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Hart v. Brown

Superior Court of Connecticut
289 A.2d 386 (1972)


Kathleen Hart, who was seven years old, required a kidney transplant. Kathleen’s twin sister, Margaret, was an identical match and perfect candidate for the procedure. However, Dr. Brown and another physician (defendants) refused to perform the kidney transplant unless a court declared that the girls’ parents had the right to consent. Peter and Eleanor Hart (plaintiffs), the parents of Kathleen and Margaret, filed suit against the physicians and the hospital, seeking a declaratory judgment that the Harts could consent to the kidney transplant on behalf of both girls, with Margaret as the donor and Kathleen as the donee. At a hearing, the Harts, the guardians ad litem representing both girls, a clergyman, and the physicians agreed that it was in the best interests of Kathleen to receive the kidney donated by Margaret. A transplant from one of the Harts was ruled out due to the likelihood that Kathleen would suffer serious side effects from immunosuppressive drugs that would not be necessary if the kidney came from Margaret. The trial court examined the risks and benefits of the kidney transplant and questioned Margaret, who expressed a clear desire to help Kathleen and undergo the procedure.

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Holding and Reasoning (Testo, J.)

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