Ohio Ends Stand-Off Over Amish Girl Forced Chemo Case

Heather Callaghan
Activist Post

Will the Hershbergers enjoy Christmas with their family at their Ohio home?

The last news report about the Ohioan Amish Hershberger family trying to avoid court-ordered chemotherapy showed that they were back in the US but still hiding. It did appear, at that time, that the hospital was not backing down. Even though reports said law enforcement and child protective services weren’t on the search, those parties had been out at the Hershbergers’ residence throughout the past few months.

The Hershberger family had been through a medical nightmare this Summer and Fall that began when Andy and Anna’s 10-year-old daughter Sarah received chemo for leukemia, unwittingly a part of a secret research experiment. After the experimental chemo made her too ill to function, the parents opted for natural protocols with the support of two court rulings. That’s when the big guns rolled out with another judge ruling forced chemo and assigning Ms. Maria Schimer as hospital guardian. They were basing their appeals on an obscure Ohio mandate regarding child abuse.

Sarah made a complete recovery in October using the natural treatment, yet the hospital kept up the smear campaign and did not appear to let go of the mandate. So the Hershbergers stayed out of the country until recently and when they returned they still avoided their home even though they’ve been separated from their other children this whole time.


The original breaking story by David Michael put the family in touch with a supportive Constitutional law firm called the 1851 Center for Constitutional Law.

They report:

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The 1851 Center for Constitutional Law today accepted the Resignation as Limited Guardian of a state official attempting to, on behalf of the State and Akron Children’s Hospital, force chemotherapy on ten-year-old Sarah Hershberger. 

While the resignation still requires the signature of Probate Judge Kevin Dunn, Judge Dunn is expected to approve the resignation sometime next week, effectively ending the two-month stand-off with Sarah’s parents, Andy and Anna Hershberger, who, concerned that the chemotherapy was killing their daughter, sought the right to first try a less invasive alternative treatment that the hospital did not provide. 

[…] 

“We made it clear to our opponents that they were in for a protracted battle over fundamental principles and constitutional rights; and that on each, they were on the wrong side,” said Maurice Thompson, Executive Director of the 1851 Center. 

“The Judge’s approval of this Resignation will pave the way for the family’s return home, which will allow Sarah to receive the family’s preferred treatment under the best possible conditions,” continued Thompson. “We hope that this Resignation also seals one of the darkest moments for parental rights and health care freedom in the State’s history: a court ordering a little girl to be ripped away from her loving and competent parents, and forced to submit to procedures that could kill or sterilize her, simply because her parents sought to first pursue a less invasive treatment option – – one the hospital disagreed with because it did not itself provide it.”

When announcing their representation of the Hershbergers in November, they cited Ohio Constitutional amendments and Supreme Court cases in support of recognizing the parents’ authority and releasing the family from forced medical treatment.

Donations for Sarah’s health fund do not go to hospital bills or legal fees. They are to help her stay naturally healthy and to help the family with their return.


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