After 3-year-old Noah was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, a blood and bone marrow cancer, his parents Joshua McAdams and Taylor Bland-Ball wanted to avoid chemotherapy and try natural remedies. However, “because they were told the courts could force them to comply, along with very specific dietary intervention, vitamin, and herbal supplementation, and alternative therapies”3 Noah went through 2 rounds of chemo.
Thankfully, after those 2 rounds, “Noah and his parents celebrated that his cancer was no longer being detected”3 however, “Due to the laws in the US children 18 and under are required to undergo the full recommended treatment plan of the pediatric oncologist regardless of the progress or desire for alternative opinions or treatments.”3
That’s correct, even though his body no longer detected cancer, he was supposed to continue to undergo treatment. (It’s a worse version of taking an entire antibiotic course, something experts all agree now is unnecessary.)
“But when the couple refused additional chemo treatment for Noah, and failed to show up to a treatment appointment last week, child protective investigators in Hillsborough County got a court order to take Noah into custody. Authorities issued an endangered child alert Monday, and the family’s photos appeared on TV screens and websites.
And for advocates like Erin Olszewski, president and co-founder of the Florida Freedom Alliance, a nonprofit group that advocates for rights of parents to decide medical treatment for children, this amounts to nothing more than medical kidnap. Something we have, sadly, had to write about increasingly over the last couple of years. It’s also a gross violation of parents’ constitutional rights. Olszewski, who is herself a registered nurse said,
“The sovereignty of a human being is very important to consider. Our right to choose is something that should be considered.”1
- ABC: Mother fights to have son removed from chemotherapy after clean bill of health and get her son back
To convince a judge that a child is victim of medical neglect, child protective officials must show that a medical treatment or procedure has a high probability of curing or at least seriously mitigating a disease or condition that is potentially fatal or disabling, said Bill Allen, an associate professor of bioethics, law and medical professionalism at the University of Florida.
“There’s plenty of legal precedent, going back decades, where courts have found that the state has a right to intervene in those cases,” Allen said. “I’d be hard-pressed to think of any clear constitutional grounds for parents to simply substitute their alternative treatments for effective, evidence-based and medically-recognized methods that could save the child’s life.”
At one point, Noah’s mom said the family planned to use rosemary, vitamin B complex, herbal extract, colloidal silver, and mushroom tea (among other things) and will do so as maintenance for as long as needed. However, less than a week later, CSP was looking for the family to kidnap their child.
“In a Facebook post Tuesday night, Bland-Ball said child protective officials were taking Noah and the parents were returning to Florida that night.
‘Our hearts our broken and all we want is for our boy to get HEALTHY BIOLOGICALLY SOUND TREATMENT,” she wrote in the post, featuring a photo of herself and a smiling Noah resting his head on her shoulder. “No neglect here considering his levels are the best they’ve ever been and still cancer free after two weeks without chemotherapy — shocker!'”
(In case you are wondering, the medical community considers acute lymphoblastic leukemia to be one of their great success stories; the cure rate can be up to 90 percent but you’ve got to endure 2 1/2 years of chemotherapy.)
Please see the update from Florida Freedom Alliance below:
Update: May 2, 2019
“After being seen at a hospital in Kentucky, yet another confirmation of Noah’s health was made. Examination and lab results indicated he is in perfect health and he is CANCER FREE. Regardless of these findings Noah was taken from his parents and returned to Florida Tuesday night.
The initial hearing was held yesterday, at which point John Hopkins All Children’s Hospital’s counsel raised issues with the press being allowed access to the hearing. This unconstitutional attempt to silence the press resulted in postponing the hearing until further decisions about the press were made.
A second hearing, held this afternoon, ended with the court’s decision to place Noah into the care of his maternal grandparents, after 2 days, away from everyone he knows and loves, in the state’s custody. Taylor and Josh are permitted to see their son once he is in the care of his grandparents. They are exploring futher options and seeking the care of a renowned physician who is no stranger to these types of cases. Attorney Michael Minardi says despite there being a treatment of chemotherapy scheduled for Noah on Tuesday, there is no court order from the judge for any kind of treatment and no rights have been granted for emergency medical treatment. Noah has had multiple testing confirm that his body is CANCER FREE. Performing an unnecessary medical treatment on a 3-year-old child who has already experienced the trauma of being removed from his loving, devoted parents, would be outrageous.
- 2-year-old medically kidnapped child forced to receive chemo and surgery when parents seek 2nd opinion – Part of medical experiment?
A third hearing will take place after Noah is seen for a second opinion by the specialist the family has obtained, a doctor who supports and understands parents and patients have a right to know their options and choose their plan of care under the assistance and advice of an ethical care provider. The appointment for tomorrow has now been postponed after social services notified the family that the hospital would not be discharging Noah until 4:00 or 5:00 pm tomorrow, despite his multiple confirmations of good health and being free of all cancer. Plans are being made to have him seen for a second opinion and establish a new care plan as soon as possible.”