DOCTORS VERSUS PARENTS

Charlie - posted on 10/11/2009 ( 69 moms have responded )

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Last night's Sunday Night program told the story of 10 year old Tamar who has liver cancer.

Tamar's parents were told she a 60 per cent survival rate if she started chemo immediately. But as devout Christians they believe it is God who will decide Tamar's fate.

They've said no to chemo and have fled to El Salvador where they are treating Tamar with natural remedies including mud wraps and dandelion tea .

So is it parents or doctors who have the right to decide how a seriously ill child should be treated?


I also wonder , if they are opposed to intervention why is it ok to intervene with natural remedies and not chemo .

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Natalie - posted on 10/14/2009

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Laura, that's an interesting point. I used my Google-fu to find more info on the case, and Trevor Stitt, Tamar's father has been leaving comments on pretty much every published article. Apparently we don't have the whole story here. The Stitts believe that because mud wraps had an affect on Tamar's asthma as a baby, and their son Jacob's eczema, it can be used to help with Tamar's cancer as well. Also, he claims the media deceived them on how they would present the story. I still think they are making a bad decision and that Tamar should be taken away from them until she receives treatment, but I can feel something in my heart for this family. It's kind of the same feeling I get when my cats bring me a dead animal- I know they're trying to express love, but it's just gross and unproductive and they've killed an innocent being needlessly.

?? - posted on 10/12/2009

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Quoting Christa:

Just your usual intolerance of differing opinions.




The usual intolerance towards parents thinking they can do whatever to their child just because it is THEIR child. And differing opinions is never a bad thing.



It's really sad that you have come to the conclusion that DEBATING opinions - going back and forth between facts and reasons has to be a bad thing. Adults should be able to discuss differences within a topic without it turning into a personal attack fest. Your comment to Natalie - her logic is sound, just because you don't agree with it doesn't mean it's not worth discussing.



The fact that you think PRO-CHOICE means that we should be "ok with telling these parents what to do with their child" just says to me that you haven't been listening to anything anyone has said and that you don't want to discuss, you just want to push your thoughts on others and who cares if they have reasons for the way they think... you won't listen to them unless they agree.



People don't have to agree, doesn't mean you can't continue to discuss it. Bring valid points and keep it going - unless you plan on deteriorating the subject then there's no reason for you to "be done with it."

Anna - posted on 10/18/2009

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Quoting Christa:

Like I said they are not letting their child die. They are choosing the best treatment for THEIR child. It's not neglect and it's not abuse. Just because you don't agree with their choice doesn’t make it abuse or neglect. She may live on this treatment, she may die on chemo. We don’t know. It's not even comparable to abortion where the baby WILL die with 100% certainty.

What about parents who allow their children to eat junk and watch TV all day, resulting in a very obese unhealthy child. That child will no doubt die as a result of heart disease or diabetes later in life, unless they can break those habits that their parents set in them. As we all know that is very hard. Should we be interfering there and forcing parents to make their kids healthier? Parents who promote open sexuality are opening their children up to a life of diseases, should we force parents to tell their kids not to have sex until they are married? Parents who refuse to vaccinate could be killing their child of a very preventable disease not to mention the public health risks, should we FORCE parents to vaccinate? There are a million decisions that parents make they may result in their child’s death should we FORCE everyone to raise their children under some government or society decided rules?

I see comments on COM’s almost everyday and I think “man they are screwing up those kids”, but it’s not my place to interfere with another parents raising of their own child. I’m sure you wouldn’t want a religious person dictating how you raise your child so why should a non-religious person dictate how a religious person raises their child?

I'm done with this conversation, I've said my piece.



To be fair, I have NOT read all the PP. However, I do disagree that this is not neglect. If a doctor states that this treatment is necessary for the child's health, well being and survival and the parent ignore this medical advise. This doctor can and is bound by ethical duties to report this to CPS. This would then be seen as Medical neglect, failure to provide medically necessary treatment for the child. A judge can and will court order treatment in the best interest of the child. If parents do not comply with a judge's order, the child can be removed from their care and place in the custody of the state. I think parents should and do have rights as to what type of medical treatment a child has, but when it interferes with a child's health and well being and right to survival and medically necessary treatments, then yes I do believe the state should step in to protect this child's rights and welfare.

Johnny - posted on 10/15/2009

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I'd love for those of you who feel that it is entirely up to the parent's whether or not their child receives life saving treatment to explain where you draw the line at neglect. I am honestly curious at what point you feel external intervention is acceptable, if at any point.

If your religious leader suddenly outlaws the drinking of water by those who are not adults, would it be acceptable to stop your child from ever drinking water?

If you think that your 5 year old child is responsible enough to take care of themselves, is it okay to leave them home alone while you work?

If you don't like to eat any healthy foods ever so your family's entire diet consists of cheeseburgers, soda pop, and lollipops?

All these examples are personal beliefs or preferences that one is entitled to hold and apply to oneself. But is it acceptable to allow your child to die from dehydration? Or to burn themselves trying to cook their own lunch? Or contract rickets and scurvy from lack of vitamins? Exactly what is the line between neglect and personal choice? And why is it that parents supposedly have the right to decide not to provide the necessities of life to their child?


I do judge these people to be unfit parents just as I would judge the parents doing any of the above. Are all parenting decisions created equal? I think not. This is taking personal freedom to it's most ridiculous and dangerous degree. There is quite a difference between disapproving of other people's parenting choices (which I think we all do frequently) and believing that they are neglectful & should have their parental rights removed.

Amie - posted on 10/15/2009

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Quoting Christa:

I don't think anyone is saying that it is wrong to use medical intervention. It is not OUR child. It is THEIRS. I don't believe that any one of us would appreciate SOMEONE coming in and controlling how we raise and care for our children....just because they disagree with our method.

If you have watched someone suffer with cancer and go through radiation and chemo....your outlook may be different. It is not easy to watch. Medical intervention is not a guarantee. If the treatment is only goint to prolong life, yet the quality of life will change due to the treatment.....then you weigh what you would rather have.....quantity vs. quality. IMO, I would rather have 6 months of fun, happy, energetic times with a person than 12 months of treatments, lethargic, sad, depressing times with someone I love. The selfish part is on those of us that are healthy....we are in denial and make decisions for selfish reasons. I don't know a parent that would't give their child every opportunity for life....however, sometimes life isn't an option and if they are choosing quality of life over quantity.....that is their decision. We have no place to judge them. They are going to lose their child (possibly) what they need most is support not condemnation. We aren't walking in their shoes.....so maybe we should just be grateful for the health our children have and leave them alone.

Remember.....COM covers the world. There truly are health practices that go on around the world that not all of us agree with....doesn't make them wrong or bad. Maybe if we would open our horizons to what others can offer we would be amazed.


If you had read my previous posts you would have seen that I am one who has seen it up close and personal. When my cousin was 9 years old he was diagnosed with Leukemia. If my aunt and uncle had not gotten him the treatments he would have died. He did not die, even with the grim outlook they were given whilst getting the treatments. They fought for him. For him to live and grow up. They did not give up. They fought as hard for him as he fought for himself. He is now cancer free and 15 years old. I would have been the first at their door step if they had given up or decided to try spa treatments to cure him. Mud wraps and dandelion tea? Seriously? 



 



CoM's does cover the world. However it does not negate the fact that when you have access to western medicine and technology you shouldn't use it, for whatever the reason, to try and save your child. YOUR CHILD. I would fight tooth and nail to save my children, if I had to I would end my own life so theirs would be preserved.



If I or my husband ever turned our backs and decided to not take that 60% chance of saving them I know the first person to call CPS would be my own mother. She would fight tooth and nail to get custody and get them treated.



 



 

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?? - posted on 10/17/2009

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Quoting Krista:



Quoting Jo:




Quoting Christa:
Whether I agree with them or not; whether I would do everything in my powet to save my child or not.......THIS child is not mine, I am NOT these parents. Drop it....move on....find something else to moan about. PLEASE!!





~~~~ INSERT EXTREME SARCASM ~~~~~~
YEA GUYS !! Common !!! Like seriously !!! Stop talking about things ok ! Don't discuss things and people and situations ! It's NOT ok to debate about other people's lives when they put it out there!!! Especially on a debating forum ! What do you think this is???? Some sort of.... venue... where OPINIONS are allowd to be presented or something!
~~~~ EXIT EXTREME SARCASM ~~~~~~
Yeesh. Get a grip Christa.





They need to make a button for OMG I JUST PEED MY PANTS THAT WAS SO FUNNY.  I'm being totally serious here.





ROFL

Krista - posted on 10/17/2009

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Quoting Jo:



Quoting Christa:
Whether I agree with them or not; whether I would do everything in my powet to save my child or not.......THIS child is not mine, I am NOT these parents. Drop it....move on....find something else to moan about. PLEASE!!




~~~~ INSERT EXTREME SARCASM ~~~~~~
YEA GUYS !! Common !!! Like seriously !!! Stop talking about things ok ! Don't discuss things and people and situations ! It's NOT ok to debate about other people's lives when they put it out there!!! Especially on a debating forum ! What do you think this is???? Some sort of.... venue... where OPINIONS are allowd to be presented or something!
~~~~ EXIT EXTREME SARCASM ~~~~~~
Yeesh. Get a grip Christa.


They need to make a button for OMG I JUST PEED MY PANTS THAT WAS SO FUNNY.  I'm being totally serious here.

?? - posted on 10/15/2009

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Quoting Christa:

Whether I agree with them or not; whether I would do everything in my powet to save my child or not.......THIS child is not mine, I am NOT these parents. Drop it....move on....find something else to moan about. PLEASE!!




~~~~ INSERT EXTREME SARCASM ~~~~~~

YEA GUYS !! Common !!! Like seriously !!! Stop talking about things ok ! Don't discuss things and people and situations ! It's NOT ok to debate about other people's lives when they put it out there!!! Especially on a debating forum ! What do you think this is???? Some sort of.... venue... where OPINIONS are allowd to be presented or something!

~~~~ EXIT EXTREME SARCASM ~~~~~~

Yeesh. Get a grip Christa.

Dana - posted on 10/15/2009

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Quoting Christa:

Very well said Amie! You speak loud and clear and seem like a very caring, wonderful parent who loves their children very much. However, you seem to be missing the point. This child is not yours....you don't get to decide what is the best for them. How would you feel if because someone disagreed with the way you parented they could come in and take your children away. Until you have sat down and discussed this personally with THESE parents....the ones actually going through this.....PLEASE stop trying to judge them. Whether I agree with them or not; whether I would do everything in my powet to save my child or not.......THIS child is not mine, I am NOT these parents. Drop it....move on....find something else to moan about. PLEASE!!



Christa, looks like you should drop it, move on, and find something else to moan about.

Amie - posted on 10/15/2009

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Quoting Christa:

Like....are you having your child vaccinated with the H1N1?


Just saw this.



 



What on earth does the flu have to do with cancer? It kills people yes but I do not even get the regular flu shot for myself, my husband or my children. Why on earth would I get the H1N1 shot?



 



The flu (no matter what strain) is still not in the same field as cancer.



Now if you were asking about the polio, etc. vaccinations then yes I could see the correlation and yes my children do get those shots.



I will not vaccinate my children for a flu though. Not when proper hygiene and common sense works just as well. My children are 9, 5, 2 and 6 months. The worst any of them has gotten was a cold. It's not luck so do not say anything flippant like count myself lucky. I take care of them, they eat a balanced meal, have loads of exercise, wash their hands regularly and have strong immune systems. If they did not then I would consider vacc'ing for the flu but they do not.



So again... The FLU is not in the same scope as CANCER.

Jenny - posted on 10/15/2009

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I used steroid cream to treat my excema. I guess I should just have some that if I get cancer?



Bottom line, parents do not have "the right" to sentence their children to death for ANY reason. Period. Frankly, I'm disgusted that anyone would defend the right to faith over the rights of a child to life.

Krista - posted on 10/15/2009

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Quoting Christa:

I don't think anyone is saying that it is wrong to use medical intervention. It is not OUR child. It is THEIRS. I don't believe that any one of us would appreciate SOMEONE coming in and controlling how we raise and care for our children....just because they disagree with our method.

If you have watched someone suffer with cancer and go through radiation and chemo....your outlook may be different. It is not easy to watch. Medical intervention is not a guarantee. If the treatment is only goint to prolong life, yet the quality of life will change due to the treatment.....then you weigh what you would rather have.....quantity vs. quality. IMO, I would rather have 6 months of fun, happy, energetic times with a person than 12 months of treatments, lethargic, sad, depressing times with someone I love. The selfish part is on those of us that are healthy....we are in denial and make decisions for selfish reasons. I don't know a parent that would't give their child every opportunity for life....however, sometimes life isn't an option and if they are choosing quality of life over quantity.....that is their decision. We have no place to judge them. They are going to lose their child (possibly) what they need most is support not condemnation. We aren't walking in their shoes.....so maybe we should just be grateful for the health our children have and leave them alone.

Remember.....COM covers the world. There truly are health practices that go on around the world that not all of us agree with....doesn't make them wrong or bad. Maybe if we would open our horizons to what others can offer we would be amazed.


You think that having cancer with no hopes of prolonging your life is fun and energetic?  And, by your reasoning, maybe they should be allowing their child to decide what she wants to do with her life.  Maybe the child wants quantity.  And they are going to lose their child "possibly"?  No, you need to change this to for sure, because when was the last time you heard of someone overcoming cancer without treatment?  If they choose to let their child die, why should I support that?  Why SHOULDN'T I condemn them?

Amie - posted on 10/15/2009

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Quoting Christa:

Very well said Amie! You speak loud and clear and seem like a very caring, wonderful parent who loves their children very much. However, you seem to be missing the point. This child is not yours....you don't get to decide what is the best for them. How would you feel if because someone disagreed with the way you parented they could come in and take your children away. Until you have sat down and discussed this personally with THESE parents....the ones actually going through this.....PLEASE stop trying to judge them. Whether I agree with them or not; whether I would do everything in my powet to save my child or not.......THIS child is not mine, I am NOT these parents. Drop it....move on....find something else to moan about. PLEASE!!


People have disagreed with the way I parent my children. It does not bother me. I either take the advice or leave it.



 



It is not that simple though. This not an every day case of parenthood. This is a life or death situation for a child. Regardless of whether or not it is mine. I am fully entitled to my opinion as you are yours. You are JUDGING them just as much. You just happen to think stay out of it is acceptable.



As I stated if I ever turned my back on a good chance of saving my child's life I know what those closest to me would do. IF I was even willing to take that chance with my child's life. I'm not though, I will do whatever it takes to save my own children as I would any other person's child.



I do not have to sit down and talk with them. I don't remember which poster posted it. The father has been responding on news articles. He has said that this treatment has worked for their children's asthma and ezcema before. That is not even in the same scope of things as cancer is. My mother has asthma, my brother has ezcema. No person in their right mind would compare those two things to cancer. Asthma a person could die of if not taken care of properly BUT hardly anyone does not take care when they are diagnosed with asthma. My mother does not very often need the meds she is prescribed because she takes care to not over exert herself. She knows her limits. As do most people who has asthma. As for ezcema. It is a nasty case of dry skin. Myu brother has had his joints crack open to an inch deep before because of how dry and cracked his skin gets. He has used all sorts of things to help and is now using a medication his doctor prescribed. Again it is not anywhere near the equivalent of cancer.

Christa - posted on 10/15/2009

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Very well said Amie! You speak loud and clear and seem like a very caring, wonderful parent who loves their children very much. However, you seem to be missing the point. This child is not yours....you don't get to decide what is the best for them. How would you feel if because someone disagreed with the way you parented they could come in and take your children away. Until you have sat down and discussed this personally with THESE parents....the ones actually going through this.....PLEASE stop trying to judge them. Whether I agree with them or not; whether I would do everything in my powet to save my child or not.......THIS child is not mine, I am NOT these parents. Drop it....move on....find something else to moan about. PLEASE!!

Christa - posted on 10/15/2009

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I don't think anyone is saying that it is wrong to use medical intervention. It is not OUR child. It is THEIRS. I don't believe that any one of us would appreciate SOMEONE coming in and controlling how we raise and care for our children....just because they disagree with our method.



If you have watched someone suffer with cancer and go through radiation and chemo....your outlook may be different. It is not easy to watch. Medical intervention is not a guarantee. If the treatment is only goint to prolong life, yet the quality of life will change due to the treatment.....then you weigh what you would rather have.....quantity vs. quality. IMO, I would rather have 6 months of fun, happy, energetic times with a person than 12 months of treatments, lethargic, sad, depressing times with someone I love. The selfish part is on those of us that are healthy....we are in denial and make decisions for selfish reasons. I don't know a parent that would't give their child every opportunity for life....however, sometimes life isn't an option and if they are choosing quality of life over quantity.....that is their decision. We have no place to judge them. They are going to lose their child (possibly) what they need most is support not condemnation. We aren't walking in their shoes.....so maybe we should just be grateful for the health our children have and leave them alone.



Remember.....COM covers the world. There truly are health practices that go on around the world that not all of us agree with....doesn't make them wrong or bad. Maybe if we would open our horizons to what others can offer we would be amazed.

Krista - posted on 10/15/2009

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Quoting Christa:

Let's be honest here...the real problem that most of you have is that these parents admitted they were Christians. As soon as they did that....you formed your opinion that they were doing something wrong. We see it happen everyday here with the same people.


Let's be honest here and say that all the knowledge that we have for self preservation, under God, was given to us by Him.  He gave us food and water to preserve our lives.  He gaves us the knowledge of shelter and warmth.  Why is He stopping at medical intervention?  Why intervene and give us the knowledge of self preservation in other ways, but when it comes to medically enhancing a person's survival rate, it's wrong?  I'm Christian, but in this regard, I think the parents are wrong.  What's next?  Are they going to use leeches to bleed her?  Bleed the evil out of her body?  I mean, seriously.

Mary - posted on 10/15/2009

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Quoting Christa:

Let's be honest here...the real problem that most of you have is that these parents admitted they were Christians. As soon as they did that....you formed your opinion that they were doing something wrong. We see it happen everyday here with the same people.



I disagree!  I am Christian, and I think these parents are terribly wrong.  In fact, I find their actions to be rather Un-Christian.  I believe that they they are using their "religious beliefs" as a sheild to justify their actions.  I'm not familiar with any teachings in Christianity that  prohibit the use of chemo in treating cancer...but perhaps I'm just a bad Christian?? (Probably am, since I'm Catholic, lol!)

Johnny - posted on 10/14/2009

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Denying your child a 60% chance at life for an unknown but obviously much lower % chance (feel free to find the statistical rate-I'm too lazy) is just plain neglect. It does not matter what reasons you present for your choices (religion, politics, insanity...) you are not fulfilling your basic duty to provide for the well-being of your child. Anyone who is told that their child is very likely to die unless they receive a specific treatment, and then refuses to allow that treatment to be performed has failed as a parent. Religion is a false herring in this debate. Vaccination is a distinct argument from this, as there is no knowledge on the parent's behalf that their child will contract or become seriously ill from any of these diseases. Abortion is also unrelated, as in this case, the child's life is not attached to that of the mother's. She is her own independently existing entity, and thus hold her own rights which are not connected to those of her parents.

Isobel - posted on 10/14/2009

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I hate to do this because I'm clearly not religious but...IF they TRULY believe that using chemo (though I'm not certain why chemo in regards to anything else) will cause their child to burn forever in hell (again...makes no sense to me)...there could be an argument made that giving the care COULD be neglect. Again, I'm not religious, I don't agree with their decision, I hope the child gets taken away...but it would be difficult to send your child to hell as well. Just sayin

Natalie - posted on 10/14/2009

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Quoting Christa:

Sooooooo....since you opened the can of worms!! Who should be accountable when a parent allows their unborn child to die. Is that parent acting out in the best interest of the child??????? Hmmmmmm


Presumably, Tamar's parents are against abortion, being devout Christians and all, so that hypocrisy rests squarely on them. I'm going with science, where the unborn fetus does not in fact count as a human life because it cannot survive without the mother's support. So getting an abortion in my eyes is not allowing an unborn child to die, it is killing a bundle of cells that rely on the host to sustain life. Not to say that pregnancy is not a miracle that should be cherished, but abortion is not the same thing as killing a living human being. But I guess we'll go ahead and agree to disagree there. The point is, if you believe that that is a human life being killed by abortion, it is hypocritical to say that what Tamar's parents are doing is okay. The parents are also hypocrites for even taking Tamar to a doctor in the first place if their oh-so-devout beliefs prevent them from taking advantage of Western medicine.

Charlie - posted on 10/14/2009

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regardless of religion they are endangering their daughters life .
Most of us have stated below that religion does not matter many religious groups do not allow intervention in some form or another , when it is not life threatening and by their own mature and adult choice it is fine BUT to do it to a child who IS dying is wrong ..

Sarah - posted on 10/14/2009

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so even though I am Christian...I have a problem with these parents because they are Christian? Oh yes, that makes perfect sense...



No my problem is that they are not getting their child proper medical care. I don't care what their reason is, that is neglect.

[deleted account]

Christa, if you'll look above we've already covered this bogus argument and why it doesn't apply to this disucssion, as well the differences between the two arguments. However, here is the short version-Until science and the law come to a conclusive agreement on when life begins, fetuses cannot be compared to children outside the womb. Furthermore, that argument has absolutely no bearing on what happens to said living, breathing children. Tamar is not a part of her mother's body in any way, shape, or form. Abortion is irrelevant to the discussion.

Christa - posted on 10/14/2009

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Sooooooo....since you opened the can of worms!! Who should be accountable when a parent allows their unborn child to die. Is that parent acting out in the best interest of the child??????? Hmmmmmm

[deleted account]

No, let's be honest, really honest-the problem I have with these people is that they are disregarding medicine in favor of herbal treatments for cancer for a child whose life is more important than their religious beliefs. How DARE you assume that it's because they're Christian that I (or anyone else) have a problem with this. I would have this problem with parents who refused to seek treatment of their sick child for ANY REASON when the treatment had good odds of success. I don't care if their fucking dead grandmother told them in a dream that herbal remedies would work-it's unacceptable not to try a treatment that has been prove effective 60% of the time. My problem with this situation is stupidity-willful stupidity that is quite probably going to harm their child. This is not the world picking on Christians--this is a subset of too strict religious people being held accountable for actions that are detrimental to their child.

Christa - posted on 10/14/2009

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Let's be honest here...the real problem that most of you have is that these parents admitted they were Christians. As soon as they did that....you formed your opinion that they were doing something wrong. We see it happen everyday here with the same people.

Michelle - posted on 10/13/2009

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I have a friend who lost her little brother due to the religion of the family not meshing with the what the doctor told them they would have to do to save him. She was a JW and she has now turned her back from the religion and has lost family in the process. I don't think it's right and when it comes to my child there is no way my religion would dictate what I would do in this situation. My daughter would be getting the Chemo. I feel for this little girl!

[deleted account]

I couldn't feel sorry for someone that is that stupid! Oh you poor thing, you let your child die in the name of God even though the doctors most likely could have fixed your child, gee that must be rough on you :( RIGHT!!! Cancer is a tricky one...I can understand not wanting to put your child, or anyone, through Chemo but if it was a do or die kinda moment and I was only 10!!!! i think I'd want to TRY to live a little longer!!! I love the parents out here who are with that stupid church that lets their kids die of pnemonia! Something you totally need a medicine to kick, but hey God's got the cure all why bother...*rolln eyes* I agree w/the rest of you mums that say that God gave us the intelligence to make these medicines and treatments, it is his intention that we use them, but hey whats a few more deaths in the name of Christianity?

Natalie - posted on 10/13/2009

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Quoting Erin:

Sorry I didn't read all of these responses, but I was just curious how they found out the kid has cancer if they weren't using western medicine? I do not understand how these people can go into the doctor and get a diagnosis and then ignore said diagnosis? If you are sooo against the treatment why even bother to get the diagnosis? I don't get it???


Because they're hypocrites. They trust Western medicine only to provide an opportunity to martyr themselves. Sorry, I'm just out of sympathy for parents who blatantly disregard the wellbeing of their child in the name of God. I'm pretty sure no just god would look kindly upon allowing a child to suffer, especially in His own name. If I were religious, I might even call it blasphemous.

[deleted account]

Sorry I didn't read all of these responses, but I was just curious how they found out the kid has cancer if they weren't using western medicine? I do not understand how these people can go into the doctor and get a diagnosis and then ignore said diagnosis? If you are sooo against the treatment why even bother to get the diagnosis? I don't get it???

Sarah - posted on 10/13/2009

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Yes, parents should have some say in their child's medical treatment. If there are two options with possible success rates, then by all means, make an educated decision on what is best for your child. However, to completely ignore the medical advice given for a child with cancer is unforgiveable to me. Our job as parents is to do the best we can for our children. That does not include fleeing the country in order to avoid treatment for cancer! Doctors have spent years studying these diseases and the best way to treat them, they have the knowledge and the experience needed to help this little girl.



IMO they are just as guilty as neglect as parents who lock their child in a closet. Why can't parents who do these horrendous forms of neglect claim that they were keeping their child safe from the dangers of the outside world? See my point? You can always come up with a reason for why you do something, but that doesn't make it right! Religious beliefs or not, refusing treatment for your child is NOT in their best interest.



As far as bringing in the comparision of vaccines, that really isn't related, but the argument does fall flat with me since I am very pro vaccinations and actually do think that most of them SHOULD be mandated....but that is an entirely different debate :-)

Mel - posted on 10/13/2009

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i saw that it is so wrong , the poor girl its a shame she is stuck with them as parents. I do however sometimes agree that parents know more then doctors, in our case with our daughter we had to pay bulk money to another country recently because aussie doctors refused to help us.

Dana - posted on 10/12/2009

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Christa, your argument would fly IF we were talking about making the parents give their child the Gardasil shot. Otherwise, it's like Diana said, your comparing apples to oranges. I believe in alternative medicine but I DON'T think drinking dandelion tea and mud wraps are going to do it, if it wasn't so sad I would be laughing right now.

[deleted account]

Quoting Christa:

Diana, my last comment wasn't specifically directed towards you, just want to clear that up.



=) Ok, thanks. I thought I'd done pretty well at not being rude, and I didn't understand why you blew up.

Jenny - posted on 10/12/2009

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Quoting Christa:

I just think we have to let parents be the parents. Who cares more about your child then you? Nobody.



And we should also let doctors be doctors.

Jenny - posted on 10/12/2009

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Quoting Christa:

I just think we have to let parents be the parents. Who cares more about your child then you? Nobody.



And we should also let doctors be doctors.

Jenny - posted on 10/12/2009

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These parents are demonstrating they care more about their belief system than their children. This is another reason I believe religion is dangerous. You do not have the right to force your beliefs on your children. In this specific case, it is life or death. These parents are negligent and should lose the right to make any medical decisons period as they are clearly not competant.



I know if a doctor told me a 60% chance of survival with treatment my first reaction wouldn't be "No thanks, I'm gonna go with the dandelion and mudpacks. Let's see where that takes us." Children are not our own personal science experiments, parent or not.

[deleted account]

*sigh* Women have the right to do whatever they want *with their own bodies.* At the age of 10, Tamar is a completely separate entity from her parents, and should be treated with enough respect to get the medical care she needs.



Also-I'd like you to tell me how exacly I'm being intolerant. I merely pointed out the fallacy of comparing the swine flu (or any) vaccine to chemotherapy and pointed out that your father was an adult who got to make his own decision.



I do see supporting parents' choices not to treat their children medically and being pro-life as being oxymoronic, because on the one hand you're (and I mean collective you, here, not just singular Christa, you) trying to "save" an unborn child, but on the other you're (again, collective) suggesting that it's ok to refuse blood transfusions, chemotherapy, and other life-saving medical measures on the basis of religion and quite probably condemn a living, breathing child to death. It doesn't make sense to me.

[deleted account]

Quoting Christa:

I just think we have to let parents be the parents. Who cares more about your child then you? Nobody.



While we like to think this is true, it's not neccessarily so.

[deleted account]

Quoting Christa:

Jo I agree with you, I would do anything to save my child. I just don't think we have the right to force our opinions on another parent. We don't even know the whole story in this case, we don't have all the facts that they have. How can we really judge their decision without having all the facts of her specific case in front of us? I know these doctors say that she should take the chemo, but they are biased. In my dads case when he asked his oncologist about natural methods the doctor literally laughed at him. And told him surgery was his best and really only option. Well he did his own research, decided to do the natural way and now he is cancer free AND he still has his prostate and control of his bladder etc. There can be a lot of complications/side effects from some of our modern medicines. Maybe they don't want to risk some of the side effects of the chemo and want to do it naturally so when she beats it she's not left with other lifelong problems because of the medicine. I don't know. I just think we have to let parents be parents unless they are putting their children in direct/obvious harm. Locking a child in a closet and not feeding them, that is neglect and abuse, there is no way to say that you had the child’s best interest at heart when you do that. Treating cancer is not black and white.

If a parent chooses to not vaccinate their child for the swine flu and God forbid they get it and die, should some sort of legal action be taken? Should we all be FORCED to give our child the swine flu vaccine because if they do get it and they die that makes us negligent parents? Where do we draw the line?



You're comparing apples and oranges. With the vaccine, the child does not already have a disease. They may, or may not, contract the disease for which they could be vaccinated. This child, on the other hand, does have a deadly illness, and she has a very good chance of being cured if she is treated with chemo. Swine flu is also not nearly so deadly as cancer-certainly it can be deadly if left totally untreated, but in most cases it is no worse than the seasonal flu. Cancer, on the other hand, is almost certainly fatal without treatment.



I'm glad your father had a good recovery-but he was old enough to make his own choice, and he did so. What we're talking about is adults making the choice not to provide the best medical care possible for children due to religious beliefs. They are endangering their child by refusing to provide the best medical care possible.



What's more sacred than a life? That's always my question when JW (since we've already used them as an example, I'll keep going) say that their body is "corrupted" by introducing blood from another person into their body-but without it, in some cases, they can die. I find it ludicrous for anyone to make this decision, but if the person making said decision is an adult deciding for themselves, I have no right to impose. If, however, they are an adult deciding not to save a child's life then I have to say that enough is enough, and the child should be provided with a medical proxy to help make decisions.



We step into all sorts of other situations and tell parents what to do-this should be no different. Also, as has been mentioned, I cannot fathom being pro-life and still standing by what these people are doing. It's oxymornoic.

?? - posted on 10/12/2009

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Tamar's parents were told she a 60 per cent survival rate if she started chemo immediately. But as devout Christians they believe it is God who will decide Tamar's fate.



They've said no to chemo and have fled to El Salvador where they are treating Tamar with natural remedies including mud wraps and dandelion tea .











You're right that we don't know ALL the facts but based on what is said there... says they are choosing to not do more... By all means get a second, third, fourth even 5th opinion but when a family flee's the country cause they think someone will step in and demand they do more for their child, that says to me they KNOW there are more, better options and are choosing to not take advantage of them...

?? - posted on 10/12/2009

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Why not use Chemo AND the natural methods too? Then you have the benefits of both and the childs chances go up even more? Then if the child STILL dies or if the child lives then the parents did everything they possibly could to make sure their baby survived cancer.



If the child dies because they didn't give the child ALL POSSIBLE MEANS TO SURVIVE.......... I don't know how anyone - of faith or not - could live with that. Knowing that their decision killed their child........... unforgivable.

Mary - posted on 10/12/2009

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Quoting Jenny:

Well thankfully the laws are saying evidence from trained medical professionals holds more weight than the parent's religious opinion. Parents are not allowed to risk their children's lives because of what they "think" is best for them. I'm sure the children who do survive because of these medically neccessary interventions will be most thankful and will probably grow up to a bit resentful. Religion needs to stay in the church. Babies before beliefs.

BTW I wonder how many JW's put up these fights to save face to the church but are secretely hoping doctors intervene and do the treatment anyway?



Actually, a fair number of Jehovah's Witnesses do, in the end. accept blood to prevent their own death.  It is a difficult, heartbreaking decision for them....and they are almost paranoid about the secrecy of it.  My closest friend works in Shock Trauma; she's says that about half of them do cave and accept blood when told they will die without it.  It must be done with the utmost discretion to prevent their families from finding out (i.e. moving them to a "treatment area" that  does not allow for the surprise visitor to happen along while the transfusion is taking place).  It is a huge ordeal for them...and I have no idea what happens to them with their faith down the road.

Ez - posted on 10/12/2009

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Quoting Christa:

People make decisions for their children everyday that you or I may not think is the best choice for that child, but it's their right as their parent to decide what is best for their child. I look at it from the perspective, what if it was my child. What if I made a decision in the best interest of my child, based off my values and society/the government, stepped in and told me I couldn't do it. You better believe I'd be fleeing too. They are my children and I will raise them as I believe is right.


See this is just not a realistic argument for me. What about parents who believe in FGM (female circumcision)? In those cultures they believe performing this barbaric ritual is in the best interest of their child, based on their values and religious beliefs, but that does not make it acceptable to the rest of the world. Society DOES step in in this case, and so it should.

Jenny - posted on 10/12/2009

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Well thankfully the laws are saying evidence from trained medical professionals holds more weight than the parent's religious opinion. Parents are not allowed to risk their children's lives because of what they "think" is best for them. I'm sure the children who do survive because of these medically neccessary interventions will be most thankful and will probably grow up to a bit resentful. Religion needs to stay in the church. Babies before beliefs.



BTW I wonder how many JW's put up these fights to save face to the church but are secretely hoping doctors intervene and do the treatment anyway?

[deleted account]

I think the thing that gets me is that she has a 60% chance with chemo. That's a big chance. I'd be a little more torn on the issue if she only had, say, a 15% chance of survival or something, but the odds on this are overhwhelming that she'll survive and do well with chemo.



It's awful.



I'm not sure how to step in, but I think someone should...The parents are all but condemning her to death when she has very good survival odds if there is some kind of medical intervention.

Natalie - posted on 10/12/2009

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Quoting Christa:

Like I said they are not letting their child die. They are choosing the best treatment for THEIR child. It's not neglect and it's not abuse. Just because you don't agree with their choice doesn’t make it abuse or neglect. She may live on this treatment, she may die on chemo. We don’t know. It's not even comparable to abortion where the baby WILL die with 100% certainty.

What about parents who allow their children to eat junk and watch TV all day, resulting in a very obese unhealthy child. That child will no doubt die as a result of heart disease or diabetes later in life, unless they can break those habits that their parents set in them. As we all know that is very hard. Should we be interfering there and forcing parents to make their kids healthier? Parents who promote open sexuality are opening their children up to a life of diseases, should we force parents to tell their kids not to have sex until they are married? Parents who refuse to vaccinate could be killing their child of a very preventable disease not to mention the public health risks, should we FORCE parents to vaccinate? There are a million decisions that parents make they may result in their child’s death should we FORCE everyone to raise their children under some government or society decided rules?

I see comments on COM’s almost everyday and I think “man they are screwing up those kids”, but it’s not my place to interfere with another parents raising of their own child. I’m sure you wouldn’t want a religious person dictating how you raise your child so why should a non-religious person dictate how a religious person raises their child?

I'm done with this conversation, I've said my piece.


What my argument is is that it is hypocritical to say you don't want the government interfering with your parenting decisions, then saying that they should be able to interfere with the parenting decisions of others that YOU don't agree with. Anytime the wellbeing of a living child is willfully endangered by the parents, someone needs to be the advocate for that child. That means if a child is visibly unwell and the parent is doing NOTHING about it, yes the government should be able to step in. It doesn't have to be as extreme as you have illustrated, but if a kid is being sexually active and the parents aren't encouraging and enforcing their safety, someone should step in. On vaccines, I hate them, but I got them for my son to avoid future illness. If I had skipped them, it would be my responsibility to get him treatment if he did become sick. There should be rules to enforce our children's safety. Not lots of them, and punishment should be limited to requiring the parent to act according to the rules for at least the first violation (though if they continue to prove to be irresponsible parents, then they shouldn't be parents at all). It is WRONG to neglect your child's wellbeing in the name of religion. It is NEGLECT, it is SELFISH, and it is ABUSE, period.



But you go ahead and bow out like you do every time you're faced with logic. Have fun with your "government for everyone but people who agree with me" stance.

?? - posted on 10/12/2009

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Mud wraps and dandelion tea are not an equal to chemo... if anyone thinks that mud wraps and dandelion tea has the same possible outcome as chemo... they're choosing to be stupid and irresponsible with their childs life.



Maybe if the kid had a cold or a flu.. but Cancer.... common now... common sense anyone?? It's free... why choose to NOT give your child ANY AND ALL possible help? It's about as logical as choosing to cut your legs off while signing up for a marathon.

Jenny - posted on 10/12/2009

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Christa, I thought you were pro life? Does that only apply to embryos?



Denying a blood transfusion is absolutely 100% neglectful. There is no denying that even if you're a believer. They are not choosing the best treatment recommended by the trained experts, they are following a book of dubious origins. It is in the parents self interest, not the interest of what's best for the child. It's dangerous and wrong.



We had a case here in BC recently where 3 sextuplets had to be seized for blood transfusions. One thing I'm trying to find out is if these sextuplets are a result of fertility treatments. http://www.canada.com/topics/news/story.... I would disown my parents forever if they put their religion before my health.



Yes, I do think prarents of severly obese children should be held responsible. Maybe forced to take nutrition classes or something like that? Vaccinations I'm torn about. I grudingly had my children done upon pressure from thier father but I'm not totally convinced they are safe. I felt sick to my stomach getting them done and refused all the extras such as Chicken Pox. There is evidence that supports these issues. There is NO evidence you can pray away an illness. There have been studies done on praying on health issues and it has been found not effective, big surprise.



Bottom line, these parents need to get their priorities in the right order. Hint: children get top spot.

Jenny - posted on 10/12/2009

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Religious freedom does not extend to killing your children period. Their rights are much more important that the parents rights to worship. Which is another point, the children themselves might not even be religious, they are incapable of making that decision at a young age. What if those children turn out to be athiest? Bet they'd be mighty choked at mom and dad for neglecting them to near the point of death for something the kids themselves don't even believe in. Point is there is no such thing as a religious child.



I also am fascinated by "alternative" and Eastern treatments and I too believe they should be use din conjunction with modern medical treatments. I don't support using children as guinea pigs for these treatments though.



And the doctors have their own moral code to follow. The Modern Hippocratic Oath:



I swear to fulfill, to the best of my ability and judgment, this covenant:



I will respect the hard-won scientific gains of those physicians in whose steps I walk, and gladly share such knowledge as is mine with those who are to follow.



I will apply, for the benefit of the sick, all measures [that] are required, avoiding those twin traps of overtreatment and therapeutic nihilism.



I will remember that there is art to medicine as well as science, and that warmth, sympathy, and understanding may outweigh the surgeon's knife or the chemist's drug.



I will not be ashamed to say "I know not," nor will I fail to call in my colleagues when the skills of another are needed for a patient's recovery.



I will respect the privacy of my patients, for their problems are not disclosed to me that the world may know. Most especially must I tread with care in matters of life and death. If it is given me to save a life, all thanks. But it may also be within my power to take a life; this awesome responsibility must be faced with great humbleness and awareness of my own frailty. Above all, I must not play at God.



I will remember that I do not treat a fever chart, a cancerous growth, but a sick human being, whose illness may affect the person's family and economic stability. My responsibility includes these related problems, if I am to care adequately for the sick.



I will prevent disease whenever I can, for prevention is preferable to cure.



I will remember that I remain a member of society, with special obligations to all my fellow human beings, those sound of mind and body as well as the infirm.



If I do not violate this oath, may I enjoy life and art, respected while I live and remembered with affection thereafter. May I always act so as to preserve the finest traditions of my calling and may I long experience the joy of healing those who seek my help.

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