Wednesday, August 04, 2010

New Twist In Rifqa Bary Case; Parents, Girl Disagree Over Cancer Treatment

Yesterday's Columbus Dispatch reports on the latest twist in the case of Rifqa Bary, the 17-year old who ran away from her home in Ohio to Florida last year saying her father threatened to kill her for converting from Islam to Christianity. The parents denied the claim as Rifqa was returned to Ohio but placed in foster care. (See prior posting.) Now it turns out that Rifqa has had a bout with uterine cancer. She underwent surgery, and her physician recommended that it be followed by 45 weeks of chemotherapy even though she is disease-free according to available imaging techniques. Her parents support that recommendation, but Rifqa, who turns 18 next week, opposes that course of treatment, though she will continue to consult her doctors.  Yesterday an Ohio juvenile court magistrate ruled that Rifqa is mature enough to make the treatment decision for herself, and said the court cannot order treatment because Rifqa's health is not in immediate danger. Rifqa's parents claim the decision to end chemotherapy came after Rifqa attended a faith-healing event. Rifqa's attorneys, however, say she went to a "prayer conference" shortly after her diagnosis. She had multiple surgeries and began chemotherapy, but it made her weak and sick.