Published on July 24th, 2006 | by Alex and Brett Harris
Abraham Cherrix: Monday Update
Legal Case Status
At 10:30 AM (EST) this morning, lawyers John Stepanovich and Barry Taylor filed an appeal on Abraham Cherrix’s behalf at the Accomack County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court. They also filed a motion to stay Friday’s ruling and order until after the appeal is heard in the Circuit Court of Accomack County. According to Stepanovich, they will also request a “trial de novo,” which means the Circuit Court would try the case as if no other court had heard testimony — effectively starting with a blank slate. They are still awaiting a response.
UPDATE: One of Abraham’s lawyers is reported as saying that if Abraham is forced to comply with the order, because “there’s no way to undo the chemotherapy and radiation,” it would essentially end their path to further appeals. (Source: AP)
Abraham Cherrix, 16 years old, in his Chincoteague, VA home.
(Photo: Steve Helber, AP)
Mainstream News Coverage
The Cherrix family has still declined to speak to the press since last weekend’s rulling, but regardless, several news reports have been published in the past few days, including a lengthy ABC News report entitled Defiant and Exhausted, Teens Refuse Cancer Treatments that documents several teens’ stories that closely parallel Abraham’s fight for alternative cancer treatment.
Across the Blogosphere
The team of The Rebelution and SpunkyHomeschool have proven to be effective in spreading Abraham’s story across the blogosphere. Below are excerpts from some other bloggers who have covered the story:
Simply because the decision of a parent is not agreeable to a child or because it involves risks does not automatically transfer the power to make that decision from the parents to some agency or officer of the state… Most children, even in adolescence, simply are not able to make sound judgments concerning many decisions, including their need for medical care or treatment. Parents can and must make those judgments. Here, there is no finding by the District Court of even a single instance of bad faith by any parent of any member of appellees’ class… The fact that a child may balk at hospitalization or complain about a parental refusal to provide cosmetic surgery does not diminish the parents’ authority to decide what is best for the child… Neither state officials nor federal courts are equipped to review such parental decisions. — Parnham v. J.R., 442 U.S. 584 (1979)
Ironically, this treatment is agreeable to the child. While it harbors risks, conventional treatment does as well. Abraham has researched the treatment options and determined he is willing to take the risks associated with his alternative treatment plan. His parents have determined him competent to do so and have supported him in this. Where does the state have the authority to intervene in the health decisions of individuals?
Homeland Stupidity: Abraham Cherrix and Patient’s Rights
Dr. Albert Mohler shares his thoughts and gives a timely warning:
The real issue here is the right of parents — rather than a social worker — to determine the medical treatment of their own children. Note carefully that Abraham’s parents have not refused him all medical treatment. He has already undergone one round of arduous chemotherapy. They have allowed him to determine that another round of chemotherapy is not in his own best interest.
What is next? This case sends a chilling signal to America’s parents. Christian parents should take special note of this case, for the logic of this court would allow state intrusion into many of the decisions Christian parents make for their own children, ranging from education to discipline.
Let us all pray for Abraham Cherrix — a brave young man in the fight of his life.
Abraham’s Website Live
Abraham’s website AbrahamsJourney.com, which was down last weekend (possibly due to high traffic), is up again. It includes information for those who are interested in helping Abraham and his family financially. Click here for the donation page.
For full coverage of Abraham’s story, click here.