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Amish Girl Refuses Chemo, Hospital Fights Decision

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-- An Ohio hospital is fighting to force a 10-year-old Amish girl with leukemia to resume chemotherapy after her parents decided to stop the treatments.

Akron Children's Hospital is appealing a judge's decision that blocked an attorney who's also a registered nurse from taking over limited guardianship and making medical decisions for the girl.

The hospital believes the girl will die without chemotherapy and is morally and legally obligated to make sure she receives proper care, said Robert McGregor, the hospital's chief medical officer.

"We really have to advocate for what we believe is in the best interest of the child," he said Friday.

The parents initially allowed chemotherapy treatment in May but stopped treatment in June. The parents said the effects on their daughter were horrible and that they were now relying on natural medicines, such as herbs and vitamins, The Medina Gazette reported.

The girl told a probate and juvenile judge that she didn't want chemotherapy because it made feel ill, can damage her organs and make her infertile, the newspaper said.

Medina County Probate and Juvenile Judge John Lohn said he could only transfer guardianship if the parents were found unfit.

"The court cannot deprive these parents of their right to make medical decisions for their daughter, because there is not a scintilla of evidence showing the parents are unfit," Lohn wrote in a ruling issued on July 31.

An injunction, however, was issued in mid-August that ordered the family to resume treatment immediately until the issue was resolved. The hospital said the family only has visited once since then.

McGregor said the girl's illness – lymphoblastic lymphoma – is an aggressive form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma and is very curable if she continues treatment.

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