A Florida couple lost custody of their child with leukemia after they refused to continue chemotherapy treatments. Now their supporters are accusing authorities of 'medical kidnapping'.

Hillsborough County Sheriff’s OfficeTaylor Bland-Ball, Noah McAdams, and Joshua McAdams are pictured in a handout from the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.
  • A Florida couple lost custody of their three-year-old son with leukemia after they “busted on out” of a hospital and refused to return for chemotherapy treatments.
  • Authorities eventually found them and the child is being treated, but supporters of the couple are accusing authorities of “medical kidnapping.”
  • The parents, Taylor Bland-Ball and Joshua McAdams, said they were only trying to secure a “less harsh” treatment than chemo.
  • Medical experts say research shows that those who stop treatments early typically see the cancer return.
  • Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more stories.

A Florida couple is fighting to regain custody of their three-year-old son, who has acute lymphoblastic leukemia, after they “busted on out” of a hospital and refused to return for chemotherapy treatments, sending authorities on a multi-state search for the family.

Authorities eventually found the family in Kentucky and took the child for medical treatment. The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office said the parents “refused to follow up with the life saving medical care the child needs” and that they’re investigating them for child neglect.

But Taylor Bland-Ball and Joshua McAdams have pushed back against accusations that they neglected their son Noah. They have also drummed up support among sceptics of modern medicine, many of whom believe that authorities’ decision to take custody of the child was a so-called “medical kidnapping.”

Read more: Police officers busted down the door of an Arizona home with guns drawn to remove a sick, unvaccinated toddler whose parents refused to bring him to a hospital

In a series of Facebook posts, Taylor Bland-Ball, the child’s mother, wrote that she and her husband had taken their son to Kentucky to get a “second opinion,” and simply wanted “less harsh treatment” than chemotherapy.

“We busted on out of that hospital – with no cancer cells left to spare,” Bland-Ball wrote in an April 16 post.

Bland-Ball’s Facebook posts have stirred up a weeks-long controversy, culminating in hundreds of comments that alternately criticise her, even calling her a “s— parent,” or praise her for taking her son’s health into her own hands.

“YOU DO YOU MAMA,” one user said. “My friend cured her 3 year old of his cancer. Holistic remedies and all. She also had to give him chemo because the medical kidnapping thing. You got this.”

“You all need to turn yourselves in and get that baby the help he needs,” another user wrote.

An online fundraiser that Bland-Ball shared on Facebook also described the incident as a “medical kidnapping orchestrated by Child Protective Services.”

Medical experts told The Tampa Bay Times that even though chemotherapy’s side effects can be daunting, research shows that those who stop treatments early typically see the cancer return.

“I put it in the same box as those who fear vaccination,” Dr. Bijal Shah, of the Moffitt Cancer Center’s acute lymphoblastic leukemia program, told the newspaper. “The reality is, what we risk by not taking chemotherapy, just as what we risk by not taking vaccines, is much, much worse.”

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