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Who Gets To Choose The Treatment?

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#1 Heretic Monkey

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Posted 16 August 2006 - 03:03 PM

Parents vs. judge: Who picks teen's cancer care?
For those that don't want to read the whole article, the general idea is that a 16 year old boy has Hodgkin's disease, and has undergone chemotherapy once, leaving him "bald, feverish, nauseated and so weak he could not walk." After the first treatment, the cancer came back 2 months later.

Now, the courts are ordering that the boy undergo another chemo treatment. However, his parents (and i assume, the boy himself) said "screw the chemo, we're going with holistic medicine" (not their exact words, i just kinda paraphrased...) So, they've started him on a "treatment" of licorice root and prayer.

The controversy comes from the courts demanding that he be treated with chemotherapy. A university of penn. study suggested that:

...supplemented with radiation, the cure rate for Abrahamís cancer is between 85 and 90 percent after three rounds of chemo

I, personally, think that the decision to try the alternative medicine is, well, stupid, to say the least, but i also believe that they have the right to make that decision for themselves. The conflict that i have in my opinion is that the boy is only 16, which technically makes him a minor. Unknown information involves whether or not the boy was PRESSURED by his parents into accepting the alternative medicine, or if it was HIS decisions, and whether or not HIS decision should be valid, since he is only 16. I would like to say that it SHOULD be his decision as to what treatment he wants to undergo, but there are many factors that could pervert his views.

So, imho, i think they SHOULDN'T be forced to make him undergo chemotherapy, but i agree that their decision NOT to is a horrible one.

So, what are your thoughts on the matter?

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#2 groovicus


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Posted 16 August 2006 - 08:18 PM

People gripe when the government doesn't do enough to protect children, and then they get upset when the government tries to do the exact thing that they wanted them to do in the first place. If the parents simply stated that it was against their religious beliefs, there would have been no discussion at all. And I really have to wonder what happened that it ended up in court. In most cases, the parent's wishes would have been respected. So either some poor doctor got his ego trounced, or somebody in child protective services is running for office and needed the publicity.

#3 Klinkaroo


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Posted 17 August 2006 - 06:53 PM

I don't know about the united states but here in canada after you are 14 your parents have no say in any medical stuff that goes on. You can go to the doctor and the doctor is not allowed to tell your parents what happened, and your parents can't see your medical file unless you give them permission. Not exactly sure if we can get operations and stuff if we don't want are parents to know but I am pretty sure you can. Example of that would be abortion wich a teen can have and the doctor is not allowed to tell her parents...

Anyhow I would say that the government is doing the right thing. They are trying to cure this kid, what his parents are doing I see this as almost attempted murder, the parents are not doctor. Not saying that doctors are always right but look at the statistics, people with cancer often have to go for many treatement to get rid of it. So just because the first one doesn't work out they should let the thing grow out of control into the point that it is no longuer curable...

#4 BlackSpyder


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Posted 17 August 2006 - 09:50 PM

Not going to disagree w/ the government here he should have medical treatment and the doctor is perscribing chemo. And this is where the parents are right after watching my grandfather go through 4-6 rounds of chemo the drugs leave patiants almost a shell ofwho they were before. No one to my knowlege has tried holistic cancer therapy. I'm all for it I perfer natural medication to man-made drugs anyway

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