Family Law Titles
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(Family Division, Peter Jackson J, 5 October 2012)
The parents of the 3 1/2-year-old boy lacked capacity and were represented by the Official Solicitor. The child had been placed in foster care after birth and at 5 weeks old was admitted to hospital with a herpes virus infection which caused viral encephalitis. He sustained severe brain damage and thereafter functioned below the level of a newborn baby.
The child spent the first year in hospital and then lived in a long-term foster care placement with contact with the parents. The medical prognosis was that he would have a short life expectancy and the condition would have a progressive deteriorating course. The treatment care plan was that if the condition deteriorated further life-sustaining treatment would be withheld. A declaration was made to that effect and the advanced care plan recommended by medical experts was approved.
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