Australian court rules against hospital in controversial cancer case

The Family Court of Western Australia has found that six-year old-cancer patient Oshin Kiszko should no longer be required to undergo chemotherapy. The decision ends a high-profile legal battle between a Perth hospital and the boy's family. Kiszko, who was diagnosed with medulloblastoma last November, has had ongoing chemotherapy, against the wishes of his parents. In March the Family Court issued a court order ratifying the decision of doctors from Princess Margaret Hospital to administer the treatment. Kiszko's parents objected, saying that treatment was not worth the suffering and risks, which include long-term intellectual impairment.

Six months on, the Court now believes further treatment is unnecessary, and that doctors should defer to wishes of Kiszko and his parents. In a ruling handed down on Thursday, Justice Richard O'Brien said that specialist medical opinion, obtained this month, confirmed Oshin’s chances of a cure were now remote, and that attention should be given to the wishes of the family.

“I am deeply concerned that any perpetuation of the conflict over Oshin’s treatment will continue to diminish the ability of his parents to focus their energies solely on the provision of that support and love directly to him when he needs it most...This case is solely about Oshin Kiszko, and how to determine what is in his best interests as a unique individual child in the specific circumstances which he now faces."

Kiszko will now be moved to palliative care.

MORE ON THESE TOPICS | australia, clinical ethics, law, paternalism

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