A High Court judge in London ruled this week that a three-year-old boy, known as AA, must undergo a life-saving bone marrow transplant, despite his father’s attempts to prevent it.
The young boy was born in an Arabic country but has lived in an English children’s hospital for the last two years. The boy’s parents are estranged, but both initially agreed to the operation in order to save their son’s life. The bone marrow donor was set to be the boy’s mother, and all the steps needed to be taken by her were completed. At the last second, however, the father withdrew his consent for the operation and insisted that the boy come home to the Arabic country with him.
Justice Moyston heard the boy’s case in the Family Court at the Royal Courts of Justice in London, England and determined that if the boy were to fly back to the unknown Arabic country, there were no facilities that could provide him with the procedure, and that, “even if there were, he cannot be flown there as it is highly likely he would contract an infection and die.”
"This child is my ward and I cannot contemplate that,” said Justice Moyston. "He is liable to contract an infection of which he will almost certainly die. The only way to get him out of this situation is to go ahead with the transplant."
It’s not known what illness the boy has or why the father doesn’t want him to have the procedure, but the hospital’s lawyer says that there was no good reason to show why he shouldn’t have the operation.
"The father thinks his son doesn't need this treatment and should be returned to [the Arab country],” said the lawyer. “He has provided no medical reason and no convincing ethical reason why this treatment should not take place."