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May 17th, 2009
10:53 AM ET

Judge: Teen Must See Cancer Doctor, Family can't refuse chemo if still helpful

A judge in Minnesota orders parents who refused chemotherapy for their son to have the boy re-evaluated. Our affiliate KARE explains.

"The Legal Guys" told Fredricka Whitfield their take on the case.

Filed under: Fredricka Whitfield
soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. Ronald J Kriel

    Parental rights over their children ceases whenever their actions endanger the health and wellbeing of their children. Denying chemo-therapy, which is essentially a potential death sentence for their son, is no different than starving, beating, abusing, neglecting, etc. him. Their actions threaten the successful recovery from a treatable form of cancer. If the alternative treatment they are pursuing had a credible history of success, it would be a different matter, but nothing has been presented to the public forum that would support their decision. A 13-year-old is in no position to make life-altering decisions for himself, that is why we have courts and child protection agencies.

    Ron Kriel
    Auburn, Alabama

    May 17, 2009 at 12:11 pm |
  2. Nick Valdemar

    That is why it is important to have a living will, as well as your decision in writing.If not, other will decide for you.

    May 17, 2009 at 3:19 pm |
  3. missy

    i can understand what the family is going through chemo can be more destructive than the cancer as is radiation
    i believe that if there is any change from what the family is trying to do negative or positive only then should anyone interfere
    cancer has no good to it and we can say what ever we want but we are killing our selves thanks to our govt deregulatory on all things entering our country legally and illegally
    so if its the parents decision to try something different our govt needs to but out.
    they will live with their decision and you dont know what a mother feels for child im sure they arent doing anything without thought....

    May 17, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  4. Claudia

    I have no confidence in radical chemo or radiation. I have had too many family members and friend 's die after they were given chemo and/or radiation. It makes me want to cry to see innocent children (or elderly folks) put through this invasive procedure.

    May 17, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  5. Juliett

    This is atrocious! This borders on taking away our right to religious freedom as many people ( myself included ) practice alternative medicine (natural healing) as a part of our religious beliefs and the Native American culture as far as I know, is suppose to be a "protected religion"! Why should this family, or anyone else for that matter, be FORCED to pay outrageous fees and put ourselves in debt to the pharmaceutical companies and doctors and push aside our religious beliefs when other treatments are available? Just look at all the lawsuits being filed due to certain treatments and prescription drugs causing people more harm than good! And now this mother is being hunted down like a murderous criminal because she is standing up for her right to care for her child in the way she ( and her beliefs) see fit! Are they a menace to society now? I mean come on people, ruthless killers are hunted down this way! Is this mother and her child such a threat to others that they deserve the same treatment as murderers? To top it off, the child is old enough to know what is going on here, and has said he will "punch and kick" if forced to undergo this procedure, Doesn't he have the right to choose what to do with his own body? Hes 13 years old, not a baby that doesn't understand what hes feeling and what his body is going through.
    How would you people feel if you are forced by the court system to undergo the treatments THEY want you to have for ANY ailment that you may get and you will have no choice but to submit to these drugs and treatments or be put in jail? Whats next, will you be FORCED to use the brand of insulin THEY want you to use or go to jail if you are a diabetic or be FORCED to have mechanical devices implanted into your body if you have a heart condition?! It's the same thing people and soon it will be your rights that will be taken away just like the rights of this family were.
    Practicing natural healing is considered "medical neglect" now I hear, but when they gave me many different drugs for my condition I became steadily worse to the point where my doctor wanted me to quit work and go on disability temporarily because I had become so sick, it wasn't until I underwent natural healing treatments for a couple months ( while keeping my job) that my condition was gotten under control, and still is under control. If I had not "medically neglected" myself, I would still be on disability and who knows how sick I would still be. Natural healing takes time to work and just like any so called medical procedure it is not 100% successful, but it is my right, just like it should be this families right, to choose what risks we want to take when it comes to our own bodies.
    Finally, due to this court ruling, this mother will go to jail as her choice may contribute to the death of her child, Isn't the choice to have an abortion contributing to the death of a mothers child? Yet this right of a mother to have an abortion has been upheld in court case after court case,. A fetus is a living, feeling being just like this 13 year old boy so why is this mother being put in jail for so called contributing to her child's possible death, when 100's of mothers are not put in jail for directly causing their child's death? Think about it America.

    May 20, 2009 at 10:37 am |

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