Ashya's Prague treatment approved
The parents of a sick five-year-old boy who hit the headlines after taking the youngster from a hospital without doctors' permission have been given the go-ahead to take their son to the Czech Republic for treatment.
A High Court judge tonight said Brett and Naghmeh King could take son Ashya - who has a brain tumour - to a clinic in Prague to receive treatment not available in England.
Mr Justice Baker approved a treatment plan after telephone discussions with lawyers representing Mr and Mrs King and a hospital in Southampton, Hampshire, where Ashya was a patient.
An order made by the judge was released by High Court officials after discussions were held over several hours. Officials said the judge would give more detail at a hearing in the Family Division of the High Court on Monday.
Mr and Mrs King had travelled to Spain after leaving Southampton General Hospital last week. The couple were arrested and held in custody after British police raised the alarm. They were released when prosecutors withdrew an arrest warrant in the wake of a public outcry.
Portsmouth City Council, which has responsibilities for Ashya's welfare, launched family court litigation - asking for directions about the youngster's treatment.
And Mr Justice Baker began analysing issues surrounding Ashya's treatment at a hearing in the Family Division of the High Court on Tuesday.
The judge was told - on Tuesday - that Mr and Mrs King wanted their son to receive proton beam radiotherapy.
A lawyer representing bosses at Southampton General Hospital said doctors aimed to provide chemotherapy but not proton beam. Vikram Sachdeva said such treatment could not be provided in Britain.
Mr Justice Baker said in his order released today that Ashya - who is currently in hospital in Malaga, Spain - could be taken to the University Hospital Motol in the Czech Republic.
He said he had been told that specialists at a Czech proton therapy centre had considered a treatment plan.
And he said he had seen evidence of the treatment planned, evidence of plans to fly Ashya to Prague and evidence that Mr and Mrs King could afford the cost of treatment and transport.
The judge said he would cease to have responsibility for Ashya once the youngster arrived at the Czech hospital.
A spokesman for University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust said: "Today's judgment will allow Ashya to get the treatment he urgently needs without any further delays.
"Throughout the period that we cared for Ashya and over the last few days, our only interest has been his health, medical treatment and welfare. We will continue to support any clinicians involved in his future care with advice and information."