Judge Rules Against Parents, Says Doctors Can Refuse to Treat Teen Son With Cancer

International   |   Sarah Zagorski   |   Feb 16, 2015   |   6:38PM   |   London, England

In England, a judge has decided that doctors could lawfully stop providing chemotherapy, end “neuro-surgical intervention” and not resuscitate a teenager who has lived with a brain tumor since he was one. The hospital treating the teen submitted an emergency application to the court requesting to withdraw care. However, the teen’s parents wanted treatment to continue because they believe he could have longer to live. They said, “He is a sick child but he is coping. (He) is not dying.”

The teen’s mother passionately argued, “He is a miracle child and has survived things you thought he would not. He deserves a chance. Doctors should treat the patient to the very end. That is how I see it. He deserves the right to be treated. He is still your patient.”

The judge, Mary Hogg, was sympathetic to the family but ultimately sided with the hospital. She said, “He has shown particular resilience and courage. His mother … has fought every corner for him. And he has fought a few corners for himself. The parents want everything to be done to keep (him) alive. The mother is clearly very passionate. The father follows suit.”

She added, “The evidence shows that (he) is in the last phase of his life. The doctors … say the time has now come for palliative treatment only. I am satisfied that chemotherapy should not be resumed.” The judge also concluded that the teenager didn’t have the mental capacity to make a decision for himself concerning treatment. During the hearing, Justice Hogg was told by the 18-year-olds neurosurgeon that “active treatment” was futile. He said that the teenager should be allowed to end his life in as much “dignity and comfort” as possible.


According to the Daily Mail, despite the tumor the teenager was able to go to school, travel and play some sports up until his condition worsened. He also experienced a lot of enjoyment from his family and his mother told the judge that they “absolutely adored” him. But now the neurosurgeon said the teenager was “going in and out of coma” and had no more than two weeks to live.

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His mother responded to her son’s doctor and said, “Give him a chance. Maybe chemo will work. If (he) goes he goes. But he may not. He may have months to live. (He) may not be able to do martial arts but he talks, he walks. He is a pleasure to be with.”

“It’s just seems you want him to die. The sooner the better. It makes me worry you are not acting in his best interests. You just want it to get over and done with. We may be lucky and he will live a few months or a miracle will happen. You just have to believe he will pull through,” the mother concluded.

The neurosurgeon said, “I am so sorry for what you are going through. It is such a terrible time. I am finding this very difficult … I don’t like to see children die.”

Unfortunately, the mother’s suspicions concerning the doctor’s motivation could be right. As LifeNews previously reported, journalist Rebekah Maxwell explained what’s happening to sick patients in the United Kingdom this way: “…A much more practical motivation also exists, and it goes ka-ching. In a land of nationalized health care, every worker pays into the system, so everybody can access the system. But some people are too weak, too old, too disabled to work. Yet they still need medical treatment, draining the system of resources without contributing to the pot.”

She concluded, “According to a government-commissioned study, hospitals in the UK are quite literally killing off disabled citizens–because the healthcare workers believe those patients aren’t worth treating.”