Court allows Australian kids to get castrated

November 15th, 2010 - 1:39 pm ICT by IANS  

Sydney, Nov 15 (IANS) Two Australian children, diagnosed with a rare syndrome that affects kidneys and genitalia and can lead to cancer, have been allowed by a court to have their testes removed, a media report said Monday.

The two boys - aged 18 months and three years and not related to each other - have the rare Denys-Drash syndrome. It is said they are the only two people in Australia who have it, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.

Caused by a genetic mutation, the syndrome can lead to potentially fatal tumours on the kidneys and testes.

Surgery has been proposed for each boy to prevent cancer, but it involves removing their kidneys and their testes, leaving them sterile.

The proposed treatment was discussed in a family court here, where health officials sought orders that the parents of each boy be allowed to authorise the surgery for their sons. The parents supported the application.

Medical experts said the syndrome was likely to render the two boys infertile, even without the removal of their testes.

Justice Peter Murphy said a decision to authorise the surgery fell on the parents, and the key issue was what was in the best interests of the children.

He ruled that the proposed treatment would achieve the best long-term outcome for each child, physically and psychologically, and declared that the parents of each boy were permitted to authorise the surgery on the child’s behalf.

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