Monday, 5 May 2008

Australian Doctor Dies After Refusing Cancer Treatment in Order to Save Her Unborn Child

Refused high-level chemotherapy that might have saved her from Hodgkin's lymphoma

By Hilary White
MELBOURNE, September 14, 2007 ( - Another woman has saved her unborn child's life at the expense of her own. In a case similar in many ways to that of Gianna Beretta Molla, the Italian doctor recently canonized by the Vatican for a similar act of self-sacrifice, an Australian GP, Dr. Ellice Hammond, 37, refused high-level chemotherapy that might have saved her from Hodgkin's lymphoma. The treatment would have endangered the life of her unborn daughter, Mia Ellice.

After two initial rounds of mild chemotherapy failed, Mia Ellice, then 31 weeks old, was born after an inducement. She is developing well at the Monash Medical Centre neonatal intensive care unit, the Herald Sun reported today.

Dr. Hammond's husband, Peter Wojcik told the Herald Sun he was proud of his wife's devotion to their child. "It feels like I got robbed of a wife and a mother."

"I guess she didn't expect it to go this way, and if she did she wasn't telling us. But she would just want what is best for Mia and for everyone to love her and carry on with life.

"Her whole life was looking forward to being a mum. She loved it."

Mia Ellice is reported to be doing well and her father hopes to take her home within a few weeks.