Police Search for Brain Tumor Boy Ashya, 5, Taken From Hospital

Image: An undated picture of five-year-old Ashya King
An undated picture of five-year-old Ashya King. British and French authorities were racing against the clock on August 29, 2014 to find a five-year-boy with a brain tumour who officials in France believe was "kidnapped" from hospital by his family. Ashya King's parents took him from a hospital in Southampton, southern England, on August 28 without doctors' consent and boarded a ferry to the French port of Cherbourg the same day, a British police spokesman said. Hampshire Police via AFP - Getty Images

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An international appeal was launched Friday to find a five-year-old boy with a brain tumor who was taken from a British hospital by his parents against the advice of doctors. Ashya King, who was in a wheelchair and needs to be fed through a tube, was taken late Thursday from the hospital in Southampton, England where he had been a long term patient. His parents boarded a ferry to France with Ashya's six siblings, ITV News reported.

Police said the missing boy's health will "deteriorate rapidly" if he is not found and that his condition would become "life-threatening". The parents are Jehovah's Witnesses but police said their religion was “irrelevant” in the case, ITV News reported.

- Alastair Jamieson