Neon Roberts Case: Judge Gives Go Ahead For Cancer Surgery Against Mum's Wishes

Neon Roberts Case: Judge Gives Go Ahead For Cancer Surgery Against Mum's Wishes


A judge has ruled that seven-year-old Neon Roberts should undergo surgery on a brain tumour, against his mother's wishes.

Mr Justice Bodey made the ruling in the High Court this afternoon after considering both Neon's mother Sally's protestations and his father Ben's desire for treatment.

A doctor said it was 'highly likely' Neon would die within a 'relatively short period' without further treatment.

Doctors told the High Court the question had now become whether he had to have an 'urgent' operation because some of the tumour remained.

The judge agreed and said Neon should have an operation tomorrow (Wednesday).

Neon had a tumour removed last year and his mother Sally was fighting legal action for him to have radiotherapy.

The 37-year-old mum went into hiding with her son because she feared the aggressive treatment could do long-term harm including causing brain damage and infertility.

Paul Keogh

At a hearing on December 7, the court was told doctors recommended Neon had radiotherapy and said he could die if he did not receive the treatment.

Sally told the court she was not a 'bonkers mother' and said she only wanted the best for her son.

But today, doctors told the court surgery was needed because an MRI scan revealed a residual tumour left from the boy's last operation.

Mr Justice Bodey said expert evidence showed Neon had a residual cancer growth larger than 1.5 sq cm.

Sally told the court she wanted opinions from more doctors: "I feel I need more expert opinion on it before proceeding."

Addressing Neon's mum directly, the judge said no-one could fail to be sympathetic with Neon's mother. But he added that, in such a case of such extreme urgency, further delay would only postpone difficult decisions and 'we do not have the luxury of time'.

The judge told the court it was likely he would make a ruling by end of week on any further treatment, including radiotherapy. The court was adjourned until Thursday.