A Perth couple is defending their attempt to stop their six-year-old son from receiving chemotherapy treatment for a malignant brain tumour.
Angela Kiszko and Adrian Strachan say they want to pursue alternative treatments for their son’s medulloblastoma instead of “harsh” chemotherapy and radiotherapy prescribed by doctors.
Oshin has already undergone a six-hour surgery.
“I don’t want my son’s brain fried with radiation. The effects are too harsh, too damaging … I find it even difficult to call it a treatment,” Ms Kiszko said.
A Perth doctor took legal action that saw a Judge order them to take six-year-old Oshin Kiszko to hospital for prescribed cancer treatment.
The Australian Medical Association says the judge’s decision was based on medical evidence and the child’s best interest.
In his judgement, Family Court Judge Stephen Thackray said in March that “parental power was not unlimited” and found the parents were not acting in their child’s best interests because doctors believed he would die within a few months without treatment.
The court was told that young Oshin could die within months without treatment. If chemotherapy was started immediately he had a 30 per cent prospect of surviving for five years and a 40 per cent chance with both chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
The parents contacted media outlets and are appealing the decision.
Ms Kiszko said it had been “horrific to watch” his first week of chemotherapy.
“I would not put myself through this,” she said. “I want him to live. I don’t want him to survive.”
The National Ethics Chairman for the AMA and WA President, Michael Gannon has previously gone on record stating that he thought the doctor’s decision to challenge the parents legally was a brave one.
“It is very difficult to try to make a case to a parent that you think you know better than their wishes for their own child and put their head above the parapet,” he told ABC radio. “There is no doubt at all about this decision being made based on significant prospects of a cure or, if not, significant prospects of a high quality of life for a meaningful period of time.”