Monday 23 October 2017

Staff praised for sensitive handling of a terminal case

Shane Phelan

Shane Phelan

THE National Review Panel commended social care staff over their sensitive handling of the case of a terminally ill disabled boy known as John, who died in hospital.

His family had withheld consent for the continuation of treatment recommended by his hospital consultant and instead opted for alternative medicine.

The HSE applied to the High Court for dispensation of parental consent and an order to resume John's treatment.

Once the proceedings were issued, the four-year-old's parents agreed to resume his treatment, but shortly afterwards one of them took him out of the country. He was later brought back to Ireland and died in a children's hospital.

The report on this case found the HSE Social Work Department had acted promptly.

It commended the HSE and hospital staff for securing the parents' co-operation "despite the very difficult circumstances".

However, it found there had been a lack of clarity over whether the hospital or the HSE was the body that should have taken the legal action, an issue that delayed intervention.

Irish Independent

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