A back-and-forth fight between the state and a 10-year-old girl with leukemia has been raging for awhile. Ohioan Amish girl, Sarah Hershberger, was brought into national view when it was learned that a legal battle ensued over whether her parents, Andy and Anna, had any right to choose a natural cancer treatment for her.
Already this year, a Medina County, Ohio Juvenile and Probate judge ruled in the parents’ favor – twice – when Akron Children’s Hospital took legal action to force her to continue chemotherapy. Earlier this month, however, an appeals court ruling overturned the rulings and appointed a nurse-attorney to have limited legal guardianship over Sarah, saying: “…we are unwilling to adhere to the wishes of the parents” and “The beliefs and convictions of the parents can’t outweigh the rights of the state to protect the child.” The ruling was to force her back into (experimental) chemotherapy.
The family had already been out of the country during this ruling. According to Sarah’s father, she was completely recovered from natural treatments as of October 23. Her natural protocols including plant extracts, supplements and nutrition outside the U.S. were confirmed three times with cat scans and blood tests. Cancer-free in a two-month period!
While her battle with cancer might be over – the battle with the state, judicial system, and medical system could just be getting started after all this time.
The hospital cried that she would die without the chemo (for a two-year duration) which was their reasoning for using the courts to force her back into chemotherapy. Of course, they actually had a much different motivation for keeping her on toxic chemo despite her previous weakening condition.
Dr. Robert McGregor, Chief Medical Officer had said:
We find ourselves in a situation where we feel legally and morally obligated to do what we think is in her best interest.
But that argument about “moral obligations” was completely deflated when the family discovered a new revelation….
What the Hershbergers didn’t find out until later was that their daughter had been secretly enrolled in a medical research experiment and were testing new drugs on her. Losing her from the experiment meant a significant loss in funding to the tune of $1,000,000 if Sarah is not treated the full 110 weeks. The hospital has allegedly billed $130,000 for just five weeks of those treatments.
Initially, there was significant cancer reduction with the chemo, but soon it was beginning to weaken, sicken, and (the family believed) it was killing Sarah which is why they all agreed to stop. This is when the hospital took aggressive legal action, complete with a national media frenzy, to keep her there. Fortunately, they left the country during this time. What will this hospital do now with a fully recovered girl? That, can’t be good for the research results.
But it gets even more outrageous; not only was Sarah, unbeknownst to her family, a part of a research experiment using new drugs, but they did not even notify or ask the family about a second round of different chemicals. Nor did they warn about the serious side effects – the ones that made Sarah too sick to continue them. Not only that, but for the second experimental round, they had 10-year-old Sarah “put her name on the line”!!
Question: How would the hospital know if Sarah would die without these treatments, if they were just being tested for the first time on her in a research experiment?
Answer: God, we don’t want to lose our funding!!
This egregious mistreatment from the hospital had to be intentional if they convinced a 10 year old to sign off without the family there. That alone should nullify hospital guardianship. And then to smear the family in the press as though they were the ones killing their daughter – when in actuality it was funding for the research experiment they were after. And then to have court system backing by continuing to litigate until they found a newly-appointed judge who ruled in their favor. This goes to show that cruel and unusual state-sponsored experiments on people still take place, usually on vulnerable ones without their knowledge. How likely is it that the Amish would appear on all the media circuits, be given a fair chance, or take legal action even when harmed? (They don’t sue…)
They also found out eventually that Sarah’s medical information was given out to the media outlets – and the family is aware of the federal privacy law violation there. The Hershbergers will no longer speak to the mainstream media as they initially twisted their words and failed to show their side of the story at all.
Some in their Amish community, including a grandfather, have been told the same line about having a few months to live unless (or despite) lengthy chemotherapy – when seeking natural treatment they recovered to live a good life. According to grandfather, Isaac Keim, many in their community have turned away from the Akron hospital and all others in the radius. He as a bishop of the Amish church and other bishops are openly against the court ruling.
Notably, religion had nothing to do with the family’s decisions to turn away from the hospital – the Amish do visit doctors and hospitals. It was Sarah’s well-being at the heart of it, and going on basic parental freedom. The family was willing to come back to the hospital if her condition worsened; instead, she completely healed with natural treatment. It doesn’t sound like the hospital will celebrate her best interest, however.
The family wishes to move on from this lengthy disaster (with a silver lining), but unfortunately the fear of being arrested for contempt of court looms over them. There is a summons to court on November 6th. If you think the hospital would not force a healthy girl back onto chemo for a research experiment, guess again. None of what has happened so far has involved empathy or common sense – no good intentions or doing what’s best for the family whatsoever. Thus, the use of force and a smear campaign. Andy told David: “he will not comply with the court order.”
An update on from investigative reporter, David Michael reported that Sarah would physically fight if forced back on chemo. He quotes her:
Sarah: “I want to come home and be left alone from these people”. “I will fight them off” (if they try to give her more chemotherapy.) “This is not God’s will.”
Is the battle over now that she has healed, or will the hospital continue the war call? Not only is this family hanging on and fighting however they can, it looks like a constitutional law organisation is ramping up to defend them and try to reverse the court decision. The revelation of her healing and the hospital’s deception paired with backlash might just have the hospital and its affiliates shaking in their boots.
This family risked everything to help their daughter. They are still stuck outside the U.S. away from six of their children who are helping other family members keep the farm going. This fund button to the right is reposted from David Michael who is in contact with the family. There are gift incentives for donations.
You can also donate directly to the family via check (no gift incentives):
11509 Holshoe Road
Homerville OH 44254
Please visit David Michael’s exclusive story on Journal of Living Food. There you will find more of the full background on the Hershberger story, insight into the legalities, medical politics and information on the some natural treatment methods.
Read Other Articles by Heather Callaghan