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Child Cancer Patient taken from Parents

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
http://www.kristv.com/Global/story.asp?S=3438600

From what I have read so far, I side with the state (never thought I say that about Texas!)
post #2 of 17
What a sad, sad story. I saw it on the Today Show on Weds. morning. They showed the video the little girl made and everything. Gotta say, I am siding with the state on this, too.

I can honestly see why a parent would not want their child to endure UNNECESSARY radiation (especially after completing chemo), but doctors certainly know more about Hodgkin's treatment than her parents do. And I definitely agree with charging parents with abuse/neglect if they refuse treatment that may save their child's life.

On the flip side, I can only imagine how hard it is on that little girl to be separated from her parents now. I know this is taking a toll on her, emotionall, and her emotions could, IMO, interfere with her recovery.

Just a sad, sad story all around .
post #3 of 17
I feel real sorry for the parents, but have to agree with the doctors. I read this story yesterday and the parents said they are not basing this on a religious decision, but on the personal needs of their child? They are not doctors thus they can't make a decision when it comes to their child's health and I do think they are letting their beliefs guide them. I hope she gets the treatment she needs and gets home asap.
post #4 of 17
The mother seems to be blowing 2 horns here. First she said that she will fight the radiation and does not want it at all then she states that she simply dissagrees with Dr. Alter and wants another opinion. She needs to figure out where she stands on this.

If she simply wants another opinion, I have no problem with that but if it's that she absolutley will not consider radiation then the intervention was needed.

I hopw the poor child gets the best medical attention available.
post #5 of 17
We've had several similar, high-profile cases like that here the past couple of years. In one case, the "alternative" treatment the parents went with was offered by some quack who claimed he could cure cancer with vitamins. The state took custody of the boy, and he was put back on chemo, but he unfortunately died.
post #6 of 17
I have to side with the State as well. I do think it would probably be beneficial for the girl to get a second opinion, at least to provide more backup to the State's case. I do think that kids should have a say in their medical treatment, for instance if they are in hospice/palliative care and they no longer wish to receive medical treatments because they are past the point of treatment being useful. The doctors seem to have this girl's best interests in mind. I have seen entirely too many people throw their lives away because they found a water that is supposed to cure cancer (this is a real product), etc. I do think alternative medicine is important as a complimentary treatment. Wholistic treatment for every aspect of this girl's life- spiritual, emotional, and physical- would probably help. It just seems like a very sad situation overall.
post #7 of 17
My opinion on this would have to depend on the level of maturity and understanding the child has over the situation. If the child is sufficiently mature and understands the consequences of either seeking or rejecting treatment then she should have the right to reject medical treatment. If the person involved was not a child then no one would question the decision of the competent adult in rejecting treatment.

The age of a person is not the only factor in considering maturity. It simply means that if a person is a minor one has to prove their maturity and understanding. There are many cases where the courts have allowed children to reject medical treatment, so it is nothing new.
post #8 of 17
I have to agree with Bumpy.
At what age are "children" able to make their own medical decisions?
If this child does not want the treatment why hasn't she had physciatric evaluations to determine if she is mature enough to make her own choices?
post #9 of 17
NO 12-year-old is "mature" enough to make a life-and-death decision. It doesn't matter if they are a child prodigy, or seem like a 30-year-old in a 12-year-old body. The reasoning part of the brain is the last piece that develops (and finishes growing) in teenage development, so it is simply beyond physical possibility that she could completely understand the reprocusions of such types of decisions.... even if she was physically developmentally ahead of the curve.

Parents make these decisions for their children, and should continue to do so. We don't let people under 18 vote, we don't let them drink alcohol, we don't let them buy cigarettes, they cannot get their driver's license without extensive drivers training (and as far as I know, 17 is the minimum age for a full driver's license and that's only if the child has had a full semester of driver's ed in school)... there are a lot of "adult" decisions children cannot make (nor should they). This is one of those cases. A girl all of 12 certainly cannot say "but I feel good" and make the decision not to have a life-saving procedure.

We've probably all taken anti-biotics at one time or another. You're supposed to take them for the full course... often 10 days. My 11-year-old might say on day 6 "but mom, I don't need it anymore... I'm feeling better" -- she might well be right that she feels better, but that doesn't mean to ignore the doctor and stop the medication before it's course is done. It's been proven over time that the chance of recurring illness increases when you don't finish all the medication, and to get rid of the "bug" you need to following the directions.

I had a friend with Hodgkins many years ago. It is one of the "better" cancers to get - with a high cure rate when caught early enough. The standard course of treatment, proven over time, a course of chemo first, then radiation for 6 weeks. Yeah, it was uncomfortable. Yeah it made him feel icky. But he is now cured, cancer free for nearly 8 years.

While I do think a parent's right to choose for their child is important, I do have to side with the state here. They aren't making this choice for religious reasons... and they seem really misguided right now. They indicate in the article that the parents don't like the doctor ("He has lied to us so many times that we just can't trust his judgement anymore") so why didn't they find a new doctor earlier??? They could have sought a second opinion without refusing treatment. It just seems really emotional and irrational, and unfortunately, they are being neglectful to deny their daughter treatment.
post #10 of 17
Here is some info from Katie's blog, which I found a link to in the news article. I don't see how they can take someones children away instead of getting another medical opinion. And why did they take the other three kids?



This is not medical neglect and she is not at risk of dying or injury without this treatment. I had arranged for a third opinion today with a Dr. Voorhees and her Dr. Alter knew this and ignored and did not arrange the referal as the nurse Laura Wendland said they would. I have actively sought the best treatment for Katie. We believe the radiation may not be necessary at this time. She is at risk for injury from the radiation treatments that far exceed their benefit. Reseach has shown the five year survival rate for Chemo alone to be superior to Chemo + Radiation. Believe, me I have spent much time reseaching this before reaching this conclusion.

Why are the doctors doing this, Katie appears to be part of a study where they allocate kids randomly to one treatment, say standard Chemo + Radiation, and Chemo only in the other treatment. Parents are not informed of this. They are doing research on our kids. Collecting research money from the drug companies I guess. Dr. Alter said before " I don't need your permission to do it." This is wrong. Parents (should) have a right to choose the best medical treatment for their child. Apparently not in Texas. The State (CPS) is trying to do it for my child. This is not a case of medical neglect where I have not sought treatment or refused to allow my child to be treated. She went through 4 chemo treatments and we had to watch her suffer through that ordeal and were by her side all the way, the doctor and nurses weren't there for her. Call the Hospital, demand a full investigation, go public, get tv and radio stations to pick up the story and interview the parents. We may be in jail by then, so hurry.

There is a full adversary hearing on June 15, 2005 at 10:00 AM in the County Court at Law #5 of Nueces County, in Corpus Christi, Texas. Please attend and support Katie, we need to pack the court room, I need character witnesses so I don't lose all my kids permanantly from these trumped up charges.

Yes, they took all my kids. Jonathan and Joshua and James. That again wasn't indicated by the facts, but a ploy by CPS to force us to give them Katie I suppose. Katie wasn't here, thank God, and I don't know where she is, cause if they get ahold of her they will force these treatments on her and she doesn't even want them.

http://www.kristv.com/Global/story.asp?S=3438600

Here's another link with the father's opinion. It is just very strange that the Mom is in jail based on one doctor's opinion?

This is the first I heard of this story, and it leaves a lot more questions than answers. I definitely believe that the authorities should intervene if a child's life is in danger. But this kid already had chemo, so they aren't refusing all care. It seems the best way to handle this would have been more discussion with the parents, not jail time!
http://www.kristv.com/Global/story.asp?S=3434010
post #11 of 17
To determine a child's competency with regards to medical treatment, the child is examined INDIVIDUALLY by professionals to determine their maturity and understanding. It is not just a simple matter of a child just saying no that determines the issue of maturity. Therefore analogies with regards to driving or drinking are not appropriate. The law selects a particular age, whereby it assumes that most persons of that age are sufficiently mature to do the specific thing in question.

I recall a Canadian case relating to a 12 year old whereby the court upon reaching the conclusion that the child has wisdom and maturity well beyond her years decided that she should be allowed to reject treatment. Furthermore it has been remarked in certain cases that when a person is faced with a serious or critical illness, they sometimes gain maturity and understanding.

The argument for religion can be turned on its head. If one's belief is not based upon religious background then does it mean it has less value? Is that not discrimination whereby people of a certain faith are able to do certain acts but others are not able to do the same act.

Finally comparison with another child facing a serious illness does not really prove anything. Just as one could find a person who continues to live a long and healthy life after treatment, one could also find another whose last days on earthe are spent on painful treatment that ultimately failed.
post #12 of 17
I know this sounds horribly cynical, but my guess is that Katie's parents are just outright lying. I've seen this sort of thing happen before, so it honestly wouldn't suprise me. Of course the girl doesn't want to undergo treatments, who really wants to? My guess is that the parents are in denial and making things up as they go in order to cover for themselves and keep the lie reality. I've seen this sort of thing happen with parents of HIV/AIDS positive kids. Who really knows though, I suppose the parents could have a legitimate complaint, but I seriously doubt it.
post #13 of 17
The doctor's are saying that her cancer is back. Hopefully this girl will get the treatment she needs and get better.
post #14 of 17
I applaud you for this post!

THANK YPU!!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amy-DHH
NO 12-year-old is "mature" enough to make a life-and-death decision. It doesn't matter if they are a child prodigy, or seem like a 30-year-old in a 12-year-old body. The reasoning part of the brain is the last piece that develops (and finishes growing) in teenage development, so it is simply beyond physical possibility that she could completely understand the reprocusions of such types of decisions.... even if she was physically developmentally ahead of the curve.

Parents make these decisions for their children, and should continue to do so. We don't let people under 18 vote, we don't let them drink alcohol, we don't let them buy cigarettes, they cannot get their driver's license without extensive drivers training (and as far as I know, 17 is the minimum age for a full driver's license and that's only if the child has had a full semester of driver's ed in school)... there are a lot of "adult" decisions children cannot make (nor should they). This is one of those cases. A girl all of 12 certainly cannot say "but I feel good" and make the decision not to have a life-saving procedure.

We've probably all taken anti-biotics at one time or another. You're supposed to take them for the full course... often 10 days. My 11-year-old might say on day 6 "but mom, I don't need it anymore... I'm feeling better" -- she might well be right that she feels better, but that doesn't mean to ignore the doctor and stop the medication before it's course is done. It's been proven over time that the chance of recurring illness increases when you don't finish all the medication, and to get rid of the "bug" you need to following the directions.

I had a friend with Hodgkins many years ago. It is one of the "better" cancers to get - with a high cure rate when caught early enough. The standard course of treatment, proven over time, a course of chemo first, then radiation for 6 weeks. Yeah, it was uncomfortable. Yeah it made him feel icky. But he is now cured, cancer free for nearly 8 years.

While I do think a parent's right to choose for their child is important, I do have to side with the state here. They aren't making this choice for religious reasons... and they seem really misguided right now. They indicate in the article that the parents don't like the doctor ("He has lied to us so many times that we just can't trust his judgement anymore") so why didn't they find a new doctor earlier??? They could have sought a second opinion without refusing treatment. It just seems really emotional and irrational, and unfortunately, they are being neglectful to deny their daughter treatment.
post #15 of 17
1. today's radiation treatments are completly safe. I have a feeling they are thinking of the radiation treatments of 20-30 years ago.

2. If the child doesn't want to treatment and the parents don't want the treatment then it is there choice. it is with in thier right to do so.

the government had no right to step in. there are children in real danger out there in need of help. Leave this girl and her family alone!!!
post #16 of 17
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20050616/...FjBHNlYwN0cw--
Here's an update on her case. It appears that the cancer HAS returned and a doctor testified that he believes, had the parents allowed the radiation treatment when the doctors recommended it, they could have prevented this. Sad, sad day
post #17 of 17
You gotta wonder if that is truly the child's independant decision, or if the opinion was spoon fed to her by her parents.

My youngest neice, when she was twelve, was fully capable of making an informed decision on this sort of thing, my eldest neice, at 12, was not.

Maturity levels differ so greatly from one individual to the next.

With the reactionary measures taken by her mother, I believe the opinion was spoon fed to the girl, very sad.
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