Katharina returned home
Schorndorfer Nachrichten (News), 11/21/1991

By Richard Hofer

MUNICH - After weeks of a rancorous dispute between the family and the authorities, Katharina, a girl suffering from leukemia, has returned to Germany. Together with her father and grandmother, the three-year-old child arrived in Munich on Tuesday.

Katharina could not be treated in the United States because, according to her parents, the doctors at the University Children's Hospital in Ulm had not provide access to the medical documents. According to his statements, 36-year-old master electrician Alban Scharpf from Markt Rettenbach near Memmingen had taken his daughter to the world-famous Mayo Clinic in Rochester in the USA to protect her from chemotherapy.

The reason why father and daughter "fled" to America was that the parents had lost parental custody because the couple refused cancer treatment for their child in Germany. Only after the court relented and transferred custody back to the parents, Scharpf decided to come home. Alban Scharpf and his wife were directing severe criticism against the judiciary and the physicians in the Federal Republic of Germany.

"It is not acceptable that a phone call from a professor to the court is enough to declare a person incompetent". This was his comment regarding the temporary withdrawal of parental custody at the physicians' request.

"It may seem that I am fighting against chemotherapy. All I want is to have the right to choose the physician and the treatment methods," said the master electrician to the journalists. Besides, in Tübingen it was confirmed that Katharina does not suffer from blood cancer any more. Therefore, chemotherapy with cytostatics is no longer necessary. It will take a long time for Katharina to overcome the side effects of the chemotherapy. The child has suffered severe physical and psychological harm as a result of this kind of cancer treatment, the mother said.

Albin Scharpf announced that two female physicians and one male physician are going to continue Katharina's treatment at a location in the Swabian region before the end of this week.

Translated by El Glauner