The application concerned a ten-month-old child who suffers from refractory epilepsy, a condition expected to worsen without emergency surgery being performed.
The Hospital and Health Service applied, within the Court’s parens patriae jurisdiction, for orders permitting a hemispherotomy to be performed on the child, that being the standard surgery for the child’s condition, offering the child the best prospects for neurological development. For religious reasons, the respondents, the child’s parents, refused their consent.
Being persuaded that the parens patriae jurisdiction was appropriately enlivened, Justice Atkinson ordered that the procedure was in the child’s best interests and should be performed.
Matthew Hickey appeared for the applicant, instructed by MinterEllison.