Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Extremist Religion

I believe that everyone should have the right to exercise their religion and freely express it. There are some times I feel the expression is more appropriate than others. For example, I think its legal, rude and inappropriate... but legal, to picket the deaths of military families because you think gay people are the devil.

A more important area that the social protests are the medical ones, which have come up in the news recently:
A Minnesota judge issued an arrest warrant Tuesday for the mother of Daniel Hauser, a 13-year-old boy who is refusing treatment for his cancer, after neither she nor the boy showed up for a court appearance.

Also, I am not saying some Holistic Medicines do not work. Many naturally occurring foods and products can be helpful to treat stress, anxiety, a cold, etc... but I have yet to see any real evidence that any of them treat cancer. If you child is sick, get him/her some help!

"It is imperative that Daniel receive the attention of an oncologist as soon as possible," wrote Brown County District Judge John R. Rodenberg in an order to "apprehend and detain."

Court documents show that the doctors estimated the boy's chance of 5-year remission with more chemotherapy and possibly radiation at 80 percent to 95 percent.

But the family opted for a holistic medical treatment based upon Native American healing practices called Nemenhah and rejected further treatment.

In a written statement issued last week, an attorney for the parents said they "believe that the injection of chemotherapy into Danny Hauser amounts to an assault upon his body, and torture when it occurs over a long period of time."

Medical ethicists say parents generally have a legal right to make decisions for their children, but there is a limit.

"You have a right, but not an open-ended right," Arthur Caplan, director of the center for bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania, said last week. "You can't compromise the life of your child."

I don't really care what particular form of "crazy" you follow (and not all religion is crazy, just the kind of religion that keeps you from seeking life saving medicine for your children). This is not even a Christian variant, it is native American. If you refuse treatment that would save your child's life, then I see that as child abuse. Your children should be taken away from you, given treatment, and placed in the custody of the state.

Also, I do believe that some holistic medicines work. I think that there are natural supplements that can help deal with minor colds, stress, anxiety and sleep problems. If those do not work, then you need to go to the doctor and get help. And if your not willing to do it for yourself, do not keep your children from getting the medical attention that they deserve and need.


IndieBride said...

I agree with you about the picketing, some stuff is legal, but unethical.

I gotta say I don't agree about the kid. I'm big into natural medicine. No, I wouldn't go with a Native American treatment for cancer, but I would want a natural route over chemo if possible. But that's not my point. My point is, if these parents were doing NOTHING I see the point. But they aren't. I don't see how it's the government's job to chose HOW we treat. They are seeking health care for their child through holistic medicine. No, it's not the modern American idea of traditional. But isn't that part of being American? We are supposed to be open to new ways of life, to new ideas. These parents are doing what they believe is best for their son. They shouldn't have to only be allowed to chose their son's health care based off one option. They are looking out for his health. That's where the court's concern should end.

Brett said...

The whole "natural" thing is a joke anyway. "Natural" doesn't mean it's any better for you. It usually just means you can't have an accurate measure of dosage, you're getting hit with other chemicals you're not aware of, etc.

A chemical in a plant is no different than a chemical that's been synthesized. I can kill you with "natural" hemlock.

Brett said...

To the other comment:

I would agree with you if any of these methods could be independently reviewed and shown to be effective in the treatment of cancer. However they have not. Cancer is a very serious threat and the only known treatments for the remission of cancerous cells is with radiation therapy and strong inhibitory drugs that reduce the rate of cell reproduction. Simply put no "alternative" methods are able to do that. Denying their son treatment, even if they are doing it with good intention, is going to kill him.

They THINK they are looking out for his health, just as cult members think that David Koresh really was the messiah. However they have been brainwashed with faulty rhetoric. They are killing their son, and I don't care what intentions they have for it.

Zaid at UGA said...

I wouldn't have any problem with it if the natural methods were known to at all be effective. You have a right to experiment, choose, etc. etc., but not when your kid is dying, doctors are saying they have a treatment that will probably work on him, and you choose not to do it. That's equivalent to child abuse.