Background: When Sarah was diagnosed with cancer in 2013, her parents, Andy and Anna Hershberger, initially agreed to chemotherapy treatments. However, they opted to end such treatments when Sarah’s condition grew worse, fearing that the treatments themselves might eventually lead to her death.
As is typical in today’s post-constitutional America, officials at Akron Children’s Hospital responded with a legal attempt to strip Sarah’s parents of their right to choose their own daughter’s medical treatment. The hospital sought court permission to obtain “limited guardianship” over her, thereby giving them the authority over medical decisions pertaining to her. Doctors testified she would not make it six months without chemotherapy.
Initially, Probate Judge John L. Lohn — since retired — ruled that Sarah’s parents were competent enough to make medical decisions on their daughter’s behalf. Eventually, however, a higher court ordered him to appoint a guardian.
The family responded by fleeing the country, choosing instead to seek alternative medical treatment in Mexico and Canada. Months thereafter, the hospital decided to relinquish guardianship, seeing no point in pursuing the matter further.
Update: Sarah has had MRIs and blood work, and the judge over the last year helped facilitate at least one trip to the Cleveland Clinic. The MRIs did not show any cancer, Her family is continuing to treat her with less invasive alternative medicine. The court formally terminated Sarah’s guardianship on September 24. The judge acknowledged that Sarah, who will turn 13 in November, showed no symptoms of cancer and that she appeared to be healthy.”Read more…