Alberta backs off from forcing epileptic girl to stop cannabis-derived treatment

Alberta appears to have stepped back from a fight to stop a four-year-old girl from receiving a marijuana-derived treatment for her seizures.

LEDUC — Alberta appears to have stepped back from a fight to stop a four-year-old girl from receiving a marijuana-derived treatment for her seizures.

Brian Fish, lawyer for the girl’s mother, says the Crown has withdrawn a request for an order that would have forced his client to stop giving her daughter cannabidiol and submit her to conventional treatment.

The mother says traditional drugs were ineffective against the girl’s seizures and doctors were suggesting brain surgery as an alternative.

The Canadian Press is not identifying the girl or her mother because of provisions in Alberta’s Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Act.

Cannabidiol is a non-intoxicating part of hemp that the girl was taking in pill form.

The mother says it significantly reduces her daughter’s seizures and that forcing her to stop taking it would be cruel.

“Somebody believed that cannabidiol is illegal and that is a basis for apprehending the child. That is not a basis under the Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Act,” Fish said outside a courtroom in Leduc, south of Edmonton, after the application was withdrawn.

Fish said it appeared that someone reported the family to child welfare. Workers met with the mother, he said, but she was unwilling to cease her daughter’s treatment with cannabidiol, so the province applied for a supervision order.

The mother is seeking a medical marijuana exemption for the girl, something that was already in the works before child welfare became involved, Fish said.

Cannabidiol has been widely touted as a potential therapy for hard-to-treat forms of epilepsy. But many doctors say there’s little medical evidence to show if the compound is effective or safe.

In British Columbia, Michelle Arnold and Justin Pierce have been seeking a court order to allow them to continue to use cannabis oil to treat their baby girl, who also has epilepsy and is clinging to life in a Vancouver hospital.

Mary Jane Pierce was born premature at 25 weeks and has been in hospital ever since with serious health problems, including brain bleeding, cerebral palsy and severe seizures.

Pierce said doctors recently stopped administering the oil to Mary Jane, even though he claims the cannabidiol was helping to control her seizures.

A lawyer for B.C. Women’s Hospital, however, has said it might have worsened the girl’s symptoms.

The Chilliwack couple alleges the Ministry of Children and Family Development pressured them into giving it temporary custody about two weeks ago and moved to remove the baby’s ventilator soon after.

A judge granted a temporary injunction last week to keep the child on life support and at a hearing Friday the ministry agreed not to take her off the machine. The parents are set to return to court next month to seek greater control of their daughter’s care.

Just Posted

Experts offer tips about how to prevent online ad spoilers during the holidays

Looking to prevent your Christmas surprises from being spoiled by online ads… Continue reading

Fast-expanding seafood giant joins Irvings, McCains as N.B. business royalty

FREDERICTON — For the Irvings, it was Bouctouche. For the McCains, Florenceville.… Continue reading

Washington state combats collisions with new wildlife bridge

SNOQUALMIE PASS, Wash. — Before descending the Cascade Mountains on its final… Continue reading

China says it has no information on detained ex-Canadian diplomat

BEIJING — China’s Foreign Ministry said Wednesday that it had no information… Continue reading

Dumba scores twice, Wild rout Canadiens 7-1

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Reeling and banged up, the Minnesota Wild were… Continue reading

Coach Hunter wants up-tempo Team Canada as world junior squad hits ice

COLWOOD, B.C. — Team Canada coach Tim Hunter says the team that… Continue reading

Study finds female-led films outperform male ones

NEW YORK — A study organized by Time’s Up, the organization formed… Continue reading

Price Is Right contestant wins winter trip to Winnipeg, Churchill

WINNIPEG — Who wants to visit Winnipeg in the dead of winter?… Continue reading

CBC Gem streaming service to launch exclusive content, partners with Wattpad

TORONTO — The CBC has launched a new streaming service featuring live… Continue reading

‘Part of the solution:’ Alberta seeks proposals to build new refinery

EDMONTON — Alberta is looking for someone to build a new oil… Continue reading

Online ads spoil Christmas surprises, raising privacy concerns: experts

Lisa Clyburn knew she had found the perfect gift for her nine-year-old… Continue reading

Sebastian Giovinco, Jonathan Osorio and Adriana Leon up for top CONCACAF awards

Toronto FC’s Sebastian Giovinco and Jonathan Osorio are up for CONCACAF male… Continue reading

Most Read