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Neon Roberts Case-Mother wants ‘alternative Medicine’ on sons Brain Tumour

March 27, 2013

In December last year Sally Roberts went to the High Court seeking support from the law for her position on the most appropriate treatment for her son, Neon. Neon had been diagnosed with a brain tumour (previous blog post ‘Sally Roberts Dilemma’) his tumour was clearly progressing and required surgery, something his Mother, Sally had problems dealing with. Which Parent wouldn’t have issues with this moral dilemma. Sally Roberts, in a state of sheer panic, took her son away so she could create some thinking time.

The problem for Sally was that she had no faith in conventional medicine and was attempting to gain an ‘alternative medicine’ solution. Her principle problem was her belief that Surgery and in particular, Radiotherapy was in her words, ‘old fashioned’ medicine and had been superseded by more ‘modern methods’. By ‘modern’ she meant alternative medicines. Her Counsel in Court agreed with the State’s case that Neon needed surgery pretty urgently and this would need radiotherapy as a follow up – Sally Roberts dismissed her legal team presumably as they didn’t agree with her position. Mr Justice Bodey ruled after hearing from experts, that he should have the surgery and the Radiotherapy follow up which for this condition is the standard of care. All along, Neons Father, whilst recognising how difficult the choice was for them, supported the Health Authority’s view that conventional treatment was best for Neon. Sally and Ben Roberts were separated which clearly posed additional hurdles trying to manage Neons care.

Today in the UK media we see comments from both Parent’s sharing contrasting views on how Neon is managing through his treatment journey. Sally Roberts comments,’Neon is broken’, the headline read, – Mother who went to court in failed bid to stop brain tumour son having radiotherapy says he is a shadow of himself after 30 sessions.

Read more: 

This paints a bleak picture of the treatment Neon is receiving but it surely reflects her original position on the case which was not to use conventional therapy. Ben, Neon’s father also comments today but his view, seen from a more positive standpoint, is altogether different. The headlines read, “Brain tumour boy at centre of legal battle over treatment ‘is making good progress after radiotherapy’ as mother vows to continue to fight to stop it’

  • Neon Roberts, seven, has ‘reacted well’ to treatment, his father Ben said
  • Little boy, who had a day out with family yesterday, will start chemo in April
  • But his mother Sally said today she plans to continue fight over treatment

Read more:

It seems clear that Neon is getting some benefit from his treatment which everyone reading this will be relieved about. However, perspective is everything in cases like this. Mother and Father have differing opinions on the care Neons is receiving. This probably says more about their relative starting positions at the point at which the law intervened.

These cases always present great difficulty as they deal with raw emotion and hope. It is hard to be critical of Neons mother as she did what any caring mother would do, she cared! Her belief that ‘alternative medicines’ would do more to preserve Neons life may be seen as reckless but it was born of her love and desire to see the best outcome for her son.

Which of us would not do the same?

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