Last week Reason.com released a video interview (below) with footage and comments from Sarah Hershberger‘s family, filmed in their Ohio Amish community.
Sarah, who in 2013 was diagnosed with a rare but apparently “highly curable” cancer, has for much of the past year been the subject of a nationally-covered battle over chemotherapy and parental rights.
Reason.com is a libertarian website, and the speaker featured most prominently in the video is Maurice Thompson of the 1851 Center for Constitutional Law (an Ohio legal institution “dedicated to protecting the constitutional rights of Ohioans from government abuse” which represents the Hershbergers). So the video you’ll see below is not so much a media report as it is advocating from the anti-intervention position on the Hershbergers’ behalf.
Still, it is interesting to hear directly from the Hershbergers, and to see the family and in particular footage of Sarah, who, true to her uncle Isaac’s description, looks like a “vibrant” girl. The video also reveals more information such as:
- The family was in Mexico for 3 weeks, fearing that if they remained, “any hospital in the U.S. would report right back to Akron Children’s.”
- Angela Lowther, described as a “health practitioner”, consulted with the Hershbergers on natural remedies. She observes that “natural remedies may not be the appropriate route to replace a medical treatment”, though she says they may be used to complement medical treatment.
- Sarah’s chemo treatments were stopped after phase one of five.
- No information is given on specifics of the alternative treatment Sarah has undergone or medical evaluations of her current state (though her alternative treatment regimen is described here).
- Thompson argues that “Having a free society means that people need to be free to take risks, including risks with their family when they are suitable and loving parents.”
The video below was shot in the Amish community of Homerville, Ohio, at what looks like might be the family’s home or that of a relative.
Obviously, this family loves Sarah a lot, another thing that comes through in this video. The narrator also alludes to “questions surrounding Sarah’s health” while leaving the impression that she is doing well. Hopefully for her that’s the case.
If it’s not, Sarah’s parents have not ruled out returning to chemo treatments (which Sarah’s father actually describes as “really good”), though according to this medical professional “the first shot at treating cancer is always the best shot.”