Court: Father can't force 12-year-old cancer patient to undergo chemo

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Lady Justice (Picture: Twitter/@danvelton). (Lady Justice (Picture: Twitter/@danvelton))

Twelve year old David from Noord-Holland does not have to undergo chemotherapy treatment for his brain tumor if he does not want to, the court in Alkmaar ruled on Friday. David's father turned to court in an effort to force his son to get treatment. With chemotherapy, the boy has 80 percent chance of survival, without his chances are 50 percent, the Telegraaf reports.

The court ruled against the father. According to the law, children between the ages of 12 and 16 years have to give permission for medical treatment. That means that he can also refuse that treatment, on the condition that the child understands the consequences of his decision. A psychiatrist examined the boy and concluded that he is able to make the decision - he is not depressed, has a strong will to live, but can also think and talk about death.

The judge therefore saw no reason to take the decision away from the boy.

The boy's parents are separated and their opinions on how he should be treated for his brain tumor varied significantly. The father was all for radiation and chemotherapy advised by the doctor, the mother sought salvation in alternative medicine. Because of this disagreement, the boy's treatment was placed under the supervision of youth care. 

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