A high court judge has ordered that a seven-year-old boy at the centre of a legal dispute must have an urgent life-saving brain operation despite his mother’s refusal to give her consent.
Ruling that Neon Roberts would undergo the surgery on Wednesday, judge Mr Justice Bodey said: “We do not have the luxury of time”.
Neon’s mother, Sally, 37, had originally agreed to the potentially life-saving surgery after a residual tumour was found last week. But she changed her mind at the eleventh hour on Tuesday.
The court heard she was “not persuaded of the need and not persuaded of the urgency” of surgery. She dismissed her legal team in the middle of the hearing, and said she needed extra time to produce experts from abroad who she believed could challenge the opinion of the British clinicians.
Roberts, from Brighton, Sussex, disappeared with her son for four days earlier this month to prevent him undergoing radiotherapy after his initial operation in October, fearing the treatment could leave him disabled.
Roberts wanted to delay the surgery to get more expert opinions from doctors in other countries. She did not trust the opinions of the British medical staff and, for some reason, believe there more cutting edge ways to treat her son’s. One expert apparently told her that the brain tumour was “inflamed scar tissue”. She was against chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
It does appear that she would fall victim to alternative and experimental treatment centers that may have no basis in science and have not been adequately tested for safety and efficacy. We KNOW the risks of this current surgery for Neon and doctors know the odds of what will happen if he does not get it in a timely manner. Obviously Ms. Roberts means well but ignorance of science and medicine and gullibility to wishful thinking there is a miracle cure is not helpful to her son.