GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - A couple from the Upper Peninsula are fighting the State of Michigan over chemotherapy treatment for their son.
Oral arguments in the case will begin Wednesday morning in a state Court of Appeals courtroom in Grand Rapids.
Erin Stieler told 24 Hour News 8 in a previous interview that chemotherapy was killing her son Jacob.
"He was sick," said Stieler. "He was nauseous, he was extremely depressed. He told me numerous times that he wished he'd fall asleep and never wake up."
At the time 10-year-old Jacob also said he did not enjoy the treatment.
In March of 2011 Jacob was diagnosed with Ewing sarcoma, a rare form of cancer. He underwent three months of chemotherapy.
"I couldn't imagine anything worse, it was horrible" he said.
His mother told 24 Hour News 8 that after two PET scans showed no more signs of cancer she decided no end the chemotherapy treatment.
The state did not agree with the decision and took the Stielers to court citing medical neglect.
In December 2011 a judge threw out the case, ruling the Stielers were within their rights as parents to end treatment.
Now the Department of Human Services is taking the case to the Court of Appeals. The state is arguing the trial court erred by dismissing the petition.
Target 8 obtained court documents showing doctors at Helen DeVos Children's Hospital in Grand Rapids insisted Jacob still needs treatment. One wrote, "If Jacob does not continue treatment he will die." Another wrote that "without treatment it is a death sentence and Jacob's cancer will come back with a vengeance."
Target 8 also discovered that hospital officials contacted a Children's Protective Services investigator.
In a letter to DHS, a hospital official wrote, "Jacob's mother's refusal of standard cancer care represents a clear case of medical neglect."
Stieler calls the state's actions "disgusting," saying taxpayer money should be spent on children who actually need help.
In a phone interview with 24 Hour News 8 in December 2011, Stieler said if Jacob's cancer returned then she should get him help.
"I'm not against treatment. I'm against treatment in this form for my child" she said.
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