09/08/2012 13:44 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

Parents Could Lose Custody Of Sick Daughter If They Don't Agree To Chemotherapy

A mum and dad have been told they could have their desperately sick daughter taken away from them if they don't give her prescribed cancer medicine.

Eight-year-old Sarah Parisian has a brain tumour and has had one bout of chemotherapy to fight it.

But the powerful drugs made her nauseous, caused her to lose her hair, lose weight and gave her a sore throat.

Her parents couldn't bear to see her suffer any more so decided to stop the chemo and try alternative medicine instead.

Her mum, Karen, told her local TV news channel in Minnesota, US: "The week that we were to start chemo she was sleeping 22 hours a day.

"She is very sick from the standard treatment so we wanted to explore any option of modifying the treatment so that it would be more appropriate for Sarah."

But the Parisians' actions raised concerns with doctors, who feared Sarah's survival was being compromised with each day she didn't have chemo – so they called in the child protection services.

The parents were forced to go to court and told that if they didn't work with them on a treatment plan with the doctors, they would lose custody of Sarah.

"As parents, you don't have the right to choose the kind of treatment you want your child to have," said Karen.

Dr. Kevin Conners, an integrative cancer specialist, said he believed there was a way to give both sides what they wanted.

"Do what's best for the patient," said Dr Conners.

"Let's take her case as an individual case and not try to fit her into what is standard protocol and look at her as an individual what she can tolerate what other therapies added to a traditional approach is going to be best for her."

So after an agreement with the court, Sarah is staying at home, and her parents are following a treatment plan.

"It's going to include some chemotherapy, but it's going to include a dose that is not going to send her tipping over the edge," said Dr Connors.

The Hennepin County Attorney's Office said it respected the right of parents to make decisions for their children.

But it said it had strong evidence that the Parisians weren't doing what was best for Sarah.

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