The parents of a 4-year-old Florida boy who suffers from leukemia and who "refused" to allow his son to undergo chemotherapy will not regain custody of the child, a judge ruled Monday.
Joshua McAdams, 28, and Taylor Bland-Ball, 22, intentionally deprived his son, Noah, of legitimate medical treatment and sought natural remedies after he was diagnosed with cancer in April, according to Judge Thomas Palermo, who said that there is "imminent risk of negligence" if the child stays with his parents.
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"Parents have the fundamental right to raise their children, but that is not one without limits," Palermo said, according to WTVT. "They were choosing between life and death for their son."
Joshua McAdams, left, and Taylor Bland-Ball, right, intentionally deprived his son, Noah, of legitimate medical treatment after he was diagnosed with cancer, a Florida judge said Monday. (Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office)
Noah underwent two rounds of chemotherapy before his parents stopped taking him to treatments. The judge said that the particular type of chemotherapy has a success rate of 90 to 95 percent, and stressed that "there was no alternative with a remote chance of success."
Florida police issued an alert for a child in danger of extinction after McAdams and Bland-Ball failed to take Noah to scheduled chemotherapy treatments, which were described as a "medically necessary hospital procedure."
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The couple was later found in Georgetown, Kentucky, and the family returned to Tampa, Florida.
Palermo said Monday that the couple did not seem to have plans for Noah to be treated in Kentucky and, going one step further, detailed what appeared to be active steps to avoid such treatment: the parents abandoned a car and their cell phones while traveling. eliminated the child's PICC line and consciously avoided the application of the law.
Noah's parents, however, say the state is making it appear that they are rejecting all medical care when, instead, they want to seek "better treatment" options. McAdams, according to the Tampa Bay Times, told the court in May that they were treating their son with CBD oil, fresh food and alkaline water.
"They made it look like we were trying to escape, as if we were trying not to seek any kind of treatment, and that is not the case," Bland-Ball told WTVT. "We want a better treatment than we receive."
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He said in court in August that he didn't believe that "I could ever feel comfortable just putting these things on my son's body that I didn't know exactly what they were."
The judge ruled that Noah will remain in the custody of his maternal grandmother for the time being. McAdams and Bland-Ball will have the opportunity to regain custody by cooperating with child protection agencies and complying with their recommendations.
Paulina Dedaj of Fox News contributed to this report.