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Texas take children from parents for refusing treatment.

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posted on Aug, 25 2005 @ 09:26 AM
Ok, this is a story from last month, so I hope it isn't a double post.

I can't believe it! Something like this never should have happened!

Texas Officials, Parents Spar Over Girl's Cancer Treatment
Parents Think Doctors Have Not Been Upfront About Treatment Options

UPDATED: 12:41 pm EDT June 9, 2005

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas -- A judge has postponed until Friday a ruling that could prevent doctors from treating a 12-year-old girl who was taken from her parents after Texas officials accused them of not doing enough to treat her cancer.
It's the latest maneuver in a dispute over the medical care of Katie Wernecke, reported KPRC-TV in Houston.

Her parents, Michele and Edward Wernecke, said their daughter's Hodgkin's disease is in remission and she doesn't need radiation treatment after undergoing a round of chemotherapy.

Texas Child Protective Services said her life could be in jeopardy if chemotherapy and radiation treatments don't resume.


How the hell could this happen in America? First the government takes one child, which it had no right to do; then they also take away the other children who weren't even on cancer treatment? This is just crazy! The government is forcing people to take medications and/or whatever some doctor determines is right;like what, they're all Gods? Next step I suppose will be to lock up the parents in mental health centers with "a determination" that they're crazy! Ooooooh this just makes my blood boil red hot! What's happened to the land of the free? Excuse me, but don't we have the right to say what kind of treatment we want for our own bodies anymore?

Anyone heard anything else on this? What happened in the court ruling?

posted on Aug, 25 2005 @ 09:34 AM
from her parents blog Katie writes:...

I hate it here at the foster home. Please help me get back home. I miss my family so much. I am under a lot of stress. Some days I just can’t stand being here. If I was back home I won’t be so stressed out and under pressure.

CPS doesn’t help either. They say that they are trying to get me back home but they really aren’t they want to keep her as long as I am still doing treatments.

My family gives me love and support, but here they don’t give me the love and support that I need. My family means the world to me, and I miss them so much.

Now I ask you to please help me get back home where I belong.


Katie Wernecke

posted on Aug, 25 2005 @ 11:17 AM

Originally posted by ABC_123
How the hell could this happen in America?

Its called child protective services. The state's have been doing this for along time.

The government is forcing people to take medications and/or whatever some doctor determines is right;like what, they're all Gods?

These people were abusing their child by not giving her proper medical treatment, they are seriously endangering the child's life.

Excuse me, but don't we have the right to say what kind of treatment we want for our own bodies anymore?

Roberts hasn't been confirmed yet, so for the most part we still do yea. Both parties for a long time have had the government intrude into people's families, removing children from the homes of drug addicts, arresting abusive spouses, etc etc. Its a crazy world.

posted on Aug, 25 2005 @ 11:19 AM

Originally posted by ABC_123
from her parents blog Katie writes:...

CPS doesn’t help either. They say that they are trying to get me back home but they really aren’t they want to keep her as long as I am still doing treatments.

Who's writting this blog? The kid or the parents? Does the kid often refer to herself in the third person?

posted on Aug, 25 2005 @ 05:55 PM

Its called child protective services. The state's have been doing this for along time.

But it doesn't make it right. There have been many cases which have needed intervention, but this wasn't one of them.

These people were abusing their child by not giving her proper medical treatment, they are seriously endangering the child's life.

No they were not abusing their child. If you had read the whole blog you would have found out that the only thing they did was ask the doctor to wait one more week before starting more treatments so that she could gain her strength back before going for more treatments as well as if she was going to need a transfusion that her mother be the one to give her blood. I certainly would not want blood from some stranger with all the diseases like Aids out there! This was NOT an emergency. Katie had been having care for her illness since the beginning of the year and her parents had been taking her faithfully to the hospital. What this came down to was a doctor who was pushing these people into making a decision too quickly and since he couldn't get his way, like a little baby he called child services.

According to the blog ,which if you'ld noticed has been ongoing since the beginning of her treatment back in January and there is no evidence they were abusing their girl. There was no evidence in the news article that they were either. Plus if you had read further on the blog you would know that the hospital dismissed their doctor, supposedly for another problem. It appears to me is the parents may have had some insight into what this doctor was really like since they'ld had an ongoing relationship with him. In no way should the government believe a just one person over a parent, even if it is a doctor, basically it's one word over the other.

Another thing you missed is this:

This was also supposed to be a life and death emergency situation, yet Katie received no treatments for 45 days. The doctor here said she need radiation treatments but now nearly 3 months later she hasn't received any such treatments. Currently, at M.D. Anderson she is receiving chemotherapy treatments. If the first doctors were right and she needed the radiation treatments why is she now receiving chemo? Could they have been wrong? Were the new doctors at M.D. Anderson wrong? Could it be there is no right answer? So if the treatment method was controversial and even the doctors did not agree on the best treatment for her, why not return her to her parents and let them make the decisions. Maybe the decision should have been left with the parents after all.

The problem is this: if I or my children have an illness, I have the right to seek whatever treatment I may choose. I don't have to listen to any particular doctor. It is well known that doctors today only want to do three things: prescribe drugs, keep you coming back for more treatments or put you under the knife; this is where they make the most money.

Now listen carefully ...Twenty years ago I was diagnosed with breast cancer....but I'm a naturalist and I chose to not have any treatments. That was my right to do so. I could have chosen acupuncture or Indian herbs or anything but what the Eastern medicine doctors wanted to prescribe for me. Actually after reading up on the subject I started myself on a specific cancer fighting nutritional regimine, along with quiet meditation....and guess what? I'm still alive and have no signs of any cancer. And another added benefit was I didn't have all the high bills I would have been paying to the doctors. You obviously have no idea what it's like to go for chemotherapy or radiation treatments.

Certainly every case is different , but even so, we all have the right to choose what treatments we accept or reject. And the same goes for parents. CPS stepped way overbounds on Katie's case. Next time read the whole story before you accuse someone of child abuse. Lots of people in trying to hurt someone else make false reports & call up reporting child abuse although there is not truth to it. This kind of thing happens all the time, especially in divorces where one parent wants to take a child away from another parent. The government is going way too far in many many cases just like this one and it's time this "legal" kidnapping ends.

There's no reason to have put this child in protective custody. Imagine Katie being sick and then the emotional stress she would have to go through by living in 4 different foster homes! I'ld think that would make her worse than if the original doctor had waited only the one more week...

It's obvious she didn't need the radiation therapy, so why is she still in foster care?

posted on Aug, 25 2005 @ 07:16 PM

Originally posted by ABC_123
There have been many cases which have needed intervention, but this wasn't one of them.

Thats up for a judge to decide, ones that power is there, and its universally accepted that it should be there, then its up for the court system to decide when and how its applied.

If you had read the whole blog

Well I'm certainly not going to do that.

posted on Aug, 25 2005 @ 08:38 PM
Seriously you two....

I am not sure how much you know about the Texas Justice System.

First, the legislature is more powerful than the governor. And the legislature is mostly manned by lawyers.

Second, Texas is one of only four states that cling to UPL. UPL is the Unlicensed Practice of Law, a ruling that secures Texas courts exclusively for the lawyers. In upholding UPL, the state saw fit to form a secret UPL Committee to deteremine if charges should be brought against certain parties who might be practicing law in Texas without a license.
Among their targets were Nolo Press (the same people who wrote all those do it yourself divorce books). Texas lost that suit in 1999.

Likewise if you are not a lawyer and can't afford an lawyer, you will be screwed for free. Yet, Texas has always claimed that pro bono would prevent injustice from occurring. Unfortunately they can't find pro bono lawyers.

In 2000 I wrote a piece asking the governor how could it be Texas, where every page of every law book reads, "The law must always be interpretted to the benefit of the citizen," yet we have a system based on UPL without an indigent defense?

In April, 2000 Rodney Eliis of Houston succeeded in getting $20 millon for an indigent defense program.

Texas has more people on death row than any other state and executes more people than any other nation. I wrote also that the 'courts have the potential to being the most destructive force in a citizens life.'

Often the small counties fund their budgets by federal dollars which means innocence or guilt are secondary. Someone has to occupy that bed so the federal government can pay $100 a day to the county budget.

Ever notice the Supreme Court often hears one or more cases involving Texas?

After seeing first hand how the Texas Justice System works I am not surprised to see this article.

If you really want to know how rotten the system can be, u2u me and i'll e-mail you copies of my personal experience of trying to find and have visitation with my son.

Almost all divorced parents have heard the term visitation and child support are two separate issues. But if you don't know where your child is you 1) can't take the visitation issue back to court and 2) will be told once you are paying child support the court will hear the vistation issue.

How is that? If vistation is separate how can it be contingent upon the payment of child support?

ABC I apologize for the rant. But Texas has the worst human rights recod in the nation. Sad to say, that is where George comes from.

posted on Aug, 26 2005 @ 12:21 AM
No problem about the was very informative!

posted on Aug, 26 2005 @ 12:27 AM
But honestly this is nothing new here. The state (everyone) has a CPS that is tasked to look after the welfare of children. This has been so for decades. If the parents are neglecting the childs health care then it is required by law to investigate and take action if need be.

posted on Aug, 26 2005 @ 11:12 AM

But honestly this is nothing new here. The state (everyone) has a CPS that is tasked to look after the welfare of children. This has been so for decades. If the parents are neglecting the childs health care then it is required by law to investigate and take action if need be.

I am aware that children have been ripped away from their parents many times, but this is the first case I've heard of where they were taken solely on the basis of the parents decision on medical care for a child. But you hit the BIG "IF" ...and that is what this comes down to. In this particular case the parents were NOT neglecting the child, but you may not understand that unless you had read the whole blog which started at the beginning of Katie's treatments back in January.

But just what constitutes abuse or neglect anyway? This is not something any one person can or should make a snap judgement on like these child service agencies do far too many times. There are so many ways of looking at things and many times the agencies don't ask, they just act on someone's accusation and use one of their "POLICIES". Example regarding policies of neglect:...Some states say leaving a child alone at the age of 16 is abuse, while other states say it's ok to leave a child alone starting at the age of 13. The truth is no state should go strictly by one particular age because every child matures at a different rate. Think of all the kid actors that sound like adults on tv...very mature; then think of all the immature classmates in high school you knew.The point here is that there are often many many variables. Taking a child away from a parent will leave a deep emotional scar on a child for the rest of it's life; and because of that caution must be exercised. If CPS really wants to help children, they need to start investigating matters before acting.

The child service agencies have a tendency to pull young kids away from their parents all over the country much too quickly without investigating the matter and I say it's equivalent to kidnapping pure and simple! Their policy is to take children and then do the investigating but it should be the other way some investigating, then only if warranted remove a child from the surroundings.

CPS should have looked into this case in much more depth, definately they should have talked to the other doctors that the parents had consulted before they jumped the gun. The blog had stated a month before Katie was taken that the parents were consulting other doctors and that one of them said Katie did NOT need radiation yet. Parents have every right to seek other opinions; perhaps Dr Alter knew they were seeking other opinions & didn't want his patient taken away? That would be arrogance in it's purest form. We don't know for sure at this point why the hospital didn't want Dr Alter working there anymore, but it does cause rise for question since doctors are not removed without serious reasons.

All this and Katie is still in foster care and hasn't had radiation treatments like Dr Alter said was such an emergency! This case has the extra factor of a medical battle, but from what I've read, the parents did the right thing in questioning their doctor . The doctor stepped over his boundry ; so did the Texas CPS..

Taking children like Katie away is the equivalent of arresting a person on the grounds of only one person's alleged accusation without doing any investigating first. In other words, we're back to the old..."you're guilty, now you have to prove your innocent" mentallity. Is this the kind of society you want to live in? Not me! This type of child intervention constitutes a fascist form of government, not a democracy!

[edit on 26-8-2005 by ABC_123]

[edit on 26-8-2005 by ABC_123]

[edit on 26-8-2005 by ABC_123]

posted on Aug, 27 2005 @ 09:00 PM
So the question remains: Who should have the right to choose the medical treatment of a child? The parents or a court?

posted on Aug, 27 2005 @ 09:05 PM

Originally posted by ABC_123
So the question remains: Who should have the right to choose the medical treatment of a child? The parents or a court?

Having not see the CPS documentation, if the parents are guilty of abuse (witholding treatment falls into this) then the courts.

posted on Aug, 27 2005 @ 10:03 PM

Originally posted by FredT

Originally posted by ABC_123
So the question remains: Who should have the right to choose the medical treatment of a child? The parents or a court?

Having not see the CPS documentation, if the parents are guilty of abuse (witholding treatment falls into this) then the courts.

The standard medical treatments are so woefully inadequate and often extremely harmful that describing the 'witholding of treatment' (meaning the officially correct' treatment) as abuse is just another Police State tactic which undermines the family.

Next they will be stealing children if the parents feed then vitamin C!

If the US government knows so much about what's healthy then why are US citizens getting sicker every year?

[edit on 27-8-2005 by Roy Robinson Stewart]

posted on Aug, 27 2005 @ 10:23 PM
Those are rather broad and generalized statements there Roy and its hardly police state actions that you are describing. Acts that put the childs life in danger are those that the courts will consider. Not giving your child Flintstones vitamines. Now if you are giving your child so much Vit C that thier health is at risk then yes, the court can make you stop doing so.

You guys are losing sight that we have to look out for the best interests of our children and if the parents do not then the state need to a) take a look and b) take over if needed. While you can scream "police state" all you want, this is nothing new hear and protecting the children / sick / elderly is the cornerstone of ANY civilization.

posted on Aug, 28 2005 @ 12:54 AM
I wonder what the set-up is ? [ I smell one ]

they don't do this off a whim !

are there plans to MAKE people take some kind of treatments in the future ?

posted on Aug, 28 2005 @ 09:26 AM
Ok, I've located a lot more if anyone is interested(see url below this paragraph)...according to what I've read in this particular case I smell the rat being Dr Alter + CPS First the parents seem to have gotten caught up in the system because of Alters arrogance after finding out the Weneckes were consulting other physicians. But there is an extra twist here...the father a few years ago had passed out unconscious for an hour (he's hypoglycemic)and two of the kids had left the home and were found sitting by the highway which someone reported to CPS. The Weneckes were investigated by CPS, but the case was dismissed. But now they had a "record" with CPS. It seems that's why they stepped in on this so quickly. Also the Weneckes had a good income since they had more than one home; doctors love that, right?

Look in the light blue box on the left of the article for more local writeups on this case:

But here's the condensed version....

1-Dr Alter, back after Katies 3rd chemo treatment had pushed the Weneckes to give public blood to Katie. They did not want that(who does with diseases like Aids around?)Alter refused to get a family blood analysis eventhough Katie, her mother and father all have the same type.=type O

2- Alter then told the parents that in Texas they couldn't refuse treatment and called CPS. The Weneckes complied and Katie had her fourth chemo treatment but became dissatisfied with Alter & fearful Katie would be taken away.

3-A few weeks later Alter then determined that Katie needed radiation treatments even though her tumor had NOT grown is size. The Weneckes consulted two other doctors; one of which said Katie did NOT need radiation. Alter then reported the Weneckes to CPS again saying it was "an emergency, A LIFE OR DEATH SITUATION".

4- Weneckes find out Alter is NOT board certified as a Pediatric Hematology/Oncologist and start taking Katie to Dr Anderson (the one who said would continue with chemo, not raditation. The hospital dismissed Alter.

5- CPS sends out a rep to the Weneckes home, finds it is "CLUTTERED" and takes away their other children! No mention of unsanitary conditions, abuse or neglect is shown. Geesh!

6-The mother then tapes and 8 minute recording saying she is keeping Katie away from Alter. Katie says she has the right to make her own choice and does not want the radiation treatments, that she feels fine.

7-They move out to one of their other homes, but are found later by the police after CPS puts out an amber alert saying Katie was "kidnapped"..The mother is arrested, but released after posting $50,000 bail.

8-A court hearing is set and Alter shows up passing himself off "an expert" and that Katie's situation was life or death.The judge believes Alter and confines Katie to stay in the hands of CPS. The other children are released back to the Weneckes.

9-Katie undergoes another chemo treatment under CPs "approval". The court fight is on to stop future radiation treatments and to get Katie back home, but is now delayed as the Weneckes attorney gathers more testimony from other doctors.

10-Katie has still not undergone any of the so-called "life or death radiation treatments" Dr Alter said she needed; and still is in the hands of CPS almost two months later!Some emergency eh? Meanwhile Katie spends her 13th Birthday in custody and is very depressed; she wants to go home. Pictures on the blog show her to look well though and not in any life or death situation.

11-The Weneckes try to take the case to the Federal level but the judge says to go back to the state level. Katies parents are now out of money. They continue to ask for prayers and financial donations on their blog...the case has been dismissed until Sept 7th.

12-Nowhere in any of the articles or the blog do I see parents who were abusive or neglectful.They seem to be very loving toward all their children.

Testimony on Parental Invovlement laws House of Representatives: Cases evidencing the general rule that parents are legally entitled to make medical decisions on behalf of their children include Miller v HCA, Newmark v Williams 588 A.2d (Del Super Ct 1991) = UPHOLDING PARENTS REJECTION OF CHEMOTHERAPY IN FAVOR OF PRAYER TREATMENT WHERE SURVIVAL WAS NOT ASSURED EVEN WITH CHEMCIAL INTERVENTION....

In the case of Tina Harrell vs. St. Mary's Hospital, Inc., the Florida 4th District, 15th Judicial Circuit Court of Appeals stated that:
"Patients do not lose their right to make decisions affecting their lives simply by entering a health care facility. Despite concededly good intentions, a health care provider's function is to provide medical treatment in accordance with the patient's wishes and best interests, not as a "substitute parent" supervening the wishes of a competent adult."

According to the Informed Consent, Parental Permission, and Assent in Pediatric Practice Committee on Bioethics....
"Only patients who have appropriate decisional capacity and legal empowerment can give their informed consent to medical care. In all other situations, parents or other surrogates provide informed permission for diagnosis and treatment of children with the assent of the child whenever appropriate."

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child advocates the right of every child to self determination, dignity, respect, non-interference, and the right to make informed decisions.

According to, "Courts have repeatedly said that a competent adult has the right to refuse treatment, even if his or her family or doctors may wish the patient to receive it. It is you who must decide."

According to the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, "No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law..."

In this case it is my opinion that CPS is depriving Katie or her liberty without due process of law. She is being held against her will, against her parents will. Katies has had her rights violated under the Consitution.

For those of you who believe what the Texas CPS did was wrong in this case & want to try to express your opinion to help bring Katie home...
call Governor Rick Perry's office at 1-800-252-9600

Katies blog...

[edit on 28-8-2005 by ABC_123]

[edit on 28-8-2005 by ABC_123]

posted on Aug, 28 2005 @ 11:01 AM
When this news was released in June, we discussed it here:

This is part of what Texas State Law considers child abuse:

(4) "Neglect" includes:

(B) the following acts or omissions by a person:

(i) placing a child in or failing to remove a child from a situation that a reasonable person would realize requires judgment or actions beyond the child's level of maturity, physical condition, or mental abilities and that results in bodily injury or a substantial risk of immediate harm to the child;

(ii) failing to seek, obtain, or follow through with medical care for a child, with the failure resulting in or presenting a substantial risk of death, disfigurement, or bodily injury or with the failure resulting in an observable and material impairment to the growth, development, or functioning of the child;

Sounds reasonable, but it is also vague and leaves the door open for abuse and bureaucracy, which is what is going on in the Wenecke case.

The parents course or action, which was supported by a board-certified physician in pediatric oncology (which Dr. Alter is not), was to delay aggressive treatment to see if Katie's condition got worse. However, Dr. Alter had the police issue an Amber alert and her mother arrested for kidnapping and Katie placed in foster care prior to her condition worsening. The moment her test results showed that her tumor was becoming larger, the parents agreed to go forward with treatment--curiously, that was two months ago and treatment has not started and Katie is still in a foster home with other sick children.

The problem is that in child abuse cases, the suspects are guilty until proven innocent. This makes sense in cases of real abuse--but what about cases where abuse hasn't occurred? It is standard operating procedure for CPS to place a child in foster care while the courts determine whether or not abuse has occured. Because of the bureaucracy involved in the legal system, these cases don't get heard for months or years in some cases--and when the defendent is poor, they can't afford a proper defense.

This doesn't represent justice and in many cases, good parents have thier kids taken away because of a bad defense, political climate, or false reports made by spiteful ex-spouses and vengeful in-laws.

Furthermore, the law states that anyone who witnesses abuse but doesn't report it is also GUILTY of child abuse and subject to the same penalties. Many people who aren't fully aware of the situation make reports that require CPS to come by and investigate--which usually results in the child temporarily being put in foster care until the investigation is completed. The trauma involved in this situation--especially if there is no abuse and the investigation is lengthy--usually has long lasting effects on the family.

Imagine a scenario where a child is being disruptive during class, and the teacher happens to speak to the disgruntled nanny who gossips about how she is fed up with the parents for taking the kid off of his attention deficit disorder medication against the doctor's orders.

Under most state child abuse laws, this child could be taken away by CPS, placed in foster care for months, and the parents will have to spend thousands of dollars to explain to a judge that his meds were giving their child headaches, facial tics, and gasto-intestional distress to the point where he was losing weight. Or perhaps the parent doesn't believe in treating children with psychiatric medications for being overactive. (I'm not sure if I do. Why are almost 20% of all kids today being treated for ADHD?)

But guess what--this isn't just a hypothetical. Parents all over the country have been losing thier kids because school guidance counselors and teachers have reported them as child abusers for taking them off of Ritalin due to the harsh side-effects or refusing to medicate them for ADHD.

Sure, if parents are hurting their kids by giving them overdoses of vitamins or not taking them to the doctor when the are seriously ill, CPS needs to step in, but the Weneckes are not those people. What we have here is a doctor trying to cover his butt for liability purposes with no regard for the actual welfare of the child. Her parents were doing the right thing in their own way.

posted on Aug, 28 2005 @ 11:47 AM
Excellent post, I heartily agree! Kids are being taken away much too easily these days and it makes me want to vomit.

posted on Aug, 30 2005 @ 07:02 PM
for the goverment of the UK to make advances with treatments of cancer they have to closely monitor the child. to see which drugs work and which dont in different cases but in england you can opt out of the research at any time i should know seen as i am a lukemia patient myself who is on chemotherapy and i can stop them using the results but i wont because i want these dieseses destroyed because of how much lukimia has destroyed my life since i was diagnosed in feb 05

gimmie a U2U if u wanna know more about lukiemia and chemotherapy because its always best to ask sum1 who is on their treatment to fill u in on the info

[edit on 30-8-2005 by martinrome999]

posted on Aug, 31 2005 @ 08:56 PM
I'll remember that, but I hope you will also offer your experience in the medical forums...

Here's hoping you get well soon!
Think of yourself as being under construction...just a diamond in the rough!

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