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Alternative medicine for childhood cancer ...
Posted: 19 May 2009 05:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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It’s still neglect on many levels.

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Mriana
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Posted: 19 May 2009 06:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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Mriana - 19 May 2009 05:23 PM

It’s still neglect on many levels.

THAT’S an UNDERSTATEMENT!!!! mad

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Posted: 19 May 2009 06:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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asanta - 19 May 2009 05:17 PM

I didn’t see any documentation of a learning disability. It sounds like the parents just didn’t bother to teach him!

[edit] I see that he DOES have a learning disability, but it doesn’t sound like the parents didn’t bother teaching him ANYTHING—not even the beliefs of their particular dogma!!!

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Posted: 19 May 2009 07:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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HERE is a piece from the Science-Based Medicine blog about this case. It makes all of the sound points already brought up about why this kid is getting a raw deal from his parents. It also, howveer, does a good job of showing what a no-win situation this is. Imagine trying to sedate or strap down a 13-year old boy every day for chemotherapy or radiation treatment! Imagine how painful for the child and the parents, how demoralizing for the doctors and nurses, how virulent the backlash in the media and the CAM community would be. If he and his parents can’t be made to see reason, I can’t see how anything can be done except to allow the pointless waste of his death from treatable cancer. How horrifically sad. :-(

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Posted: 19 May 2009 07:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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Maybe the counseling would help, but I have a feeling it would take more time than he has to get through to him.

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Mriana
“Sometimes in order to see the light, you have to risk the dark.” ~ Iris Hineman (Lois Smith) The Minority Report

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Posted: 19 May 2009 07:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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mckenzievmd - 19 May 2009 07:17 PM

Imagine trying to sedate or strap down a 13-year old boy every day for chemotherapy or radiation treatment!

I heard a doctor on TV tonight saying that this problem can be resolved by a psychologist. Supposedly most kids and even their parents in these cases will eventually calm down.

[ Edited: 20 May 2009 06:40 AM by George ]
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Posted: 19 May 2009 08:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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Too bad, it’s one of the MOST TREATABLE cancers!!! I remember one of my classmates died from Hodgkins just out of high school when the treatments were nowhere as good as they are now! I wish he’d had the opportunity this child is trying to throw away!

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Posted: 19 May 2009 08:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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George - 19 May 2009 07:56 PM
mckenzievmd - 19 May 2009 07:17 PM

Imagine trying to sedate or strap down a 13-year old boy every day for chemotherapy or radiation treatment!

I heard a doctor on TV tonight saying that this problem can be resolved by a psychologist. Supposedly most kids and even their parents in these cases will eventually will down.

Probably not before the cancer becomes untreatable, or the prognosis becomes dismal. I think the psychologist is overly optimistic. WHEN (not if) he dies the family will feel vindicated in their beliefs and blame the medical establishment. I used to see parents quite frequently willing to allow their child or infant die rather than receive a simple blood transplant. A BLOOD TRANSPLANT!!!! We have had to get a court order to proceed, even if the parent knows the child will otherwise die.

I was once involved in the care of a teenager who had stolen a car and gotten into a high speed race on the freeway in which he suffered a horrendous crash. By the time the parents arrived, we were pumping in blood 4 units at a time under pressure to keep up with the loss until we could get him to the OR. The parents came in and the FIRST thing they did was to DEMAND that we stop the blood transfusions. Of course we did not, and a judge immediately signed an order giving us permission to treat this child.

Based on my long experience with the religiously dogmatic and medical care of their children, I would say that the psychologist was overly optimistic and in fact would go so far as to say that s/he does not know what s/he is talking about. mad

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Posted: 19 May 2009 10:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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I have often wondered when humans will stop relying on superstition and start relying on knowledge and reason.  I’ll excuse one wanting to pray as long as they use modern science too.  Prayer or meditation has some psychological benefit for some people, so I would not deny them that as long as they are treating their child with the best medical knowledge and technology we have, but relying solely on superstition just does not get the job done.

This is what got me though…  When my mother had stage 3 breast cancer 8 or 9 years ago, they surgically removed her breast (one breast).  After the doctors declared her cancer free, I asked the doctor “so how long will I have my mother?”  His response to me was, “You mean God willin’?”  I was a bit puzzled by a doctor asking that, but I let it go instead of arguing semantics and alike with him and just said, “Yeah.”  It was an odd response to me coming from a doctor, but I let it go because I wanted an answer, not an debate.  His prognosis was potentially at least as long as my grandmother lived, which was until 94 y.o.  Granted, I am in the Bible Belt, but still, given what doctors know, I was a bit astounded by his response to my question.  A part of me wanted to say, “Knock it off with the superstition and just answer my question to the best of your ability”. but I didn’t, in part because my mother was in the room with us too when I asked.

Obviously, doctors are not immune to superstition either, but at least they don’t rely on superstition or most don’t that is.  Either that or he was placating us, because he knew my mother is religious and was sitting right there when I asked, and just assumed because she is religious, I am too.  I’m not sure which, but I would have settled for, “I don’t know, she could possibly live to be 100 for all I know” and been very satisfied with that answer.

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Posted: 20 May 2009 10:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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In his last visit with the doctor, he described his pain level at 10 on a 1 to 10 scale! mad
I would hazard a guess that if his mother were feeling this kind of pain, SHE would be in an emergency room and dump the herbs!

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Posted: 20 May 2009 10:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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Asanta,

A chemotherapy and a blood transplant are two very different things, since a doctor at the ER doesn’t have much time to play a diplomat and a spiritual guru while he’s trying to save the patient’s life. Indeed, the unfortunate thirteen-year old boy is getting all the media attention because the psychologists probably do succeed in most cases.

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Posted: 20 May 2009 05:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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Seems like mother and son bailed:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090520/ap_on_re_us/us_forced_chemo

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Mriana
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Posted: 21 May 2009 03:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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George - 20 May 2009 10:50 AM

Asanta,

A chemotherapy and a blood transplant are two very different things, since a doctor at the ER doesn’t have much time to play a diplomat and a spiritual guru while he’s trying to save the patient’s life. Indeed, the unfortunate thirteen-year old boy is getting all the media attention because the psychologists probably do succeed in most cases.

I certainly hope so, but I don’t have much hope. I took care of a child with a benign brain tumor whose mom fled the country while the tumor applied so much pressure on the child’s skull that it popped his eyeballs out of the sockets and (of course) caused blindness. She brought him back when he became a terminal case and he spent his last few months in the hospital with us…....I’ve seen this happen with more than blood transfusions…
The sad thing is that everyone can see that these parents really do love their children and believe to the death and after with a firm religious certitude that they were doing the correct thing. This contrasts with the parents who have to make the decision to withdraw support who end up with doubts and ‘what ifs’ afterward.
Although I doubt it, I would like to think that MY experience is analogous with someone who lives in a desert, and therefore can’t believe that forests exist…

[ Edited: 22 May 2009 04:41 PM by asanta ]
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Posted: 21 May 2009 04:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
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This is a very strange case. The family was FOR chemotherapy in the beginning of this boy’s illness. They took him for chemo. Then they decided the side effects were too severe and changed their mind halfway through, and joined a made-up local “shaman” group some guy started a few years ago. This is unlike the usual cases where a family claims their long-held religion forbids medical treatment, and back it with scripture. At least then you can sort of understand the mental problem behind refusing the treatment.

It is just unusual that the family is backing into this “religious exception” after the fact. They joined the Native American “religious healing group” only a few weeks ago and aren’t even Native American.

The end result is still horrible, no matter if they were against treatment before or stopped during. There should be no exception for children. If adults want to kill themselves by refusing treatment, fine. But it’s not fair to the kids to die because their parents are idiots.

On another sad note, this brings up important failings in the home schooling movement. This child was 13 and could not read even a single word. Not ONE word. What, exactly, was he being schooled in at home? My guess is NOTHING. His family lived on a farm. He was simply pulled out of school to work on the farm, and they told the state he was being home schooled. Some states have NO annual testing requirements to ensure kids are keeping up with grade level. Hopefully some good will come out of this case coming to light - an overhaul and some new legislation?

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Posted: 21 May 2009 04:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
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I don’t think religion or any of that matters anymore.  Mother and son ran off after the judge ordered him to chemo (see link in my last post above).  What is going to happen is the boy will die and the mother will probably be charged with murder- 1st, 2nd, or 3rd, I am uncertain, but none the less murder.  I seriously doubt it will be manslaughter.

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Mriana
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