I am sure that the parents of Baby RB, the child with the serious medical condition in the news at the moment, always felt they knew what was in Baby RB’s best interests. Baby RB’s parents have been in the heartbreaking situation where their child is in hospital with a life threatening condition. The hospital referred the issue to the High Court arguing that RB’s life should be ended with his ventilator being switched off. The Mother of the child was in support of this believing that even if medical assistance continued RB would never have a good quality of life. The Father of the child however has argued that the child’s treatment should continue believing he has a right to life whatever his quality of life may be in the future. I have just heard that the Father of the child has now given up his fight and now provided his consent to the switching off of the child’s life support. If the Father had not done this then the Judge would have been in the unenviable position of having to decide what was in the child’s best interest and make the decision on behalf of the parents.
Thankfully not all parent’s decisions are ones of life and death, but this still does not make it any easier for parents to agree on issues surrounding their children, particularly when couples are in the process of separating or divorcing. Often couples in this situation will use their children as weapons against each other. They can not agree with each other in what would seem straightforward issues sometimes for the sake of scoring points against each other.
Thankfully Family Courts can step in these tricky situations and resolve all kinds of issues between couples such as which school a child will go to or whether a child’s name will be changed or not. Although the courts can take these decisions out of the parent’s hands at these difficult times, the hope is that parents will resolve their differences and make joint decisions in their child’s best interests. If not couples in particular with very young children could face years of conflict and potential court proceedings.
Woolley & Co, Solicitors