Candance Gundersen, a Long Island mother, has lost custody of her 13-year-old son Nick for refusing to allow him to continue chemotherapy treatments. Nick was diagnosed with Leukemia earlier this year. Though his mother wished to get a second opinion about the diagnoses, she said Cohen Children's Hospital threatened to call CPS if she did not immediately sign the forms allowing for consent to treat her son. After beginning treatment, Nick experienced horrible side-effects of the chemotherapy - including significant weight loss and life-threatening infections.
Nick received his chemotherapy treatments for about five months. After that, he was told by doctors that his cancer was gone. However, they also informed Gundersen that the standard practice is to continue with chemotherapy for three years to ensure the patient stays in remission. This is when his mother, who is a "holistic wellness coach," refused. She stated she would prefer for her son to treat his cancer with "non-toxic preventative treatments." They did not show up for their next chemotherapy appointment because they had traveled to Florida to discuss such treatments.
It was at that point that CPS became involved and Gundersen lost custody of her son. Nick has been placed back on chemotherapy treatments at the direction of his state-appointed legal guardian. His mother is not giving up her fight. She is working to regain custody of her son and have his chemotherapy end once and for all. Meanwhile, Nick also says he wants to be released from the hospital. In interviews with reporters, he says he does not want to be on chemo and wants to be back with his parents. On her GoFundMe page, his mother has posted videos where he pleas to return to his life as normal.
Candace Gundersen fears that the negative effects of the chemotherapy far outweigh the good. She worries that her son's life is in danger and believes he will be much healthier on the alternative treatment. On the other hand, doctors fear that the chemotherapy is the only way to ensure Nick continues to stay in remission. They claim he is in imminent danger in the custody of his mother if she continues to refuse chemo.
Is this mother putting her son's life at risk by refusing chemotherapy? Should it be her choice to seek out alternative treatment methods or is CPS working more in his best interest? What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments!