Diabetic girl must be given insulin despite mother’s stance

Mother had refused to give doctors permission to inject insulin into her daughter

The High Court has ordered that a 13-year-old girl suffering from diabetes - whose mother had refused to give doctors permission to treat her despite her life being at risk - be administered insulin injections.

The court heard the girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was suffering from type 1 Diabetes and was rushed by ambulance to a Co Dublin hospital last Wednesday.

Peter Finlay SC, for the HSE, on Friday told the court the teenager was in a severe condition, but her mother was refusing to give doctors permission to inject insulin into her daughter.

Mr Finlay told the court the doctors treating the girl were in a difficult position, as the child’s mother had neither objected nor consented to the insulin treatment being administered.


Counsel said the girl’s sugar level was so high that the safety of her wellbeing was in question.

High blood sugar

A consultant paediatrician told Mr Justice Colm Mac Eochaidh that despite the girl's blood sugar being extremely high, the mother had not wanted to follow the doctors' recommendations.

The court heard that on Thursday, the girl’s condition had been stable but she was unwell. As doctors had tried to convince the mother to allow insulin injections, she had replied: “I would rather want that my daughter dies at home than to give her insulin.”

Judge Mac Eochaidh heard the mother knew very well the importance of insulin, as another family member was suffering from diabetes.

Mr Finlay said the HSE sought the application, which was made on an ex-parte (one side only) basis, because of the child’s constitutional right to life.

Judge Mac Eochaidh heard the child had been previously taken into care.

He ordered the girl be administered the necessary treatment and he also appointed a guardian. He adjourned the case to next Monday.