Prosecutors Drop Fight to Force Surgery for

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Associated Press, May 12, 2003
By Sarah Freeman, Associated Press Writer

PONTIAC, Mich. (AP) – Prosecutors dropped their fight Monday to override a family’s wishes and order surgery for a 2-year-old girl with brain cancer.

With the girl’s condition worsening, neurosurgeons no longer recommend surgery because of the nature, location and size of the tumor, David Williams, an assistant county prosecutor, said at an Oakland County Family Court hearing.

Jala and Shaheda Hoque took their daughter Noshin to a doctor because her left eye wandered and she was having trouble moving her left arm and leg. Specialists found a tumor pressing against the girl’s brain stem.

Doctors disagreed on whether surgery would help but agreed it was risky, and the Hoques turned to homeopathic practitioners in Canada.

After the family’s pediatrician told the state Family Independence Agency, the agency got the prosecutor’s office to intervene, seeking a court order to force the family to provide conventional medical care for Noshin.

Prosecutors formally withdrew the request for the court order at Monday’s family court hearing.

The petition’s dismissal will take effect upon approval by the girl’s family and Family Court Judge Martha Anderson.

Hoque family lawyer Charles Cooper had argued that the parents should be allowed to decide what treatment is best for their child.

“They wanted the petition dismissed, obviously. They wanted the government out of their lives. They wanted people to stop calling and harassing them,” Cooper said.

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