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In a huge victory for parental rights and health freedom, a Canadian court recently ruled that the family of a 11-year-old girl with cancer cannot be forced to treat her with chemotherapy.

ABC News reports:

The girl is a member of the Six Nations tribe of American Indians and has been suffering from acute lymphoblastic leukemia. In September, the girl’s mother stopped treatment after just 10 days and took the girl to a holistic healing center in Florida.

McMaster Children’s Hospital, which was treating the girl in Ontario, Canada, asked Brant Family Children’s Services to intervene and bring the girl back from Florida for treatment. When BFCS refused, the hospital took the organization to court in an effort to force it to bring the girl back to Canada.

McMaster Children’s Hospital President Dr. Peter Fitzgerald said with chemotherapy the girl had a 90 percent to 95 percent chance for survival. Ontario Court Justice Gethin Edward ruled Friday that the girl could not be forced by BFCS to be treated with chemotherapy, the Toronto Star reported. Edward ruled Friday that the court could not intervene due to the family’s aboriginal rights under the Canadian constitution.

Andrew Koster, the family’s attorney, said it was the family’s right to choose their daughter’s treatment. (Source.)

Terri LaPoint, writing in The Inquisitr, notes the similarities in this case in Canada, where religious rights were considered in the judge’s decision, and a similar case in Arizona where a mother’s religious belief was used against her to take away her child, also suffering from leukemia:

Two children, one in Canada, the other in Arizona, were diagnosed with leukemia. Their stories are virtually parallel, until the end. Both began chemotherapy. When they asked to stop the treatment that was making them very sick, the outcomes were completely different. Canada has ruled that the state cannot force the medical treatment, while Arizona seized custody of the child and is attempting to sever all of his mother’s parental rights.

As previously reported by the Inquisitr, Makayla Sault of the Missisaugas of the New Credit First Nation, Ontario, Canada, is 11 years old, and was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. Chemotherapy was prescribed. According to Indian Country Today, 11 weeks into the treatment Makayla told her parents that she couldn’t take it anymore, that she believes that Jesus will heal her, and that she wants to pray and use traditional healing methods.

She composed a heartfelt letter pleading for this option, and read it on a YouTube video.

Her parents, Pastors Ken and Sonya Sault, decided to stop her chemo treatments and try the alternative treatments. That is when things got really ugly. McMaster Children’s Hospital accused her parents of “failing to provide proper medical care for the child,” because they chose to take Makayla out of chemotherapy. Ontario Court Justice Gethin Edward ruled that the Sault family could not be forced to submit Makayla to the conventional medical treatment.

The case is strikingly similar to the case of Christopher Reign Brown, an eight-year-old boy in Arizona. Three years ago, he was diagnosed with Chronic Myeloid Leukemia. According to Health Impact News, he began a twelve-week regimen of oral chemotherapy. He too became sick from the treatment. Ten weeks into the process, he had a conversation with his mother, Tonya Brown, a Christian missionary. He asked, “Mom, if I am healed in Jesus’ name, then why are you giving me that poison?”
Tonya Brown mother and son
Dr. Jessica Boklan of Phoenix Children’s Hospital wanted to do a bone marrow transplant. Because his mother adopted Christopher as a baby from Guatemala, there was not any close relative who could donate bone marrow, which made the painful procedure much more risky. After much research and prayer, Tonya stopped the chemo treatments at ten weeks, and took her son home to seek alternative treatments, including prayer for healing.

Christopher got better. But the doctor alerted Child Protective Services. After 18 months of the Browns living their life, CPS showed up at their doorstep. The social worker had been told to expect a child on his deathbed. What she found was a happy child, thriving in his mother’s love.

Less than two weeks later, after months of good health, he began to relapse. When Tonya took him to Phoenix Children’s Hospital, Dr. Boklan wanted to begin chemo treatment again. Even though Tonya accepted her treatment plan at this time, CPS seized custody of her son the very next day.

Whereas the alternative treatments, including prayer, were part of the Christian family’s faith and tradition, their heritage was not met with the same tolerance that Makayla’s family found. It is her very faith that the CPS-appointed psychiatrist called “delusional.” Though prayer and healing is an ancient part of Christian doctrine, Christopher’s removal from the mother he has grown up with was based on the accusation that Tonya “continues to cling steadfastly to her bizarre religious beliefs.”

Read the full story on the Inquisitr.