A six-year-old boy will be given chemotherapy for a malignant brain tumour after an order from the Western Australian Family Court following his parents refusal for treatment.
The West Australian reports that a doctor from Princess Margaret Hospital took legal action after the boy’s parents refused chemotherapy and radiotherapy for their son who was diagnosed with the disease in December.
The Family Court ruled treatment should start the Sunday after the boy’s planned birthday party with the parents having also been banned from taking him out of the country.
Family Court Chief Justice Stephen Thackray said in his judgement that the evidence suggested the boy’s parents had “tried to approach this matter on the basis of what is in the best interests of their child”. However the prospect of a long-term cure “is the matter that most heavily must weigh in the decision”.
“One other matter that I think ought to be given weight is that the uncontested medical evidence is that the great majority of other parents faced with a similar decision would opt for the intervention that the hospital proposes,” he stated.
The boy’s mother, who had seen cancer take two relatives, gave evidence to the court of her witnessing the side effects of treatment and did not want that for her son.