Texas Seizes Cancer Patient From Parents

Published: June 10, 2005
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/06/10/national/10cancer.html?pagewanted=all&oref=login  (must register to view original article)

CORPUS CHRISTI, Tex., June 9 (AP) - Child welfare officials have seized a 12-year-old cancer patient from her parents because they were keeping her from radiation treatment that doctors say she needs.

The parents, Michele and Edward Wernecke, believe that the doctors have not been forthright about treatment for their daughter, Katie, particularly concerning the side effects of radiation, said the Werneckes' lawyer, David Horne.

Last weekend, the state assumed custody of Katie, who has Hodgkin's disease and has undergone a round of chemotherapy. Her mother was arrested on charges of interfering with child custody but was released Monday on $50,000 bond.

At a hearing on Wednesday, the Werneckes asked a juvenile court judge to bar the doctors, at M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, from providing radiation therapy for Katie until a hearing next week to determine whether she will stay in state custody. The judge, Carl Lewis, said he would rule on the request on Friday.