Judge says forcing aboriginal girl to stay in chemo is to ‘impose our world view on First Nation culture’

504 posts / 0 new
Last post
Sineed

onlinediscountanvils wrote:

My mistake. I assumed we were talking about Makayla Sault.

It's a similar case. The children are close in age and have the same kind of cancer, and both sets of parents took their kids to the Hippocrates Institute in Florida, a holistic healing centre.

According to today's episode of "White Coat Black Art" (linked in my previous post), Makayla Sault announced on Facebook on October 3rd that she was healed, but she currently is suffering a relapse.

Unionist

jas wrote:

So you would agree with the position the Six Nations have taken?

Quote:
Next door at Six Nations, Chief Ava Hill said her band will continue to support the 11-year-old’s right to pursue traditional healing, including launching an appeal if the court decides in favour of the hospital.

“We’re going to support any of our community members in a decision to look after their own kids …,” she said. “We feel we have the right to use our own medicines.”

I don't know. I don't understand what it means to "support any of our community members in a decision to look after their own kids". It seems to say - what the parents decide is fine with us. I have a problem with that position when it comes to health care, education, nutrition, housing... There may be more nuance to it than what I can read.

Quote:

(PS: I understand you are undecided on which level of community should be able to make these self determinations. I'm just pointing out that your position opens up such a vast grey area that it would make it almost impossible to establish any self-determinate vs. intervention standards.)

It's not my "position". It's my uncertainty. So far, all I'm sure of is: 1. Life/death decisions about children must not be left to the sole domain of parents. 2. The colonial attitude and arrogance of the Canadian state towards indigenous peoples deserves to be combatted. Then I get stuck.

Do you have a position which eliminates that vast grey area?

Sineed

unionist wrote:

1. Life/death decisions about children must not be left to the sole domain of parents. 2. The colonial attitude and arrogance of the Canadian state towards indigenous peoples deserves to be combatted. Then I get stuck.

Do you have a position which eliminates that vast grey area?

You've identified the crux of the dilemma, U. And no; there's no resolving that grey area. It's like this: informed consent rests upon capacity, and capacity isn't dependent on age, necessarily.

From the Canadian Pediatric Society:

Quote:
To ensure that the best decisions are made for children and adolescents, these decisions should be made jointly by members of the health care team, the child or adolescent’s parents, and sometimes the child or adolescent. Children and adolescents should be involved in decision-making to an increasing degree as they develop, until they are capable of making their own decisions about treatment. End-of-life decision-making, whether or not the child or adolescent is involved, is especially complex.

If the child is considered competent, the child's decisions about treatment are respected.

Quote:
Although family issues are important and must be considered, the primary concern of health professionals who care for children and adolescents must be the best interests of individual children and adolescents.

Naturally, looking out for the best interest of the child will sometimes put health care providers into conflict with parents who may have differing ideas about what that means. What it does mean: children are not private property. They don't belong to their parents or their community. They have their own intrinsic worth as human beings that transcends any identity.

That said, health care professionals need to do a better job of avoiding conflict with family members in many cases. Doctors tend to be nerdy science types who don't give a damn about the context in which FN parents would react with horror at the prospect of losing custody of their kids.

On the health professionals discussion boards, topics like cultural sensitivity training for physicians tend to be met with much eye-rolling.

 

6079_Smith_W

Sineed wrote:

Doctors tend to be nerdy science types who don't give a damn about the context in which FN parents would react with horror at the prospect of losing custody of their kids.

Or autocrats.

We had a good friend who went through an experience like this. One new doctor made a snap decision on their first meeting to take the person off all the medication to buffer psychological side effects (fear of impending death), with a very demeaning lecture about "toughing it out", and the experience not being a holiday - as if it was the patient's fault.

No consultation with the original doctor, who only found out when our friend had a major crash.

Bad enough for anyone, but I can imagine it is much more of a divide for FN people, particularly those who have to fly in from remote communities.

 

Slumberjack

Unionist wrote:
SJ, what do you think of my point that decisions about children's medical care shouldn't belong to their parents?

I think it excludes a lot of information and jumps to the point a little too quickly.

BillBC

Thanks to all posters for a sensitive discussion of this topic.  It's the best one I've read here for a long time.  First prize to Maysie

Sineed

Defending sick children

http://theness.com/neurologicablog/index.php/defending-sick-children/

Quote:

You can probably guess my position. Children deserve basic medical care and an opportunity to grow up to be adults who can then make their own decisions about their beliefs and the healthcare they choose. Parents should not have the right to condemn their own children to an early and unnecessary death simply because it suits their worldview.

In the case of the Six Nations girls, she has a 90% survival rate with chemotherapy, but she will almost certainly die a painful death if she is treated only with non-science-based treatment.

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

Thanks for sharing that, Sineed.  It is more or less where I was coming from and then some - and better put than I could have done.

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

More on just what kind of "treatment" was being sought by the parents of both Mykayla Sault and the daughter of Laurie Hill.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/aboriginal/doctor-treating-first-nations-girls-sa...

Quote:
 

CBC News is looking into the claims and credentials of Clement.

He’s been giving lectures in and around both girls’ communities in recent months, including one event attended by Makayla’s family this past May.

In a video obtained by CBC News, Clement says his institute teaches people to “heal themselves” from cancer by eating raw, organic vegetables and having a positive attitude.   

“We've had more people reverse cancer than any institute in the history of health care,” he says.

“So when McGill fails or Toronto hospital fails, they come to us. Stage four (cancer), and they reverse it.”

The mother of the girl whose identity is protected says she knew as soon as her daughter was diagnosed that she wanted to seek treatment at Hippocrates, a clinic she was familiar with through a relative, but didn’t have the money to go.

After securing financial support from family, she called Clement from the hospital waiting room on the 10th day of her daughter’s chemotherapy.

'Confident' tone

“He had the tone of voice where he was so confident,” she says.

“By him saying, ‘Oh yes no problem we can help her,’ that's the day I stopped the chemo.”

Turns out the guy took $18,000 from them.  He has no degree, no credentials of any kind, his facility is licensed as a massage facility not a medical centre and he has no license to practice.  Nor does he have any connection to any kind of traditional First Nations healing.  He's a con man, pure and simple, taking advantage of frightened parents in a desperate situation.

IOW, the scum of the earth.

ETA: Mykayla Sault has relapsed and is back in hospital and apparently in pretty bad shape.

Unionist

Slumberjack wrote:

Unionist wrote:
SJ, what do you think of my point that decisions about children's medical care shouldn't belong to their parents?

I think it excludes a lot of information and jumps to the point a little too quickly.

Ok, I waited for more information and took more time. What do you think of my point now?

Thanks, Sineed and Timebandit, although this isn't the kind of news one ever wants to hear.

 

rhubarb

Unionist wrote:

 

No, I don't think parents should have that right, not now, not then. I think that right belonged to the community (First Nation or Metis or Inuit), and that right was crushed by colonial power.

 

 

So, are you saying that once crushed by colonial power, forever crushed by colonial power?

 

jas

Unionist wrote:

But parents? No, I don't think parents own their children nor, once they're born, should they have the power of life and death over them.

Parents have power of life and death over kids in many ways. Cats sometimes eat their kittens. Birds sometimes push their babies out of the nest. People in the past would sometimes dispose of their offspring in the woods. But the parent-offspring bond also serves to ensure survival in other circumstances. I'm just saying to deny that sense of ownership may go against what have been obviously successful biological habits. And for that reason, I think it's a hard sell. Although I agree with it to some extent.

Personally, I would be afraid of a world where Science, as some people envision it -- devoid of self reflection and granted this blind monopoly on knowledge --- gets to make the decisions for everyone. I think that would be equally scary. Especially western medical science which, in addition to its unhealthy relationship with the profit motive, embodies all the worst traits of its science roots.

Sineed

jas wrote:
Especially western medical science which, in addition to its unhealthy relationship with the profit motive, embodies all the worst traits of its science roots.

How about Western quackery?

Quote:

A Florida health resort licensed as a “massage establishment” is treating a young Ontario First Nations girl with leukemia using cold laser therapy, Vitamin C injections and a strict raw food diet, among other therapies.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/aboriginal/doctor-treating-first-nations-girls-sa...

Lasers, vitamin C injections and raw food diets don't sound very FN.

jas

Sineed wrote:

How about Western quackery?

What about it?

Sineed wrote:
Quote:
A Florida health resort licensed as a “massage establishment” is treating a young Ontario First Nations girl with leukemia using cold laser therapy, Vitamin C injections and a strict raw food diet, among other therapies.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/aboriginal/doctor-treating-first-nations-girls-sa...

Lasers, vitamin C injections and raw food diets don't sound very FN.

And yet an FN family chose it. Sucks for you, I guess, but what's your alternative?

Bacchus

They may have chose it but it ain't traditional FN

 

Nor does it claim to be. Though the parents sometimes say they are seeking traditional methods, they usually arent

 

Pondering

Bacchus wrote:

They may have chose it but it ain't traditional FN

Nor does it claim to be. Though the parents sometimes say they are seeking traditional methods, they usually arent

Either way that isn't the point to me. Aboriginal rights don't trump human rights. Children are people who have not yet matured sufficiently to make life and death decisions for themselves.  Normally parents are responsible for protecting their rights but sometimes that seems to translate into ownership.

We have gone overboard in our acceptance of alternate medicine. The treatment the parents have selected is snake oil. The treatment centre is registered as a spa/massage business.

Without treatment the girl will die. Parents should have a lot of latitude but this is a mistake we cannot allow the parents to make on her behalf. They do not have the right to impose a death sentence on her because they are her parents or because they are aboriginal. She has a right to the best medical care Canada can provide.

jas

Pondering wrote:

Children are people who have not yet matured sufficiently to make life and death decisions for themselves.

But they're old enough to make a determination about other kinds of treatments. And about what sex they are.

jas

Bacchus wrote:

They may have chose it but it ain't traditional FN

Would traditional FN treatment have been better? What actually does it involve?

Pondering

jas wrote:

Pondering wrote:

Children are people who have not yet matured sufficiently to make life and death decisions for themselves.

But they're old enough to make a determination about other kinds of treatments. And about what sex they are.

In the case of sex reassignment surgery at birth I believe that has ended, certainly in Canada. If not I would be shocked. At the time of the example you linked to the parents made the wrong decision by going along with the doctors but they didn't know that and neither would a court have known it. Don't forget the science on this is still in it's infancy.

Your second link illustrated the difficultly in allowing a child to make such a decision and how difficult it is to determine. As a parent making decisions for a child struggling with gender identity must be very difficult but they cannot abdicate their responsibility to their child or or the child's doctor. I don't think a court could take a decision in such a case.

Quote:
But some medical experts feel that these transgender kids should go through some duration of puberty -- the very thing that's causing their anxiety -- in order for them to truly understand who they are. They believe that a lot happens to a child's mind and body during puberty that can't be predicted. If these new therapies are blocking the biological puberty of these transgender children, how will they ever really know for sure? And even though gender identity and sexual orientation (which usually gets articulated around adolescence) are completely different, there's a possibility that one might have the keys to unlock the secrets of the other.  Some research shows that many boys who express cross-gender behavior before adolescence grow out of it and go on to live as gay men. Even Dr. Spack relies on the research that concludes that as many as 80% of gender-variant boys do not become transgender adults. It's the other 20% that eventually make it to his clinic.

The rigid gender binary we live under twists us into pretzels even if we fall into typical gender behaviors that match our external characteristics. Girls could be tomboys for a long time, and now they aren't even that. They are just girls who like climbing trees and running around. No "tomboy" label required. Women can wear pants and job catagories are far less rigid. Boys and men don't have as much freedom to express aspects of themselves that have been labeled as feminine behaviors. A girl who wants to wear pants just wants to be comfortable and free like a boy. A boy who wants to wear a dress, now that is wierd because girls and women are lower status so why would he want that? That message can make it seem better to be a girl than a gay boy which isn't to say that no boys are transgendered, but reading that only 20% of gender varient boys grow up transgendered and 80% do not, means this is not a decision a parent can take lightly just because their son or daughter believes they are the other sex.

That is not to say all children should be denied either. Just that at this point in time I would be hard put blaming a parent for which ever decision they made. Like the parent who went along with sex reassignment at birth hindsight is 20/20.

I hope that someday the gendered behaviors unnaturally imposed on people from birth will fade away. When that happens we will see many more gender varient people and medical science will continue to develop which will hopefully make it easier to diagnose trans people much younger. If they discover a clear physical marker it could change gender assignment at birth so there would be no "trans" people in the sense we do now.

jas

Pondering wrote:

In the case of sex reassignment surgery at birth I believe that has ended, certainly in Canada. If not I would be shocked. At the time of the example you linked to the parents made the wrong decision by going along with the doctors but they didn't know that and neither would a court have known it. Don't forget the science on this is still in it's infancy.

I needed to be more specific about what I was referring to in that link, regarding the boy's own agency.

Wiki wrote:
Reimer had experienced the visits to Baltimore as traumatic rather than therapeutic...

—contrary to Money's reports—when living as Brenda, Reimer did not identify as a girl. He was ostracized and bullied by peers, and neither frilly dresses (which he was forced to wear during frigid Winnipeg winters) [10] nor female hormones made him feel female. By the age of 13, Reimer was experiencing suicidal depression, and he told his parents he would take his own life if they made him see John Money again. In 1980, Reimer's parents told him the truth about his gender reassignment, following advice from Reimer's endocrinologist and psychiatrist. At 14, Reimer decided to assume a male gender identity, calling himself David.

jas

Pondering wrote:

At the time of the example you linked to the parents made the wrong decision by going along with the doctors but they didn't know that and neither would a court have known it. 

Because it was considered the only treatment at the time?

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

https://twitter.com/connie_walker/status/533302425932005377

"Lots of tears and cheers in courtroom as people realize girl. Will be free to stay with her family and pursue indigenous medicine"

Which they aren't.

Fuck.  Dead kids are not "free".  They're just dead.

Pondering

jas wrote:

Pondering wrote:

At the time of the example you linked to the parents made the wrong decision by going along with the doctors but they didn't know that and neither would a court have known it. 

Because it was considered the only treatment at the time?

Because people were ignorant at the time and we are still ignorant about what defines us as men and women. There are obvious physical characteristics but we attach behaviors and preferences that each sex is assumed to exhibit as part of the essence of being male or female.

Take one example. Even parents who are eglatarian and don't buy their infant girls pink and encourage them to play with trucks still end up with pink obsessed girls which is used as proof that girls will be girls, the little darlings, and boys who like pink must either be gay or trans.

Quote:
http://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/when-did-girls-start-wearing-...

For example, a June 1918 article from the trade publication Earnshaw's Infants' Department said, “The generally accepted rule is pink for the boys, and blue for the girls. The reason is that pink, being a more decided and stronger color, is more suitable for the boy, while blue, which is more delicate and dainty, is prettier for the girl.” Other sources said blue was flattering for blonds, pink for brunettes; or blue was for blue-eyed babies, pink for brown-eyed babies, according to Paoletti.

Some girls aren't pink crazy despite the pressure, so what about a trans girl that doesn't like pink? She would probably have a harder time convincing everyone she is a girl. Likewise, liking pink is presented as a reason by parents that they "knew" their "son" was a girl.  What that same "son" who knew he was a girl didn't like pink and did like rough and tumble play. Would he have to pretend to have "feminine" desires to prove "his" femaleness? 

Someone who is trans could also be intersexed but the two are not the same and not everyone falls into the gender binary. Some people don't identify as male or female. Some people identify as one or the other at different times. Some people identify as neither.

So when we talk about children's autonomy to make decisions themselves how can they when they have been brainwashed from birth into a false reality in which being attracted to particlar colours or activities are considered sex markers? Add to that if you are a boy exhibiting the female ones is a negative. Girls can be "tomboys" and aren't even called that anymore. A girl who enjoys "masculine" endeavors is spunky. A boy who exhibits "feminine" qualities needs to be toughened up. His behavior is only acceptable if he is a girl. Ergo, he must be a girl.

That is not to say trans people do not exist, only that it is extremely difficult to be certain that at a young age they are not confused between wanting to live as a girl with actually being a girl. Wanting to live as a girl could just mean fitting much better socially into the box girls have been put into instead of the one boys have been put into.

People under 18 cannot be held to legal contracts. If they buy a car, crash it, and stop paying, the company is shit out of luck. They can skip out on rent. Under 16 they can't (couldn't?) get married without parental permission.  

When we are talking about autonomy for children we have to remember how little experience of life they have. A seven year old has only been alive for 7 years and for a good part of that they were non-verbal. During all of it they were brainwashed by whatever family or community they are a part of.

An 11 year old choosing death over a treatment that gives them a 95% chance of living a full healthy life is making the wrong decision. For adults to stand back and say "well it's her decision" or "we don't have the right because she is part of the aboriginal community" is shirking our moral responsibility.

I am glad that in the 80s society decided that it was the duty of a police officer to lay charges despite the victim's wishes in cases of domestic abuse. Would that happen today or would we be insisting it breached a woman's rights to insist on arresting her husband?

I feel like all that was good of the 70s has been twisted in the service of neoliberalism and the isolation of people in need. Feminism was twisted to justify women choosing to be objectified and equality to mean giving men the right to be objectified as well. De-institutionalizing the mentally ill became dumping them on the streets to be "free" to "refuse" medication.

This little girl needs society to step in to save her life. We wouldn't allow her mother to starve her to death. This is the same thing. She needs that treatment to survive. This decision should have been expedited through the system much faster.

Pondering

This is tragic:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/hamilton/news/judge-rejects-application-to...

That little girl just recieved a death sentence.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/aboriginal/doctor-treating-first-nations-girls-sa...

Quote:
A Florida health resort licensed as a “massage establishment” is treating a young Ontario First Nations girl with leukemia using cold laser therapy, Vitamin C injections and a strict raw food diet, among other therapies.

The mother of the 11-year-old girl, who can not be identified because of a publication ban, says the resort’s director, Brian Clement, who goes by the title “Dr.,” told her leukemia is “not difficult to treat.”

Another First Nations girl, Makayla Sault, was also treated at Hippocrates Health Institute in West Palm Beach and is now critically ill after a relapse of her leukemia.

 

rhubarb

Unionist wrote:

rhubarb wrote:

Unionist wrote:

No, I don't think parents should have that right, not now, not then. I think that right belonged to the community (First Nation or Metis or Inuit), and that right was crushed by colonial power.

So, are you saying that once crushed by colonial power, forever crushed by colonial power?

How exactly did you get that from what I wrote????

That right was crushed by colonial power, and it must be won back by those communities - and we who are not of those communities must stand as allies in that struggle.

But parents? No, I don't think parents own their children nor, once they're born, should they have the power of life and death over them.

Hope that's clearer.

 

Sorry, no. 

I don't agree that they were crushed by colonial power and it appears to me that the First Nations, Metis and Inuit have continued to make that argument that they never were defeated, they signed treaties.  They have maintained that they are a people with the right to their own vision of the world.  They may be broken, bloodied and bruised but they are not crushed.   It seems we disagree on what it is to be an ally.

 

 

 

Unionist

jas wrote:

Unionist wrote:

They should, and they do, as far as I know. My question relates to parents.

Yes, that's what this is about. Fifty years ago, conventional wisdom was that native kids should be educated in missionary schools. Should parents have had the right to make education decisions for their children, even it meant not receiving an education?

No, I don't think parents should have that right, not now, not then. I think that right belonged to the community (First Nation or Metis or Inuit), and that right was crushed attacked by colonial power.

Quote:
And what if it's not just parents, but entire communities also supporting that decision? Should communities have the right to determine their own care models?

Yes, they should.

But not a pair of parents making unfettered decisions for "their own" children - whether about health care, or education, or any other necessities of life. Not in a human society, IMO.

[Edited after being corrected by rhubarb.]

Unionist

rhubarb wrote:

Unionist wrote:

No, I don't think parents should have that right, not now, not then. I think that right belonged to the community (First Nation or Metis or Inuit), and that right was crushed by colonial power.

So, are you saying that once crushed by colonial power, forever crushed by colonial power?

How exactly did you get that from what I wrote????

That right was crushed denied by colonial power, and it must be won back has never been relinquished by those communities - and we who are not of those communities must stand as allies in that struggle.

But parents? No, I don't think parents own their children nor, once they're born, should they have the power of life and death over them.

Hope that's clearer.

[Edited as per correction by rhubarb.]

Unionist

rhubarb wrote:

I don't agree that they were crushed by colonial power and it appears to me that the First Nations, Metis and Inuit have continued to make that argument that they never were defeated, they signed treaties.  They have maintained that they are a people with the right to their own vision of the world.  They may be broken, bloodied and bruised but they are not crushed.   It seems we disagree on what it is to be an ally.

Ok, I think I see your point, and I agree. I've tried to make corrections in #44 and #63 above to reflect that. Let me know if you agree with those formulations.

 

rhubarb

Thank you Unionist, I appreciate your response.

jas

Ontario girl can rely on traditional medicine to treat cancer, court rules

This is good for several reasons, imo.

1) It reinforces the right of all people to seek their own treatments and to refuse treatments.

2) It does not repeat a bad historical pattern of white/western cultural interference in indigenous lives.

3) It gives the parties the right and the opportunity to face the consequences of their decision. If the child survives, they will be vindicated. If the child dies, that will be new information that similar decisions in the future will have to take into consideration.

4) Intervention would create a lack of data for future circumstances as, regardless of the outcome, both failure and success would be credited/blamed either on chemo or chemo-not-soon-enough, which is the current state of this debate.

We know chemo can and does save lives in the short term. Its long term effectiveness is not as well established. We also know chemo can kill. Cancer treatment could also be said to be in its infancy as it still has not moved beyond these two options (radiation and chemo) in all this time, and the success rates of those treatments are highly variable. No wonder people seek alternatives.

Pondering

jas wrote:

Ontario girl can rely on traditional medicine to treat cancer, court rules

This is good for several reasons, imo.

1) It reinforces the right of all people to seek their own treatments and to refuse treatments.

2) It does not repeat a bad historical pattern of white/western cultural interference in indigenous lives.

3) It gives the parties the right and the opportunity to face the consequences of their decision. If the child survives, they will be vindicated. If the child dies, that will be new information that similar decisions in the future will have to take into consideration.

4) Intervention would create a lack of data for future circumstances as, regardless of the outcome, both failure and success would be credited/blamed either on chemo or chemo-not-soon-enough, which is the current state of this debate.

We know chemo can and does save lives in the short term. Its long term effectiveness is not as well established. We also know chemo can kill. Cancer treatment could also be said to be in its infancy as it still has not moved beyond these two options (radiation and chemo) in all this time, and the success rates of those treatments are highly variable. No wonder people seek alternatives.

The "doctor's" "clinic" is registered as a massage centre and he has a mail order degree.

Nobody has to die to prove that skittles isn't a cure for cancer. Raw foods is not a cure for cancer either. There is already a little aboriginal girl from Canada that is now in critical condition because of this same charlatan.

The judge is ignorant. The most cursory examination of the "alternate treatment" makes it perfectly clear it has nothing to do with aboriginal culture and it is absolute quackery. 

Yes there is such a thing as alternative treatments but this isn't one of them. A child should never be used as a guinea pig.

jas

Pondering wrote:

The "doctor's" "clinic" is registered as a massage centre and he has a mail order degree.

The court decision only commented on the right of FN people to pursue their own traditional healing practices without interference. It is this decision that I'm commenting on.

Pondering wrote:
  Raw foods is not a cure for cancer either.

Really? Is this documented somewhere?

Pondering wrote:
The judge is ignorant. The most cursory examination of the "alternate treatment" makes it perfectly clear it has nothing to do with aboriginal culture and it is absolute quackery.

All we have is a cursory description of it. We don't know what else the treatment involves or how the elements we've heard of it incorporate traditional FN values.

Pondering wrote:
Yes there is such a thing as alternative treatments but this isn't one of them. A child should never be used as a guinea pig.

Gosh, whatever did indigenous people do to handle disease for all those millennia without civilized folks around to help them prolong their lives?

Bacchus

They died

 

Asdid western and eastern civilizations until after the 1940s

Sineed

Bacchus wrote:

They died.

Yes. In the modern world, we no longer see horrible diseases all around us that served as a vivid reminder of our transitory mortality.

Children who don't get chemotherapy for their leukemia don't die "healthy." They bleed to death from their noses, or maybe they die from infection when the cancer destroyed their immune systems. And they suffer terribly, like the little boy I cited above whose femur was broken when his leukemic bone marrow grew so aggressively it came bursting through the bone.

The mother is apparently reconsidering her decision and may yet bring her child back to the hospital for proper treatment. As I have previously mentioned, it's an extremely brutal treatment that requires lots of psychological support for both patients and their families over a couple of years.

6079_Smith_W

Bacchus wrote:

They died.

Right.

Like they were the ones who were so stupid they poisoned themselves with lead and mercury, refused to clean themselves, packed themselves in cities and lived in filth and bred like rats until they couldn't feed themselves (which was the real root cause of virtually all of those endemic diseases).

(not to mention what we did with tobacco when we got ahold of it)

No, they followed backwards supertsitious beliefs, just like those people in Turkey who rubbed pus on each other. (oh wait... that backward folk superstition worked, unlike bleeding, enemas to drive out devils, and other things enlightened Europeans were doing at the time).

And like even now their communities are far more aware of the number one threat to health - lack of sustainable clean water - that our advanced dominant society seems to be blissfully unaware of.

I know this is a difficult and challenging issue, and I don't think any of us wants to see someone taken in by a charlatan. 

For that matter, turning this into a punching match over alternative treatment kind of ignores what those doctors actually say:

Quote:

“The important thing to note here is that we are "adjunctive care" providers.  As naturopathic doctors, I can confidently say that nothing we would prescribe would replace conventional chemotherapy or other conventional treatment, nor would we ever recommend this.  

http://www.cbc.ca/news/aboriginal/doctor-treating-first-nations-girls-sa...

But most importantly, if this discussion is going to stay at the level of how much more enlightened we are, how much better we take care of ourselves and everything around us, and if we only recognize sovreignty if someone dresses up in a war bonnet and does a dance for us to prove they are real Natives, perhaps we should be doing this in Canadian Politics, or some other place..

 

Sineed

I'm with Dr. Steve Novella on this:

Quote:
I also think this situation has been complicated by alternative medicine culture. In fact, I place a significant portion of the blame for the unnecessary death of children from treatable diseases at the feet of every guru promoting alternative medicine. They have contributed to a culture in which science and doctors are not trusted, and where everyone feels empowered to be their own expert and do whatever feels right. They have promoted “health care freedom” and “right to try” laws that sacrifice standards of care and ethical practice so that the gurus can make any claims they wish and practice any nonsense that suits them.

I actually agree with Winston that this isn't a FN issue specifically. After all, the family took their child to a western clinic of quackery.

The real failure here is that the situation progressed to the point where the courts got involved. Offering appropriate culturally-sensitive support for parents in the face of a devastating diagnosis requiring years of difficult treatments may have prevented this disaster.

6079_Smith_W

Sineed wrote:

I actually agree with Winston that this isn't a FN issue specifically. After all, the family took their child to a western clinic of quackery.

Yeah, I'm not saying it shouldn't be discussed, but this is the second time in not too long where an issue of this sort has morphed into how Native people are somehow to blame or doing things wrong (never mind that it is one of the few instances in which we actually pay attention).

As for Novella. I agree to a point. I think the established medical culture has done just as much damage to itself. But seeing just that ignores the fact that there are cases where both systems work just fine together. I friend of mine went through a similar round of chemo and bone marrow transplant without it turning into a battle royale over whether it should involve acupuncture and homeopathy.

 

 

 

Sineed

Yeah, there's no reason why chemotherapy and traditional aboriginal treatments can't be given at the same time (barring the sometimes significant interactions between drugs and herbs, but that can be worked out). But media like the National Post turn this into an either/or situation in order to make FN culture look regressive. And it's a false dichotomy. The average FN healer isn't telling people to abandon chemotherapy.

jas

Sineed wrote:

I'm with Dr. Steve Novella on this:

Not a surprise, Sineed. He's another certified, professional "skeptic" whose reputation as such far overshadows any actual medical achievements.

6079_Smith_W

There is no reason, but it is still a mine field even amongst professionals figuring out who is supportive and who is bitterly opposed (though I am sure that happens within western medicine as well).

But again, this is an issue separate from FN sovreignty.

jas

Sineed wrote:

Bacchus wrote:

They died.

Yes. In the modern world, we no longer see horrible diseases all around us that served as a vivid reminder of our transitory mortality.

1) Bacchus has no idea what happened to them, nor do you. Everyone dies. That's not going to be something you can escape. How a culture handles disease and death greatly influences its viability and longevity as well as its resilience.

The point is, there is no "right" way to address disease. Full stop. Nor should any one culture be dictating such to any other. The sooner white western medical culture realizes this, the better off we'll all be.

2) As Smith points out, the greatest advances in health have occurred not through medical technology but through improvements and increased access to sanitation, clean water and nutrition. Those are where the greatest advances have occurred. Full stop. Where there have been epidemics there has been lack of sanitation, clean water and proper nutrition.

The best service western medicine can offer right now is to point out its successes, work on its failures, and simply be available to people should they choose it.

Bacchus

6079_Smith_W wrote:

Bacchus wrote:

They died.

Right.

Like they were the ones who were so stupid they poisoned themselves with lead and mercury, refused to clean themselves, packed themselves in cities and lived in filth and bred like rats until they couldn't feed themselves (which was the real root cause of virtually all of those endemic diseases).

(not to mention what we did with tobacco when we got ahold of it)

No, they followed backwards supertsitious beliefs, just like those people in Turkey who rubbed pus on each other. (oh wait... that backward folk superstition worked, unlike bleeding, enemas to drive out devils, and other things enlightened Europeans were doing at the time).

And like even now their communities are far more aware of the number one threat to health - lack of sustainable clean water - that our advanced dominant society seems to be blissfully unaware of.

I know this is a difficult and challenging issue, and I don't think any of us wants to see someone taken in by a charlatan. 

For that matter, turning this into a punching match over alternative treatment kind of ignores what those doctors actually say:

Quote:

“The important thing to note here is that we are "adjunctive care" providers.  As naturopathic doctors, I can confidently say that nothing we would prescribe would replace conventional chemotherapy or other conventional treatment, nor would we ever recommend this.  

http://www.cbc.ca/news/aboriginal/doctor-treating-first-nations-girls-sa...

But most importantly, if this discussion is going to stay at the level of how much more enlightened we are, how much better we take care of ourselves and everything around us, and if we only recognize sovreignty if someone dresses up in a war bonnet and does a dance for us to prove they are real Natives, perhaps we should be doing this in Canadian Politics, or some other place..

 

 

Did you even read the second line of my two line post? Or just stop after the first two words?

Bacchus

jas wrote:

Sineed wrote:

Bacchus wrote:

They died.

Yes. In the modern world, we no longer see horrible diseases all around us that served as a vivid reminder of our transitory mortality.

1) Bacchus has no idea what happened to them, nor do you. Everyone dies. That's not going to be something you can escape. How a culture handles disease and death greatly influences its viability and longevity as well as its resilience.

The point is, there is no "right" way to address disease. Full stop. Nor should any one culture be dictating such to any other. The sooner white western medical culture realizes this, the better off we'll all be.

2) As Smith points out, the greatest advances in health have occurred not through medical technology but through improvements and increased access to sanitation, clean water and nutrition. Those are where the greatest advances have occurred. Full stop. Where there have been epidemics there has been lack of sanitation, clean water and proper nutrition.

The best service western medicine can offer right now is to point out its successes, work on its failures, and simply be available to people should they choose it.

 

Actually we do, about all times in history. SImply by analysis of remains and garbage heaps and tools and drawings etc etc etc

 

Its like that stupid Paleo diet. Who wants a diet that belonged to people who died in their twenties, let alone the fact that the diet is totally made up of stuff we cant prove and can in fact disprove for many of it tenets.

 

And as many havepointed out, there is no 'traditional FN' treatment in this story, just a typical western 'faith'healer scam. I'd have more comfort if they were actually using real traditional FN treatments, whatever they may be for whatever tribe is involved. Its prob way better than the scam clinic they are going to

onlinediscountanvils

Bacchus wrote:

And as many havepointed out, there is no 'traditional FN' treatment in this story, just a typical western 'faith'healer scam.

 

That's not true. The girl's mother says they're using First Nations medicine in addition to whatever "treatment" the Florida quack is using on her.

The girl and her family decided to discontinue chemotherapy. Instead, they opted for treatment at the Hippocrates Health Institute [HHI] in West Palm Beach, Fla. The mother says it's complimentary to the First Nations medicine her daughter takes daily.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/aboriginal/first-nations-children-not-well-served...

Pondering

jas wrote:
The best service western medicine can offer right now is to point out its successes, work on its failures, and simply be available to people should they choose it.

As sure as night follows day this little girl is going to die within a year or two if not sooner if she doesn't get western medicine.

The "treatment" being used is not aboriginal medicine. It is a western snake oil cure.

When her daughter dies, her mother will not be grateful to us for having defended her aboriginal rights to condemn her daughter to death. Even the delay may have already sealed her fate.

"Another First Nations girl, Makayla Sault, was also treated at Hippocrates Health Institute in West Palm Beach and is now critically ill after a relapse of her leukemia."

The "doctor" is not aboriginal, he isn't a doctor, he doesn't run a medical clinic.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/aboriginal/doctor-treating-first-nations-girls-sa...

6079_Smith_W

Pondering wrote:

When her daughter dies, her mother will not be grateful to us for having defended her aboriginal rights to condemn her daughter to death. Even the delay may have already sealed her fate.

Can we stop this please?

 

Pondering

6079_Smith_W wrote:

Pondering wrote:

When her daughter dies, her mother will not be grateful to us for having defended her aboriginal rights to condemn her daughter to death. Even the delay may have already sealed her fate.

Can we stop this please?

I am sorry but I am having a hard time with this. I support aboriginal rights but this is like climate change denial and it is a life and death decision. I expect judges to be better educated than me so it is hugely frustrating.

I don't mean to be offensive but this really is a case of a snake oil salesman not alternative medicine. It give alternative medicine and aboriginal medicine a bad name. Sometimes it feels like the world has gone mad. This is a case in which we should be supporting the hospital and protecting this girl's life.

It may seem overly dramatic but there are mistakes parents never forgive themselves for, even ones that are completely accidental that they had no ability to prevent. To know that there is something I could have done to avert my own child's death and I didn't do it would destroy my life.

We are supposed to be living in an enlightened society. There is such a thing as valid alternative medicines but we need to be able to see the difference between that and snake oil.

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

Y'all are fucked. Valid western medicine fucked up my life. Ooops! Take a pill and call me in the morning. That's how you all seem to treat it??? You ever think we're not all th same and have different reactions to things? And the 2% of reactions to drugs aren't worth considering? Simply a numbers game? I don't get it???

 

If they can get it perfect, fine, I trust it. But why the variances? That's not good science, that's quackery too, isn't it??? They can't explain it either???

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

Pondering wrote:

6079_Smith_W wrote:

Pondering wrote:

When her daughter dies, her mother will not be grateful to us for having defended her aboriginal rights to condemn her daughter to death. Even the delay may have already sealed her fate.

Can we stop this please?

I am sorry but I am having a hard time with this. I support aboriginal rights but this is like climate change denial and it is a life and death decision. I expect judges to be better educated than me so it is hugely frustrating.

I don't mean to be offensive but this really is a case of a snake oil salesman not alternative medicine. It give alternative medicine and aboriginal medicine a bad name. Sometimes it feels like the world has gone mad. This is a case in which we should be supporting the hospital and protecting this girl's life.

It may seem overly dramatic but there are mistakes parents never forgive themselves for, even ones that are completely accidental that they had no ability to prevent. To know that there is something I could have done to avert my own child's death and I didn't do it would destroy my life.

We are supposed to be living in an enlightened society. There is such a thing as valid alternative medicines but we need to be able to see the difference between that and snake oil.

 

Unless you have a medical degree, should we be commenting on this? Even then, it's dubious...

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

We allow parents all kinds of degrees of separation. This is but another. Like it or lump it, can I come inspect your home???

Pages

Topic locked