THE parents of a six-year-old boy with cancer have been ordered to enrol him in chemotherapy treatment after initially refusing to do so.
Perth couple Angela Kiszko and Adrian Strachan were told by WA’s Family Court on Thursday that their son, Oshin, would be better off in the hands of doctors and nurses.
Oshin was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumour in December. His parents, from Swan View, said they would prefer he receive palliative care during his dying days than watch him suffer the side effects of chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
“I would not put myself through such harsh treatments and such a huge barrage of chemo agents, how can I possibly allow them to do this to Oshin,” the boy’s mother told the court, according to The West Australian.
“I have watched and learned what all these children and their families go through and it is nothing short of toxic hell. The children are not really alive, they are completely drugged and exhausted and on the verge of death.
“I don’t see how this is a treatment, yes you may kill some cancer cells for a while at the same time you have completely destroyed the child’s quality of life. It almost feels like Nazi Germany and I am honestly sickened by the treatment of all these children.”
In his judgment, Family Court chief justice Stephen Thackray acknowledged Oshin’s parents had his best interests at heart but “medical evidence” could not be ignored.
“One other matter that I think ought to be given weight is that the uncontested medical evidence is that the great majority of other parents faced with a similar decision would opt for the intervention that the hospital proposes,” he said.
The court was told Oshin would die within months without treatment but would have a 30 per cent change of surviving for five years by undergoing chemotherapy and a 50 per cent chance with both chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
The family has set up a fundraising page and donations are rolling in. As of Friday morning, supporters had helped raise almost $20,000.
The fundraiser offers details of Oshin’s struggle.
“Two weeks ago Oshin was playing at kindergarten with his friends, making his mum, Ange, both smile and sigh in exhaustion, entertaining his older sisters.
“When Oshin’s mum became worried that Oshin had vomited a couple of mornings in a row, she took him to get checked out. From there, a flurry of activity turned into the month from hell for Oshin and his close, beautiful family.”
Jay Crow, who created the GoFundMe page, wrote that Oshin’s family “goes out of their way to help others”.
“They’re giving and compassionate and loving and important. We’d like to keep them together, but, if we can’t, we’d like to see Ange not worry about finances.”