Mom Refuses Medical Treatment For 6-Year-Old Daughter Battling Acute Leukemia

A Manhattan mom refused medical treatment for her 6-year-old daughter who’s battling leukemia. In order for the girl to receive treatment, she must have a court-appointed guardian to see that it happens. Court papers reveal that the girl’s mother is unwilling to give her consent on medical assistance, New York Daily News reports.

According to New York University Medical Center, the girl was diagnosed on February 22 with acute B-lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) at New York Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center.

Dr. Elizabeth Roman has attended long meetings with the girl’s mom, who’s refusing her medical treatment. The specialist in pediatric cancers explained to the girl’s mother what the treatment involved and potential side effects.

The chief medical officer — Robert Press — said in the court papers that the cure rate for this type of leukemia is “over 90 percent.”

As the report describes, treatment begins with a hospital stay where doctors can retrieve some of the daughter’s bone marrow to examine her cells and administer a spinal tap for chemotherapy, which goes through the central nervous system. Following that procedure, an implant device is then inserted, which provides her with additional medication.

Among the possible side effects for treating ALL are liver and pancreatic issues, infection, hypertension, hair loss, nausea, and hyperglycemia. Press says in the court papers that it’s “Dr. Roman’s opinion that the benefits of probably life sustaining chemotherapy outweigh the risks.” The problem herein is that the mother “is refusing to consent to the proposed treatment” and isn’t willing to provide the name of her daughter’s father. At this point, the hospital is requesting that the court hold a hearing to determine whether a guardian will be appointed for the girl at the NYU Medical center “given (the girl’s) age and nature of her disease.”

According to WebMD, without treatment for B-lymphoblastic leukemia, a person could die within a few months. The condition occurs in the bone marrow and “develops from cells called lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell central to the immune system, or from lymphoblasts, an immature type of lymphocyte.” The cells invade the blood system and can spread to other organs. The spleen, liver, and lymph nodes are at risk for being affected by the leukemia. This condition doesn’t produce tumors as other types of cancers are known to do.

Recently, a 17-year-old girl in Connecticut with Hodgkin’s lymphoma also fought a legal battle over her right to refuse treatment. The judge ruled that her lawyers failed to prove she was mature enough to make a life or death decision about her medical care and ordered her to begin treatment, according to the Inquisitr.

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