MEDINA, Ohio– An Ohio appeals court has ruled unanimously that a 10-year-old Amish girl should receive potentially life-saving chemotherapy treatments, despite the objections of her parents.
Twice, a Medina County probate judge had sided with the parents in this ongoing legal battle.
But the appeals court ruled those decisions were “not based upon competent, credible evidence.”
The girl has cancer, and doctors have said she has an 85% chance of survival with treatment. Without it, doctors say the cancer will kill her.
The parents reportedly started the treatments, but became alarmed at how sick they made their daughter.
The family’s attorney says the parents view this to be a religious matter, and they were not informed about the potential side effects of treatment, including possible infertility.
In a 3-0 decision, the appeals court said that decisions regarding the girl’s medical care “must be made on the basis of individual values, informed by medical realities..While we have no doubt, that the parents are acting in accordance with their principles, beliefs, and honest convictions, and their goal may be a laudable one,” the court said, “it does not nullify or supersede the right of the state…to protect the health and well-being of a child.”
Akron Children’s Hospital, which sought to have a limited guardian appointed to oversee the girl’s treatment, applauded the court’s ruling.
In a statement, the hospital said that it “looks forward to working with the girl’s family and the guardian to resume her life-saving treatment.”