Teen loses fight to use alternative cancer treatment

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by zimv20, Jul 21, 2006.

  1. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #1
    AP

    i'm disappointed in this ruling, but i'm biased because i think there was some value to the kind of treatment the teen wanted to pursue. here, i agree with the parents.

    but there have been cases of parents wanting to use faith-based healing on their kids, which i don't believe in. i've disagreed with those parents.

    i've let my personal values affect my judgement of others' parents and i feel hypocritical when i want the courts to rule two different ways in those two different circumstances.

    i'm curious how others feel. and to see if anyone can help me rationalize my position :)
     
  2. pseudobrit macrumors 68040

    pseudobrit

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    #2
    A sugar-free organic diet with herbal supplements as treatment? There's no difference between this and faith-based "treatment" because this **** doesn't work. Adjust your rationalizations accordingly.
     
  3. zimv20 thread starter macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #3
    not exactly the kind of rationalizing i was looking for.

    i do think the body has an amazing ability to heal itself, so long as:
    1. one stops doing whatever one was doing to make oneself sick, and
    2. one feeds it properly

    regarding 2), if by "supplements" they mean a couple pills of herbs, yeah, that won't do ****. imo, what's required is massive amounts of garlic, onion, echinacea, et. al., combined with an organic all-veggie diet and lots of juicing.

    the article discusses the teen's experience with chemo, and if he doesn't think he can survive another round of it, i'm all for him going the herbal route.
     
  4. EricNau Moderator emeritus

    EricNau

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    #4
    I say, "GOOD!" - maybe now the kid has a chance of surviving.

    My mom worked in the records department of a radiation cancer treatment center. She read charts of people choosing to pursue Alternative medicine and she saw those same charts come back; the person was either dead or the cancer had spread throughout their entire body (i.e. they were going to die).

    I'm all for trying alternative medicines along with traditional treatment, but giving up western medicine to go eat some grass that you think will save you is stupid.
     
  5. pseudobrit macrumors 68040

    pseudobrit

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    #5
    Are there reams of peer-reviewed research papers supporting this approach?

    The body has an amazing ability to heal itself naturally just like cancer has an amazing ability to kill it naturally. Modern medicine cheats nature spectacularly.

    I believe many health problems in our society could be addressed by a change in diet, mostly circulatory diseases and diabetes. Most of the problems in these areas can be addressed by simply consuming less calories.
     
  6. pseudobrit macrumors 68040

    pseudobrit

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    #6
    QuackWatch has some of the best information on these cases.
     
  7. OutThere macrumors 603

    OutThere

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    #7
    It's a tough situation, because he's still under 18 and can't choose for himself...

    but I still believe that people should be able to choose how they want to go about medical treatment.

    As far as modern medicine goes, it is incredible, but a little voice in the back of my head keeps reminding me that its essentially dooming us to destruction. As long as we're curing people of terrible diseases, we're no longer evolving to resist them. Never mind the wonderful Superbug that is looming on the horizon...
     
  8. pseudobrit macrumors 68040

    pseudobrit

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    #8
    Technological adaptation is evolution, too, and is subject to the same rules as biological adaptation.
     
  9. aquajet macrumors 68020

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    #9
    My best friend was diagnosed with the same disease while we were in high school, 1995. He passed last year. During those ten years, he endured mostly chemotherapy treatments, and towards the end, several experimental drug trials. Whatever your thoughts on any given alternative treatment, would it be any crazier than watching someone's body slowly degenerate into liquid **** while undergoing conventional treatments? I'm not certain how successful many of these alternative treatments are, but it seems to me such therapies wouldn't be in use unless there were some success stories behind them.

    Since we don't know all the details of this particular case, I'm reluctant to form an opinion. But generally, I believe these matters are best left to the patient and family.
     
  10. zimv20 thread starter macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #10
    none that i've seen.

    this is a weird area for me, as i deviate from my normal research-is-king tendencies. it's based solely on my own experiences using plants (food and what's typically called herbal supplements) for certain kinds of healings.

    mind you, when i had some cancerous growths recently, it was outpatient surgery with a western doctor for the pressing concern. but since, i've stuck pretty well to my lifestyle changes:
    1. more fruits and vegetables
    2. more home preparation, less eating out
    3. limit meat intake to what i prepare from a reputable butcher
    4. less crap food overall

    all reasonable things, of course, but i'm betting that such a lifestyle will help me better fight off future cancers and other maladies.
     
  11. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #11
    You guys know what? This is BS. If you want to treat yourself in whatever manner you see fit, it should be up to you. F*** government intervention. I just watched a friend of mine die from this very disease- oh wait sorry, from the treatment- that was from the mouths of the doctors themselves. :rolleyes: THE DOCTORS THEMSELVES SAID HE DIED FROM THE TREATMENT. If this kid wants to treat himself differently, that should be OK. I've been watching this case. Chemo DOES bring you to the brink of death. If you're lucky, you live. WTF? Do we not let people make medical decisions for themselves anymore? Terry Schiavo anyone?

    And you know what? Our lives are supposed to be OURS to control, not the government's.

    In addition, this wasn't the parents telling the kid what to do. This was the kid saying what he wanted.
     
  12. scem0 macrumors 604

    scem0

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    #12
    This also angers me a lot.

    The kid's situation is bleak no matter how you look at it. Why make it more bleak by forcing him into chemo?! And then trying to charge his parents with neglect? That's just wrong.

    e
     
  13. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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    #13
    I don't know how to feel about this. The government makes us do things all the time for the sake of public health, look at anti-drug or bike helmet laws. But I do believe in euthanasia, and it's the same principle. I don't think it would have worked, but it might have. I don't know if Chemo would work either. I might, it might not. We've all got stories either way. Not really my choice though, should be between him, his parents, and his doctors.

    He should have just said it was a religious thing and this wouldn't have been an issue.
     
  14. .Andy macrumors 68030

    .Andy

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    #14
    I can't believe there isn't more to this. It does seem flat out that the government are taking joint custody just so they can be responsible for the administration of the chemo. That's really pushing it ethically and I'd be really interested to see if there isn't anything else behinds the scenes with the family. In the end there's no way they can practically force treatment - you can't put a cannula in a resisting patient. As sad as it is for everyone if Starchild and his parents want to sign his death certificate they should be welcome to. Unfortunately they've been taken in by outright lies and misinformation from the clinics in Tijuana (which are only there because it's illegal to run them in the US). The clinics are the ones that should really be dragged through the courts and prosecuted for this - they're the ones ultimately responsible for his death.

    I wish I could bop you on the head over the internet OutThere :D! The majority of people who die of cancer and 'terrible' diseases are well over breeding age. Most over 50. Think about it - they've already bred, raised kids. Secondly many of these diseases are recessive which means they can just hang around in the gene pool waiting for an unfortunate coupling to manifest. You can carry the gene and pass it on with no disease. Why on earth do you think the diseases are still around - they all pre-ceeded modern medicine for crying out loud :p!

    I don't disagree with the rest of your post Scemo but I thought I might point this out. If he gets chemo = ~80+% disease-free 5 years survival which is very successful (i.e. not so bleak). No chemo = 100% chance of being dead within 12 months. And it will be a painful and slow and wasting death, especially if the family also opt out of analgesics. Dying without palliative care will be worse than chemo ever was. But I agree it should be his and his and his gardian's choice.

    Your first post was well in the realms of out and out quackery (echinacea!) but you've redeemed yourself here zimv20 ;)! There is good evidence that diet can have some impact on your likelihood of acquiring cancer. Although it is something that's very hard to control for in the general population. Your best bet is to move to Japan if you don't want colorectal cancer, south asia if you don't want breast cancer, any third world country if you want to stave off prostate cancer (although this is probably because you'll likely die before the age you'd acquire it!). As for diseases like diabetes and heart disease a good diet and exercise is your best bet. Your health one thing you shouldn't jettison evidence-based methods for and it baffles me why someone with the ability for critical thought would choose to do so.
     
  15. pseudobrit macrumors 68040

    pseudobrit

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    #15
    Cancer is a death sentence. Modern medicine does its best to cheat the verdict. It's an extreme and brutal technology for sure, but the alternative is certain death.

    It gives a patient a fighting chance and we shouldn't disparage the treatment because it's not perfect.
     
  16. EricNau Moderator emeritus

    EricNau

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    #16
    You said it perfectly; they are signing his death certificate. This is exactly why the government can intervene. This is no different than letting their kid go play on the railroad tracks with a train approaching or feeding him drain cleaner instead of lemonade.
     
  17. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #17
    Be that as it may- one should have the option to refuse it. I wouldn't do it, that's for damn sure. I've seen it and I don't want to go there. And I'm sorry, but you can't tell me my friend wouldn't have lived longer without it- not when it killed him before the cancer did.
     
  18. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #18
    People are looking for other ways to treat themselves because western medicine these days mainly seems to be concerned with making money. Because of this, many people also believe that there are cures for many diseases, but that these cures are suppressed due to the fact that the diseases are cash in the pockets of doctors.

    There is a huge lack of trust of the medical field. That's the medical field's problem to solve.
     
  19. scem0 macrumors 604

    scem0

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    #19
    Please. It's much different.

    He's not a two year old. He can make the decision for himself. It's HIS life.

    His parents aren't letting him jump of a cliff or anything. He isn't going to die the day he misses a chemo treatment. It'd take a while - not a long time - but it'd take a while and he wouldn't feel like **** for the last years of his life.

    Say he has one year with his own treatment and 4 with chemo. I'd rather have 1 happy year without chemo than 4 years spent feeling weak and unhappy with chemo. I wouldn't want to die that way.

    Personally I'd do chemo if I got cancer. But if it didn't work the first time and I had a tough time with it, and it didn't look promising for the second bout of chemo, I'd not do it. I'd rather live the rest of my life, be it short, in peace and in happiness.

    I do not think your analogies were accurate.

    e
     
  20. EricNau Moderator emeritus

    EricNau

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    #20
    If he refuses treatment, the last year of his life is not going to be pleasant. Death from cancer is a slow, painful, and miserable death. ...So, he will feel like **** if he doesn't get proper treatment. Sorry to put it so bluntly but that's life.

    When the kid realizes the full potential of cancer and how it kills (and how painful it is) he'll probably change his mind - but it'll be to late.

    Chemo is his best chance at surviving. Quite frankly, I do not see why he wouldn't want a chance of living, or why his parents are willing to sign their own kid's death sentence. Either way, he has a hard time ahead of him - why not pick the treatment that might have a reward at the end?
     
  21. zimv20 thread starter macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #21
    that's tending towards the cynical end of distrust of western medicine.

    while there are certainly amazing technologies, i find i'm always questioning the application of those technologies without considering the overall health and well-being of the patient.

    on the smaller end, how many times have we gone to the doctor because of a cold or flu, only to be given antibiotics, told to take cold relief, and then receive a passing mention of fluids and rest?

    in such a case, i find i'm much better served by a lot of echinacea (the liquid extract, not those useless dry-leaf pills), green tea, onion, garlic, cayenne and (of course) chicken soup.

    i used to see a chinese doctor, not for anything specific, but because i was curious. the doctor found that i needed treatment, but the problems were expressed in chinese medical terms (i had too much dampness).

    after a while, guess what changes i noticed: i found i didn't need sunglasses as much as i had, and my voracious appetite for milk* was almost gone. how do we explain that in western medical terms? and if i had gone to a western doctor and said, "my eyes are sensitive to sunlight and i drink too much milk, and this has been going on my whole life," what would the doctor have said? "wear sunglasses and drink less milk," i suspect.

    i think there is value in combining western and (in this case) chinese medicine, much of which is based on plant remedies. so pbrit, please understand that i didn't need to wait for some conclusive scientific survey to tell me i was drinking too much milk. to this day, i almost never crave it.

    * 1/2 to 1 gallon / day.
     
  22. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #22
    I agree. I use zinc to chase colds away. Usually, if I take it right when I feel one coming on I end up not getting the cold. Doctors don't tell you that either, even though zinc is a hell of a lot better for you than chemicals- that wouldn't sell pharmaceuticals.

    On another note, my Dad was on cholestoral lowering medication and blood thinners and ended up getting Crohn's disease from that. He almost died from the surgery to remove his colon and was in the hospital for over a month. Western medicine certainly does not have all the answers.
     
  23. pseudobrit macrumors 68040

    pseudobrit

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    #23
    So the logical choice would be to buy stuff from the alternative medicine field? I mean, if you want to distrust an industry because of its greed...

    This reminds me in a way of the creationism debate. Science, with all its laws and proofs, still doesn't have all the answers, so I'll trust something that has no laws and no evidence.
     
  24. zimv20 thread starter macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #24
    hang on, there isn't a lack of evidence, there's a lack of modern scientific rigor. chinese medicine has been in practice for thousands of years, and i've firsthand experienced things i can't explain any more in depth than, "give your body what it needs and it will fix itself."

    here's another -- without fail, two days after a tough workout or a massage, i'll get cold symptoms (supposedly due to accumulated toxins leaving my muscles and entering my bloodstream).

    left alone, the symptoms last all day and part of the next. if i take a detox formula, a liquid extract consisting primarily of red clover blossoms and chapparal, the symptoms will be gone in an hour or two. this is an experiment i've repeated over a hundred times.
     
  25. EricNau Moderator emeritus

    EricNau

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    #25
    Have you heard of the placebo effect? It is quite possible that you feel better just because you think you will. Don't under-estimate the human mind. ;)
     

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