Parents Arrested For Taking Son With Tumor From Hospital

Brett and Naghemeh King were subjects of an international search after they left the hospital with their son Ashya against doctors' orders.
Posted at 6:46 PM, Aug 31, 2014

Two parents who took their son out of a British hospital against doctors' orders, setting off an international search, have been arrested in Spain.

Parents Brett and Naghemeh King are being held by authorities over allegedly denying treatment to their son Ashya. 

Ashya has a brain tumor and doctors say he needs 24/7 care from professionals. After his parents took him from The University Hospital in Southampton Thursday, medical experts told police the boy is in grave danger without his feeding tube.

Interpol then launched an international missing persons search. Detective Dick Pearson said, “If we do not locate Ashya today there are serious concerns for his life."

This security cam still of Brett and Ashya leaving the hospital was also released to the public. The family was recognized by workers at the Spanish hostel where they were staying.

Just hours before his arrest, Brett King recorded a video explaining his son had access to a feeding tube and was being cared for. He said he took the boy from the hospital because of a disagreement with doctors over the boy's treatment.

"We pleaded with them for proton beam treatment. ... They looked at me straight in the face and said with his cancer, it would have no benefit whatsoever."

After the family was located, The University Hospital released a statement saying U.K. doctors are working with doctors in Spain to treat Ashya and said they "are delighted that he has been found."

The Crown Prosecution Service is said to be working on extraditing the Kings. 

This incident has stirred up a lot of debate, with some arguing the Kings should have the right to seek treatment for their son where they wish. 

Ashya's grandmother told Sky News​"They're brilliant parents, both of them."

"How do you feel that the police have dealt with it?"

"I think they have been absolutely disgraceful."

In a press release, Hampshire police say they are making no apologies for how they handled the situation. “All of our efforts resulted from explicit medical advice that Ashya’s life was in danger. ... When we are told by experts that any child's life is at risk we wi​ll make no apologies for being as proactive as possible.”

And the Kings did have a legal option available to them. Under U.K. law, if there is a disagreement between parents and medical personnel, "An application should be made to the court to decide, particularly if life-saving treatment is required."

A number of outlets mention the King family are Jehovah's Witnesses, a religion that does not allow blood transfusions, but at this point officials do not believe their beliefs played a role in the incident.