Judge Lifts Order for Cancer Treatment
Tuesday, July 25, 2006; 6:59 PM
ACCOMAC, Va. -- A judge ruled Tuesday that a 16-year-old cancer patient who has refused conventional medical treatment does not have to report to a hospital as previously ordered and scheduled a trial to settle the dispute.
Starchild Abraham Cherrix, who is battling Hodgkin's disease, a cancer of the lymphatic system, refused a second round of chemotherapy when he learned early this year that the cancer had returned.
Abraham chose to instead go on a sugar-free, organic diet and take herbal supplements under the supervision of a clinic in Mexico.
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.
"I feel free today. I was let off the leash," Abraham said after Tyler agreed to a stay and set a trial date of Aug. 16.
Tyler also ended joint custody of Abraham between his parents and social services officials.
Carl Bundick, an attorney for the department, told the judge the department would not object, provided a new trial takes place quickly.
"What the department is interested in is this young man being cured of cancer," Bundick said.
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.
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