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Dublin: 5 °C Sunday 23 February, 2020

Hospital seeks to have seriously ill child made ward of court so he can undergo treatment

The court heard the child’s father is opposed to the boy undergoing the severe course of treatment.

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THE HIGH COURT has been asked to make orders allowing a very ill young child to undergo certain a severe course of medical treatment aimed at saving his life.

The child, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, is suffering from a potentially fatal
illness, and has been receiving treatment for approximately a year.

The High Court heard that the child’s prognosis is poor, and his chances of survival are not good.

However, his treating physicians believe that the best course of action is to continue to treat the child’s illness.

The doctors have proposed that the child undergo a certain form of treatment, which has potentially strong side effects, the court heard.

The court heard that a difference of opinion has emerged with the child’s family, and the child’s father is opposed to his child undergoing the treatment that has been proposed by the doctors.

As a result, the child’s doctors are legally unable to obtain the consent required that would allow them to carry out the proposed treatments on the child.

Arising out of the lack of consent,  the hospital where the child is being treated, represented in court by barrister Sara Jane O’Brien Bl, has asked the High Court to make the child a ward of court.

If the court acceded to that application it would allow the child to be taken into temporary custody so his doctors could administer the prescribed treatment.

The matter was briefly mentioned before Mr Justice Tony O’Connor today, who said that the case was very sad and troubling.

The judge granted the hospital permission to serve short notice of its motion seeking to make the child a ward of court on the relevant parties.

The application was made on an ex-parte basis, and the judge made the motion returnable to next Tuesday’s sitting of the High Court.

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About the author:

Aodhan O Faolain

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