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  • Belief vs. Medicine

    Some people may have heard about a big issue that is seemingly in my back yard here in MN. The long story short is, 13 year old was diagnosed with hodgkin's, the family doesn't want to use chemo because it is against their beliefs, and now the kid stands a good chance of dying because of it. The judge just ordered that the family would have to put him back on it if it can be proved that it would still be beneficial.

    http://www.startribune.com/lifestyle...D3aPc:_Yyc:aUU

    Any thoughts on this? The general consensus with most of the people is that the parents are neglectful and the kid should be forced to have chemo. Did I mention that the kid agrees with his parents?




  • #2
    Re: Belief vs. Medicine

    This is an interesting issue that is sure to be quite divisive. I think that the abortion issue has some relevance in the debate. Take for example that some religious people may not believe that the state should impose any regulation into the parents right to pursue alternative treatment, wether it be spiritual or otherwise. But, those same people would say that abortion should be illegal, taking away the womans right to choose what to do to her own body. As unfortunate as it may be, for the young man in question, I believe that the state should stay out of it. Just as they should stay out of the abortion issue. And in saying that, I would also say, just because you have the right to do something, doesn't mean it is the right thing to do.
    |TG-X| mp40x



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    • #3
      Re: Belief vs. Medicine

      well, first off, there are questions that have to be asked. how old is the kid? is he old enough to realistically comprehend the facts? does he understand that if the chemo is effective, he could live a long and productive life? also, you said in the original post that the kid would have to go "back on it" indicating that he was on chemo sometime previously, is that the case? cause if it is, everything else is irrelevant.

      bottom line is this: the parents are trying to engage in assisted suicide, which still isnt legal. death from hodgkins disease is slow and excrutiating. if the kid is old enough to understand that and is still choosing to do it out of his beliefs, then fine. however, as i was saying earlier, if his beliefs allowed him to be on chemo once, then the whole argument is null.

      personally, i dont understand people who have beliefs of that nature. they dont want to use chemo because it's not medicine that God created. God created the elements used in it, god created the people who researched and found it, god created the ability to make the tools necessary to deliver it. As such, it was gods work by proxy. granted that same argument can be applied to almost anything, but its especially potent in a case where two people are willing to not only allow, but condone the slow and very painful death of their child. If it was me and my child was dying, to hell with my beliefs, i'd do anything in the universe to save them.

      by the way, if this post makes less sense than i usually do, blame the drugs. just had surgery yesterday and while the painkillers seemingly do nothing for the pain, the do make me a bit foggy.

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      • #4
        Re: Belief vs. Medicine

        Medicine>Fairy tales
        |TG-X|Turkish

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        • #5
          Re: Belief vs. Medicine

          Ferris: The kid is 13, cannot read, and believes the chemo will kill him. He was on chemo for one round, it was helpful. The chemo docs predict 90% success chance on chemo and 5% off. That's all from memory, I'll try and find a source in a few.

          I'm still mixed on this one. The kid is old enough to be potentially responsible for his actions, but he's got some issues, like the lack of reading, that worry me. So, since both his parents and he agree that he shouldn't get chemo, my initial reaction is to say that he shouldn't be forced on it. On the other hand, I have a huge "that's ****ing stupid" reaction. So, I suppose allow it while I disapprove greatly?

          Sorry for the disjointed post, I just woke up after a really hectic night shift.

          edit: Nope, changed my mind. The kid isn't capable of making his own decision and the parents are being criminally negligent. Force 'em.
          Last edited by Razcsak; 05-16-2009, 03:43 PM.
          I can ADS using more than a 2x without significant stutter! This was a good patch.

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          • #6
            Re: Belief vs. Medicine

            Hodgkin is effectively treated by chemo. If caught early, there's something like a 90% survival rate. That's pretty good.

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            • #7
              Re: Belief vs. Medicine

              The kid isn't an adult and does not have the right to make decisions regarding his own health. I have very harsh words for people who reject science because of their beliefs, but rejecting medical treatment on behalf of your dying child because you think the sky god told you not to is A. wrong and B. probably criminal.

              The Zande people in Africa believe that water can't hurt you unless a witch is trying to use magic to kill you. So if a person falls into water, they can't drown unless a witch wants to kill them. And that's their belief, and to a certain point you can respect that. But if someone watches their kid fall into a lake and decides not to try to get them out because they don't believe in drowning, is that an acceptable belief, or is that murder?

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              • #8
                Re: Belief vs. Medicine

                I'm resisting the urge to talk about Jehovah witnesses here, so i won't spark another huge argument.

                My dad's family is riddled with cancer, most of them died from lack of proper medication (time period when they were alive) or it was caught too late. All of them suffered very terrible, painful deaths. A kid rejecting Chemo, since it will make his life miserable for a few years, is downright stupid on both his and his parents part.
                |TG-6th|SirNerd

                My Resume includes Pirate, Mercenary, and a Devil Dog, what else do you want.

                Pain is Inevitable, Suffering is Optional.

                When you can't run anymore, you crawl and when you can't do that, you find someone to carry you.

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                • #9
                  Re: Belief vs. Medicine

                  Originally posted by Sir-Nerd View Post
                  I'm resisting the urge to talk about Jehovah witnesses here, so i won't spark another huge argument.
                  Refusing to donate or accept blood is not the same thing as refusing chemo for their child. For what its worth, I think them refusing autologous donation is likewise stupid, but...hey.
                  I can ADS using more than a 2x without significant stutter! This was a good patch.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Belief vs. Medicine

                    I understand people's desire to uphold their religious beliefs. I also understand passing theses beliefs onto ones children. I don't want to say that the parents are wrong per-say but I do think that they are misguided. As one who has lost a lot in my family due to cancer I understand the pain of chemo first hand. I've seen what it does to people, but I've also seen what happens when it is to late and no amount of chemo in the world will save a person.

                    Don't get me wrong there are many things that Doctors can't fix that faith can. But at the same time, faith can only take you so far. Faith can't set a broken bone, yet medicine can't give someone the will to live. In short I feel that people should use both modern medicine and prayer to heal. Medicine will help heal the body, but you will need faith to heal the rest.

                    Hopefully this kid gets better...

                    ~ Draken

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                    • #11
                      Re: Belief vs. Medicine

                      Why don't you want to say they're wrong? One can be tolerant of other people's views or understand where they're coming from while thinking that they're just wrong at the same time. Don't wuss out in to a kind of relativism about hard topics where nobody can be wrong.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Belief vs. Medicine

                        Originally posted by DrakenViator View Post
                        I also understand passing theses beliefs onto ones children.
                        You can't pass it on if the kid isn't alive.

                        I understand their wanting to be religious, but at some point common sense must kick in.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Belief vs. Medicine

                          On the one hand, I think the kid and his parents are both making a really stupid decision.

                          On the other hand, I think they have a right to make stupid decisions if they want to. What's the point of having a doctor ask you to approve a treatment, if he's going to force you to take it even if you don't approve it?

                          I guess the state gets involved with this one because the kid is too young to make his own decisions, so they have to be made by his legal guardian instead. And the state thinks his legal guardian is being negligent and should be replaced. I suppose thats not a completely indefensible position, but it still scares me -- I don't like the concept that the state can decide they don't like what you're teaching your kids, and revoke your right to be parents.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Belief vs. Medicine

                            you pretty much nailed it kero. the state sees a kid being denied life-saving treatment by his parents, who allowed him to get to thirteen years old without being able to read. i read a few articles on this today. the parents are freaking nutbags. from what I've seen, not only does the state need to force treatment for this poor kid, but they'd be pretty well off by removing him from his parents custody.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Belief vs. Medicine

                              Originally posted by Kerostasis View Post
                              I don't like the concept that the state can decide they don't like what you're teaching your kids, and revoke your right to be parents.
                              I don't think its that they don't like what is being taught so much as they don't like that they aren't getting adequate care. "Adequate" in this case meaning "necessary for basic life functions."
                              I can ADS using more than a 2x without significant stutter! This was a good patch.

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