A Kiwi mother says she had no choice but to run away with her 7-year-old son in Britain because she felt like she was "on a conveyor belt" as doctors urged to treat him with radiotherapy.
Sally Roberts, 37, has made headlines in Britain since she disappeared with son Neon last week in the midst of a legal battle over whether the boy should undergo radiation treatment following surgery to remove a brain tumour.
It sparked a nationwide search until police found them five days later.
Mrs Roberts, formerly of Auckland, fears radiotherapy could harm her son, but doctors say Neon needs the treatment to survive.
In a television interview on ITV's Daybreak, Mrs Roberts agreed running away with her son was "an act of desperation".
"I was on a conveyor belt and I had no choice. They said treatment must start. I thought if I was going to take him to the hospital they would never let us go home."
Mrs Roberts said she did not necessarily want to treat Neon with alternative medicines, but she wanted to explore options other than radiotherapy.
"I have been asking the whole time, 'Please show me evidence that he does need this treatment'. The only thing they can come up with is a study from the 1940s ... they haven't been exploring other options," she told ITV.
Mrs Roberts said the protocol doctors were following was "really evil".
She said other medical professionals had contacted her in support of her position that other treatments were available.
"I feel we can still save his life. I'm incredibly confident. That's exactly why I don't just want to race into radiotherapy."
She said the boy's father, her estranged husband Ben Roberts of London, was open to other approaches.
Asked about how she would feel if Neon died without radiotherapy, Mrs Roberts said: "How do I live with myself if I allow him to have radiotherapy and I have to then watch him suffer the consequences of that treatment?"
She said Neon was unaware of the legal row surrounding his treatment, and was saying he did not want to return to hospital.
A British High Court judge is due to deliver a judgment on Neon's treatment on December 18, after delaying his decision due to "medical developments" in the case.
- APNZBy Matthew Backhouse @Mbackhouse Email Matthew