N.Y. Judge Orders Surgery for Amish Tot After Parents Refuse Consent
Finding that a one-year-old Amish boy will die if he doesn’t have heart surgery, a New York judge has ordered that it be performed despite his parents’ refusal to consent, on religious grounds.
“Family Court Judge Barbara R. Potter ordered that 20-month-old Eli Hershberger, who was born in April 2007 with a hole in the lower part of his heart and also has a blockage, have the surgery,” reports the Watertown Daily Times. “The operation will be done by a pediatric cardiologist from Rochester in the coming weeks.”
Although the judge ruled last week that the parents, Gideon and Barbara Hershberger, neglected their son by failing to provide him with life-saving medical treatment (thus, apparently, establishing the court’s jurisdiction to order the surgery), they do not face criminal charges and the child will remain in their custody. If they now cooperate with his medical treatment, that could be the end of the family court case, the newspaper writes.