21 Dec 2012

NZ mother renews fight over boy's radiotherapy

9:06 pm on 21 December 2012

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

Sally Roberts fears radiotherapy will cause her son, Neon, long-term harm but doctors say the child might die within months without radiotherapy but

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

A doctor treating Neon told the court the operation had gone well, PA reports.

Ms Roberts wanted the second operation delayed until more doctors had been consulted, but specialists said follow-up surgery needed to be carried out urgently and the judge ruled treatment could go ahead.

Justice Bodey on Thursday began hearing heard more evidence about the pros and cons of radiotherapy.

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

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

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

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

A specialist treating Neon has accepted that there could be side-effects to radiotherapy but said without radiotherapy the little boy could die within a few months.

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.