Published On: Tue, Sep 10th, 2019

Noah McAdams custody trial: Florida parents lose custody of 4-year-old son after refusing to complete his chemotherapy

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Parents Taylor Bland-Ball and Joshua McAdams remain without custody of their 4-year-old son, after a Florida judge ruled they should not have ended his cancer treatments.

Noah McAdams was diagnosed with leukemia in April. But during a chemotherapy session, his mother allegedly pulled the needle from his arm and the family fled from his home in Florida to Ohio, seeking alternative medical treatment. They believed chemotherapy had harmful side effects. 

When they missed their son’s chemotherapy session, authorities got suspicious and they were tracked down in Kentucky and returned to Florida.

Taylor Bland-Ball, Noah McAdams and Joshua McAdams

Family photo

“Miss Bland-Ball testified that she had no training on how to remove a PICC line. She explained during the trial that she is still comfortable removing it, because she had watched a Youtube video on how to do it,” said Judge Thomas Palermo, who is overseeing the case.

In May, McAdams and Bland-Ball protested the state’s intervention outside the hospital.

“There’s still so many side effects that he can have for the rest of his life from chemotherapy and these other options that we’re considering, they don’t have proven studies that they are necessarily as effective yet. But they do have way less side effects,” said Bland-Ball.

The couple said they would rather give their son nontraditional treatments, including oxygen therapy, CBD oil derived from hemp plants and a special diet. That is despite research showing 98% of this type of leukemia goes into remission within the first few weeks of chemotherapy treatments. 

Florida law allows the state to provide medical treatment to children even if the parents object. The judge granted temporary custody to the child’s maternal grandparents, but the state has the option of returning him to his parents in the future.

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