Chemotherapy order for child

Child & Adolescent Health Services v Kiszko [2016] FCWA 19 concerned a hospital’s application permitting chemotherapy treatment for a child, in circumstances where the parents opposed the treatment. Such orders were made.

The court noted at [72] – [73]:

As the High Court effectively said in Department of Health and Community Services v JWB and SMB (1992) 175 CLR 218 (“Marion’s case”), implicit in the power of parents to consent to medical treatment for a child incapable of giving consent, is recognition of the fact that parents will act in a way that is best for the welfare of the child. Thus, the overriding criterion of the child’s best interests is itself a limit on parental power.

Put another way, parental power is not unlimited. It is to be exercised in the best interests of the child. In this case, there is a dispute as to what is in the best interests of the child, hence the necessity for the court to make the decision where others involved cannot.

Orders had previously been made with a view to preventing the child being removed from Australia: [5].


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