A judge ruled Tuesday that a seven-year-old British boy with cancer could undergo more surgery despite his mother's opposition, which had led her to run away with her son earlier this month.
High Court judge David Bodey ruled that Neon Roberts, who has already had surgery on a brain tumour, should have another operation after hearing from doctors that he would very likely die soon without treatment.
The boy's mother Sally Roberts, 37, had refused to give her consent, telling the court: "I feel I need more expert opinion on it before proceeding."
But a doctor treating Neon said a scan showed more surgery needed to be carried out "urgently", saying there was a residual tumour left behind from the first operation. He said a second doctor agreed with his analysis.
The judge had been due to decide whether Neon should undergo radiotherapy treatment following surgery, which his mother had also opposed, but that issue was put on hold pending a ruling on the operation.
Sally Roberts has been locked in a legal dispute with her estranged husband Ben over the boy's condition and treatment, and earlier this month she went on the run with Neon in what she later said was a panicked move to protect him.
The New Zealander says she fears radiotherapy would cause her son long-term harm.
The pair were found safe after a judge ordered a search and Roberts apologised for her actions.