DHS Appeals Stieler Medical Decision-Making Case!

by Michael P. Farris

Ken and Erin Stieler are the mom and dad of Jacob—who has been cancer-free since his PET scan in early July. He has had two clean PET scans since then—the most recent in January.

Despite all of this, the Michigan Department of Human Services continues to attempt to prosecute this family for medical neglect. If they succeed they will force Jacob to resume chemotherapy despite the fact that the drugs in question are not FDA approved (either for children in general or for this particular cancer). Moreover, these drugs do not promise anything close to a guaranteed cure. And, the FDA requires the drug manufacturers to disclose that these drugs cause new cancers to form, heart disease in children, failure to sexually mature, and many other serious side effects in some cases.

The Marquette County Probate Court has twice ruled against the Department. Yet, the department keeps on fighting against these parents.

Just this afternoon, the Department’s appeal was filed in the Michigan Court of Appeals. The irony is that the Department has alleged that this case should be expedited because the situation is urgent. If it was urgent, why did the Department wait 55 days from the initial hotline call until filing its complaint? Why did the Department and a consulting doctor call two local judges trying to influence them to prosecute the Stielers—despite the fact that such out-of-court calls are clearly unethical? These calls required the case to be re-assigned twice—wasting another two months.

If it was urgent, why did the Department ask for a continuance of the December trial date by almost a month? If it was urgent, when the Department lost why did it seek a motion for rehearing, a step that is rarely granted and which took another two months to resolve? And when they filed this motion for rehearing, why did they wait until the very last day—21 days—before filing the motion? And when it came time to appeal, why did they wait until the 20th day—beating the deadline by a single day?

The Department’s actions prove that they don’t really believe in the medical urgency theory—they only believe in hassling parents that have the courage to tell them “no.”

Please commit to pray for this family and this case. And pray that Jacob will remain cancer free.

Read more here.


Published by Katharine

Katharine is a writer, speaker, women's counselor, and professional mom. Happily married over 50 years to the same gorgeous guy. She loves cooking amazing homegrown food, celebrating grandbabies, her golden-egg-laying hennies, and watching old movies with popcorn. Her writing appears at Medium, Arkansas Women Bloggers, Contently, The Testimony Train, Taste Arkansas, Only in Arkansas, and in several professional magazines and one anthology.

14 thoughts on “DHS Appeals Stieler Medical Decision-Making Case!

  1. This sounds just awful, awful, awful. How can they insist he take drugs that aren’t FDA approved? I don’t understand.

    Yes, I will say a prayer for them.

  2. Hello, Noelene, and welcome to Home’s Cool!
    Well, how can they do this? They are the doctors, that’s how.
    And, the government of the U.S., following the U.N. with tail between legs, has taken custody of all children away from the parents.
    And, any doctor who is wrong and finds himself DISCOVERED to be wrong, has a reputation to protect, which is far more important to him than protecting the life of a patient.
    And, once we begin killing children (as in abortion) there is no limit to it.
    And . . . I guess you can get the picture?
    You know, my mom suffered from years and years of migraine headaches, going from doctor to doctror, only to be told she was a hypochondriac. Now the migraine is a popular malady with all sorts of remedies, some of which actually work, but I, when I suffered just as she did, did not seek medical professionals, just as a sort of boycott. I figured if she could take a life of pain, I could too, but that, in honor of her suffering, I could not possibly add to the gold lining of another doctor’s pocket. So I suffered, too, and limped along, finding my own cures.
    Another lady I know had an MSG allergy and no medical pro believed her description of symptoms or took her seriously at all, so confined her to a mental ward. She finally diagnosed herself but now is uninsurable because of what doctors did to her.
    And we all know the doctor who discovered the cure for the high rate of maternal mortallity in birthing wards went insane because the other doctors drove him to it: They could not be found wrong, after all.
    That’s how. Nothing has changed, really.
    But, OH BUT! There is a cure.

  3. Truly? How can this be legal? I’m completely baffled that the court can order non-FDA approved treatment, period, let alone in a case where the patient is getting well w/o them.
    I’ll join you in prayer.

    1. It is quite simple:
      The courts, which are supposed to interpret the law, have so interpreted it. Period.
      Judges have usurped the place of the legislature, the place of DHS, the place of doctors, and of the parents. It is happening everywhere, and we are asleep.
      Actually, that judges could prescribe ANY MEDICATION AT ALL should tell us something is whacko, shouldn’t it?

    1. Hello, Eric, and welcome to Home’s Cool! Thanks so much for commenting here, however, I found your comment in spam, hence the delay in reply.
      Trial and error–hmm. I think not. We know these drugs will kill, so it’s not a “trial”, and we are using them on purpose, so it is deliberate and not an “error”.
      We are killing children on purpose.
      So sorry.

  4. You are right Katherine > and no cause to apologise. I concur with your conclusion about callous killing…

    I wrote from the little I knew – my sister’s cancer. The doctors tried one cocktail of drugs, did not work, then another and then another…

    Good that you are highlighting this.

    1. Eric, I am so sad your sister had cancer. It is an awful, awful thing, terrifying and horrific. No one should have to suffer from it, and I cannot imagine having a sister who is suffering so. My heart goes out to you.
      However, little Jacob Stieler does not have cancer. He DID, but has been cancer-free for nine months.
      His parents have decided they will take the chance on him dying while fighting an actual cancer, should it relapse, rather than knowing he died just fighting windmills.
      The job of good parents is to protect and guide their children.
      The job of good caseworkers is to leave good parents alone and go for the bad parents.

  5. Kathy

    A friend of mine declined chemo for medical reasons. She is alive 20 years after being given 6 months to live. The others that were on her ward who chose chemo are all dead.

    It is a choice that should be left up to the patient and the family


    thank you for letting us know about this case!

    XO Jen

    1. The important thing to remember, here, is that this little boy does not have the cancer they are so eager to treat. He did, but they successfully eliminated it.

      But they want to continue. Why?

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