State of Texas Seizes Hodgkin's Girl from Her Parents

Child welfare officials have seized a 12-year-old Hodgkin's lymphoma patient from her parents because they were keeping her from radiation treatment that doctors say she needs. Last weekend, the state assumed custody of Katie, who has already undergone chemotherapy (the doctors want her to have radiation in addition to the chemo, the parents are questioning the need).

The parents, Michele and Edward Wernecke, believe that the doctors have not been forthright about treatment for their daughter, Katie, particularly concerning the side effects of radiation, said the Werneckes' lawyer, David Horne. Her mother was arrested on charges of interfering with child custody but was released Monday on $50,000 bond.

At a hearing on Wednesday, the Werneckes asked a juvenile court judge to bar the doctors, at M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, from providing radiation therapy for Katie until a hearing next week to determine whether she will stay in state custody. The judge, Carl Lewis, said he would rule on the request on Friday.

This case could have broad implications on who ultimately has control over patient treatment - doctors or patients & loved ones.

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