Tuesday 07 April 2020

Dutch court to rule on case of boy, 12, with cancer who is refusing treatment

A 12-year-old Dutch boy with cancer is at the centre of a legal battle after he refused further treatment against the wishes of his father.

The boy’s mother believes in alternative therapies and the child was placed in the care of social workers last year after she refused to cooperate with his treatment, the AD reported.

Now his father, who is divorced from his mother, is pressing judges to rule that the boy should undergo further medical care.

Judges in Alkmaar will rule on May 12 about whether the boy, who has a brain tumour, should be forced to undergo chemotherapy. At the end of last year he underwent six weeks of daily radiation treatment and had been due to start the next phase of his treatment in March.

The boy, however, refused to start on the course of chemotherapy. According to court documents, a psychiatrist who has examined the boy says he is completely aware of the consequences of his actions.

The document says the boy’s chances of recovery are currently 50:50 but will be 75% to 80% if he undergoes chemotherapy.

The boy’s father says he has real doubts about whether the boy really wishes to die, broadcaster RTL said. After social workers refused to let him put the issue before judges, he decided to take the social workers themselves to court.

Tuesday’s hearing took place behind closed doors and no-one was prepared to comment about the case.

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