- See more at: http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/australian-court-rules-against-hospital-in-controversial-cancer-case/11986#sthash.fDjuxhhT.dpuf
The Family Court of Western Australia has found that six-year old-cancer patient Oshin Kiszko should no longer be required to undergo chemotherapy. The decision ends a high-profile legal battle between a Perth hospital and the boy's family. Kiszko, who was diagnosed with medulloblastoma last November, has had ongoing chemotherapy, against the wishes of his parents. In March the Family Court issued a court order ratifying the decision of doctors from Princess Margaret Hospital to administer the treatment. Kiszko's parents objected, saying that treatment was not worth the suffering and risks, which include long-term intellectual impairment.
Six months on, the Court now believes further treatment is unnecessary, and that doctors should defer to wishes of Kiszko and his parents. In a ruling handed down on Thursday, Justice Richard O'Brien said that specialist medical opinion, obtained this month, confirmed Oshin’s chances of a cure were now remote, and that attention should be given to the wishes of the family.
“I am deeply concerned that any perpetuation of the conflict over Oshin’s treatment will continue to diminish the ability of his parents to focus their energies solely on the provision of that support and love directly to him when he needs it most...This case is solely about Oshin Kiszko, and how to determine what is in his best interests as a unique individual child in the specific circumstances which he now faces."Kiszko will now be moved to palliative care.
From an ethical point of view, IVF is made of teflon. Just about nothing sticks. It's understandable, since its product line is the joyful experience of cradling a newborn baby. However, there have always been some dark clouds hanging over IVF. What works always seems to have trumped what's safe. But clinicians are beginning to realise that some IVF techniques could be responsible for serious health problems for IVF children decades later.
As we report below, the editor of the leading journal Human Reproduction warns that changes are needed. “It’s not possible to sell a single drug on the market if you do not give the total composition of the drug, but for such an important thing as culture media, that envelopes the whole embryo, you can sell it without revealing its contents. For me, that’s unacceptable,” he says. “Compared to the rest of medicine, this is such a backward area. We can’t accept it any longer.”
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