Dispute 'Complex and Difficult', Court Hears

A dispute over whether a transplant is in the best interests of a teenage boy who has kidney disease is "extremely complex", a court has heard.

This week a judge is hearing evidence at the Court of Protection, sitting in Liverpool, about the care of William Verden, 17, from Lancaster. His mother Ami McLennan, 45, says a transplant for her son, who is on dialysis and suffers from steroid-resistant nephrotic syndrome, is a "feasible option" and has made an appeal for a donor. However, specialists treating William, who has autism, at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital say a transplant is not in his best interests.

'No Clear or Obvious Resolution'

Lawyers representing the hospital’s governing trust – the Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust – have asked Mrs Justice Arbuthnot to consider the case and make decisions.

Opening the 4-day hearing, Helen Mulholland, for the trust, said: "It is an extremely complex and difficult case with no clear or obvious resolution.

"All the parties acknowledge that the decision to be made by this court is an extremely balanced one – and one which comes with significant risk to William either way.”

She said William’s moderate to severe learning difficulties, also including ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), and the "interplay between the physical and mental health needs" presented a “very complex” picture.

Transplant Would Require Up to 6 Weeks of Sedation and Ventilation

The judge has heard the trust opposes kidney transplant because essentially William would require sedation and ventilation for possibly up to 6 weeks to ensure he complies with the interventions post-operatively and that the prospect of recurrence of the steroid-resistant nephrotic syndrome is high, about 80%.

His mother opposes the trust’s application and relies on expert evidence which points more towards a 50% chance of recurrence and that transplant is a feasible option which gives him a reasonable potential for a good long-term outcome.

The trust argues it is "highly questionable" whether such a prospect of successful transplant is enough for the court to determine that transplantation is in William’s best interests.

It adds it is likely he would suffer potentially serious physical and psychological injury through such a process.

The hearing continues on Tuesday.

This story contains information from PA Media.

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