Her condition is now stable and doctors believe she could potentially live for ten to 20 years with the tumours in her spine if they could operate to remove her liver cancer. It must be shrunk first, but normal chemotherapy has failed to do this.
Dr Smith has been told she needs Selective Internal Radiation Therapy (SIRT), a new treatment in which millions of tiny radioactive beads are injected into the artery which supplies the cancer, to deliver targeted radiation.
The treatment was approved in Europe in 2002 and has been used to treat 15,000 patients worldwide, including up to 300 in Britain. But Dr Smith's primary care trust in Ryde has refused to fund it because it has not been fully approved by the rationing body, the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE).The treatment costs 23,000 pounds and her regional zone in the NHS will not allow it, though other regional zones do. Each zone has to ration the care provided to stay within their expenditure allotment. Without the treatment, the NICE and her regional zone of the NHS have condemned her to death. But, nice people do not talk about death panels.
Given the shortage of doctors in America, perhaps a hospital here should make her an offer. They could offer to pay for her medical care in exchange for her agreeing to practice with them for a period of time during which she would pay the practice back. I doubt the monolithic NHS in Great Britain has the flexibility to do the same, however much sense it would make.