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Jensens Cited for Improperly Setting Up Donation Fund

Jensens Cited for Improperly Setting Up Donation Fund

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- The Sandy family that took their son out of state to avoid court-ordered chemotherapy has been cited for setting up a medical-care donation fund but failing to file the paperwork to make it legal.

Utah's Division of Consumer Protection cited the family of Parker Jensen on Monday after several attempts to reach the family member in charge of the account were unsuccessful, division director Francine Giani said.

If the matter is not settled in the next 10 days, the citation could result in fines of between $500 and $10,000 for the Sandy parents who spent the summer locked in a custody battle for their son with the state.

In cases of life-threatening illnesses, the state requires a letter on file from the physician who had diagnosed the disease and is providing care before funds can be collected. But in the Jensen case, the doctor who wrote the letter was not providing the boy's care.

The physician, Dr. Martin Johnston of Boise, Idaho, had a falling out with the family after they refused to treat Parker with chemotherapy as Johnston and several other doctors had recommended.

The boy had a small tumor removed from under his tongue in May that tested positive for Ewing's sarcoma, a potentially deadly cancer. The tumor was removed, but chemotherapy was recommended to make sure the cancer was completely gone or wouldn't come back.

The Jensens feared chemotherapy could leave Parker sterile or possibly kill him.

The case ended up in a long court battle that finally ended with the state dropping charges against the family.

On Wednesday, Parker's family members called Giani's office to say the fund, which they said contained some $6,400, had been closed.

Tracy Jensen, Parker's uncle, blamed the matter on a misunderstanding.

"What they've done, in closing the account, is what we've asked them to do -- stop, until we can conclude the matter," Giani said.

"We appreciate that . . . what we ask them to do is not begin soliciting funds until they have received a permit from this office. We're hoping we can get along."

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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