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Cancer boy's Kiwi mum renews fight

Friday 21 Dec 2012 5:22a.m.

Cancer boy's Kiwi mum renews fight

By Brian Farmer

A woman who does not want her seven-year-old son to have radiotherapy treatment following surgery on a brain tumour has renewed her British High Court fight.

Sally Roberts, who comes from New Zealand, fears radiotherapy will cause her son, Neon, long-term harm.

Doctors say Neon might die within months without radiotherapy.

A High Court judge on Thursday began hearing heard more evidence about the pros and cons of radiotherapy.

Earlier this week, Justice Bodey ruled that Neon could have further surgery against Roberts' wishes.

Roberts wanted a second operation to be delayed until more doctors had been consulted. But specialists said follow-up surgery needed to be carried out urgently. And Bodey said the operation should go ahead.

A doctor treating Neon told the judge on Thursday the operation went well.

Roberts has told the court she is not a "bonkers mother".

She fears radiotherapy will reduce Neon's intelligence quotient (IQ), shorten his life, put him at risk of having strokes and make him infertile.

Roberts has said she would agree to Neon being given chemotherapy because any damage caused could be "overcome".

"The mother remains concerned that radiotherapy is not in Neon's best interests," Ian Peddie QC, for Roberts, told the judge.

"We assert that there are doctors who can offer credible alternative treatment to the therapy that is proposed."

Neon's father Ben, who lives in London and is separated from Roberts, has agreed to radiotherapy but is "apprehensive", the court has heard.

A specialist treating Neon has described Roberts' comments as "sensible" and accepted that there could be side-effects to radiotherapy.

But he said without radiotherapy the little boy could die within a few months.

And Victoria Butler-Cole, who is representing doctors involved in Neon's care, told the judge that Roberts was proposing "experimental therapies", which are "unproven", as alternatives to radiotherapy.

NZN

 
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