Associated Press Revisits Case of Mother Who Refused to Give Son Anti-AIDS Medication
Several newspapers this weekend reported on the case of six-year-old Nikolas Emerson, who more than two years ago was at the "center of a landmark legal battle" because his mother Valerie refused to give the HIV-positive boy AIDS medication. Valerie Emerson, who also is HIV-positive, had "watched her AIDS-infected daughter succumb to an agonizing death while on AZT" and "vowed" not to let her son go through the same situation. The Maine Department of Human Services sued Valerie Emerson for custody of Nikolas, but the Maine Supreme Judicial Court sided with Valerie Emerson. The court said that because the medicine's effectiveness was "uncertain ... 'it can only reasonably be left up to the parent to make an informed choice.'" Now, Nikolas Emerson is "healthy" and "happy," despite a chronic ear infection that is the result of his suppressed immune system (Mahoney, AP/Los Angeles Times, 8/12).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.