Home School Heartbeat Radio Program

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Doctor Gone Rogue
volume 111, Program 32
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What happens when you make an informed decision to disagree with your doctor? If you’re an adult, that’s your right. But what about if you’re a parent deciding for your child? Mike Farris explains a recent court case that explores this issue, today on Home School Heartbeat.

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Mike Farris:
Last time, I told you about 8-year-old Jacob Stieler. After being diagnosed with cancer and undergoing surgery and several rounds of incredibly difficult chemotherapy, he had a PET scan that showed no evidence of remaining cancer. But the doctors automatically wanted to give Jacob more rounds of chemo and radiation. But Jacob’s parents didn’t believe that Jacob could survive more chemo, and asked the doctors to make an individual diagnosis. The doctors refused.

Jacob’s parents did an extensive study of the side effects of the chemotherapy drugs and they determined that the risk of the drugs was far greater than the risk of recurrent cancer, since Jacob had a clean PET scan. They told the doctors no more chemotherapy for now.

But the doctors would not take no for an answer. They asked child protective services to file charges against the family for medical neglect.

After looking into the matter, both the local CPS agency and the local prosecuting attorney refused to file charges. They believed that the parents were making reasonable decisions for Jacob.

The doctors still would not take no for an answer. They called higher authorities at the state until they finally found someone who would agree with them.

CPS officials hired an independent private lawyer to serve as the prosecutor against Ken and Erin Stieler. Next time, I’ll tell you the shocking facts I discovered when I got involved in the case. I’m Mike Farris.

Program Offer

Mike Farris has a more detailed analysis of the Stieler Case in the spring issue of the Home School Court Report. Request a copy of the cover story by clicking the link.

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