Hamilton Boy with Cancer Forced to Undergo Chemo Treatment
(Father was handcuffed and evicted from the hospital)
Eleven-year-old seized from family by Children's Aid Society
Canwest News Service
Friday, May 09, 2008
CREDIT: CHCH News
Ontario MPP Peter Kormos
HAMILTON - An 11-year-old boy with cancer remained in hospital Friday, after being seized by authorities from his parents' care, and forced to undergo chemotherapy treatments.
On Friday, the boy's parents told CHCH-TV they are being allowed to see their child, after a day of confusion and frustration.
The parents say the boy, whose name is not being released, is in hospital against his wishes and has spent hours cut off from his family.
"He lives with me, I raise him, I take care of him, I love him. I need to know that he's OK," said a woman who identified herself as the child's stepmother.
The boy has an aggressive form of leukemia, and has been through chemotherapy before. His parents say he suffered through it, and they decided as a family to stop the treatments.
When they brought the boy to McMaster Children's Hospital in Hamilton for routine tests Thursday, the Children's Aid Society seized him. When the boy was taken away, his father was handcuffed and evicted from the hospital.
A letter from the Children's Aid Society to the family says the father "threatened harm" to a society worker, and accused him of "traumatizing the child through the inappropriate expression of his concerns and beliefs." The father denies threatening anyone, but admits to getting emotional.
Still, some believe the society acted far too harshly. "C.A.S. is inclined more often than not to work with a very heavy hand. And this sort of heavy-handedness is unfair to the boy, and it's unfair to his parents," said Peter Komos, a member of Ontario's provincial parliament.
Denied access to their child, the parents spent the day trying to reach him and received a 10-minute phone call Thursday night.
"He told us that he loved us and everything, but he told us that he's starting to bring up a lot now, and his spine is really, really starting to hurt him again because they've started the treatment."
The father has had his share of heartache. Another son died only four days after birth, while the boy's mother died of a brain tumour eight years ago. The man told CHCH-TV all his family wants is to honour their son's wishes, and to give him a good quality of life.
"He won't be poked and prodded, and poked and prodded, and have to live uncivilized like right now; live like a fugitive in the hospital with cancer. What type of life is that for a little boy to live?"
© CHCH News 2008