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Subject: Forced Chemotherapy rss

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Jorge Montero
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Chemotherapy is not the issue. The issue is: what can, and should, the state have to do with a children's life. At which point should the state override the parent's wishes, and act in the child's best interest?
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Shushnik wrote:
http://www.whotv.com/lifestyle/health/sns-ap-us-med-forced-c...

This is truly a sad development in this story. The family's beliefs are going to be trampled in the name of what's "best" for their child.

Don't get me wrong, I'd choose chemo every time for my kid. But it's a choice, goddamnit. Any choice an adult could legally make for themself is valid to make for their child. To state otherwise is the first step in taking that choice from us all.

Chemo is a torturous process. One of my best friends when I was a child had battled cancer for 7 years before he passed away. I've seen the gruesome ugliness of the treatment and personally experienced the effect it has on a child. The state forcing this upon anyone is disgusting in my opinion. One day we will all be able to die with dignity if we so choose, not just adults.


To put it politely, screw em.

Chew on this while you complain about chemo and their rights as parents:
Hodgkin lymphoma is one of the more curable forms of cancer - the 5 year survival rates for patients who are middle-aged or younger is over 90%, and for kids, it is over 95%.

If they get treatment. Treatment is not vitamins and herbs, it is chemo in this case.

Parents who do not understand science and belief that "faith healing" is the appropriate response to chemotherapy for their children have about as much right as someone who beats their child to almost to death. Allowing religious reasons for not giving your children adequate health care is the most asinine reason in existence.

Here is his mother's reasoning on this
Hauser, whose son was diagnosed in January with Hodgkin's lymphoma, said conventional treatments such as chemotherapy conflict with the family's religious beliefs. She said they prefer natural remedies such as herbs and vitamins.

Asked where she learned about the alternative healing techniques, Hauser said, "on the Internet.''


This is not about a parent's right to choose, this is about someone that has no clue what they (the parents) are talking about making decisions for a 13 year old.

Wow, I made it through this without even using one curse word.
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Koldfoot wrote:
Xlyce wrote:

To put it politely, screw em.

Chew on this while you complain about chemo and their rights as parents:
Hodgkin lymphoma is one of the more curable forms of cancer - the 5 year survival rates for patients who are middle-aged or younger is over 90%, and for kids, it is over 95%.


I've been searching since this thread was posted to find what the life expectancy is after diagnosis if left untreated. Before you posted I found one reference that 70 some odd percent of untreated Hodgkins patients survive for 5 years after diagnosis and eighty some odd percent survive for 5 years if treated.

That wasn't the information I was originally looking for so I surfed on.

Now I have to go to work. I was unable to find anything useful. If you are interested, perhaps you could pick up the search. Your statistics mean little when taken without more perspective.

There seems to be much information about survival after treatment, and nothing about survival without treatment.



So far I have seen 2-5% and 10%.
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Ken Shogren
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Xlyce wrote:
Parents who do not understand science and belief that "faith healing" is the appropriate response to chemotherapy for their children have about as much right as someone who beats their child to almost to death. Allowing religious reasons for not giving your children adequate health care is the most asinine reason in existence.


You make a very good point here. Perhaps the state should also be proactive with pregnancy in the first place by forcing abortions for any woman who indicates any religious beliefs. I mean, after all, the kid is screwed anyway. Best not to subject it to a religious life. Best not to be born at all.
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John Burt
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Audacon wrote:
Xlyce wrote:
Parents who do not understand science and belief that "faith healing" is the appropriate response to chemotherapy for their children have about as much right as someone who beats their child to almost to death. Allowing religious reasons for not giving your children adequate health care is the most asinine reason in existence.


You make a very good point here. Perhaps the state should also be proactive with pregnancy in the first place by forcing abortions for any woman who indicates any religious beliefs. I mean, after all, the kid is screwed anyway. Best not to subject it to a religious life. Best not to be born at all.


Nice leap of logic.

Do you think that the religion of the parents should stand in the way of adequate healthcare? If so, why?
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Ken Shogren
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Xlyce wrote:
Do you think that the religion of the parents should stand in the way of adequate healthcare? If so, why?


I think that health care providers should not determine that religious or any other beliefs should be set aside. It's not their place to decide.

They should inform and educate the patient (and the parents/guardians in the case of a minor). They should show the prognosis under different treatments. And having done that in a fair manner, they should leave the decision to the patient and/or parents.

Will people make poor decisions? Really poor decisions that could cost a life? Yes they will. This will happen regardless of the 'logic' or reasons for the decisions.

When we let others decide what is best for us, we surrender not only our freedoms, but also our ability to think and to live.

Who decides for you?

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Given the low survival rate, withholding treatment is the same as giving your child a death sentence. Then, the question is should adults be able to knowingly withhold treatment when it kill the child --in my view, this is no different than extreme child abuse. It really is no different than an intentionally malnourished child, which the state would step in and remove the child from the parent's custody.

On an aside, this is different then abortions because the childs life is not at stake.
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Audacon wrote:
Xlyce wrote:
Do you think that the religion of the parents should stand in the way of adequate healthcare? If so, why?


I think that health care providers should not determine that religious or any other beliefs should be set aside. It's not their place to decide.

They should inform and educate the patient (and the parents/guardians in the case of a minor). They should show the prognosis under different treatments. And having done that in a fair manner, they should leave the decision to the patient and/or parents.

Will people make poor decisions? Really poor decisions that could cost a life? Yes they will. This will happen regardless of the 'logic' or reasons for the decisions.

When we let others decide what is best for us, we surrender not only our freedoms, but also our ability to think and to live.

Who decides for you?



I think that adults should be able to do whatever they want to themselves; however, imposing those beliefs on a child is unjust when the outcome is actually death.
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Ken Shogren
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One additional note. You referenced several sites showing the cases where religious belief resulted in a child's death. I'm wondering if we are as eager to prosecute the state for neglect of (failure to protect) children as we are to prosecute parents.

Some examples here, here, and here.

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Ken Shogren
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SpaceGhost wrote:
I think that adults should be able to do whatever they want to themselves; however, imposing those beliefs on a child is unjust when the outcome is actually death.


For adults, I fully agree. With children, its harder. I don't think the answer is the parents are always right, nor do I think it correct to say the 'state' is always right.

If the state is always right, then parents should not be allowed to have children (since the parents may inflict a harmful belief system onto the child) - the state should take the children into custody at birth and raise them (thus carefully guarding against inflicting a belief system onto the child).
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Audacon wrote:
SpaceGhost wrote:
I think that adults should be able to do whatever they want to themselves; however, imposing those beliefs on a child is unjust when the outcome is actually death.


For adults, I fully agree. With children, its harder. I don't think the answer is the parents are always right, nor do I think it correct to say the 'state' is always right.

If the state is always right, then parents should not be allowed to have children (since the parents may inflict a harmful belief system onto the child) - the state should take the children into custody at birth and raise them (thus carefully guarding against inflicting a belief system onto the child).


I tried to really constrain this with the outcome of death. The state shouldn't control how parents raise their children; however, when a parents' behaviors can lead to either extreme physical/psychological damage (e.g., sexual abuse, etc.) or death than the society is required to intervene.
 
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Audacon wrote:
One additional note. You referenced several sites showing the cases where religious belief resulted in a child's death. I'm wondering if we are as eager to prosecute the state for neglect of (failure to protect) children as we are to prosecute parents.

Some examples here, here, and here.



So let's look at your links:
Firstly, that bill passed in 07, your link was to an 05 vote

Secondly, a child died because the state failed to protect a child from it's parent, now I am trying to thnk of an example where people are complaining that the state has intervened for the children. Wait! I found one!

I agree though, there was a failure in that issue by the state, they should have taken the child away and charged the parents with child abuse, much like I think they should if Daniel Hauser dies.

Lastly, Emerich Thomas makes wide sweeping generalisations but the essence of his article "There should be a child protective services reform" is accurate. There should be a reform, and more money spent protecting children from abusive parents.

Audacon wrote:
Who decides for you?

I do, but I am not 13

Audacon wrote:
I don't think the answer is the parents are always right, nor do I think it correct to say the 'state' is always right.


So we agree then? In this case the parents are wrong, so the state stepped in.

 
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VETRHUS of Rogaland
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I am really torn here.

I don't agree with the decision of the parents in this case. But they're the parents. They're the guardians.

Do you trust the state? I mean, that's the alternative, right?

Do you believe that our medical establishment have cures and answers for every disease, particularly one as insidious and hard to treat as cancer?

Which doctors do you trust, and which research? We've seen medical research which has been skewed with statistics to empower drug companies and enable legislation which helped business interests. Is the system in the USA really the best one?

Or, is there other better research and are there alternative treatments available out there, in our country or elsewhere?

Who decides what is a mandatory treatment? Who decides which treatment?

Do you really believe what you're told as far as drug and medical treatments are concerned? I mean, insurance companies don't agree--they routinely tell doctors and the medical establishment that life-saving treatments which are better than the ones existing are not medically justifiable.

I've encountered innumerable cases where a doctor and a second opinion, and an appeal, and a trial of all available alternatives did not cure the ailment, and the insurance company required an invasive procedure which would justify a treatment by a prescription drug, simply because they felt it was too expensive. But they did pay for the invasive procedure, then used the data (as they interpreted it) to justify non-payment for the drugs which had proven to help the disorder.

I've also seen entities like local government make decisions to align their services or create their own legislation to serve business and fiscal interests which are in no way tied to the overall good for the public or individuals.

This really comes down to whether you trust government to make decisions for you or for your children. If you believe that impersonal government entities are best positioned to make these sorts of decisions, then you must accept where that will lead.

There are plenty of horrific scenarios which that may lead to.

I've seen the results of government telling parents that spanking is child abuse, and it did not result in the non-violent society which was the impetus for the movement... I've seen the results of the ethic which puts foster or adoptive children back with their birth parents, even if they've terminated their rights, because it seemed "right" to the social welfare agencies---only to see a troubling amount of these kids killed, abused, or neglected in those placements.

It takes a whole village to raise a child, yes, but is it the village city council or the villagers who have the final word?

I'm terrified at the easy answers which some of you are levying in this case. Is it a knee-jerk reaction to the word "religion" that really is the source of your aversion? Would you have the same indignation if this was an atheist family who chose to use herbal treatments because they believed in homeopathy and not in the corporate medical machine?

What gives you the right to say that these parents are wrong? Really? Wikipedia? WebMD? Newsprint? What?



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Wow this sets a very bad precedent!!

As different as my choice would be if it was my son, the idea of the state overstepping its bounds like this is far more distressing to me.
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John Burt
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Meerkat wrote:
Wow this sets a very bad precedent!!


This is not the first time the courts have had to step in, and probably will not be the last.

Meerkat wrote:
As different as my choice would be if it was my son, the idea of the state overstepping its bounds like this is far more distressing to me.


How is the state protecting someone distressing?

diehard4life wrote:
Is it a knee-jerk reaction to the word "religion" that really is the source of your aversion?


No, religion is the trigger for the child abuse in this case.

diehard4life wrote:
Would you have the same indignation if this was an atheist family who chose to use herbal treatments because they believed in homeopathy and not in the corporate medical machine?



Yes, when the choices are:
a) 2-10% chance of survival
b) 95% chance of survival

I will pick the state over the rights of the parents. When you are willfully endangering your children (and that is what this is) you are giving up the right as parents to make the decision.

I am not making it a religion verus non religion discussion, it is just that more often it is a religious reason that the parents are choosing to deny medical treatment.

diehard4life wrote:
Do you believe that our medical establishment have cures and answers for every disease, particularly one as insidious and hard to treat as cancer?


No I don't, but I do see that the evidence for chemotherapy being an effective treatment for Hodgkin's Disease is overwhelming, as compared to "herbs and vitamins". How do you see this specific case? Are the parents right in wanting their son to die because they believe that their knowledge from googling on the internet is better then every single piece of evidence?
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Guardians do what is in the best interest of their charges.
Parents and the state frequently fail to be adequate guardians.

The major point here is "What is best for this individual?"

Fuck the parents and fuck the state.
 
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Audacon wrote:
For adults, I fully agree. With children, its harder. I don't think the answer is the parents are always right, nor do I think it correct to say the 'state' is always right.


Isn't that why we have courts? To determine who's right? There should be a presumption that parents can make decisions for their children, but the children also have rights in cases where there's clear and convincing evidence that they are being abused.
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Audacon wrote:
Xlyce wrote:
Parents who do not understand science and belief that "faith healing" is the appropriate response to chemotherapy for their children have about as much right as someone who beats their child to almost to death. Allowing religious reasons for not giving your children adequate health care is the most asinine reason in existence.


You make a very good point here. Perhaps the state should also be proactive with pregnancy in the first place by forcing abortions for any woman who indicates any religious beliefs. I mean, after all, the kid is screwed anyway. Best not to subject it to a religious life. Best not to be born at all.


That's quite a distortion, even by RSP standards.
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Chad Ellis
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Audacon wrote:
If the state is always right, then parents should not be allowed to have children (since the parents may inflict a harmful belief system onto the child) - the state should take the children into custody at birth and raise them (thus carefully guarding against inflicting a belief system onto the child).


Why reduce the question to two extreme, binary options?
 
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Chad_Ellis wrote:
Audacon wrote:
If the state is always right, then parents should not be allowed to have children (since the parents may inflict a harmful belief system onto the child) - the state should take the children into custody at birth and raise them (thus carefully guarding against inflicting a belief system onto the child).


Why reduce the question to two extreme, binary options?


Because that way it´s easier to have moderates agreeing with him.
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In my opinion, the most important consideration is the life of the child, not the parents' right to choose how to treat their son's illness. The parents' were making a decision that statistical evidence clearly showed was far less likely to result in survival for their son than the treatment that the government has now mandated. I do liken this choice by the parents to child abuse, and the standard for that situation is, and has been, government intervention. I side with the government here, which I don't say lightly, as in general, I am getting really concerned about the level of government presence in our lives. As I said at the beginning though, in this case, the life of the child comes first, so in this case, I agree with the government action.
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Audacon wrote:
If the state is always right, then parents should not be allowed to have children (since the parents may inflict a harmful belief system onto the child) - the state should take the children into custody at birth and raise them (thus carefully guarding against inflicting a belief system onto the child).


Nobody here was making a Dawkins-esque diatribe against raising children with your beliefs. This is about a child's life, and some twits who think that herbs and vitamins are better than modern medicine because of something they read on the internet.

If they wanted to treat his cold with herbs and vitamins, fine. Treating a deadly but curable disease with bullshit isn't
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Here's some info from Uptodate, a commonly used resource for medical professionals. Unfortunately cancer is typically measured in terms of 5 year survival, and my cursory 'investigation' didn't come up with longer term survival. The copy/paste didn't work very well, so the formatting is weird. It's fairly technical.

OUTCOME Most children and adolescents with HL have an excellent prognosis with current therapy. The overall five-year survival for low-stage disease exceeds 90 percent, regardless of the therapeutic regimen chosen. The overall five-year survival in patients with advanced stage disease who are treated with MOPP/ABVD and involved field radiation is 93 to 97 percent.



Late complications
 In addition to the acute effects of chemotherapy and radiation, long-term survivors of HL may suffer from an array of unwanted side effects . They include:
Impaired growth of soft tissue and bones
Thyroid dysfunction
Gonadal dysfunction
Cardiopulmonary toxicity
Second malignancies
Functional impairment and reduced overall general health

Many of these long-term effects were described initially following treatment regimens that are no longer used in children. The combined modality therapy regimens that are currently given were designed to be less intensive than the early therapies in an effort to decrease the incidence of adverse late effects, which may be a greater cause of delayed mortality than is recurrence of HL (show figure 3). (See "Second malignancies after treatment of Hodgkin lymphoma").



ACUTE EFFECTS OF TREATMENT
  Acute effects of treatment for pediatric HL depend upon the specific chemotherapeutic agents used, the total dose of radiation therapy, and the volume irradiated.

Radiation effects Acute radiation effects are a function of the total dose delivered and the volume irradiated. The low-dose involved field radiation that is used in the treatment of pediatric HL is usually well tolerated. Toxic effects, which are usually self-limited and reversible, include: Erythema and/or hyperpigmentation of irradiated skin Transient hair thinning in exposed fields Mild gastrointestinal symptoms (see "Radiation-induced emesis") Dry mouth or alteration in taste Granulocytopenia Thrombocytopenia

Chemotherapy effects
 Children who receive multiple chemotherapeutic agents for the treatment of HL may develop nausea and vomiting. These effects can be modulated with serotonin receptor antagonist anti-emetics and/or pretreatment with benzodiazepines. (See "Prevention and treatment of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting").

Reversible alopecia is another acute effect of HL chemotherapy regimens. Other acute effects are related to particular agents. As examples, vincristine is associated with neurotoxicity, bleomycin with pulmonary toxicity, and doxorubicin with cardiac toxicity. (See "Neurologic complications of non-platinum cancer chemotherapy", section on Vincristine; see "Bleomycin-induced lung injury"; and see "Cardiotoxicity of anthracycline-like chemotherapy agents" section on Children)
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Rich brings up the most valid point. This kid is 13. The concept of the 'emancipated minor' seems valid here. If this was a 13 year old girl who wanted an abortion, the parents' views would be completely ignored and things would proceed. And I think most people would support the child's wishes.

It does get complicated as the court apparently decided that 'he couldn't read' and therefore was unable to give informed consent.

I do wonder if they are truly using their 'religion' to stop this, or if they are claiming that because it's the biggest stick they can use.
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Shushnik wrote:
Chemo leaves physical and emotional scars some never recover from.


Dying leaves you dead.

Quote:
So torture is acceptable when we're forcing our moral priorities that the victim's life is more important than their dignity or freedom?

The idea that any of you rationalize this stand boggles my mind. I guess freedom is closer to dead than I thought. :shake:


I would not be surprised if there was research that indicated that a substantial proportion of former chemo patients feel that the pain inflicted was ultimately worthwhile, in the same way that most people believe that the 'torture' inflicted by a dentist is ultimately preferable to a diseased mouth.

There are probably not very many people who feel the same way about having been tortured, so conflating chemo with torture is intellectually a little dishonest.

I'm not convinced that the state did the right thing in this case, because the quality of life of a chemo patient is supposedly pretty low (though I've not done the research to make any sort of definitive statements). However, I think it would have been reasonable for the state to compel the child to consult a psychologist to establish whether or not the child was making an informed and rational decision.

All sorts of people hold nonsense ideas and impose them on their children, including belief in possession and violent exorcisms. The state has a responsibility to ensure that vulnerable people of whatever age are not taken advantage of, and placed in a position where they are injured due to behaviour impressed upon them by misguided authority figures.
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