28 Oct 2015

Commissioner wants law change to protect disabled children

8:32 pm on 28 October 2015

A law change is needed to protect disabled children after a Waikato girl received a hormone treatment to stunt her growth, says the Disability Rights Commissioner.

Disability Rights Commissioner Paul Gibson - Human Rights Commission www.hrc.co.nz

Disability Rights Commissioner Paul Gibson Photo: Human Rights Commission

Commissioner Paul Gibson said the treatment was an unnecessary medical procedure.

In 2009 Mark and Jen Hooper decided to stunt the growth of their severely disabled daughter, Charley. The 10-year-old is just 1.3m tall.

Earlier today, the Hoopers said they had "absolutely no regrets" about the procedure.

Under the Care of Children Act, parents of a disabled child can agree to treatment on behalf of the child.

But Mr Gibson said that was inconsistent with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

He said the Act should be changed so that unnecessary treatment could not be performed without specific authorisation by a judge.