An appeals court has sided with a hospital that wants to force a 10-year-old Amish girl to resume chemotherapy after her parents decided to stop the treatments.
The court ruled that a county
judge must reconsider his decision that blocked Akron Children's
Hospital's attempt to give an attorney who's also a registered nurse
limited guardianship over Sarah Hershberger and the power to make
medical decisions for her.
The hospital believes Sarah's leukemia is very treatable but says she will die without chemotherapy.
judge in Medina County in northeast Ohio had ruled in July that Sarah's
parents had the right to make medical decisions for her.
appeals court ruling issued Tuesday said the judge failed to consider
whether appointing a guardian would be in the girl's best interest. It
also disagreed with the judge's decision that said he could only
transfer guardianship if the parents were found unfit.
family's attorney, John Oberholtzer, said Wednesday that the ruling
essentially ordered the judge to disregard the rights of the parents.
Hershberger, the girl's father, said the family agreed to begin two
years of treatments for Sarah last spring but stopped a second round of
chemotherapy in June because it was making her extremely sick.
"It put her down for two days. She was not like her normal self," he said. "We just thought we cannot do this to her."
begged her parents to stop the chemotherapy and they agreed after a
great deal of prayer, Hershberger said. The family, members of an
insular Amish community, shuns many facets of modern life and is deeply
"Our belief is, to a certain extent, we can
use modern medicine, but at some times we have to stop it and do
something else," Hershberger said in a telephone interview.
opted to consult with a wellness center and treat Sarah with natural
medicines, such as herbs and vitamins, and see another doctor who is
monitoring their daughter, Hershberger said.
"We see her
every day. We watch her really close," her father said. "She runs,
plays. She crawls up ladders. She's got a lot of energy, more than she
had when she was doing chemo."
Hershberger said they have
not ruled out returning to Akron Children's Hospital if Sarah's health
worsens. "We told them if it gets to the point that we cannot do
anything for her, we would come back," he said.
appeals court decision, the hospital said in a statement Wednesday that
its goal is to ensure that the girl receives the most appropriate care
based on scientific evidence and added that the allegation has never
been about "parental unfitness."
Full Article and Source:
Judge sides with hospital that forced chemotherapy for Amish girl with leukemia
Ohio hospital wants to force Amish girl’s cancer treatment after parents stop chemotherapy