Mother unaware that estranged child has cancer must stay in dark, judge says

A woman who does not know that her estranged teenage child has cancer must remain in the dark, a High Court judge says.

Mr Justice Hayden imposed an information ban in June after the youngster, who has been diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, urged doctors and social workers not to say anything to the woman.

The judge on Tuesday ruled that the ban should stay in place after reviewing evidence at a private hearing in the Family Division of the High Court in London.

He said the youngster was continuing to insist that the woman should be told nothing.

Council social services bosses with responsibility for the youngster’s welfare had asked Mr Justice Hayden to impose the ban.

Lawyers representing council bosses had said the order they wanted was very unusual.

The youngster lived with another family member and mother and child had been estranged for several years, they told the judge.

They said the teenager’s father was aware, but the youngster was adamant that the woman should know nothing.

Mr Justice Hayden has ruled that council staff should not tell the mother about her child’s condition.

He has also released teachers at the youngster’s school from any obligation to pass on information.

The judge was told that bosses at the hospital where the youngster is being treated had decided that they would not give out information against the teenager’s wishes.

Mr Justice Hayden said he had taken into account the woman’s parental rights and the teenager’s human right to respect for privacy before reaching his decision.

He said nothing which might identify the child can be revealed in media reports of the case.

Copyright (c) Press Association Ltd. 2019, All Rights Reserved. Picture (c) Kate Collins / PA Wire.

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