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Family Law Attorney

I provide experienced legal guidance in family law, divorce and special education law. I represent parents and families throughout western Massachusetts.

Guardianship sought for child after parents stop cancer treatment

Parents often believe that they know what is best for their children. This belief can stem from their experience, lifestyle or religious beliefs. When it comes to medical treatment, however, some medical professionals may feel that parents do not make the right decisions if they stop treatment for their children's illnesses. Some medical professionals may even seek information on legal guardianship in order to prevent biological parents from making medical decisions for their children.

Massachusetts parents may be interested in a case involving a 10-year-old Amish girl whose parents stopped the chemotherapy treatments for the young girl's leukemia. The hospital that had been treating the young girl took legal action against the parents in hopes that partial guardianship would be given to an attorney, who would be able to make medical decisions for the child as opposed to her biological parents. While parents often have a great deal of say in the treatments their children receive, court systems in some states may intervene if the decisions made by the parents could be severely detrimental to the child involved.

Initially, a judge ruled that the girl's parents could make the medical decisions. However, an appeals court asked the judge to reconsider the decision citing that the judge did not take into account whether appointing a legal guardian would be in the best interest of the child. The court system and hospital seemingly do not wish to see the child lose her life due to the decisions of her parents.

Seeking guardianship of a child is a very serious legal situation. When it comes to the best interests of the child, however, those drastic steps may be needed in order to ensure that a child's quality of life is not being negatively affected by parents' decisions. Information on Massachusetts family laws regarding guardianship may be beneficial to those who feel that a child's welfare may not be adequately attended to by the biological parents.

Source: kstp.com, MN Mom Risked Losing Custody of Child over Forced Chemo, Cassie Hart, Aug. 31, 2013

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