Leah Beth Richards, an eight year old cancer patient may be forced to undertake treatment in spite of her apparent reluctance to continue with the painful radiotherapy. Having beaten the condition called Wilm's Tumour in two distinct episodes spanning over six years, Leah has been confronted by the tumour after a three year respite. According to her parents Kathryn and Mark Richards, the attack has left the child with a poor quality of life.
The University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff intimated the parents of the possibility of initiating legal action in the event of their approval for the child's refusal to undertake treatment. Mrs Richards, from Beddau , near Pontypridd in South Wales noted that the disease left the child breathless and constrained in mobility. The hospital apparently discouraged the parents in exercising their choice to refuse treatment citing child protection services. The emotional parents have vowed to do their utmost in their daughter's behalf.
The consultant physician of the Hospital, Dr Colin Powell refused to discuss individual cases and reiterated that the hospital worked in the best interests of the patients and considered their medical needs as the first priority. Recommending and implementing the right course of treatment for efficient management of the illness was the responsibility of the Hospital. However he stressed that treatment was given only when approved by the individual concerned.