Mr Justice Bodey, at the Family Division of the High Court, had been asked to decide on the brain tumour treatment a seven-year-old boy, Neon Roberts, should receive. In October 2012, the boy had surgery to remove a medulloblastoma brain tumour. Following that, a further tumour nodule was identified where the original operation was performed. The unnamed hospital recommended further surgery to remove the nodule followed by a course of radiotherapy. Neon’s mother opposed this and briefly went into hiding with the boy.
Mr Justice Bodey decided that the boy should receive surgery to remove the nodule and this went ahead on 19 December 2012. His mother fears radiotherapy could cause long-term damage. Treatment can damage nerve tissue or healthy brain cells and a minority of patients develop long-term side effects, which can be more common in children whose nervous systems are still developing. Doctors told the High Court that Neon could die without further treatment.
Mr Justice Bodey refused the mother’s request to delay its decision over radiotherapy to give her time to seek experts in alternative therapies. Doctors claimed delaying the treatment could worsen the prognosis. Neon's father has agreed to radiotherapy.
On 21 December 2012, Mr Justice Bodey ruled that Neon should receive radiotherapy against the wishes of his mother. He decided that doctors' concerns about the boy's health outweighed his mother's desire to seek alternative therapies. Although Mrs Roberts said she would launch a last ditch appeal against the decision, it has been reported in the press that radiotherapy did in fact begin on 10 January.