CONCORD, Massachusetts - In a flagrant violation of a court order, Margaret "Meg" March-Brooks has fled with her minor child John "Demi" Brooks, rather then see him receive the medical care he so desperately needs.
A court ordered examination last week showed that young Demi was suffering from a variety of humours and ailments that in the opinion of the best medical experts could be cured with a 90% chance of success with the application of leeches. But leeches are a violation of the family's faith, an obscure brand of Transcendentalism that regards all life, even leeches, as sacred.
"It's wrong to cover a child with leeches every time he has a fever", the mother said in open testimony. "It's wrong for the child, and for the leeches. Our faith tells us to make sure the child gets plenty of bed rest, plenty of fluids, and fresh air."
Yet these are precisely the things that will kill the young boy if he is not found, reported Dr. McGillicuddy, a representative of the AMA. "It's known that in cases of a fever that one must withhold fluids and give plenty of strong purgatives to cleanse the system. This, with the Leech Regimen, has the greatest chance of a cure. As to the 'fresh air', that is insane, everyone knows that air carries the flux, and that the windows of the boy's room should be boarded up tight."
Authorities are diligently pursuing the pair, but have little hope. It is believed that a wealthy friend of the family, Theodore "Teddy" Laurence may have bankrolled the mother, as the boy's father was his former tutor. "Teddy has a history of being at odds with the law", the local Sheriff said. "We believe that at an early age he was exposed to this strange cult, too."
Josephine "Jo" March-Baer, the sister of Margaret and the leader of this off-brand of Transcendentalism has repudiated her sister's actions. "You don't fight the unjust laws of our times by fleeing. No, you fight such laws by writing a long book series about it, so that future generations can do something about it. Meanwhile, we little women should just comply."
This case has once again brought up the debate between who should have the final say in the health of the child. It is the consensus of most bio-ethicists that the parents' views should be respected, but only to a point. "If the health of the child is at stake, a parent's beliefs must take a back seat", said Director of Bio-ethics Art Cappin. "These aren't the days of trephinning and bleeding, where we knew little about the cures of ailments. Modern professionals agree leeches are the safest and most non-intrusive way of draining the body of malign humours. Faith is great, but the safety of the child, as we define it, must come first."