Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Medical Mistrust

"Thirteen-year-old Katie Wernecke, the Texas girl often in the national news lately, has Hodgkin's disease.

"After she endured four rounds of chemotherapy, her parents believed she was OK. Then Katie developed what was thought to be pneumonia. When doctors recommended radiation treatment, Wernecke's parents refused it based on their belief that the side effects were too dangerous for a healthy girl.

"The state of Texas removed Katie from her parents' custody and ordered her to begin treatment. Now the latest reports say tests show Wernecke's cancer returned.

"On 'Today,' Wernecke's parents said they didn't want to deny her medical care. They said they wanted a full explanation of her condition in terminology they could understand. But Texas is maintaining custody." ...

"Texas Child Protective Services officials believe the recommendations of doctors at the hospital should overrule the parents. Robert Rosetti, program director over investigations at the CPS Nueces County office, claims the parents are being 'medically neglectful.'" ...

"This issue is about parental rights, not about religious rights," their attorney, Daniel Horne, said. "They just want to be informed of her treatment. They want to be involved in this."

"The state issued an Amber Alert that led to the seizure of Katie, who is undergoing tests at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. The couple's three sons also were taken and are in a foster home."

"Katie, who was diagnosed with cancer in January, does not want the treatment. 'I don't need radiation treatment. And nobody asked me what I wanted. It's my body,' she said in a videotaped message to her parents."

That begs the question, where is the National Organization for Women in all this? Why aren't they screaming at the top of their lungs for Katie's rights? What about the rest of the women's rights crowd?

Or does this fit all to well with "the doctor (or abortionist) knows best what women should do with their bodies?" Sure, they don't want to set a precedent for parental involvement, but what about Katie? She has specifically said she rejects this treatment to her own body as well?

The Pray for Katie blog has updates from the family on Katie's progress. They have their three sons back after being forced to consent to a questionable search of their home.

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