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Amish family chemo battle over Sarah Hershberger leukemia continues

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Ohio Amish family chemo battle continues with lawyers for Sarah Hershberger’s family fighting court’s guardian appointment, according to a Jan. 21 Fox News report. The family, who fled Ohio to avoid their 11-year-old daughter being forced to undergo chemotherapy for leukemia is still waging its battle to avoid treatment.

According to ABC News, the family’s attorney filed legal documents claiming that a judge’s decision to appoint a guardian to make medical decisions for the minor violates the family’s constitutional rights and could affect the rights of other parents to make medical choices involving their children. Hershberger’s family lawyer seeks to overturn the order appointing the guardian.

The lawyer also indicated that the family is still in hiding and will not return to Ohio until the guardian is removed. The guardian, Maria Schimer, an attorney and registered nurse reportedly no longer wants to force the Hershberger to undergo chemo because she has been unable to contact the family.

Schimer, however, does not believe the guardianship ruling should be reversed by the Ohio appeals court because the family did not raise constitutional rights violation issues in trial court. The family attorney disagrees, arguing that “fundamental and constitutional rights that implicate matters of great public importance and constitutional significance cannot be forfeited.”

“Any parent could have significant decisions second-guessed, any parent could lose the right to choose the doctor, hospital and course of medical treatment of their choice,” the family's attorney maintained.

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