Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Juvenile court orders teen to accept chemo, reversed by circuit court

Starchild Abraham Cherrix has Hodgkin's disease, and when the disease returned after his initial round of chemo, he refused a second round, opting instead for "a sugar-free, organic diet and take herbal supplements under the supervision of a clinic in Mexico" [Washington Post]:

A social worker asked a juvenile court judge to require the teen to continue conventional treatment, and the judge on Friday ordered Abraham to report to a hospital Tuesday. But Accomack County Circuit Court Judge Glen A. Tyler suspended the judge's order. . . . Tyler [also] agreed to a stay and set a trial date of Aug. 16 [and] ended joint custody of Abraham between his parents and social services officials.

In a similar case last year, the parents of 13-year-old Hodgkin's disease patient Katie Wernecke won the right in November to make all her medical decisions after a court fight with Texas child welfare officials. Doctors had recommended chemotherapy and radiation; her father favored a program of intravenous vitamin C.

The 'Net is ablaze with coverage of this story, as well as commentary. Here is a sampling:

Art Caplan is one of the few voices in the wilderness who questions the wisdom of letting young Mr. Cherrix decide his fate:

posted by tommayo, 9:09 PM

Health care law (including public health law, medical ethics, and life sciences), with digressions into constitutional law, poetry, and other things that matter