Judges in a specialist court have been asked to decide whether a woman who suffered brain damage in a car crash which left her husband and two eldest children dead should be separated from her only surviving child.
The case is being analysed at the Court of Protection, where judges consider issues relating to people who lack the mental capacity to make decisions for themselves.
Detail has emerged in a ruling by a judge who oversaw the latest hearing in London.
Mrs Justice Theis described the case as "tragic".
The judge, who is based in the Family Division of the High Court in London, said the woman's injuries had left her mentally incapable of making decisions about where she should live or her care.
She said the child, a 12-year-old boy, was living with a relative.
The debate centres around whether the woman should live with her son, and his carers, or live separately in specially adapted accommodation.
Decisions are expected to be made following a further hearing.
Mrs Justice Theis said neither the boy nor his mother could be identified and gave no indication where the family were from.
A lower-ranking judge had earlier analysed the case at a family court hearing in Ipswich, Suffolk.
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