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13-year-old girl with cancer mandated to have surgery over mom's objections

NBC News logo NBC News 8/20/2019 Ben Kesslen

a person holding a gun: Kylee Dixon and her mother Christina Dixon. © via KGW Kylee Dixon and her mother Christina Dixon. An Oregon court is ordering that a 13 year-old girl with cancer must have surgery and other medical treatment for the disease despite objections from the girl's mother.

Kylee Dixon suffers from a rare liver cancer.

A battle over her treatment began after her mother, Christina Dixon, halted a doctor-prescribed regimen to instead pursue alternative medicine such as CBD oil and vitamins, NBC affiliate KGW8 in Portland reported.

Dixon has said that after Kylee went through six months of chemotherapy, she could no longer watch her daughter suffer.

“The best way I can describe it is like my kid was on death row,” Dixon said, according to KGW8. “Every single time—you literally feel your kid’s life getting taken away.”

But the state stepped in, with the Clackamas County juvenile court's filing a dependency petition in March that said Dixon's decision amounts to neglect and "creates a risk of harm to the child.”

In June, a "pickup" order was filed for Kylee to be placed in state custody.

On June 10, a sheriff’s office in Oregon put out an missing-endangered poster for Kylee, saying the mother was ignoring Kylee’s need for medical treatment, KGW8 reported. Three days later, police found the two in Nevada and placed Kylee in child-protective custody.

Some Oregon residents side with the mother, holding rallies in Portland and Salem and calling the state's decision to remove Kylee "medical kidnapping."

Kylee herself recorded an emotional YouTube video asking for help in her pursuit of alternative medicine instead of chemotherapy, which is titled, "I'm On Death Row For Surviving Cancer."

Ultimately, in July, a judge ruled the state, not Dixon, would make medical decisions for Kylee.

“I’m going to let the surgeons do what they need to do,” Judge Heather Karabeika of the Clackamas County Circuit Court said at the time. And last week, Dixon turned herself into police. She faces charges of criminal mistreatment and custodial interference

The state this week moved forward with its plan to get Kylee back in cancer treatment, saying Kylee must attend a doctor’s appointment and that she is on the path to get surgery to remove a tumor.

The court also requested that Kylee be placed in the care of a family member, as contact between her and her mother has been largely cut off and she remains in foster care.

Dixon meanwhile is continuing to fight the state over its control of her daughter's care.


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