By SHAUNA ANDERSON
There is no doubt that the mother loves her daughter.
There is no doubt that all she wants is her dying 11-year old to survive, to overcome the sickness and suffering of the past year.
What has been in dispute has never been this mother’s love, but instead the choices she has made for what she believes is the best interest of her child.
A landmark ruling in Canada has seen a judge side with the family of an aboriginal girl who sought to treat their 11-year old daughter who has Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia with traditional healing rather than mainstream medicine.
The hospital had fought to force the girl into chemotherapy.
The Globe and Mail report that with chemotherapy the girl, known as ‘JJ’, has a 90 to 95 per cent chance of survival.
Without it, she will die.
The judge, Ontario Court Justice Gethin Edward rejected the hospital’s bid instead referring to the Canadian Charter of Rights, which enshrines aboriginal rights that existed prior to contact with Europeans when making his ruling.
“I cannot find that (the girl) is a child in need of protection when her (mother) has chosen to exercise her constitutionally-protected right to pursue their traditional medicine over the (doctors’) stated course of treatment of chemotherapy”
After being diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, a cancer that arises in the bone marrow in August, JJ initially began treatment.
Ten days in to the 32-day treatment plan her mother pulled her out. She wrote in an open letter to a native newspaper that she did not want her daughter treated with “poison” and would take her to a holistic healing centre in Florida and pursue aboriginal healing instead reports The Globe and Mail.
This is where the hospital stepped in trying to get child welfare services to intervene, but they refused.
The hospital took the welfare agency to court.
In his ruling on Friday the Judge said that
“It is this court’s conclusion therefore, that D.H.’s decision to pursue traditional medicine for her daughter, J.J., is her aboriginal right. Further, such a right cannot be qualified as a right only if it is proven to work by employing the Western medical paradigm. To do so would be to leave open the opportunity to perpetually erode aboriginal rights.”