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A WA court has ordered little Oshin Strachan, who turned 6 just last week, to undergo chemotherapy after his parents refused treatment.

Last December, Oshin was diagnosed with Medulloblastoma, a fast growing and invasive brain tumour, however his parents refused treatment on the basis that they did not want to see their son suffer through the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation.

“I would not put myself through such harsh treatments and such a huge barrage of chemo agents, how can I possibly allow them to do this to Oshin,” the boy’s mother, Angela Kiszko, said.

Picture courtesy of GoFundMe
Picture courtesy of GoFundMe

 

But when Oshin’s parents refused the suggested treatments, a doctor from Princess Margaret Hospital in Perth took legal action and a WA court ruled that he should start treatment straight after his birthday party.

The decision was made after the court was told that without treatment, Oshin would only have months to live but that if he started chemotherapy straight away, he had a 30 percent chance of surviving for five years.

The West Australian reports that while Family Court chief justice Stephen Thackray said the evidence suggested Angela and Colin had “tried to approach this matter on the basis of what is in the best interests of their child,” the possibility of a long-term cure weighed heavily in his decision.

He also said that “the uncontested medical evidence is that the great majority of other parents faced with a similar decision would opt for the intervention that the hospital proposes” and this was a particularly important factor in the final ruling.

The decision was shattering for the family, with Oshin commencing chemotherapy against their will.

Lynda Jones spoke to Seven News and said it was “absolutely heartbreaking”, sharing that Angela and Colin had made a conscious decision “that there are better options available elsewhere, specialised medical options.”

“If he survives, he will have hearing aids, cataracts in his eyes, his spine won’t develop properly, he will never have an IQ over 70 … Only a parent who has been presented with this diagnosis could appreciate what they have been going through.”

Do you agree with the ruling? SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS in the comments below. 

Main image courtesy of GoFundMe

  • Very tough situation, the poor little darling.

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  • Ooh, this is a very fine line. I think it should be up to the parents to decide on their son’s treatment. As adults, we can decline chemotherapy (my Dad did) to ensure a shorter quality of life, rather than a longer life with no quality. His parents know best in terms of what Oshin has gone through and what he can take. I think you need to look at every case individually, but the parents should have the final say here. God bless.

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  • Reading the tittle my first thought was that this must be in the US, but no it’s here in Australia !!
    No, I don’t agree with the ruling. I don’t think that the doctors and the state should decide what type of treatment our children should get, this should really be up to the parents. Parents might have had a more natural and less aggressive treatment in mind.

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  • But it also depends on the conditions. Better living happy for 2 years without treatment, or undergoing treatment and feel miserable for 5 years? It’s a very difficult situation. :-(

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  • I can understand that the parents didn’t want to see their boy suffer ut wouldn’t you do anything for your child to live a bit longer?

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  • What a difficult situation to be in. I hope he survives and is as healthy as possible x

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  • This is a very hard case to judge on. Will this precious child suffer through Chemo only to pass shortly after? IF indeed they allowed his parents to love, nurture and make is last days with out Chemo special, then later down the track (find a cure). It’s all what if’s. All I can do is pray for this darling child and his parents.

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  • I honestly don’t know the answer to this. My darling mother suffered with cancer and she lived longer because of rigid chemotherapy. She often said sometimes the cure or treatment is worse than the disease or illness. This whole situation is heartbreaking and I really do understand why the parents felt the way they did. They were very concerned about the QUALITY OF THIS LITTLE BOY’S LIFE AND THE SUFFEREING HE WILL ENDURE.

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  • This is one of the very few initiatives that I agree with the courts! I’m glad the forced the kemo- at least he will live longer!!

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  • Prologue life at all cost no matter how painful. The doctor won’t be the one having to live with a disabled child for a few more years or suffer in his little body. Even then we are looking at five years and the impact on the family. Where’s the common sense.

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  • This is heartbreaking. I don’t even begin to imagine what this family is going through. My heart breaks for them

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  • There are no winners in this situation. I feel very sad that this little boy and his family have to go through such a heart wrenching time.

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  • This is really shocking. I hate to imagine being in such a situation, being forced to harm your child while wondering if it IS the best option? Life can be so cruel.

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  • A 30% chance of living another 5 years. Not good odds he will even survive for that long. Cancer is a very cruel life especially in your brain. I have had relatives pass away after excruciating pain, muscle spasms, having to have a pillow between their legs so they aren’t crossed all the time, loss of speech long before loss of hearing, too painful to be lifted into a wheelchair to get some fresh air months before passing away. Their immune system becomes very compromised, almost completely with chemotherapy. They can’t touch anything out in public or a hospital others take for granted unless the clean their hands with sanitizer immediately. They need to wear a mask so they don’t inhale germs etc. Where they live has to be disinfected constantly and I am sure the parents would willing do that. What quality of life is that for a child, especially with such low odds. The treatment may slow the cancer’s spreading but they know it is definitely still terminal. The chemo may or may not relieve pain. For some it makes it worse. So does the radiation therapy.
    I have lost 2 relatives to Brain Cancer who suffered for a few months. One had invasive surgery but they weren’t able to remove all of it. Another one lived for longer but had constant debilitating headaches and said regretted having the treatment as all has done is prolong the agony.

    Reply

  • Like it

    Reply

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