In Florida, a judge ruled that a 4-year-old boy with leukemia should be removed from his parents and placed in the custody of his grandparents because his father and mother were using alternative methods, like medical marijuana, to treat his cancer instead of chemotherapy.
Taylor Bland and Joshua McAdams were using cannabis therapy involving CBD and THC oil, oxygen therapy as well as dietary and herbal remedies to treat their son Noah McAdams.
On that basis the judge ruled that young Noah faced “substantial risk of imminent neglect” if he was allowed to remain at home with his parents, reported NBC News.
Ongoing legal battle
Earlier this year, Noah underwent 10 days of chemotherapy, after which follow-up tests that showed the cancer was in remission.
However, his parents still lost custody of him because, according to the judgment, they “refused to follow up with life-saving medical care.”
In April 2019, the couple left Florida with Noah to seek other medical opinions and natural alternatives. They were soon harassed by the state, which filed a missing person alert for their son.
Brooke Elvington, a lawyer for McAdams and Bland, said that the couple had voluntarily agreed to continue Noah’s chemotherapy, although in addition to CBD and THC oil treatments.
The Florida judge did not find the promise to be credible and had Noah taken from his parents.
Ms. Elvington said that Noah’s parents were devastated and considering an appeal.
“Noah belongs at home with his parents,” Elvington said.
Cautious thumbs-up: Cannabis for childhood cancer
Among a growing body of research, a survey undertaken by the Yale Cancer Center (YCC) between 2015 and 2017 showed that a majority of pediatric cancer providers endorsed the potential use of medical marijuana for children with advanced cancer.
The survey was conducted among a wide array of physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, psychologists, social workers and registered nurses.
Fully 92 percent of the health professionals interviewed said they were willing to help pediatric patients access medical marijuana. The study was published in the journal Pediatrics.
“Patients and families were asking us about medical marijuana all the time, although we knew there wasn’t a lot of scientific evidence behind it,” wrote the study’s first author Prasanna Ananth, M.D., M.P.H., a pediatric oncologist at YCC.