Legal action eyed for HIV-infected girl

Feb. 19, 2013 at 12:03 PM
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RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, Feb. 19 (UPI) -- The family of a girl given HIV-infected blood during a transfusion at a Saudi hospital is considering suing the Health Ministry, officials say.

Reham al-Hakami, a 12-year-old sixth-grader, has been transferred to a hospital in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, by health officials, Gulf News reported Monday.

The head of the hospital in southwestern Saudi Arabia where the girl received the contaminated blood -- tainted with the human immunodeficiency virus that causes AIDS -- is among seven senior officials there who have been fired, the ministry said.

The girl's father is insisting she be transferred to another hospital outside before the results of testing are known.

Several lawyers have volunteered their services should the family decide to take legal action against the ministry.

An unidentified relative said the ministry has pledged to provide the best possible care for the girl and to help her live in dignity in hopes of avoiding a lawsuit.

Reham's schoolmates have appealed to King Abdallah.

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