Parents want judge to force treatment
Rifqa was to undergo a year of chemotherapy after her cancer was surgically removed, the document filed by her parents states. But Rifqa, who is in foster care, was taken to a faith-healing event in Youngstown a couple of weeks ago by Franklin County Children Services, without her parents’ consent, according to the document.
A motion to force treatment is to be considered on Tuesday in Juvenile Court.
Rifqa’s attorneys, meanwhile, are asking the court to make “special findings” so that she can obtain an immigration status that will allow her to stay in the country and obtain medical care. Rifqa, a native of Sri Lanka, does not have legal status in the United States, her attorneys have said in court.
Rifqa ran away from home in July 2009, saying her Muslim father would kill her for converting to Christianity. She lived with evangelical pastors in Florida before returning to Ohio to live in a foster home.
That case is to conclude next Tuesday, when Rifqa will turn 18, making her an adult.
The Barys want to force chemotherapy and are concerned that their daughter could die without treatment, Tarazi wrote.
Rifqa’s attorneys, Kort Gatterdam and Angela Lloyd, want the court to determine that she cannot be reunited with her parents before she turns 18 and that it would not be in her best interest to return to Sri Lanka.