Teen wins court battle to stop chemo


by Math Is Hard
Tags: battle, chemo, court, stop, teen, wins
Math Is Hard
Math Is Hard is offline
#1
Aug16-06, 05:08 PM
Emeritus
Sci Advisor
PF Gold
Math Is Hard's Avatar
P: 4,921
This is an interesting case I've been following on the news. I really wasn't sure which way it would go since he is a minor.

http://www.cnn.com/2006/LAW/08/16/ca....ap/index.html

ACCOMAC, Virginia (AP) -- A 16-year-old cancer patient's legal fight ended in victory Wednesday when his family's attorneys and social services officials reached an agreement that would allow him to forgo chemotherapy.
Last summer, the teen was diagnosed with Hodgkin's disease, a cancer of the lymphatic system considered very treatable in its early stages. He was so debilitated by three months of chemotherapy that he declined a second, more intensive round that doctors recommended early this year.

He since has been using the Hoxsey method, the sale of which was banned in the United States in 1960.

After Abraham chose to go on the sugar-free, organic diet and take liquid herbal supplements under the supervision of a Mexican clinic, a social worker asked a juvenile court judge to intervene to protect the teen's health. Last month, the judge found Abraham's parents neglectful and ordered Abraham to report to a hospital for treatment as doctors deem necessary.
Phys.Org News Partner Science news on Phys.org
Better thermal-imaging lens from waste sulfur
Hackathon team's GoogolPlex gives Siri extra powers
Bright points in Sun's atmosphere mark patterns deep in its interior
Pengwuino
Pengwuino is offline
#2
Aug16-06, 05:36 PM
PF Gold
Pengwuino's Avatar
P: 7,125
That's a toughy... parents tend to know what's best for their kids.. ESPECIALLY when it comes to medical issues... but forcing say, a vaccination on a kid vs. forcing chemo on a kid doesn't really seem equivalent so i'm not sure either. I also don't agree (in spirit, as opposed to what the law says) with the judge claiming they were neglectful in the previous decision because it only would seem neglectful if they refused to let him get the treatment.

I guess its one of those "if it were my kid, no question but since its not...." deals for me.
Math Is Hard
Math Is Hard is offline
#3
Aug16-06, 05:44 PM
Emeritus
Sci Advisor
PF Gold
Math Is Hard's Avatar
P: 4,921
I can't help but wonder if the fact that the kid's name is Starchild Abraham Cherrix had an influence on the first judge's decision. Probably saw the parents as wacky new-agers brainwashing their kid against traditional therapy.

Pengwuino
Pengwuino is offline
#4
Aug16-06, 06:02 PM
PF Gold
Pengwuino's Avatar
P: 7,125

Teen wins court battle to stop chemo


Oh wait, the parents were against the chemo?
Math Is Hard
Math Is Hard is offline
#5
Aug16-06, 06:19 PM
Emeritus
Sci Advisor
PF Gold
Math Is Hard's Avatar
P: 4,921
The only thing I have heard is that the parents allowed him to stop the chemo and begin the Hoxsey treatments, which is what the young man wanted. A social worker intervened at that point, worried for his health.

His parents supported his choice despite the American Cancer Society's opinion that "there is no scientific evidence" that the Hoxsey method treats cancer effectively.

Together, a family believed that they might have found a less harmful answer to their problem and that they had the right to pursue it. It turns out they were wrong at least in Virginia, where even your medicine and family structure may be regulated by the county.
http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/...mment-opinions
Rach3
Rach3 is offline
#6
Aug16-06, 10:18 PM
Rach3's Avatar
P: 318
Let no one ever again suggest that crackpots are harmless and never kill people.
Math Is Hard
Math Is Hard is offline
#7
Aug16-06, 10:54 PM
Emeritus
Sci Advisor
PF Gold
Math Is Hard's Avatar
P: 4,921
I still think it's a pretty tough decision. If my 16 year old son was exhausted and sick and emaciated from months of chemo and didn't want to continue, I don't know that I could force him to do more of it against his will.
Skyhunter
Skyhunter is offline
#8
Aug17-06, 01:47 PM
P: 1,409
This is the point I find relevant.

"It's all over. It's everything we fought for, everything we wanted to ever have, we've won. We got our freedom back,"
I find it ironic that the government would try and force this young man to undergo a medical procedure. And the same governement has allowed the poisoning of the air, water, and food supply that is the most likely cause of his cancer.
Pengwuino
Pengwuino is offline
#9
Aug17-06, 03:16 PM
PF Gold
Pengwuino's Avatar
P: 7,125
Quote Quote by Math Is Hard
I still think it's a pretty tough decision. If my 16 year old son was exhausted and sick and emaciated from months of chemo and didn't want to continue, I don't know that I could force him to do more of it against his will.
The more I think about this... the more i do see a similarity between vaccinations and chemo. Sure as a little kid, parents find it hard to see their kid cry and pull a tantrum but they know its in his best interest. It seems like the same thing here... except instead of crying and pulling a tantrum, he pulls an adult tantrum and gets the courts involved. And of course, the parents are wackos and dont want him to get chemo.

As far as the case go... let's get real, if the kid wanted chemo and the parents refused, it would be instantly declared child endangerment and the obvious argument is that they are endangering his life. Switch one irrelevant detail such as him not wanting it (and when you get down to the actual arguemnt of whether or not hes in danger, his opinion is irrelevant) and all of a sudden the argument that they are endangering his life disappears? So since he agrees with their hippy ignorance, all of a sudden hes not in danger? In a scientific society, there wouldn't be any question. It's more or less brainwashing.
Schrodinger's Dog
Schrodinger's Dog is offline
#10
Aug17-06, 03:23 PM
Schrodinger's Dog's Avatar
P: 1,142
Quote Quote by Math Is Hard
I still think it's a pretty tough decision. If my 16 year old son was exhausted and sick and emaciated from months of chemo and didn't want to continue, I don't know that I could force him to do more of it against his will.
This focuses on the issue from a personal perspective and an emotional one, and it is entirely how the issue should be considered I think, oddly I'd go with the rational non emotional reasoned approach in most legal cases, but this is another kind of animal.

This is an absolute moral minefield, do we take away a patients right to chose his treatment, or force it on him to save his life, what implications does that have? If we make a precident will this mean that many famillies will chose to forgo treatment, and conversely will this lead to a more black and white decision making process with less freedom if he is given the choice, and where do we draw the line on either side. Do we go so far as to ask if a person has the right to chose a 75% mortality rate over a 25% mortality rate? This is the sort of question you should include in a philosophy paper, and frankly, I wouldn't know whether I came down for or against, too many variables, and too many issues.

I can boil it down to two simpler variables from the morasse.

The right to choice.

The right of the government or institution to force a greater good onto a patient, to help said patient despite himself.

Trouble is as soon as I do it raises all the same questions as I had before. My answer: who knows? Speaking rationally I'd say this should be a decision of Dr's, Do no harm seems so clean cut, but then... ack, no way to chose, and I would of hated to be the judge on this one. As soon as I start to think rationally I say save the boys life( and it is based on emotion) When I say let him chose, I start to think of the lack of reasoning, surely it is best from an emotional perspective to save the familly from potentially greater emotional suffering( and here we are back at emotion) This is a fine no win situation, whatever way I think about it, there seems no correct answer.

Speaking on a personally emotional level, I'd say give the boy the best chance at life, but this also seems to be a reasoned one? It's just I can't reason it out. It's not like a simple equation where a definitive answer is produced. It's more like a probability wave equation where minimal harm is a broad spectrum of a possibilities. There are too many hidden variables here.

If I've confused anyone with odd arguments, it's because I am simply confused myself, which is the state of the matter as far as I can see.
Evo
Evo is offline
#11
Aug17-06, 03:36 PM
Mentor
Evo's Avatar
P: 25,928
Although I disagree with holistic medicine, it should be the patient's choice if he/she wished to be treated at all. No one should be in the position to force someone to undergo any medical treatment. Of course we have to consider that in the case of a minor, the child cannot make that decision. I believe in this case it was the fact that he is a minor and the parent's were being held responsible for his welfare. I don't know of a case of an adult being forced to undergo treatment against their will as long as they were not legally in someone else's care (mentally incompetant, for example).
Cyrus
Cyrus is offline
#12
Aug17-06, 04:22 PM
Cyrus's Avatar
P: 4,780
The more I think about this... the more i do see a similarity between vaccinations and chemo. Sure as a little kid, parents find it hard to see their kid cry and pull a tantrum but they know its in his best interest. It seems like the same thing here... except instead of crying and pulling a tantrum, he pulls an adult tantrum and gets the courts involved. And of course, the parents are wackos and dont want him to get chemo.
A childish tantrum?



According to a recent story on Cherrix in USA Today, chemotherapy rendered the 6-foot-1 teenager so weak that he couldn't walk from his car to his home. He felt deathly ill after treatment and feared at times that he wouldn't make it through the night.
Pengwuino, stop posting nonsense.

I sure as hell do not want to government telling people what to do. The FDA is a sellout to the pharmaceutical compaines. They should stay far, far away from telling anyone what to do.
Rach3
Rach3 is offline
#13
Aug17-06, 05:11 PM
Rach3's Avatar
P: 318
Where does 'right do die' fit into this? These people do believe they're saving his life, using herbs to cure Hodgkin's, because they're utter idiots and have the critical-reasoning ability of fruitbats. This is not an informed 'decision to die' in a terminally ill case; these people never indicated they want death here, so that shouldn't even enter the discussion. It's a simple case of crackpot frauds taking the place of legtimitate medicine, and it will likely cost this kid's life if child protection doesn't supersede these idiots' right to astrology.

Now if this were a terminally ill minor, who preferred quick death over artifically prolonged life, there I have no idea. That's not the situation.
Rach3
Rach3 is offline
#14
Aug17-06, 05:20 PM
Rach3's Avatar
P: 318
Don't forget that this Hoxsey stuff (hoaxy?) has been banned in the US for half a century, this kid is fleeing to Mexico to get away from US law.

http://documents.cancer.org/6516.00/
Cyrus
Cyrus is offline
#15
Aug17-06, 05:48 PM
Cyrus's Avatar
P: 4,780
Quote Quote by Rach3
Where does 'right do die' fit into this? These people do believe they're saving his life, using herbs to cure Hodgkin's, because they're utter idiots and have the critical-reasoning ability of fruitbats. This is not an informed 'decision to die' in a terminally ill case; these people never indicated they want death here, so that shouldn't even enter the discussion. It's a simple case of crackpot frauds taking the place of legtimitate medicine, and it will likely cost this kid's life if child protection doesn't supersede these idiots' right to astrology.

Now if this were a terminally ill minor, who preferred quick death over artifically prolonged life, there I have no idea. That's not the situation.
Or maybe his parents are desperate and can't stand to see their son being treated by a method that is literally killing him in the process. I think you and pengwuino should show them a little bit more respect.

Will his flight to mexico cure him? 99.9% chance it wont. Is kemo helping him, the obvious answer is clearly no as well.

Maybe he comes to his senses and resumes the kemo, maybe he needs to stop for a while before it kills him. Either way, it's his and his parent's call.

The government should take a hike.
Pengwuino
Pengwuino is offline
#16
Aug17-06, 06:06 PM
PF Gold
Pengwuino's Avatar
P: 7,125
Quote Quote by cyrusabdollahi
I sure as hell do not want to government telling people what to do. The FDA is a sellout to the pharmaceutical compaines. They should stay far, far away from telling anyone what to do.
Utter nonsense on your side there. The government can come and take your kid away if a neighbor says you punch him for not cleaning his room. Do you REALLY think the government should just let children be beat up, molested, and neglected just so you have this strange all-important satisfaction that the government didn't get involved in someones life (even though the very fact that you can post online is the government's will)?

I suspect the next time someone steals from you, you won't call the police because you don't want the government telling you or the criminal what to do right? Of course not! Governments.... by DEFINITION, get involved in citizen's lives.
Cyrus
Cyrus is offline
#17
Aug17-06, 06:11 PM
Cyrus's Avatar
P: 4,780
Quote Quote by Pengwuino
Utter nonsense on your side there. The government can come and take your kid away if a neighbor says you punch him for not cleaning his room. Do you REALLY think the government should just let children be beat up, molested, and neglected just so you have this strange all-important satisfaction that the government didn't get involved in someones life (even though the very fact that you can post online is the government's will)?
What does this have to do with what were talking about?

I suspect the next time someone steals from you, you won't call the police because you don't want the government telling you or the criminal what to do right? Of course not! Governments.... by DEFINITION, get involved in citizen's lives.
And what does this have to do with what were talking about?
Pengwuino
Pengwuino is offline
#18
Aug17-06, 06:13 PM
PF Gold
Pengwuino's Avatar
P: 7,125
You said "I sure as hell do not want to government telling people what to do.", i showed you why that's a non-sense idea.


Register to reply

Related Discussions
Miss Teen USA General Discussion 57
Chemo Reacting Volumes Of Gasses q's Chemistry 8
Seed battle heads to supreme court: BBC Biology 0