The Ashya King Fiasco

19 Sep

Until the press decided that the Scottish Referendum was more interesting, the plight of Ashya King was banner headlines around the world. Baker J’s decision in the case has now been published and is available on a variety of websites .

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Until the press decided that the Scottish Referendum was more interesting, the plight of Ashya King was banner headlines around the world. Baker J’s decision in the case has now been published and is available on a variety of websites .


Unfortunately, it’s a very uninformative read because, despite the family’s courting of the press and social media, they never actually nailed their colours to the mast and filed statements in the proceedings. As Baker J comments in his judgment, it was impossible for him to reach conclusions (to the extent that that was necessary) about the events leading up to Ashya’s removal from hospital and his trip to Spain on the basis of the statements made by the family on YouTube and to the Daily Mail.


To that extent, the parents played something of a blinder: they won the battle without having to explain why it was that they thought it was appropriate to remove their desperately ill child  from hospital and then drive him to southern Spain where the medical treatment they thought he required was unavailable and why they did not seek medical attention for him until compelled to do so by the High Court.
Given the legal fudge that surrounded Ashya’s eventual admission to hospital in Prague, there are no great legal principles to be distilled from the judgment.

On a practical level, however, the message appears to be that if you find yourself involved in proceedings in relation to your children, it helps if you (a) are middle class (b) make wild accusations against the professionals involved on YouTube and Twitter and to the Daily Mail (c) say nothing in the only forum that matters.

Or “Be like dad - keep mum.”
[2014] EWHC 2964 (Fam).
In the course of his judgment, Baker J details just how seriously ill Ashya was when he was removed from Southampton General Hospital.

 

Graeme Harrison

 

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