Dr. Kara Kelly, an associate professor of clinical pediatrics at Columbia University Medical Center, also said she did not have firsthand knowledge of the Fraser case, but Kelly explained that interrupting a course of cancer therapy is likely to "favor the resistance of more cells. You would have a much higher rate of lymphoma growing and coming back."
In her practice, Kelly has also experienced some parents "having a pattern of not showing up for appointments" and refusing or avoiding treatment protocols. "I think it's sometimes not being able to face reality. Parents sometimes are young or overwhelmed with financial issues," said Kelly.
More often than not, a phone call to social services serves to get the parents back on track. "You really hope going to social services is a last resort because I can't think of anything worse for a child going through chemotherapy than to have a parent taken away from them," said Kelly.