Toddler beats hospital death sentence

Herald Sun August 16, 2010

A seriously ill toddler whose parents went to court to lift a hospital’s effective death sentence is now defying the odds. The parents of Child X, 3, were told his condition was terminal, and the hospital wanted to stop the kidney dialysis keeping him alive. But they refused to give up hope, and sought an urgent injunction from the Family Court while they awaited a second medical opinion. An order preventing the hospital from stopping dialysis was granted on June 28. The boy has since shown such remarkable improvement his parents now hope to be able to take him home.

Right To Life campaigner Margaret Tighe said there was an unfortunate culture emerging where people could decide that other people’s lives were not worth living, based on the quality of life they could be expected to have rather than on whether their condition could be treated. “If this is a quality of life decision, if the hospital had decided the child’s life was not going to be worthy to be lived, then clearly that is wrong,” she said. The hospital has refused to comment on its original decision or on the improvement in the boy’s condition since.