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Judge sides with Amish parents

A judge has again blocked an Ohio hospital from forcing an Amish girl to resume chemotherapy after her parents decided to stop the treatments.

The order comes just a week after an appeals court sent the case back to the judge and told him to give more consideration to the request by Akron Children’s Hospital.

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The hospital wants a registered nurse to take over limited guardianship of Sarah Hershberger, 10, and decide whether she should continue treatments for leukemia. The hospital believes Sarah’s leukemia is treatable and says she will die without chemotherapy.

Andy Hershberger, the girl’s father, said they agreed to treatment last spring but stopped a second round of chemotherapy in June because it made her extremely sick.

Judge John Lohn, in Medina County, said in his ruling Tuesday that not allowing the parents to make medical decisions would take away their rights. He also said there is no guarantee that chemotherapy would be successful. ‘‘They are good parents,’’ he said. ‘‘They understand completely the grave situation their daughter is in.’’

Lohn also said that allowing for a guardian would go against the girl’s wishes. Sarah’s father said she begged her parents to stop the chemotherapy.

Hershberger said they have not ruled out returning to the hospital if her health worsens.

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