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WA Kiszko case

In December 2015, 6 year old Oshin Kiszko underwent surgery for an aggressive brain tumour. At that time, it was recommended by Oshin’s treating oncology team that he commence full craniospinal radiation and chemotherapy. Oshin’s medical team were of the view that if the standard protocol for treating Oshin’s cancer was followed, his chances of survival were between 50 – 60 %. One of the primary issues of concern for the parents were the long term side effects of high grade radiation to Oshin’s brain and spine. His parents did not agree with the recommendations of Oshin’s medical team and sought palliative care in the alternative. As agreement could not be reached, the dispute was referred to the hospital’s Ethics Committee on two separate occasions without resolution.

PMH commenced proceedings in the Family Court of WA seeking treatment in line with their recommendations. In March 2016, it was ordered that Oshin should undergo chemotherapy and an Independent Children’s Lawyer was appointed. In May 2016 and following a report from an independent medical expert sought by the Independent Children’s Lawyer, Oshin’s parents consented to further chemotherapy treatment and provided an undertaking to the court. A subsequent renewed application by Oshin’s doctors for him to continue curative treatment following a positive MRI results was not granted and palliative care was ordered. At that time, due to the delay of treatment the prospects of cure were found to be remote and the treatment accompanied by significant side effects. Oshin was represented in the proceedings by Ms Robin Cohen of Legal Aid WA. His Honour Justice O’Brien made is clear the case was not about parental rights, the perceived power of the medical profession or conventional vs alternative medicine– it was solely about what was in the best interests of Oshin.

Below is a link to an ABC Article about the case by Charlotte Hamlyn dated 1 September 2016 and a link to the Judgement.