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Boy Dies Without Surgery

September 17, 1986

CINCINNATI (AP) _ A 9-year-old cancer victim whose parents fought treatment by doctors has died at home.

David Willmann died late Tuesday.

″I am very sorry. My prayers and the prayers of the juvenile court are with the family,″ Hamilton County Juvenile Court Judge John P. O’Connor said today. He took the child away from the parents’ custody temporarily while doctors considered treatment.

Lori and Douglas Willmann had opposed recommended surgery for bone cancer in their son’s arm and shoulder, saying the operation was too severe and the boy would be disfigured. They said religious faith would save him.

Doctors at Children’s Hospital Medical Center in Cincinnati went to court to get an order to continue with cancer treatment in January. The Willmanns appealed but lost.

The doctors dropped the matter when they discovered another tumor in the boy’s hip.

O’Connor appointed a social worker at the hospital as David’s guardian when the parents refused the surgery last January. However, O’Connor later returned the child to his parents when doctors decided against surgery that would have involved amputating the boy’s arm and part of his shoulder.

″We don’t have any record at Children’s Hospital that the boy ever received further treatment,″ said Dr. Frank C. Woodside III, lawyer and physician who represented the hospital and doctors.

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