Sick girl’s birthday off-limits

Calgary Sun, Aug. 19, 2002

The father of a teenage girl once involved in a court fight over her right to refuse blood transfusions on religious grounds will not be able to visit her on her 17th birthday tomorrow.

He does not know where she is being treated, what her treatments are, nor has he been given a phone number to reach her to simply say hello.

And while lawyers battle out a custody lawsuit in court, the Calgary dad is beginning to fear he may never see her again.

“It makes me feel upset that I can’t contact my dying daughter,” said the man, who, like his daughter, cannot be named under provisions of the Child Welfare Act.

It’s been nearly two weeks since the father has spoken with his daughter from her secret location at a cancer clinic in Alberta.

Lawyers for the girl, whose father claims is under the influence of the Jehovah’s Witnesses along with her mother, will only say she’s in an undisclosed clinic getting chemotherapy but no blood transfusions to treat her leukemia, which is believed to be fatal.

“I don’t know if she’s being taken care of properly, I don’t know what kind of treatments she’s getting, I don’t know if she’s in pain. I don’t know if I’ll ever see her again, alive,” the father said.

“It’s very upsetting to know my daughter is critically ill and could die, and it makes it even more important that I know where she is.”

The girl was diagnosed in February with acute myeloid leukemia.

Lawyers for the girl couldn’t be reached for comment.


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Religion News Blog posted this on Tuesday August 20, 2002.
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