Parental rights not violated in Parker Jensen case

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SALT LAKE CITY -- A federal appeals court has ruled doctors and child protection workers did not violate the constitutional rights of the parents of a Sandy boy who needed cancer treatment.

In 2003, doctors pushed for then-12-year-old Parker Jensen to undergo chemotherapy for Ewing's sarcoma, a rare form of cancer, but his parents refused. They claimed their son didn't have the disease and didn't need the aggressive treatment.

That led to a judge ordering the state to take custody of the boy.

The Salt Lake Tribune reports the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday the state's actions were in good faith and were protected under law.

A district judge last year dismissed a lawsuit filed by the Jensen's parents, saying the family's constitutional claims were decided earlier by a federal judge who tossed out a similar suit.

Attorneys for the Jensens said the Utah Constitution offers broader protections than the U.S. Constitution for parental rights when choosing medical treatment.

Attorneys for several doctors and child protection officials disagreed.

Jensen is now 19. He never received chemotherapy.

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