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US Boy Wants the Right of Choice of Treatment

Abraham Cherrix suffers from Hodgkin's disease, a cancer of the lymph nodes. Initially Abraham was diagnosed with a knot on his neck that turned out to be a swollen lymph node full of cancer cells//. Further tests revealed that he also had a tumor near his windpipe. Then he made repeated visits to the nearest children's hospital to undergo chemotherapy.

Later in December, Abraham learned there were no more active cancer cells. After two months active cancer cells were spotted again. Now the doctors wanted to give him massive amounts of chemo, plus radiation.

Abraham, who is home-schooled and has a brother who is autistic and a sister who needs back surgery does not wish to go through the sufferings again. Hence Abraham and his parents did a complete research on alternative medicine.

They found that the Hoxsey treatment of liquid herbal supplements and a diet heavy on fresh fruits and vegetables is an excellent alternative. This decision led to the summoning of Abraham and his family to the juvenile court. The hearing mainly was to determine whether the 16-year-old can make his own medical decisions. He lives with his parents and four siblings on Chincoteague, an island off Virginia's Eastern Shore. A social worker had asked the judge to request Abraham to continue conventional treatment.

The judge issued a temporary order mentioning Jay and Rose Cherrix were neglectful for supporting their son's choice to pursue alternatives. Judge Jesse E. Demps also ordered the parents to share custody of Abraham with the Accomack County Department of Social Services.

Jay Cherrix, who runs a kayak business next door to the family's home, was very sad by the court’s decision. Mary E. Parker, director of the social services department, said she could not discuss Abraham's case because of privacy laws. On the hand in a similar case, the parents of 13-year-old Hodgkin's disease patient Katie Wernecke won the right in November to make
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