Judge Says Family Can Choose Non-Medical Treatment for Girl with Cancer

| by Michael Allen

A judge has ruled that a family in Brantford, Ontario, can refuse chemotherapy for their 11-year-old girl who has leukemia.

The girl's aboriginal family, which is part of the Six Nations, wants her to use their traditional healing medicine instead of modern science.

Canadian Judge Gethin Edward ruled that the mother’s aboriginal rights trump the girl's doctors at McMaster Children's Hospital in Hamilton, Ontario, who say the girl has a 90-95 percent survival chance with chemotherapy.

The mother told CBC News, "I will not have my daughter treated with poison... I have chosen treatment that will not compromise her well-being and quality of life."

The family won't say exactly what type of care the child is receiving from her traditional healer, but did tell the Two Row Times that the girl "has blood that proves amazing responsiveness to the treatment we are using. We are happy with the results and will continue to monitor her."

However, Maarten Egeler, professor of pediatrics at the University of Toronto, told, "You have to treat it appropriately. If you are not treated, you die."

Sources: Two Row Times,, CBC News / Image Credit: Makaristos