Monday, September 01, 2014

The Ashya King debacle

About twenty years ago our daughter died from a brain tumour, so the story of Ashya King is a sombre reminder of how acutely painful things must be for his parents.

Not only that, but we were faced with much the same dilemma about proton beam therapy. In those days it was being used by an American hospital and at the time of our daughter’s illness a UK girl’s parents raised enough money to try it as their last resort.

Sadly it didn’t work and that little girl died, but no doubt many technical improvements have been made in twenty years. The medical advice we were given suggested proton beam therapy had no real prospect of success for our daughter. The limited researches we were able to carry out tended to confirm that.

So our daughter was given Temozolomide which was then an unlicensed but promising drug. We think it certainly added a few months to her life.

So how do the police become involved in such an impossibly difficult situation? How does it help Ashya’s parents even if the UK medical advice was right and proton beam therapy has no prospect of success? How does it help Ashya?

No doubt the errors of judgment and the nuances will come out soon enough, but it is surely appalling that they have to come out in a Spanish court. As far as I can see his parents merely wanted another roll of the dice, hoping to tilt the odds in Ashya's favour – just a little.

Who can blame them?


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CherryPie said...

My thoughts are now with Ashya stuck in a hospital surrounded by people he does not know. Alone and probably scared.

I can understand the initial concern when the parents and Ashya went missing. But I think that now the situation should be handled in a more humane way for everyone involved.

Paddington said...

I cannot imagine your pain, but I feel deeply for your loss.

A K Haart said...

CherryPie - that's what is so baffling. I didn't say so in the post because the nuances have yet to emerge, but this would not have happened twenty years ago.

Something has changed and not for the better.

Paddington - thanks. The pain eases with time, it would be wrong to pretend otherwise.

We were told at the time that our daughter's death would mark us for life and it has. Not always in a negative way oddly enough.