Sliding door moment saw Mason returned to killer
IT'S the heartbreaking sliding doors moment of two children who both spent the night in the same hospital.
The coroner investigating the shocking death of Mason Lee called for Queensland Health to implement formal policies that allows doctors to escalate any case where they disagree with a child being released from hospital into a dangerous situation.
The tragedy of the case of little Mason's abuse, neglect and ultimate death is compounded with the news that he was a patient in the Queensland Children's Hospital in February 2016 at the same time doctors stood firm to protect 13 month old refugee patient Asha and refused to send her back to offshore detention on Nauru.
Protesters set up vigil at the hospital to save little Asha.
These two children of similar age followed a very different path from that hospital stay. Mason was returned to his family and died in June of the same year after being punched in the abdomen by his stepfather while Asha was sent to community detention.
While the coroner made the recommendation for formal policies for doctors to be able to act if they fear a child is in danger, it was found that the hospital doctors acted appropriately in the case of Mason and were "impressive and helpful " witnesses at the inquest and the blame for his botched case was laid squarely at the feet of Child Safety.
Dr Richard Kidd AMAQ Council of General Practice and co-founder of Doctors for Refugees told The Courier-Mail that it is a doctor's duty under the Hippocratic oath to protect their patients.
"Doctors should always be free to fearlessly step in if they feel a child is being returned to an unsafe environment, it is their duty," he said.
Queensland Health has agreed with the coroner's recommendation.
"It's a sad indictment that care, attention and publicity was given to the plight of one child while another was suffering horrendous neglect and slipped through the cracks," LNP Shadow Minister Health and Act for Mason patron Ros Bates said.
"Poor little Mason was then sent back home for another three months of horrific abuse without ever being seen by child safety," she said.
Originally published as Mason Lee's 'sliding doors' moment