COURT RULES ABORIGINAL GIRL CAN CHOOSE TREATMENT

Nov 14, 2014

By Bob Komsic

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A judge in Brantford says a First Nations family’s constitutional right to choose aboriginal treatment must be upheld.

In a precedent-setting decision, Superior Court Justice Gethin Edward has dismissed an application by McMaster Children’s Hospital, which was treating an 11-year old girl.

However, the mother removed her in September to take her to Florida for alternative therapy which involved herbal treatments and lifestyle changes.

That’s when the hospital asked Brant Family and Children’s Services to intervene to ensure she continued her chemotherapy but the agency refused.

The director of aboriginal services for BFCS says hospitals should take note.

New Credit First Nation Chief Byran Laforme says the ruling, ”has broader effects across the country.  This is monumental … it reaffirms our right to be Indian and to practise our medicines in the traditional way.”

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