Teen wins court battle to stop chemo

  1. ACCOMAC, Virginia (AP) -- A 16-year-old cancer patient's legal fight ended in victory Wednesday when his family's attorneys and social services officials reached an agreement that would allow him to forgo chemotherapy.

    At the start of what was scheduled to be a two-day hearing, Circuit Judge Glen A. Tyler announced that both sides had reached a consent decree, which Tyler approved.

    Under the decree, Starchild Abraham Cherrix, who is battling Hodgkin's disease, will be treated by an oncologist of his choice who is board-certified in radiation therapy and interested in alternative treatments.

    The family must provide the court updates on Abraham's treatment and condition every three months until he's cured or turns 18.

    "It's all over. It's everything we fought for, everything we wanted to ever have, we've won. We got our freedom back," Abraham said outside the courthouse after the hearing.

    Tyler emphasized that the decree states that the parents weren't medically neglectful.

    Abraham said that he saw the doctor last week, and the doctor assured him that his cancer is curable. The teen said he'll continue following an alternative herbal treatment called the Hoxsey method as well as his doctor's treatment plan. The regimen won't include chemotherapy, but radiation is a possibility, he said.

    After the short hearing, the judge looked at Abraham and said, "God bless you, Mr. Cherrix."

    Last summer, the teen was diagnosed with Hodgkin's disease, a cancer of the lymphatic system considered very treatable in its early stages. He was so debilitated by three months of chemotherapy that he declined a second, more intensive round that doctors recommended early this year.

    He since has been using the Hoxsey method, the sale of which was banned in the United States in 1960.

    After Abraham chose to go on the sugar-free, organic diet and take liquid herbal supplements under the supervision of a Mexican clinic, a social worker asked a juvenile court judge to intervene to protect the teen's health. Last month, the judge found Abraham's parents neglectful and ordered Abraham to report to a hospital for treatment as doctors deem necessary.

    Lawyers for the family appealed, and an Accomack County Circuit Court judge suspended that order and scheduled a new trial to settle the dispute.

    According to the American Cancer Society, there is no scientific evidence that Hoxsey is effective in treating cancer in people. The herbal treatment is illegal in the United States but can be obtained through clinics in Mexico, and some U.S. naturopathic practitioners use adapted versions of the formula
     
  2. I'm so glad they're leaving him alone!
     
  3. I don't understand why they wanted to "order" him to take the chemo! I thought it was a free country?!:wacko: I am sure he is old enough to understand what he is doing!!! This makes me so angry!!! In the last days of my mom's battle with cancer she was really sick but wanted to leave the hospital, go home and die in peace. The hospital was refusing to release her. She knew that her days were numbered and just wanted to be in the privacy of her own home. We almost had to get lawyers involved! I think it's ridiculous!!!
     
  4. good for him - its a shame that the authorities had to be involved. People should be able to do what they want with their treatments.
     
  5. DH and I were discussing this before and I thought it was so terrible.. I'm glad to see he won. Just heartbreaking..
     
  6. I have been following this story, and I am soooo happy for him and his family for winning!
     
  7. good for him, and karma will be pleasent to that particular judge.

    LV_addict, i'm from canada but, isnt the USA a 'free country' once you turn 18? without having gone to court, he had no right to turn down a second round of chemo.
     
  8. Such a complicated issue - but I will note that sometimes people pay alot of money to unproven alternative therapies because they think they might help - it sounds like he's doing that here. That makes me sad too.
     
  9. I'm so glad they are allowing him sovreignty over his own body.