Medical authoritarianism is a growing problem. Under no sane system do you need a hospital's consent to leave. Under no sane system is going to a different hospital grounds for suspicion of neglect. And this isn't just a problem in the UK -- pregant women in the U.S. have been imprisoned in hospitals for failing to be properly subservient. It's almost getting so that I wouldn't advise anyone to check themselves or loved ones into a hospital without an extraction team on standby.
The family had fled to Spain in hopes of selling a property to obtain enough cash for a new treatment in the Czech Republic or the United States they hope will help their child. Police pursued them and issued an arrest warrant on suspicion of neglect after Southampton General Hospital realized their patient -- 5-year-old Ashya King --was gone, without their consent.
British authorities have made no apology for the warrant and travelled to Spain to question the couple.
The family has criticized Britain's health care system, saying he has a serious tumour that needs an advanced treatment option called proton beam therapy and that it wasn't being made available to him.
In Britain, proton beam therapy is currently only available to treat certain patients with cancer in their eyes. Other countries, including the U.S., Switzerland and Japan, also use proton beam therapy to treat cancers of the spinal cord, brain, prostate, lung and those that affect children.