U.S. judge says parents can decide daughter's cancer care

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas. Parents who have been fighting Texas state officials over their 13-year-old daughter's cancer care can make all her medical decisions, a judge ruled Wednesday, officially ending a long and widely watched battle.

State District Judge Jack Hunter dismissed the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services from Katie Wernecke's case Monday. But until Wednesday he had yet to sign an official order and clarify what treatment at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston would be completed before the family could pursue their preferred alternative cares.

Hunter's ruling says Katie must complete her current round of chemotherapy and be stable to travel, which could happen by the end of the week.

Katie's father, Edward Wernecke, has said he first wants to take his daughter to a clinic in Kansas that offers intravenous vitamin C in an effort to kill the cancer and strengthen her immune system.

Katie was diagnosed in January with Hodgkin's disease, a cancer of the lymph nodes.

After initial rounds of chemotherapy, the tumor in her chest appeared gone and the Werneckes refused recommended radiation.

Children's Protective Services took custody of Katie in June after a doctor told state social workers her parents were risking her life by refusing treatment. She had been living with a foster family since June.

A doctor said at a hearing Monday that Katie now has a 20 to 25 percent chance of survival, AP reported. V.A.

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