Ohio hospital: Force Amish girl to have chemo

0

An Ohio hospital is fighting to force a 10-year-old Amish girl with leukemia to resume chemotherapy after her parents decided to stop the treatments.


Akron Children's Hospital is appealing a judge's decision that blocked an attorney who's also a registered nurse from taking over limited guardianship and making medical decisions for the girl.

The hospital believes the girl will die without chemotherapy and is morally and legally obligated to make sure she receives proper care, said Robert McGregor, the hospital's chief medical officer.

"We really have to advocate for what we believe is in the best interest of the child," he said Friday.

The parents initially allowed chemotherapy treatment in May but stopped treatment in June. The parents said the effects on their daughter were horrible and that they were now relying on natural medicines, such as herbs and vitamins, The Medina Gazette reported.

Written By: John Seewer
continue to source article at bigstory.ap.org

NO COMMENTS

      • In reply to #15 by David W:

        In reply to #2 by joseywales:

        Why is the girl in the photo not wearing shoes?

        I wondered the same thing. Perhaps the Amish consider women to be inferior to men (like a lot of other religions).

        The men are definitely the head of the household and women. Their roles in society are clearly defined along with their manner of dress, architecture, societal rules etc. In general, the Amish are very proper and respectful. They have very strict rules. You can identify an Amish home by the lack of wiring going to the house. Yet, they will freely use power tools and electronics for their employment. Even women, young girls and widows, are allowed to work outside the home. I have seen many Amish women working as waitresses, as cashiers, in stores, etc. I do not get the sense that they treat women in the same manner as other extreme religions.

  1. If they think the effects of the treatment on their daughter were “horrible” I wonder what they’ll think of the effects on her of the disease.

    I couldn’t finish the article because of the effect it was having on me, but I’m an adult and can exercise that choice, this poor mite doesn’t have such options; unless the Hospital can prevail she’s trapped.

    Indeed, most “horrible”.

  2. Incidentally, the idea that the Amish do not utilize any 20th or 21st century technology in their day to day lives is complete nonsense. Plastic did not exist in the 19th century, and note the lunchboxes that those kids are carrying. In documentaries on the Amish that I’ve seen, they also use plastic watering cans.

    • I think that there are different sects of the Amish (surprise surprise!!!) and the most extreme are the ones that adhere to the pre 20th century rules. I know there are mennonites and amish and anabaptists… In Pennsylvania (where I live) we have a large Amish presence in an area called Lancaster. These people are of the Pennsylvania Dutch subgrouping… or something like that….

      Anyway, they are very simple and make great furniture and pies. That is my take away, oh, and some of them let their children die needlessly because of their goofy belief system.

      In reply to #5 by IDLERACER:

      Incidentally, the idea that the Amish do not utilize any 20th or 21st century technology in their day to day lives is complete nonsense. Plastic did not exist in the 19th century, and note the lunchboxes that those kids are carrying. In documentaries on the Amish that I’ve seen, they also use plasti…

  3. Well at least the parent’s realise that it’s all part of God’s great plan that their daughter should die of preventable leukaemia, and no doubt that she already has a first class ticket to heaven. Too bad about the suffering here on Earth though.

    BANGS HEAD ON TABLE ! GRRRR !

  4. This doesn’t seem really religiously motivated – just poorly educated (which has little to do with being Amish, as news reports like this sadly come up all the time). I heard a story about a young Amish boy who was taken off his anti-seizure medication at the advice of a chiropractor. He finally had a horrific seizure, fortunately with no long term harm, and fortunately his parents made the decision to go with a doctor’s judgment and medicate him again rather than work with the chiropractor. I do wonder what lead this family to go with the herbs and vitamins course of treatment and if the situation is similar.

    • In reply to #9 by Kim Probable:

      This doesn’t seem really religiously motivated – just poorly educated (which has little to do with being Amish, as news reports like this sadly come up all the time).

      Unfortunately, being poorly educated is a byproduct of the religion. They are allowed to withdraw children from education at an early age because it’s their ‘culture’. They do not attend university. It’s the intellectual equivalent of foot-binding.

  5. Sorry, where does it say the parents are denying the child treatment on religious grounds?

    As I understand it they want to discontinue the standard treatment in favour of, erm, “unconventional” treatment because the standard treatment causes some really bad side effects. I can understand this. I disagree with it, but I understand it. Maybe these parents, and the child, need to meet some similarly aged kids who have been through this and survived. Might this be less damaging to the family than dragging them through the courts, if it works.

    Meantime, there are plenty of genuine reasons to attack religious stupidity without picking a fight where no reason exists.

    • In reply to #10 by SomersetJohn:

      Sorry, where does it say the parents are denying the child treatment on religious grounds?

      Agreed, they sound like they’re shying away from the effects of chemo. The vitamins and ‘natural’ stuff is an extension of having to do something. Oncology centres routinely put new patients’ families in touch with others on/off treatment, wonder if that happened in this case?

      From the article:

      The girl told a probate and juvenile judge that she didn’t want chemotherapy because it made feel ill, can damage her organs and make her infertile, the newspaper said.

      Ok, first one I’ll buy but how many 10 year olds worry about their fertility (and more so than dying)?

      • In reply to #12 by Docjitters:

        In reply to #10 by SomersetJohn:
        Ok, first one I’ll buy but how many 10 year olds worry about their fertility (and more so than dying)?
        ..

        Some little girls are taught that the highest goal they can achieve is to be a good wife and mother.

    • In reply to #10 by SomersetJohn:

      Sorry, where does it say the parents are denying the child treatment on religious grounds?

      I think the thrust of the article is about the parents’ reliance on herbs to cure their daughter instead of chemotherapy. RichardDawkins.net is also about debunking other myths besides religion like magic, homeopathy, “electric fan death,” etc.

  6. This really has nothing to do with being Amish. I live in the Cleveland area (not far from Akron) and I always see Amish in the hospitals. I’ve even seen Amish premies hooked up to all sorts of wiring in the NICU. They will readily accept all medical treatment and pay their bills with cash. This seems to be a situation in which the parents were distraught over the pain their child experienced and stopped treatment not thinking of the long term effects. Amish and English parents do this all the time.

    Yes the kids wear shoes. With snowy winters you have to. I didn’t like wearing shoes when I was a kid either. Right now I’m barefooted as I type.

  7. It doesn’t have much to do with this article but I have a comment to make. I live in a country with national health care. Due to uncertainty in my employment future, I have looked into returning to the United States. I heard that thanks to Obamacare health care exchanges are being set up but I suspect things haven’t gotten rolling yet. I checked Florida to see what was on offer in the way of health insurance for a husband and wife in their 50s. I was shocked to see the most reasonable offer was paying $274 a month for a policy with a $20,000 deductible. $20,000???? I guess when you consider the criminally high costs of medical care in the USA, that might be a reasonable deductible. The New York Times has been having a series of articles about the ridiculously high costs of medicine in the USA. I remember an article on the big differences in colonoscopy costs that range from hundreds to thousands of dollars, depending on your home state. A few days ago there was an article on the cost of IV saline solution, the material costs of which are less than $1 but for which hospitals routinely charge over $500 a bag. These examples of criminal gouging perhaps explain how an insurance company can dream up a health insurance policy with a $20,000 deductible. I think I will try to stay in my current country.

    • In reply to #17 by prietenul:

      It doesn’t have much to do with this article but I have a comment to make. I live in a country with national health care.

      I would stay with healthcare too, especially after 50.

  8. What are the chances that chemotherapy treatment will cure the child? If the chances are very low, would that be like torturing a dying child? (sometimes we have to ask painful questions).

    • In reply to #18 by old-toy-boy:

      What are the chances that chemotherapy treatment will cure the child? If the chances are very low, would that be like torturing a dying child? (sometimes we have to ask painful questions).

      Lymphoblastic lymphoma is rarely found outside of childhood, but like lymphoblastic leukaemia, is one of the more curable forms of childhood cancer if treated at an early stage. The parents are caught in a bit of a trap because they object to the horrible effects of treatment but it is the lymphoma’s relatively good treatability that means the chemotherapy is especially intensive. Childhood survival figures are 70-90% disease-free at 5 years (all stages – also see this nice Macmillan info page).

      This is supposition, but I can’t imagine the doctors dragging it through the courts unless they felt chance of cure was good and/or the child was responding well in some way.

      If the parents are genuinely informed as to the outcomes without treatment, and the prognosis wasn’t good anyway, I can’t see treatment being enforced. I can however imagine the doctors taking court action if they felt suffering would be greater without palliative treatment.

  9. These people are just parents with an agonising decision to make about their daughter…Why emphasise the Amish bit unless the article is trying to unnecessarily incite reactionary responses about their religion – which it did !….A similar story happened in Britain recently but the mother of a little boy with cancer was Not religious….She feared the effects of chemo on her child would be too much for him to take on top of his illness, although of course she wanted her sick child to get treatment and get well ….
    my own aunt refused repeated chemo (not on religious grounds but because it was a sickening treatment ) and she chose to try other methods – she eventually passed away at home….Imagine if she or another adult was forced to continue chemo !!! that would be like torture…But this little child is being forced to continue by courts….that’s tragic – amish or not…
    I’ve read many stories of religious people refusing their kids life saving medical treatment on account of their beliefs which IS a scandal….however this case could happen to anyone….

    • In reply to #23 by Light Wave:

      These people are just parents with an agonising decision to make about their daughter…Why emphasise the Amish bit unless the article is trying to unnecessarily incite reactionary responses about their religion – which it did !….A similar story happened in Britain recently but the mother of a lit…

      I agree, this little girl and her parents must be going through an awful time watching their daughter being effectively poisoned by radiation. No-one can doubt their pain physical and emotional, but the article does not claim they had theological objections to the chemo and initially went ahead, but withdrew her from treatment not cos ‘god told em’, but because of the terrible effects on their little girl.

      I do, however, think the parents are wrong, and the hospital is correct, if the medical consensus agrees, to insist the family should proceed, and the parent’s ‘faith’ in woo medicine is dangerous as it has offered something it cannot prove IN PLACE OF conventional treatment, to vulnerable people clutching at straws, and is thus fraudulent. But I don’t see that one can place this particular situation at the foot of them being amish and believing the bible, some indirect responsibility may lie more squarely at the feet of the promotion of pseudo-science as an ‘alternative’.

      The argument should be informed by the medical experts in the end. Science gives her some chance, the alternatives don’t seem to give her any.

      I hope this all works out.

      • In reply to #24 by adey5:

        In reply to #23 by Light Wave:>

        the article does not claim they had theological objections to the chemo

        Exactly why I made this point – this is not about their beliefs as I said…why then put ‘Amish’ in the title and not just ‘Girl’ ??
        The poor girl must be distraught…..I hope the treatment can cure her…or her last months may have just been decided by the hospital prison.

        Enforced treatment just sounds like torture to me and there’s no guarantee that it’ll work… so sad….

    • In reply to #23 by Light Wave:

      A similar story happened in Britain recently but the mother of a little boy with cancer was Not religious….

      I thought she was some sort of New Age kook. The child had a silly name that was suggestive of such.

      • In reply to #28 by Silverwhistle:

        In reply to #23 by Light Wave:

        A similar story happened in Britain recently but the mother of a little boy with cancer was Not religious….
        I thought she was some sort of New Age kook. The child had a silly name that was suggestive of such.

        Recent update on the story of Neon Roberts here and here. Mother not necessarily New Age but featuring a combination of side-effect freak-out plus (misspelled) advice from a mysterious (alternative) ‘Doctor V’ – glad to hear he’s making progress.

Leave a Reply