Monday, 8 September 2014

Ashya King (2)

Mr Justice Baker has handed down judgment in the wardship case of Ashya King - (see earlier post)

Judiciary website - Judgments and Orders

Baker J said that Portsmouth Council had acted "entirely correctly" and the parents had reached a treatment plan for Ashya which was "coherent and reasonable"  Ashya had been admitted to hospital for proton treatment and appropriate funding arrangements were in place.  Ashya was therefore no longer to be a ward of court.  The learned judge chose not to make any comment about the appropriateness of the European Arrest Warrant though he commented that it was not in Ashya's best interests for him to have been separated from his parents in such circumstances.



The words of Baker J at para 34 emphasize the huge responsibility which parents have for their children -

".... Any parents in the position of Mr and Mrs King would do whatever they could to explore all options. Some parents would follow the advice of the local doctors to use conventional radiotherapy, others would prefer the relatively untested option of proton therapy (assuming the funds can be made available to meet the cost of transport and treatment) in the hope that the toxic effects of radiation will be reduced. Both courses are reasonable and it is the parents who bear the heavy responsibility of making the decision. It is no business of this court, or any other public authority, to interfere with their decision ...."

The law only gets involved when children are either suffering or at risk of suffering "significant harm" - a term which is defined in the Children Act 1989.

Baker J's judgment of 8th September 2014 concludes by saying - "It only remains for me to express the hope, which I am sure is shared by everyone in court and all those who read this judgment, that Ashya makes a good recovery. We all send our best wishes to Ashya and his loving parents."

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