A woman in Oregon may be headed to prison for 19 months fter being convicted in a case about her decision to withhold traditional medical care from her daughter who, at the time, was suffering from a rare liver cancer.
Christina Gale Dixon, 39, was found guilty by a jury in Clackamas County following a four day trial last week.
Dixon represented herself and testified in her own defense, reading a statement from the stand that lasted for more than an hour.
She also called her daughter, now 17, Kylee Dixon to the stand as a witness.
The state called witnesses including oncologists form the Oregon Health & Science University, state employees who worked on Kylee’s child welfare case, and one Clackamas County sheriff’s detective.
The charges on which she was tried stemmed from her attempts in 2019 to prevent her daughter from getting surgery to remove a cancerous tumor that was growing on her liver.
Christina Dixon (left) was convicted last week on charges related to denying her daughter (right) cancer surgery several years ago
But Dixon opted instead to treat her daughter with CBD oil – not a medically sanctioned treatment. The state intervened to ensure Kylee got the surgery
The then-13-year-old was placed in state custody, but continued living with her mother, who stopped allowing her daughter to undergo the treatment prescribed by physicians and instead opted to treat the tumor with CBD oil.
Several cancer specialists and nearly two dozen consulting physicians at St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital all recommended a course of treatment than included chemotherapy followed by surgery.
Dixon was found guilty of first-degree custodial interference and two counts of first-degree criminal mistreatment – all of which are felonies.
Clackamas County prosecutors told the judge that they will seek a 19-month prison sentence.
One of the prosecutors, Bryan Censoni, said he was pleased the jury recognized that parents are obligated to make sure their children receive life-saving medical care.
‘From my point of view, I was happy that the jury accepted the universal medical consensus in the case,’ he said, according to Oregon Live.
Dixon, who did not comment after the hearing, has asked for sentencing to be delayed while she attempts to hire a lawyer to assist with the next phase of the legal process.
Since the case began four years ago, Dixon has reportedly hired and fired multiple attorneys.
Clackamas County has a long and bizarre history of cases involving parents who have denied medical care to their ill children, most of whom were associated with the Followers of Christ.
The group is a small religious sect based in Oregon City. They subscribe to a literal translation of the bible and holy texts, which state that, if death comes, it is God’s will.
Earlier this year, a set of parents received probation after both pleading guilty to first-degree criminal mistreatment of their son, a 13-year-old who was suffering from renal failure.
The couple was accused of failing to provide adequate medical care for their child. He was eventually treated and recovered from the illness.
The elder Dixon (right) is now facing a possible 19 month prison sentence after being found guilty last Friday
Prosecutors in Oregon called a handful of doctors to the stand, as well as state child welfare employees, and one sheriff’s detective
Dixon says she is looking to hire an attorney prior to sentencing. She has had a number of attorneys with whom things have not worked out since the case began four years ago
Christina Dixon has no affiliation with the Followers of Christ, but she did seek to treat her daughter’s cancer with CBD oil, which at the time, her daughter said she supported.
Kylee was diagnosed with undifferentiated embryonal sarcoma in March 2018 and doctors recommended she be treated with chemotherapy and surgery.
Without these treatments, they said she would die.
After ignoring medical advice, Dixon fled with her daughter just hours before Kylee’s surgery was scheduled to take place in June of 2019.
The girl was located days later in Las Vegas. She was brought back to Oregon and placed in foster care.
Her mother remained on the run until August of 2019, when she turned herself in.
Kylee eventually underwent successful surgery in early 2020 and was declared cancer-free shortly thereafter.