Mom Convicted of Withholding Chemo Meds from Son
A jury yesterday convicted a Massachusetts mom of attempted murder in the death of her nine-year-old son. She withheld the boy’s chemotherapy medication. By the time doctors figured this out it was too late, and he died of leukemia.
- Mother would not give chemo drugs to ailing son
- Medical treatment disputes common in custody cases
- Medical treatment over religious objection for serious health risks
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Objections to Child’s Medical Treatment
Unlike some cases involving Christian Scientists, for example, this mom was not a religious objector. She testified she believed her son was cancer-free. Her attorney argued she acted to spare the boy the side effects of chemotherapy.
As a result of her refusal to treat the boy, his father obtained custody. Disputes over medical treatment often arise in child custody cases. Disputes will be decided by a court based upon the best interests of the child.
Things get more complicated when parents object to medical treatment on religious grounds. At one end, most states permit religious objection to childhood vaccinations. At the other end parents may be compelled to allow treatment for life-threatening injuries or conditions, despite religious objections.
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