Cancer victim to stay in state custody

June 16, 2005 at 3:04 PM
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CORPUS CHRISTIE, Texas, June 16 (UPI) -- A judge ruled Thursday a 13-year-old Texas cancer victim will remain in state custody so her disease can be treated.

Katie Wernecke was removed from her parents' custody earlier this month after they refused to allow her to undergo radiation treatments for Hodgkin's disease. Judge Carl Lewis said he felt Edward and Michele Wernecke had put their daughter's life at risk by refusing to allow her to get radiation therapy, the Corpus Christi Caller-Times reported.

"Given the nature of the medical team's report, I find that the action's of Katie's parents was not all together reasonable and endangered the child," Lewis said.

The friction began Jan. 7, when Katie was brought to an emergency department with a massive growth on her chest, which alarmed Dr. Nejemie Alter. He expedited tests and learned the girl was in advanced stages of Hodgkin's disease, a cancer of the lymph nodes.

In the wrangling, Darrell Azar, a spokesman for the department of protective services, said the girl's parents have shown a continued unwillingness to provide for her care and the department was doing what was best for her.

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