Family & Relationships

Applications to Court in child welfare matters

In Director Clinical Service, Child & Adolescent Health Service v Kiszko & Anor [2016] FCWA 19 and 34 the Family Court of Western Australia has ordered that a child undertake chemotherapy to treat a rare form of cancer, contrary to the parent's wishes. The hospital had brought the application, as it was concerned for the welfare of the child. The parents had refused to allow chemotherapy and radiotherapy as they were concerned about the quality of life it would provide to the child. Ultimately the Court ordered chemotherapy, but agreed with the parents regarding radiotherapy. Although not common, and despite the slight differences in legislation between Western Australia and the rest of the States, it will be interesting to see whether, given the recent media attention on the Western Australian case, there is an increase in these types of applications before the court.