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Idaho Doctor: Parker Probably Needs Chemotherapy

Idaho Doctor: Parker Probably Needs Chemotherapy

Posted - Sep. 13, 2003 at 9:25 p.m.



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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Parker Jensen, the cancer-stricken Utah boy at the center of a medical custody battle, probably needs chemotherapy, a doctor told his parents.

"It is extremely disappointing," said Daren Jensen, who promised Utah child-welfare authorities he would follow the recommendation of the Boise doctor, the fourth to consider his boy's case.

"We are going to run all the tests, but (the doctor) said he must side with the other doctors. They all stick together," the father said.

Dr. Martin Johnston, a physician at St. Luke's Hospital, Boise, told the family at a Friday appointment he likely will recommend chemotherapy for the 12-year-old boy, The Salt Lake Tribune reported.

"I don't really like him," Parker Jensen said of the doctor. "He wants to kill me with poison."

Daren and Barbara Jensen left Utah with the boy to avoid a juvenile court order to deliver him for chemotherapy Aug. 8 at Primary Children's Medical Center in Salt Lake City. In a deal resolving the standoff last week, Judge Robert Yeates rescinded warrants for the boy's custody and parent's arrest.

The parents got another medical opinion, but say it wasn't what they wanted. They say their boy is healthy after a tiny tumor was removed from the soft palate of his mouth last June and doesn't need chemotherapy.

Daren and Barbara Jensen still face a charge of child kidnapping or of custodial interference. Salt Lake County prosecutors are asking for a conviction on one or the other charge.

Doctors say Parker Jensen has Ewing's sarcoma, a deadly cancer that most often afflicts adolescents, and that only chemotherapy can kill any lingering, undetectable cancer cells in his body.

The Sandy, Utah, couple and their boy are staying with relatives in Pocatello, Idaho.

Johnson plans to give Parker a bone scan, blood tests and an MRI. The physician also will look at a sample of the cancerous tumor removed from under Parker's tongue before making his recommendation final.

The Jensens drove back to Pocatello for a family barbecue after their medical appointment.

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

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