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Mother: 'I would rather my daughter dies at home than give her insulin'

The High Court has ordered that a diabetic teenager be given insulin in spite of her mother’s stance.

THE HIGH COURT has ordered that a 13-year-old girl suffering from a diabetes, whose mother has refused to give doctors permission to treat her despite her life being at risk, be administered insulin injections.

The court heard the girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was suffering from type 1 Diabetes and was rushed by ambulance to a Co Dublin hospital last Wednesday.

Peter Finlay SC, for the HSE, today told the court that the teenager was in a severe condition but her mother was refusing to give doctors permission to inject insulin to her daughter.

Mr Finlay told the court that the doctors treating the girl were in a difficult position as the child’s mother had neither objected nor consented to the insulin treatment being administered.

Counsel said the girl’s sugar level was so high that the safety of her wellbeing was in question.

A consultant pediatrician told Mr Justice Colm Mac Eochaidh that despite the girl’s blood sugar being extremely high, the mother had not wanted to follow the doctors’ recommendations.

The court heard that on Thursday the girl’s condition had been stable but that she was unwell.  As doctors had tried to convince the mother to allow insulin injections, she had replied: “I would rather want that my daughter dies at home than to give her insulin.”

Fear of dependence

Judge Mac Eochaidh heard that the mother knew very well the importance of insulin, as another family member was suffering from diabetes.

The court was told the mother was hoping that by not giving the girl insulin injections, the diabetes would “go away,” and was afraid that if insulin was administered, she would become dependent on it for the rest of her life.

The consultant paediatrician said the girl needs four injections per day, and if not, her sugar level would continue to rise, her body would not be able to cope and her life would be at risk.

Mr Finlay said the HSE sought the application, which was made on an ex-parte (one side only) basis, because of the child’s constitutional right to life.

Judge Mac Eochaidh heard the child had been previously taken into care.

He ordered the girl be administered the necessary treatment and he also appointed a guardian. He adjourned the case to next Monday.

Comments have been disabled on this article due to ongoing court proceedings. 

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