Amish Family Flees Ohio to Avoid Daughter's Leukemia Treatment

Amish family.jpg

The family of a 10-year-old Amish girl has fled the state of Ohio in an effort to avoid having the girl subjected to anti-cancer treatments.

Andy and Anna Hershberger and their daughter Sarah have disappeared from their home in Homer Township, Ohio, presumably to avoid the treatments that the state of Ohio had deemed necessary to save the girl's life. Sarah has been diagnosed with a treatable type of leukemia, but after one round of chemotherapy at Akron Children's Hospital, the girl decided she could not endure it.

This is only the latest in a real-life drama being played out between modern medicine and the state of Ohio on one side, and the traditions of an Amish community on the other.

Family opts out of treatment

Officials at Akron Children's believe they have a moral and legal responsibility to see to it that the girl receives the treatments that evidence shows can save her life. They say she faces almost certain death without them.

Sarah's parents had initially agreed to the two-year treatment protocol, but before a second round of chemotherapy was to begin, Sarah appealed to her parents for it to end, claiming it was making her very ill.

After extensive prayer, they stopped bringing her to treatments. Akron Children's sought guardianship over the girl in an effort to make sure she received treatment. An Ohio appeals court granted it, saying the rights of the state to protect a child outweighed the religious beliefs of the child's parents in this case. The decision has been appealed to the Ohio Supreme Court.

In the meantime, the family has apparently fled their farm in Homer Township, and their whereabouts remain unknown. Word is that the girl is receiving treatment in the form of herbs and vitamins.

Feature photo depicts the Hershberger family farm. Photo credits: Medina Gazette/Kiera Manion-Fischer

Source: Medina Gazette

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