7-year-old cancer patient to have op against mother’s wishes

A seven-year-old boy at the centre of a legal dispute over cancer treatment is due to undergo more surgery on a brain tumour today — against his mother’s wishes.

Sally Roberts wanted any operation on her son Neon delayed until more doctors had been consulted about the need for further surgery.

But a High Court judge yesterday ruled that further treatment should go ahead after a specialist said an operation needed to be carried out urgently.

Mr Justice Bodey, who heard evidence in the High Court in London, said the gains outweighed the risks. He said the hospital where Neon would undergo surgery should not be identified.

Ms Roberts, 37, of Brighton, East Sussex, said she wanted opinions from doctors in Russia, Germany, and the US and asked for the surgery to be postponed.

She told the court: “I would greatly appreciate having this opinion before we proceed with surgery. I feel I need more expert opinion on it before proceeding.”

But a doctor treating Neon said a scan showed more surgery needed to be carried out “urgently”.

He said tests had shown there was “residual tumour” left behind after the first operation. And he said a second doctor agreed with his analysis.

He said it was “highly likely” Neon would die within a “relatively short period” without further treatment.

The judge said: “I have reflected on the mother’s concerns and no one could fail to sympathise. I have weighed up the risks attached with surgery. I am quite satisfied that surgery is in his best interests.”

Earlier this month, Ms Roberts told the High Court she objected to Neon having radiotherapy following his first operation.

She said she feared that radiotherapy would cause Neon long-term harm.


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