Thursday, July 20, 2006

In The News

Remember the post I made the other day about Abraham Cherrix' and his fight for an alternative treatment for his cancer. Here is the judges decision. I think it is a sad day.

Eastern Shore teen ordered to hospital for cancer treatment

By SONJA BARISIC, Associated Press
© July 21, 2006 |
Last updated 7:24 PM Jul. 21

NORFOLK — A judge ruled today that a 16-year-old cancer patient fighting to use alternative treatment for his Hodgkin's disease must report to a hospital by Tuesday afternoon for testing, evaluation and treatment as doctors deem necessary, the family's attorney said.The juvenile court judge also found Starchild Abraham Cherrix's parents neglectful for risking his health by permitting him to pursue alternative treatment of a sugar-free, organic diet and herbal supplements supervised by a clinic in Mexico, lawyer John Stepanovich said.

The judge made no change in his previous order requiring Jay and Rose Cherrix of Chincoteague on Virginia's Eastern Shore to share custody of Abraham, as he's called, with the Accomack County Department of Social Services, Stepanovich said.

Stepanovich said he will ask a higher court on Monday to stay enforcement of the order, which requires the parents to take Abraham to Children's Hospital of the King's Daughters in Norfolk no later than 1 p.m. Tuesday and to give the oncologist their written legal consent for treatment.

The family has 10 days to appeal, which in Virginia juvenile court cases means requesting a new trial in Circuit Court, Stepanovich said.

"I want to caution all parents of Virginia: Look out, because Social Services may be pounding on your door next when they disagree with the decision you've made about the health care of your child," Stepanovich said.

Phone calls to the Cherrix home went unanswered. Stepanovich said the family was devastated by the order, which came down at the end of the day.

The lawyer declined to release the ruling, since the judge has sealed much of the case. He said Judge Jesse E. Demps based his reasoning on the traditional medical protocol described by Abraham's oncologist.

Social Services officials have declined to comment in the case, citing privacy laws.

After three months of chemotherapy last year made him nauseated and weak, Abraham rejected doctors' recommendations to go through a second round when he learned early this year that his Hodgkin's disease, a cancer of the lymph nodes, was active again.

A social worker then asked a judge to require the teen to continue conventional treatment. In May, the judge issued a temporary order finding Abraham's parents neglectful and awarding partial custody to the county, with Abraham continuing to live at home with his four siblings.

The judge also initially forbid the family to leave Virginia, then let Abraham return to the Mexican clinic after the teen had X-rays to assess his disease. The X-rays showed the chest tumor had grown mildly, Abraham has said.

Last week, the judge heard 11 hours of testimony over two days during a closed hearing. The teen said afterward that he told the judge what it's like to go through chemotherapy and that he didn't want to relive it

On the Net:

Abraham Cherrix:



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