Health

Akron Children's Hospital Fighting To Have 10-Year-Old Continue Chemotherapy Despite Parents Wishes To Stop Treatments

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Akron Children's HospitalAkron Children's Hospital

A hospital in Ohio is trying to make a 10-year-old Amish girl resume chemotherapy for leukemia after her parents halted 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, according to NBC News.

The hospital feels 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," McGregor said.

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The limited guardianship would grant Maria Schimer the right to make medical decisions for the girl, Sarah Hershberger, instead of her parents, Andy and Anna Hershberger.

The Media Gazette reports that Probate and Juvenile Judge John J. Lohn denied the hospital’s application for limited guardianship in July.

“The court cannot deprive these parents of their right to make medical decisions for their daughter because there is not a scintilla of evidence showing the parents are unfit,” Lohn wrote in his judgment entry.

“There was no basis in law and no basis in fact to file this action.”

The girl was taken to Akron Children’s Hospital in April with tumors on a kidney and visible ones on her neck and chest, according to court records. Her parents at first allowed the chemotherapy, but later rejected it in favor of natural medicine, such as herbs and vitamins.

During chemotherapy, the girl’s tumors shrank, but she did not enter remission.

Her parents said they stopped chemotherapy because its effects on their daughter were “horrible” and “terrible.”

“Sarah begged her parents to stop the treatments,” the judge wrote. “Anna said she and Andy could not stand to watch what was happening to their daughter.”

If she undergoes chemotherapy, the hospital said her chance at survival reaches 85 percent and attorneys in the case apparently told the court that without chemotherapy, the girl would be dead in a year.

Sources: NBC News, The Medina Gazette