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

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Timebandit Timebandit's picture

rhubarb wrote:

I did not address you, I addressed Sineed, is she not capable of responding for herself? 

I'm quite certain she is.  However, it's an open message board and it's not uncommon for people to respond to posts freely.  If you wanted response limited to Sineed, may I suggest the PM function?

Quote:
  What would make you happy?  Would you like me to go away?  Do you think sniping at me will succeed in pushing me off babble? Do you understand that your behavior reveals you as a person incapable of allowing another person to have a different point of view?

I don't know why you think I'm trying to push you off babble...  You're as free to be here as anyone else.  However, ascribing motivations and impugning your fellow posters' characters starts flirting with the personal attacks bit in the policy for the site.  You might want to watch that.

Quote:
I can only say that I am grateful to live in a world I experience as multi-dimensional, where I understand and appreciate that sometimes the treatment for cancer is most appropriately chemotherapy and radiation but that in other circumstances not appropriate at all.  You and Sineed have made this thread about chemotherapy as the only treatment, ignoring that the issue isn't whether it is or isn't but that the First Nations people will decide for themselves. Perhaps that is the real focus, perhaps it is all about framing the argument to supercede the rights of the First Nations and using a child who is ill is an easy way to stir up people's emotions and justify ignoring those rights.

Regardless your experience of the world, biology doesn't bow to culture or worldview.  The only treatment that had any chance of saving that child's life that we know of at present was chemotherapy.  The odds were never 100%, the outcome never entirely ensured, but removal of that treatment effectively removed any hope at all.  This isn't a condemnation of culture, it's just a fact.  As Sineed posted above, using medical science does not mean abandoning one's culture.  I'm not sure what is gained by insisting that it is.  Certainly, Makayla didn't gain anything. 

I'm not sure that removing Makayla's chances to live, grow up, and be part of the change that needs to happen is a positive step forward for FN rights.

Quote:
As for Dr.Gorski, he freely acknowledges that chemotherapy can kill, how is that you can't?

I haven't actually said that it can't.  I've seen firsthand some of the side effects of chemo, I know it's a difficult treatment.  I lost my closest friend to lymphoma about a year and a half ago.  She was in the 10% that don't make it (but it wasn't the chemo that killed her).  My objection has been that we can't definitively say that the effect of chemo was the cause of death in Makayla's particular case just because her parents say so.

jas

Timebandit wrote:

Regardless your experience of the world, biology doesn't bow to culture or worldview.

Actually, there is evidence that it does.

But regarding swallow's post right above:

Timebandit wrote:
The only treatment that had any chance of saving that child's life that we know of at present was chemotherapy. The odds were never 100%, the outcome never entirely ensured, but removal of that treatment effectively removed any hope at all.  This isn't a condemnation of culture, it's just a fact.

This is why this discussion is situated in this forum. And Timebandit's proclamations are out of place here. [Edited to remove inflammatory language because I think Timebandit genuinely believes science and medical science are value-neutral activities and do not serve hegemonic agendas at all.]

Timebandit wrote:
  My objection has been that we can't definitively say that the effect of chemo was the cause of death in Makayla's particular case just because her parents say so.

And perhaps you could do us the favour of explaining this to Sineed for us as well? That we can't definitively say either way that it was caused by the cancer or by the treatment.

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

jas wrote:
Actually, there is evidence that it does.

Not the kind that passes any kind of reality based sniff test. 

rhubarb

Sineed wrote:

Chemotherapy versus death from cancer

Dr. David Gorski, oncologist wrote:

Yes, chemotherapy can make you feel nauseated and make you throw up. It can make your hair fall out. It can temporarily depress the immune system. It can cause bleeding complications, such as GI bleeding. It can cause kidney damage. It can cause heart damage. It can cause lung damage. It can cause nerve damage. It can make you lose weight. It can even result in your death from complications.....

My comments:

Thank you Dr. Gorski for being truthful.

I have repeatedly pointed out the inappropriateness and offensiveness of those who are posting here simply to grind home chemotherapy as the only treatment,  I don't understand why the moderators haven't intervened and moved this thread from this forum. Thank you jas for pointing it out also.

I also appreciated your comments Swallow regarding language.

 

 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
And notice which oncologist she chose to consult: a professional "skeptic" who has made a secondary career out of attacking alternative modes of health care. That's whose opinion she wanted.

In the interest of fairness, and babble being used to "teach both theories" (so to speak) perhaps you or rhubarb can find a blogger with decades of experience treating cancer with footbaths and quote them.  I'll bet they give you the opinion you want too.

Meanwhile, is anyone even the tiniest bit surprised that her family would immediately, and with no specific evidence, insist that chemo killed her?  There's only one other thing they could blame, and that would be a pretty tough admission for any parent to make.

rhubarb

Mr. Magoo wrote:

......

Meanwhile, is anyone even the tiniest bit surprised that her family would immediately, and with no specific evidence, insist that chemo killed her?  There's only one other thing they could blame, and that would be a pretty tough admission for any parent to make.

Yet another glaring example of why this thread should not be in this forum.

jas

I think the thread should be in this forum, and most of us, including myself, should not be posting here. I think there is definitely space for discussion elsewhere as to why science is not a culture-neutral activity. But it's a big topic, and may be over the heads of those who haven't studied the subject.

Misfit Misfit's picture

Mr. Magoo, I think it is very uncommon for an 11 year old or a thirteen year old girl to die from a stroke or a heart attack. Note: She did NOT die from her leukemia. It was a stroke. She had NO previous history of heart disease. After her chemo, her heart rate was twice the normal rate for a girl her age. This was said in the article to be a common symptom of chemotherapy. Since people with leukemia are automatically placed on chemo and there are no studies to isolate heart disease in people with leukemia who have NOT taken chemo because all people with her type of leukemia are treated with chemo, I think it is very safe to conclude that the long term chemo treatments damaged her heart and ultimately killed her. And until you can come up with definitive evidence otherwise, I think it be hooves you and others to show her parents the courtesy and respect to acknowledge their wisdom in their daughters affairs. To do otherwise is rude, offensive, and racist.

6079_Smith_W

Misfit wrote:

To do otherwise is rude, offensive, and racist.

Actually the two are not connected. Or are you suggesting that everything that someone says should be accepted as true simply because of who they are.

Speaking generally, there are plenty of religious families, and I repect their right to hold those views. It doesn't mean I have to accept their beliefs as true, nor that I have to accept all claims that go along with that. Nor is it racist to refuse to believe something just because someone says it is true.

 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

+1

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
Since people with leukemia are automatically placed on chemo and there are no studies to isolate heart disease in people with leukemia who have NOT taken chemo because all people with her type of leukemia are treated with chemo, I think it is very safe to conclude that the long term chemo treatments damaged her heart and ultimately killed her.

You're basically just saying "because [I feel] there's no information either way, that pretty much proves that what I'm saying is right".

When did it become good science to say that lack of information proves something??

"We have no information about the atmospheres of potential planets in the Crab Nebula, so I think it is very safe to conclude that there must be life on them". 

Aristotleded24

Misfit wrote:
Mr. Magoo, I think it is very uncommon for an 11 year old or a thirteen year old girl to die from a stroke or a heart attack. Note: She did NOT die from her leukemia. It was a stroke. She had NO previous history of heart disease.

Quite often, when it comes to major sicknesses, there are major complications that arise and it's impossible to say for sure what one thing did or did not kill a person. For example, pneumonia and heart disease and stroke can often accompany serious blood disorders like leukemia. I'll also point out that people without an apparent history of heart disease often die suddenly from a heart attack or stroke, so that's not a reilable indicator either.

Misfit wrote:
Since people with leukemia are automatically placed on chemo and there are no studies to isolate heart disease in people with leukemia who have NOT taken chemo because all people with her type of leukemia are treated with chemo, I think it is very safe to conclude that the long term chemo treatments damaged her heart and ultimately killed her. And until you can come up with definitive evidence otherwise, I think it be hooves you and others to show her parents the courtesy and respect to acknowledge their wisdom in their daughters affairs. To do otherwise is rude, offensive, and racist.

The only surefire way to determine this would be to have a control group of leukemia patients not given any chemo, but with life or death at stake, such a study would be blatantly unethical.

rhubarb

Misfit wrote:
Mr. Magoo, I think it is very uncommon for an 11 year old or a thirteen year old girl to die from a stroke or a heart attack. Note: She did NOT die from her leukemia. It was a stroke. She had NO previous history of heart disease. After her chemo, her heart rate was twice the normal rate for a girl her age. This was said in the article to be a common symptom of chemotherapy. Since people with leukemia are automatically placed on chemo and there are no studies to isolate heart disease in people with leukemia who have NOT taken chemo because all people with her type of leukemia are treated with chemo, I think it is very safe to conclude that the long term chemo treatments damaged her heart and ultimately killed her. And until you can come up with definitive evidence otherwise, I think it be hooves you and others to show her parents the courtesy and respect to acknowledge their wisdom in their daughters affairs. To do otherwise is rude, offensive, and racist.

Thank you Misfit.

Now that the thread has been maghoulified there is little point in continuing, what is there to say to someone whose love of their own cleverness transcends the possiblity of compassion.  Nothing. 

Unionist

Misfit wrote:
I think it be hooves you and others to show her parents the courtesy and respect to acknowledge their wisdom in their daughters affairs. To do otherwise is rude, offensive, and racist.

On the contrary, I think parents in general are mostly ignorant and unreliable when it comes to "their" children's affairs. That's why we have societies, which force all kinds of stuff on children even if their owners parents aren't on board.

A legitimate question is, which society should have that power in the case of indigenous children. But let the parents choose? No thank you. Let the individual choose? I'd be far more comfortable with that.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
Now that the thread has been maghoulified there is little point in continuing, what is there to say to someone whose love of their own cleverness transcends the possiblity of compassion.  Nothing.

Short of the obligatory "may she rest in peace" posts, this thread has had nothing whatsoever to do with "compassion".  And really, surprisingly little to do with First Nations as well, notwithstanding that the subjects happen to be FN.

It's about science versus footbaths and a 'can do' attitude. Duh!

In other news, I'm totally chuffed that I can still make a few innocuous comments at the end of a three month old, 14 page thread and suddenly everything has gone to hell in a handbasket, the thread is now useless, there's no point in even living anymore, and Baby Jesus is bawling his eyes out in the corner.  I'VE STILL GOT IT, FOLKS!

 

rhubarb

Mr. Magoo wrote:

....

In other news, I'm totally chuffed that I can still make a few innocuous comments at the end of a three month old, 14 page thread and suddenly everything has gone to hell in a handbasket, the thread is now useless, there's no point in even living anymore, and Baby Jesus is bawling his eyes out in the corner.  I'VE STILL GOT IT, FOLKS!

 

Thank you for demonstrating exactly why I never joined the chorus hoping for your return. 

pookie

jas wrote:

pookie wrote:

Yes, from someone whose opinion I have come over many years to know as reasonable, and well-informed.

You said you were asking honestly, and I mentioned that much of the literature online recognizes heart disease and stroke as known risks for chemotherapy, but that didn't interest you? Okay.

I don't regard you as a reasonable source on medical issues.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
Thank you for demonstrating exactly why I never joined the chorus hoping for your return.

You seem strangely familiar with me, despite apparently joining up here after I'd been long gone.

What was your previous screen name, rhubarb?  The one from back in the day.

Sineed

Dr. Gorski wrote about this on one of his blogs today. He clarifies a few points.

Dr. David Gorski wrote:

Respectful Insolence A tale of two unnecessarily doomed aboriginal girls with leukemia

I’m depressed and angry as I write this.

The reason for this is simple. I hate it when cancer quacks claim the lives of patients with cancer, particularly patients who were eminently treatable for cure. It’s happened again, and it makes me sad. Florida cancer quack Brian Clement has claimed the life of Makayla Sault, an 11 year old Ojibwe girl with leukemia...

Now Makayla’s parents have suffered the worst loss a parent can suffer. They are, no doubt, suffering intensely, as is Makayla’s entire family and tribe, over the loss of their beloved. I do not blame either Makayla or them; I blame Brian Clement for duping them. Unfortunately, as is often the situation in these cases, the Sault family is not accepting that the cancer killed Makayla. They’re blaming—you guessed it!—the chemotherapy.

<snip>

Unfortunately, a stroke is a known complication of leukemias due to either cancer-related coagulopathy or complications of treatment. It’s one way that patients with end stage leukemia die. Given that Makayla hadn’t been treated in months, her stroke was almost certainly due to her cancer. Such strokes can be a hemorrhagic (for example, if the platelet count falls very low), or it can be a thrombotic stroke (clot) if the white blood cell count goes too high. Either way, it’s not particularly surprising that Makayla, with untreated leukemia, suffered a fatal stroke. It was almost certainly end stage cancer the killed her, not the side effects of the chemotherapy.

In a way, I can’t blame the Saults for believing that it was the chemotherapy that killed their daughter. I really can’t. It’s completely understandable. If they stopped believing that, then they would have no choice but to accept that it was the choice to abandon chemotherapy that doomed their daughter. That’s just not something that any parent is likely to be able to admit.

NorthReport

I suppose a good question here is why is there so much distrust of the drug industry and their pushers in the the medical profession?

I can't help but have a feeling that this tragic medical situation is similiar to the energy sector where if we had spent even a fraction of the research into oil, into alternative forms of energy research we would long ago have lost our dependence on oil.

Sineed,

Quote:
then they would have no choice but to accept that it was the choice to abandon chemotherapy that doomed their daughter.

Sorry, I don't have a lot of knowledge on the subject but the above quote sounds like a drug commercial.

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

Have fun on the playground

6079_Smith_W

NorthReport wrote:

I suppose a good question here is why is there so much distrust of the drug industry and their pushers in the the medical profession?

There are a plenty of good reasons, and I consider myself one of those skeptical of the drug industry, and not inclined to blindly follow the directions of a doctor without asking a few questions.

But there is also a matter of common sense, and most people who use alternative and preventative medicines know when something happens and it is time to go to emergency, or to an MD.

Also, when you have representatives of the naturopathic medical college (as I posted above) pointing out what their field can and cannot do with respect to cancer care, and warning of the dangers of ending chemotherapy, it is pretty clear it is not simply us against the evil medical tyranny.

 

 

Slumberjack

Unionist wrote:
On the contrary, I think parents in general are mostly ignorant and unreliable when it comes to "their" children's affairs. That's why we have societies, which force all kinds of stuff on children even if their owners parents aren't on board.

There's been plenty of situations where these types of statements were applied hasn't there?

Quote:
A legitimate question is, which society should have that power in the case of indigenous children. But let the parents choose? No thank you. Let the individual choose? I'd be far more comfortable with that.

So at what age then should individual choice be respected?

 

Misfit Misfit's picture

@Unionist, do you really think it is ok to assume that parents of a terminally ill child are so ignorant and stupid that they would not research what is best for their child and seek out questions from the medical community as to why their daughter has a rapid heart beat? People with severely sick children do not live in cocoons. please don't insult these parents' intelligence without suitable facts to do so.

Misfit Misfit's picture

@aristotled. If I read an article about a girl who died and parents discussed the cause of death, I would naturally assume that the parents had qualified medical authorities informing them about the cause of the condition and that they were not dumb and stupid and just talking rubbish. I know as well as you do that there are many reasons or causes of heart disease in children, and we could all have been spared that lecture from you. One girl was sick. This girl had heart problems which her parents said were caused by extensive chemotherapy. Now, I assume, as most people would, that qualified people examined her and came to that very conclusion that chemotherapy caused her rapid heart beat. Is it because her parents are First Nation that they are not to be trusted or believed? Are her medical doctors who have treated her directly somehow less qualified than an email medic? For some reason some people on this thread cannot wrap their heads around the idea that these parents are smart, sophisticated, and know what's best for their daughter, and had qualified medical advice throughout this entire process.

Misfit Misfit's picture

And @Aristotled. I know for a fact that it is unethical to have a control and an experimental group with leukemia patients. That is why I said that 100% of leukemia patients have been given chemotherapy. The ones who were not were ones without access to medical treatment or who were able to successfully refuse the treatments on them. Having said that, I will reiterate that no one has the evidence to question or challenge that chemotherapy alone caused the heart disease. You said that many people with leukemia have heart problems. However you cannot claim that the leukemia alone causes heart problems when they all have chemotherapy and that chemotherapy causes heart problems.

Aristotleded24

Misfit wrote:
I will reiterate that no one has the evidence to question or challenge that chemotherapy alone caused the heart disease.

And I'm hearing a few people on this thread accept the parent's statement claiming that certainty, and I don't think it's possible with any degree of certainty to isolate one particular variable and say, "this is how she died." Did chemotherapy contribute to her heart disease? That's possible. It's also possible that she had a pre-existing heart condition that went undetected. However, she had leukemia, so she was by definition very unhealthy to begin with. Furthermore, I don't think anyone here has denied that chemotherapy is unpleasant or that it carries risk, but to hear the idea that not treating cancer in any way will result in anything other than eventual death, as defended in this thread, is just...it blows my mind.

Misfit Misfit's picture

She was being treated for her cancer...traditional First Nations methods. Why do you think her parents would lie?

Misfit Misfit's picture

Ari, if you assume that no one can isolate one variable as to how she died, you have to assume that she never went to a doctor before and that she never had her blood pressure checked or her pulse. You are assuming far fetched unflattering generalizations about this family that they had never before been to a doctor before in their lives. I had my blood pressure and pulse taken last week. Most people have an idea of what their blood pressure and pulse rate status is, but somehow these First Nations people do not know, and they don't have histories and they don't take their children regularity to doctors because they like living in ignorance. They also make up stories out of the blue as to how they perceive their child died because their imaginary medical specialists do not know anything and cannot come to these conclusions themselves, which is why we need email doctor advice to save us from these delusions of reality. The doctors are dumb, the parents are dumb, the community that supported the girl is dumb, the judge and the lawyers are all dumb, and chemo is simply mildly uncomfortable, and western science is perfect and pure. I get it now.

Caissa

Part of the issue is at what age is a person competent to make their own medical decisions. I think 10-11 is too young but obviously a judge gets to make this decision. I believe her parents fsailed to provide her the necessities of life.

pookie

@Misfit - part of the problem is that the information about cause of death is entirely asymetrical.  The child's doctors (whether present or past) cannot speak independently as they are bound by confidentiality.  And no, I do not make all of the assumptions that you do about the knowledge base of her parents.  I do not give them the benefit of superior information or sophistication.  Their Aboriginal status has nothing to do with it.  If I am going to be very blunt I will say that anyone who would visit that Florida quack is automatically docked some points from me in the knowledge and sophistication department.

If this case causes people to reject chemotherapy for their children because they fear it will cause their child to have a stroke and die, then it becomes an incredibly irresponsible narrative. 

Misfit Misfit's picture

Superior information and sophistication??? OMG~! And you also assume that they do not have a GP and a cardiologist? OMG~!

6079_Smith_W

Caring for Abboriginal patients requires trust and respect, not courtrooms.

http://www.cmaj.ca/content/early/2015/01/19/cmaj.141613

 

Misfit Misfit's picture

6079_Smith_W, your article assumes that western based allopathic medicine is superior to other medical treatment options with nothing to back up that bias.

MegB

Rhubarb and Misfit, stow the over-the-top hostility. It's ruining the thread.

rhubarb

MegB wrote:

Rhubarb and Misfit, stow the over-the-top hostility. It's ruining the thread.

ROTFLMAO

6079_Smith_W

Is that all you take away from it?

If we are talking about treating a heart attack or stroke, I think allopathic medicine is superior too. There are plenty of other conditions - around some stress, infection  or pain relief for instance -  where it can be overkill, or do more harm than good.

But there is some confusing of that question, which we aren't going to answer here, and the more important question of how people treat other people in circumstances like this. In particular how our dominant society treats Native people.

 

Pondering

The fact that the girl is First Nations has nothing to do with the opinion any one here has of the medical decisions taken on her behalf.  If the head of the Toronto Sick Children's Hospital declared the Florida treatment as anything other than snake oil I would say that person should be removed from their position and checked out for brain tumors or other things that can cause the sudden onset of mental illness. That it is her mother making the decision does not bestow greater credibility on the Florida snake oil salesman. I am less likely to consider her suffering from some form of mental illness because I don't expect her to have the expertise of medical professionals and as a parent I know that if my daughter had a fatal the love I have for her would make me more susceptible to people promising me they could make her well.

In an interview the mother placed great faith in the Florida "doctor" when he guaranteed her that he can save her daughter's life. She specifically stated that she made her decision based on his promise. This is not a guarantee the hospital could legally make. So, Mom was choosing between two medical options, one in which the doctor could guarantee her daughter will live and not have to suffer chemo, opposed to another doctor who said he might be able to save her daughter but the treatment will make her sick for years.

What parent wouldn't choose the doctor that guarantees her daughter will definitely live and the treatment won't make her sick?

As an atheist I find it very difficult to understand how intelligent people can believe in a God or Gods but they do nonetheless, and many of them are far more brilliant and accomplished than I. So in a debate, who should people believe? Me, or the brilliant accomplished person with a string of degrees that can argue circles around me? How arrogant am I to insist that I am right and they are wrong? I can't even explain I am right, but I know that I am.

Formal education and world knowledge don't automatically make someone right and the most deprived person in the world with a non-academically trained mind can be right but not have the language to "prove" it the way "educated" people need things to be proven.

This argument is not about disrespecting FN medicine or disrespecting the mother as a FN woman. There are two core power issues involved, parental rights and sovereignty rights. In Canada the child's rights override parental rights and the state has an obligation to protect the child's rights if the parent fails to do so.

Some of us are arguing that the state's obligation to protect the child is not absolved by the child being FN. That child has just as much a right to protection as any other Canadian child. Indigeous Canadians do not have an autonomous country exempt from Canadian law. The most far-reaching treaties do not allow for Canadian law to be suspended anywhere. In my view this little girl is being denied her rights. She is being treated like a second-class citizen, as though her life is less valuable than the lives of non-indigenous children.

Unionist

Misfit wrote:
@Unionist, do you really think it is ok to assume that parents of a terminally ill child are so ignorant and stupid that they would not research what is best for their child and seek out questions from the medical community as to why their daughter has a rapid heart beat?

I never said stupid. I said "ignorant and unreliable". Yeah, that's exactly, precisely, what I think about parents (that includes me, btw). I also despise the notion that parents have the power of life and death over "their" children, and that our legal system hasn't evolved much in that regard.

Quote:
People with severely sick children do not live in cocoons. please don't insult these parents' intelligence without suitable facts to do so.

I said nothing about "these parents", I know nothing about them, and it's none of my business. Kindly keep your critiques of my comments to things I have actually said.

A woman has a right to abort a foetus - because she has inalienable sovereignty over her body. Once the foetus is born, the mother - and father (if any) - should have no more rights - only obligations, imposed by a humane and clear-thinking society.

No, I don't know at what age we should entrust an individual with such decisions, nor do I know whether a uniform age can be determined in that regard. But it's a great question to put on the agenda.

I just want to remove that right, and obligation, from parents. Because no individual should own another human being, nor should they control their destiny.

6079_Smith_W

@ Pondering

But this was the girl's wishes, and CFS was following Ontario law in recognizing that. Getting beyond the legal conundrum (and I agree there is one here) I really don't think that there is a problem with runaway First Nations sovereignty creating death and a human rights crisis, and that our government needs to take back it's control over Native people, much as some concerned people might think so.

Not sure if there's quite the same concern in First Nations, though. I think we've had a few centuries of demonstration that the federal government still has a firm enough grip on things.

Personally, I think there is a lot about this beyond the technical points that concerns disrespect.

As an aside, you keep making reference to the mother. They were a family of three, as far as I know.

Unionist

Slumberjack wrote:

Unionist wrote:
On the contrary, I think parents in general are mostly ignorant and unreliable when it comes to "their" children's affairs. That's why we have societies, which force all kinds of stuff on children even if their owners parents aren't on board.

There's been plenty of situations where these types of statements were applied hasn't there?

I don't understand your question.

Slumberjack wrote:
Quote:
A legitimate question is, which society should have that power in the case of indigenous children. But let the parents choose? No thank you. Let the individual choose? I'd be far more comfortable with that.

So at what age then should individual choice be respected?

I don't know. What do you think? More importantly, what do you think of my main thesis, which is that parents should not be entrusted with such choices?

Pondering

Unionist wrote:
A woman has a right to abort a foetus - because she has inalienable sovereignty over her body. Once the foetus is born, the mother - and father (if any) - should have no more rights - only obligations, imposed by a humane and clear-thinking society....

I just want to remove that right, and obligation, from parents. Because no individual should own another human being, nor should they control their destiny.

Agreed

Unionist wrote:
No, I don't know at what age we should entrust an individual with such decisions, nor do I know whether a uniform age can be determined in that regard. But it's a great question to put on the agenda.

I would say no particular age, as we do with older people, it depends on the individual situation. I read of one little girl, nine years old, that wanted to refuse treatment and her parents agreed. The hospital, rightly, fought them, and rightly lost. The girl had lived practically her entire life getting cancer treatments for different cancers. She wanted palliative care but it was right for the hospital to fight it and let the court decide. Hospitals should always err on the side of life.

 

6079_Smith_W

@ Unionist

Except that again, parents AREN'T entrusted with those choices. They don't have any absolute rights regarding their children, and the court has the power to override those de facto ones which they do have.

Two arms of government decided in this case that they did not need to exercise that power. And this is not just a case about the parents' wishes.

Furthermore, I don't think the ultimate solution here is MORE power. I'd say that had as much to do with causing this problem as anything else.

 

Slumberjack

Unionist wrote:
On the contrary, I think parents in general are mostly ignorant and unreliable when it comes to "their" children's affairs. That's why we have societies, which force all kinds of stuff on children even if their owners parents aren't on board.

Slumberjack wrote:
there's been plenty of situations where these types of statements were applied hasn't there?

Quote:
I don't understand your question.

I'm referring to residential schools in particular as the most egregious example.  Because as the organizers of society a government will either enact broad and equally applicable policies in the best medical interests of young people at the expense of culture and religion, or it will pick and choose where to intervene, in which case selective discrimination is inevitable I would argue.  Will government have the right to impose a court order or change the law to ensure certain religious groups do not circumcise their infants, or include in such a law provisions to the effect that this procedure can only be performed with the informed consent of the individual, say at the age of 18 or 19.  Because if this is not to be the case, and I doubt something like this would come to pass, then any other intervention where children and medical procedures are concerned becomes an arbitrary undertaking, and we have to ask why that is.

Slumberjack wrote:
So at what age then should individual choice be respected?

Unionist wrote:
I don't know. What do you think? More importantly, what do you think of my main thesis, which is that parents should not be entrusted with such choices?

I don't know either.  As to your thesis, I'm fine with it in principle so long as we're not singling certain groups out for special 'concern.'  The minute they allow JW parents to withhold from their child a potentially life saving blood transfusion or inoculation, or make allowances for religious based circumcision, which is arguably a more direct form of abuse than parents withholding treatment from their children, then obviously questions around the selective nature of government interventions seems valid.

Sineed

Makayla Sault likely died from rebounding cancer, not chemotherapy effects: specialist

Quote:
A young aboriginal girl likely died from cancer that came roaring back after she pulled out of chemotherapy, not the treatment itself as her parents claim, a child cancer specialist suggested Tuesday...

Ontario’s chief coroner, Dirk Huyer, confirmed that his office would be investigating, a requirement for any death where child-welfare authorities have been recently involved...

Doctors say 80-90% of children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia [ALL], which she had, can be cured today with proven medical therapy.

But in a statement Monday, Makayla’s parents blamed her death squarely on the treatment she received at a Hamilton, Ont., hospital.

She was “bravely fighting toward holistic well-being after the harsh side effects that 12 weeks of chemotherapy inflicted on her body,” they said, but “chemotherapy did irreversible damage to her heart and major organs.”

“This was the cause of the stroke,” the family said, without elaboration.

A Western Canadian pediatric oncologist, who asked not to be named because of the case’s “political sensitivity,” challenged that assertion, however.

There is one drug — asparaginase — the girl might have received that could have caused a stroke within a week or two of first receiving chemotherapy, the specialist said, but not months after the fact.

“It had absolutely nothing to do with the chemo,” asserted the university-based oncologist, while cautioning that he was not familiar with the details of her specific case. “It probably has everything to do with the leukemia coming back and causing her death, which is what it does when you don’t treat it.”

The cancer cells that accumulate in an untreated child’s blood make it more viscous, and more likely to cause clots that could lead to stroke, the physician said.

“It results in sludging of the blood,” he said. “I’m very saddened for this girl, and very saddened for her family … It’s tragic, and it was probably preventable.”

This message needs to be loud and clear. The other girl can still be saved.

 

swallow swallow's picture

6079_Smith_W wrote:

@ Unionist

Except that again, parents AREN'T entrusted with those choices. They don't have any absolute rights regarding their children, and the court has the power to override those de facto ones which they do have.

Two arms of government decided in this case that they did not need to exercise that power. And this is not just a case about the parents' wishes.

Three arms of government, once you add in the Six Nations council. 

6079_Smith_W

swallow wrote:

Three arms of government, once you add in the Six Nations council. 

True. I did mention their support upthread. I'm not aware that they have any power to seize children or force treatment (that would be Brant CFS) and I don't think they held any official process WRT this, which is why I didn't mention them this time.

 

rhubarb

Sineed wrote:

.....

This message needs to be loud and clear. The other girl can still be saved.

 

And who will "save" her? 

Will the doctors return to court to challenge the court's decision?

Makayla Sault's mother said that an oncologist suggested that First Nations children may not respond to chemotherapy in the same way as other children who are treated with chemotherapy, is this possible? 

We all know that once cancer is diagnosed we are very ill,  but is it possible that in some cases although we are ill we may not actually have cancer, the testing is not infallible.  I ask whether some may survive a treatment they did not need and then are called success stories by the cancer industry?  It goes to the matter of trust, I know people misdiagnosed who were abused for wanting a second, third and fourth opinion.

I am grateful that very few, if any, First Nations peoples are exposed to the blatant disrespect for them that has been demonstrated repeatedly on this thread.   Babble is irrelevent to them, they know colonialism when they see it and they know that colonialism is just another word for racism. 

 

 

rhubarb

I am confident you can find endlless quotes supporting your point of view but I notice you don't respond to my questions, not that I have any expectation you will.

Here are two scenarios:

1) Person accepts chemotherapy as the treatment, receives a negative biopsy after treatment, is told chemotherapy worked.

2) Person receives a negative biopsy after refusing chemotherapy, biopsy is sent to a lab in the United States to "verify" results.

In my view we are observing propoganda at work, the "evidence" is framed to dismiss any results other than those supported by the cancer industry. 

 

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

From Connie Walker at the CBC:

Quote:

While those in the courtroom debated the validity of indigenous medicine, J.J. and her mother were in the most un-indigenous place I've ever been to: West Palm Beach, Fla., at the Hippocrates Health Institute. 

    It was a place J.J.’s mother was convinced was better for her daughter than any Canadian hospital.

    In fact, it was the mother who urged me to look into Hippocrates. She felt we in the media were focusing too much on the indigenous medicine and not enough on the "comprehensive treatment plan" she had chosen. 

    J.J., whose family opted out of chemotherapy for alternative treatment, received IV vitamin therapy at the Hippocrates Health Institute.

    It was a deliberate choice. Her mother told me that as soon as her daughter was diagnosed, she knew she wanted to send her to Hippocrates, which she had first heard about it through a family friend. 

    But at first she didn't have the thousands of dollars it costs to attend Hippocrates. So she started the chemo even while saying she didn't feel right about it.

    Quote:
    As a First Nations person myself, I'm confident I can say that none of my ancestors abided by a strict raw vegan diet, or took high doses of vitamins intravenously or underwent cold laser technology. Regardless, her mother said Hippocrates was in line with her belief in natural medicine.

    Quote:
    I interviewed Koster in May. In his office, he showed me the hutch filled with First Nations artifacts he's collected over the years of working in child welfare. 

    He said it was the Child and Family Services Act that required them to "respect First Nations culture" and he "couldn't even begin to think" about removing her from a caring family environment and forcing her into chemo. 

    I can understand this logic. I know, first hand, the impact that previous child welfare policies and the after-effects of residential schools have had on our communities.

    But is this really the same situation? Isn't this more about two girls having the same rights to be protected as other kids in Canada?

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/aboriginal/makayla-sault-s-death-shifts-the-spotl...

     

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