Sunday, April 10, 2011

In Ireland, case of parents who are refusing life-saving treatment for 4-year-old with Down syndrome, leukemia in court

From the Irish Independent:

The parents of a four-year-old boy with Down syndrome and suffering from leukaemia are refusing to allow him to receive life-saving treatment in a hospital, a court heard.

The HSE yesterday obtained permission from president of the High Court, Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns, to serve notice on the parents that proceedings are being brought challenging their decision.

The parents, who cannot be identified by court order, want their son to receive alternative treatment and have withdrawn permission for a hospital to continue treatment it was giving him, said Felix McEnroy for the HSE. This is life-saving treatment and a second opinion confirming this had been received from Great Ormond Street Hospital in London, he added.

Attempts to come to an arrangement with the parents in lengthy discussions did not succeed.

One of the difficulties was getting legal representation for the parents and the HSE is pursuing this with the legal aid board, he added.

Mr Justice Kearns granted the HSE permission to serve the papers on the parents at short notice and said that the matter could come before him again next week.