17 Feb 2015

Battle over boy's HIV treatment reaches court

5:58 pm on 17 February 2015

The lawyer for a man who refuses to give his nine-year-old son HIV medication has told a court that a lawyer should be appointed to represent the boy's interests.

Auckland District Health Board is applying for guardianship orders that would see decisions about the boy's medical care made by doctors, because the father has refused to allow treatment.

The order would see two specialists make decisions about the boy's healthcare, while the boy would remain living with his family.

Lawyers have been making their closing arguments in the High Court in Auckland this morning.

A lawyer for the boy's father, Moira Macnab, told the court that it had been a privilege representing her client who she said deserved empathy.

She said if an order was made for guardianship, there should be a review in 18 months and a report.

Moira Mcnab said at that point the boy could make his own views known to the court and any side effects of the medication would be known.

For the health board, lawyer Peter le Cren said the boy's father did not believe his son had HIV and has failed to give him the vital medication he needed.

He said one expert believed the boy could be dead by early adolescence or early adulthood if he was not given HIV medication.

Mr le Cren said the father believed the HIV medication is a scam after researching on the internet.

A guardianship order should last until the boy is 16 and can make decisions for himself, he said.

Justice Keane reserved his decision, but in the meantime, the father has agreed to allow a health board nurse to administer the medication.