Mother Knows Best on Life and Death of Child

India-- An appeal court on Thursday backed a mother who refused to accept an order that she must return her child back to Britain for a l...

India-- An appeal court on Thursday backed a mother who refused to accept an order that she must return her child back to Britain for a life-saving liver transplant.
Judges described their ruling as ``desperately difficult'' but agreed that decisions affecting the life of children must lie with parents to whom their care is ``entrusted by nature.''

The case hinged on what was in the best interests of the 15-month-old boy, who was taken abroad by his parents by coincidence just before a liver became available for transplant.

The child, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, has been given a maximum 18 months to live if he does not have the transplant.

But the parents, both of whom are health care professionals working with seriously ill children, believed the boy would suffer months of pain after an operation from which he may not survive, or which would not necessarily prolong his life.

The mother appealed against a ruling by the High Court that she must fly back to Britain from the family's new home ``thousands of miles away'' for the operation.

Today Lady Justice Elizabeth Butler-Sloss said in her judgment: ``I believe that the best interests of this child require that his future treatment should be left in the hands of his devoted parents.''

But she said that once the pressure of litigation is over, the parents may want to reconsider whether they remain where they are or return to Britain for further medical assessments of their child.

``That, however, will be a matter for them and not for this court,'' she said.

A spokesman for the government said careful consideration would now be given to making a petition to the House of Lords, Britain's highest court, after the three judges refused leave to appeal.

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Today's Latest news, Know What's happening in India- with Timesnowindia.com: Mother Knows Best on Life and Death of Child
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