THE hunt for missing five-year-old Hampshire boy Ashya King, now happily concluded with his discovery in Spain, poses a number of difficult questions for us all.

The first must be who is ultimately responsible for the wellbeing of a small child?

Is it the authorities, who in this objected to the King family removing their son who suffers from a brain tumour from hospital?

Or do Ashya’s parents, Brett and Naghmeh have the ultimate right to decide what is best for their son’s health?

Any parent would probably say that they should have first call on how and where their children are cared for should they fall ill. But when the authorities charged with ensuring a child survives fear the course of action could put a minor at risk, it is difficult to see how they could not act in the way they have even though this has caused some criticism.

It will now be for the police in both Spain and Hampshire, and probably the courts, to decide who is the final arbiter in this case.

What is not in doubt is the love for little Ashya shown by his family and the understanding and sympathy for their situation shown by so many who have learned of their story.