Michigan DHS says parents negligent for refusing more cancer treatment

Nov 7, 2011

A family from Michigan's Upper Peninsula is refusing additional chemotherapy and radiation treatments for their 10-year-old son, according to a report from WLUC-TV in Marquette, MI.

Jacob Stieler of Skandia, Michigan was diagnosed with a rare form cancer known as "Ewing Sarcoma." He was treated, an is considered cancer-free, but doctors say he still needs additional treatments.

Now, following prompting from doctors, officials from Michigan's Department of Human Services are filing a negligence complaint against the parents.

More from WLUC-TV in Marquette, MI:

Stieler and his parents say the chemo and radiation heavily ravaged his body, and any further treatment would be excessive for a boy without cancer.    

"It's the most horrible thing, most horrific thing.  He was sick, he was nauseous, he was extremely depressed.  He told me numerous times he wish he could fall asleep and never wake up," recounted Erin, Jacob's mom.

While the Stielers are passing on conventional treatment, they say they are aggressively seeking alternative methods for nourishing Jacob.

"I think you need to be proactive and do your research and make an educated decision with your spouse and as a family," Erin said.

Family attorney Paul Marin of Marquette is representing Jacob’s parents. He says their case is unlike anything he's dealt with before and has the potential to set a legal precedent.