Young mother dies of post-liver transplant complications in Singapore

Claire Murray, a 25 year old woman from Perth, suffered from a liver failure due to drug addition. She underwent a controversial second live liver transplant where a part of her aunt’s liver was given to her two weeks ago. She has reportedly succumbed to her condition and died just before 12:00pm (AWST) from complications in Singapore.

The eight hour transplant operation had been successful but she developed blood clots in her heart. She was brought to the intensive care on Tuesday where life support was finally withdrawn Wednesday afternoon when she failed to respond to therapy. Her parents including her mother Val, step father and natural father, Michel Murray were with her in Singapore. Ms Murray has is survived by her two children.

The controversy regarding her transplant came to media attention last month when health authorities at Perth had rejected her appeal for a second liver transplant after her first transplant failed due to heroin addiction. The first transplant was funded by the tax-payer’s fund. In a bid to help her the State Government gave her a $258,000 two-year interest-free loan so she could undergo a second transplant in Singapore.

Western Australian Health Minister Kim Hames has expressed his condolences to Ms Murray's family, saying the young mother's story "captured hearts".

He said, "She was a much-loved daughter to her parents and a mother to her two sons…She was also an example of what can happen when the scourge of illicit drugs enters the life of a young person….I can honestly say we did everything we could to give her that chance…I hope Claire’s legacy is one of compassion, and that tonight every West Australian will discuss their wishes in regard to organ donation with the families and loved ones…In this State we have bipartisan support to investigate ways to boost our rate of registration for organ donation. As of late February, just 16 per cent of West Australians had registered as organ donors, compared to more than 20 per cent in NSW, Victoria and Queensland."

He also said that the State Government will not pursue the loan now that Ms. Murray is no more.

Dr. Ananya Mandal

Written by

Dr. Ananya Mandal

Dr. Ananya Mandal is a doctor by profession, lecturer by vocation and a medical writer by passion. She specialized in Clinical Pharmacology after her bachelor's (MBBS). For her, health communication is not just writing complicated reviews for professionals but making medical knowledge understandable and available to the general public as well.


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  1. Peter Peter Australia says:

    Why does no-one mention that she was addicted to drugs as a child by due to mistreatment by a doctor?

    • JULIE JULIE Australia says:

      The sad thing is her family thought she would get straight in the first place. As a child growing up in AA and NA meetings, believe me she chose it herself, it was before her kids before any thing. I have seen alcoholics go straight, but never in my life have I seen a drug addict go straight, they alway go back and die quite young, they love it more than life itself. No one, do you hear me, no one makes you stick a needle in your arm to inject drugs you do it your self, or if you are called straight you are on pills and methadone, what life would her kids have had, people that grow up in drugs know they will never change no matter how many chances.

    • nick nick Australia says:

      Peter - really? How did that come about? I'd be very interested to hear.

  2. Joshua Joshua Australia says:

    She was just an addict  .. well she got to pay her price, why should we pay for her stupidity .

    • susan susan Australia says:

      Joshua, your lack of compassion indicates your lack of intellectual dexterity.  A society's  development and sophistication can be measured by its tolerance and ability to forgive.  As you indicate an inability to understand that drug addiction is a multi-facetted societal problem, I assess you as demonstrating the intelligence of an amoeba, and unfortunately, "we" shall have to pay for your stupidity.

  3. Linda Linda Australia says:

    I was not in favour of Claire receiving a 2nd organ transplant, but I changed my mind after seeing her family on television. We all make mistakes in our lives and we are all worthy of compassion. I truly believe that Claire was trying very hard to get her life back on track. I hope her family are able to move on from this. They seem like good people.

    • aimee aimee Australia says:

      Because of her past medical history the doctors in Australia determined that her survival chances after a second liver transplant were not good and that is why she was denied a chance to have another liver transplant in Australia. The doctors opinion about her survival chances should have been heeded and a politician should not have gone over the doctors heads and arranged a transplant for her in another country. There is nothing judgmental about her lifestyle choices, just simply a medical opinion about her chances of survival

  4. Katrina Katrina Australia says:

    She did not deserve a second chance. I have a 5 year old little boy who needs a liver transplant we have just had news that he may  go on the waiting list now. Claire was given the chance once before and then blew it with drugs why why why did the goverment give her the money and now us as tax payers will have to pay it back. Does this mean the goverment is going to give everyone the money to do live liver transplant ???

    Please explaine !!!!!!!!!

    • Linda Linda Australia says:

      Hi katrina, I completely understand your anger at Claire, I really do. I also understand you anxiety at having to wait for a transplant for your little boy, but this could be your son in another 10- 15 years. Never say it can't happen to you. Drug addiction doesn't just happen to bad people and bad families. I'm married to a policeman who mops up this kind of thing every single day. Drug addicts are the most selfish individuals on the face of the earth once that addiction takes hold, but they also have families that love them and they are not all without hope.

  5. Dalma Smithy Dalma Smithy Australia says:

    Whilst I mourn for the poor girl and her beloved family - her two
    boys, which she left behind. The whole saga has been a beat up by the media; orchestrated by the Perth Medical Board which went to great length to donate $258,000 of taxpayer's money for her donor survival. Puzzling, is the fact, she flew to Singapore, with a retinue of Family and hanger-on's, for the 8 hr operation ? Why, not St Vincent's in Sydney, or Prince Charles in Brisbane ? They have the World's best surgeons and ICQ after care ? Her survival chances would have been greatly enhanced with a superior medical team, not to mention the cost which would have been 1/5. Moreover, Kudos for an Ozzie Medical team, and importantly, a very much alive patient. The whole fiasco, could have been avoided, if it was Medically handled instead of Politicized, by a bunch of self-serving Bureaucrats, more intent on furthering their careers, than with an end view of a sorry, self addicted,young mother who fought for her Life, gambled, and lost. May she rest in eternal Peace. Hope this serves as a reminder, to those who gamble with designer drugs, or resort to a dangerous Life style, which inevitably spirals out of control ?

    • aimee aimee Australia says:

      Doctors in Australia and also in New Zealand determined that the chances of survival after a second transplant were very poor because of her lifestyle choices during her life so far. The Singapore doctors no doubt did it because they wanted the income and disregarded that the survival chances were so poor. Claire should not have been given a second transplant at all because the doctors knew the chances of her surviving at all was extremely low and that is why she was denied a place on the donor organ waiting list in Australia

  6. Anne Anne Australia says:

    I've worked with the team that did Claire's first transplant - although I wasn't involved in hers - and I sure resented her after her post-transplant drug use, for the selfish disregard of all the effort and expense of others she blatantly squandered - including the donor and the chance of another receiving it. As a youth I partied - but stopped when I had a kid - because I had responsibilities and took them seriously. It's hard not to be judgemental about this. After I saw a picture of Claire's grieving family, I actually shed a tear (much to my surprise). And resented Claire just that bit more. It may sound harsh, and my work in health may have desensitised me. But while I'm touched by the families plight - and her passing is all the more moving because her kids have lost their mum - I'm glad the "story" has come to an end. Claire made her bed. And so shall she lay in it. For eternity.

    • maree maree Australia says:

      I totally agree with you anne. How many people are out there on waiting list and never given a transplant. This girl should of not been given the first transplant, once she decided to shot that chance up her arm ahe should never have been given the 2nd chance and not paid for by tax payers.Isn't that why they have guide lines on who can get transplants in the first place ? Don't get me wrong i feel for the family and her kids but that was the choice she made.You aren't born with a needle in your arm you chose it.The reason Australian doctors wouldn't do it was because they thought it wasn't right so why would or should the tax payers pay for it. It makes me really mad. Pay for people who are waiting and truely value life to get a transplant.

  7. Mitch Mitch United States says:

    Good. There is a god.  This was brought on herself by herself, and I don't think tax payers should pay for her stupidity.

    • You should know beter You should know beter Australia says:

      You complete imbecile. If you think anyone dying, no matter what the circumstances is proof that there is a God and that it's a good thing, then you are a moron. Ahh, there we go, the old tax-payer argument. Next you'll say that health care shouldn't be given to everyone and that homosexuals are evil. Grow up and spend some time outside of your blinkered controlled world before it's too late.

  8. pete toolier pete toolier Australia says:

    Even though the human race has come this far, we still have not learned that there is really no such thing as fairness and justice in life. the sooner we learn and accept this, only then will we know the principle of cause and effect.

  9. evillbill evillbill Australia says:

    At least the money was spent on the attempt to save a human life, rather than a dog or a cat or something.

    I guess her role in the grand scheme of things was to serve as a warning to others.

  10. Shaz Shaz Australia says:

    The Govt better get their money back off the family. Just coz she's dead doesn't mean the tax payers have to foot the bill, which should not even have been loaned in the first place. There are so many more deserving people than a drug addict who goes and cries on Tv. Come off it.

  11. Roger Roger Australia says:

    For all you sobbing intellectuals standing up for poor Claire, get a grip.  She chose her path, and unfortunately screwed not only herself but someone else out of a liver and a chance to live along the way.  Her functional, non-drug damaged organs should be harvested and put on e.bay.  Stupid Girl

  12. rapunsel rapunsel Australia says:

    Reading this thread I am struck by how much anger and contempt and lack of compassion there is for this woman. Addiction is multi-faceted and whatever drove her to use drugs in the first place obviously had a much stronger hold on her than was apparent to her treating physicians. I don't know her - or much about her circumstances - but the one thing I have realised in the last few years is that we are all damaged in some way and a society that lacks compassion is one headed for spiritual extinction. Debate the merits of the use of tax-payers funding for something that was not medically warranted by all means but leave her family to grieve in peace please. Let's hope her kids don't take the same path of their mother in due course ...

  13. M M Australia says:

    Better than spending it on the usual things our government does- $200,000 toilet seats (i.e. travel for spouses)and so on. Claire wanted to die when the first liver was failing, but her family encouraged her to live for her kids. I feel sorry for her family, they fought for her like any loving parents would (and now they have tripe to listen to from unhappy know it alls). She hated herself more than any of you "perfect people" who are celebrating her death could ever- live your own lives and stop being so bitter. I am thinking of her kids and hope they don't blame themselves as kids do.

  14. Ian Ian Australia says:

    Dear Clair, "You tried we cried"

    None of us are perfect!  

  15. david david Australia says:

    As sad as the story is, the politician had no right to spend tax payer's money that way. It should come out of his pocket if the family doesn't pay it back. How many starving or homeless people could have that money helped with this money?

  16. Dominic Duke Dominic Duke Australia says:

    I'm just wondering why some people have "special circumstances" and others do not. My mother died 4 years ago from liver failure, and there was no $250,000 offer from anybody for a transplant. My mum was an alcoholic. This act of quot;generosity" seems extremely offensive to me. Sure somebody needed it, but why does the government get to pick and choose the candidates when they are spending everybody's money and not their own.

  17. Rick Rick Australia says:

    Where's my $250,000 interest free loan?  If the Health Miniter is going to unconstitutionally hand out loans, his job is to the state not to individual persons, then why stop with heroin girl?  Hell I know plenty of people who need heart transplants, where is there money?  This couldn't have been a bs move by the HM in order to "look good" in front of the people by helping out a bogan with a heroin adiction.  If this money isn't paid back the HM should not only be sacked but sued for the amount loaned as the loan itself was unconstitutional!

  18. Ian Ian Australia says:

    If you have only nasty things to say try keeping it to your self and make the world a better place. "Where there is life there is always hope"

  19. rita rita Australia says:

    What a mess up and a sad story.But the fact remains about the loan.Why couldn't Kim Haines and Colin Barnett come up with the money from their pockets rather than using the taxpayers money willy nilly. They are only doing for their own gains. I never voted for them and I never will.

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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