Ramblings of Silver Blue


15 Jul

Obsession.

This rant’s been building in my head for a while.

When did we, as a people, become so obsessed with life prolongation that we decided to damn the individual?

I’m not just talking about Terry Schaivo here, folks. Granted, none of us want to die before our time — if we did, there’s a way of handling that.

I first started noticing it with Dr. Jack Kevorkian being charged after assisting those with terminal illnesses to die with dignity. The government would not stop until they locked up him for the rest of his life. After all, he was preventing insurance companies (and medical specialists) the way to make profits from having to deal with terminally ill patients. Damn the patient, we just want them to be around longer.

What set me off, however, was when I read about 15-year-old Abraham Cherrix who refused chemotherapy treatment for his cancer. Says the article:

Fifteen-year-old Abraham Starchild Cherrix never intended to challenge the medical establishment when he refused chemotherapy earlier this year.

He simply believed the treatment was poisoning him, rather than saving him from Hodgkin’s disease. What he wanted was a more natural approach, which he sought through an alternative treatment clinic in Tijuana, Mexico.

That decision has led to a courtroom battle, accusations of parental neglect and the possibility of being removed from his Chincoteague home.

A judge earlier this week ordered Abraham to receive diagnostic tests to determine the status of his disease. On Friday, though, the tall, lanky boy refused to abide by the order. After showing up at Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters in a crisp white shirt and blue tie, he rejected the test.

“I think my body has taken enough, and it shouldn’t have to take any more,” he said.

Abraham’s case has brought into public view some difficult questions: What are parents’ – and more expressly, children’s – rights in choosing medical treatment? When is alternative medicine helpful or harmful? And who has the right to intervene when the answers to such questions are in dispute.

Why is the government stepping in here? It’s not like Abraham’s parents are neglecting him, abusing him, or anything of the like. Let’s look at it this way: if Abraham, at 15, were to go and murder someone, he would be tried as an adult, not a child. He went through he first round of chemo, and decided to not do a second round because of the effects. However, the courts have decided he’s a child, not an adult in this situation.

Abraham (and his parents) know the consequences of chemo, and the consequences of not taking chemo. Abraham is of an age that he knows either action or inaction could potentially kill him.

I raise the question that if chemotherapy is considered “treatment for cancer”, why, then, do some major insurance companies still consider it “experimental treatement”? When my grandmother had to have chemo for non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, the family had to do battle head-to-head with the insurance company that this wasn’t “experimental treatment”. Finally, after a long battle they paid for the treatment. But it was an unnecessary (IMHO) waste of effort — if the courts are going to go around making their own determination what is best for the patient, then what is the use of the insurance company or the fact that you could get a second opinion from another doctor? Are we headed to where all medical diagnosis and treatment will be issued from one main “think-tank” who have been brainwashed into all behaving the same way?

All in the name of longevity?

We have become such a germophobic society with antibacterial soap, gel, detergent, wipes, phone cases, and I’m not kidding here, an antibacterial pen that kills bacteria from other people’s hands when they write with it. Children are pushed harder and faster to “make mommy and daddy proud” — at the cost of not allowing them to play outside or get dirty or the like. It’s soccer, football, baseball, cheerleading, etc. from the time the kid can walk, practically.

The results? Kids are becoming less germ resistant.

Adults are too. Have the sniffles? We have a drug for that. Have a cold? Use this medicine and be well three days faster! And on, and on, and on.

The natural body resistance, as well as that resistance which is created as the body fights off a cold, is destroyed. Remember, if you don’t use it, you lose it.

But is the government soon going to be saying “all those with runny noses must use Zycam or face jail time?”

It certainly is beginning to appear that way. It’s a slippery slope that we shouldn’t start down. We need to make our voices be heard now, before it’s too late.

2 Responses to “Obsession.”

  1. 1
    Fritz Says:

    You know, my dad has had cancer three times. He’s undergone chemo multiple times and he now says that he’ll never do it again. He’d rather let nature take its course. I’ll support him in any decision he makes in that regard. BUT MY DAD IS 72!

    If my dad were being ripped off by a phony Mexican clinic who charged him thousands of dollars for cranberry juice enemas and pills made out of ground apricot pits, that would also be different.

    Abraham is only 15. He’s not mature or educated enough to make a decision like this. I saw his father being interviewed on TV about the “treatments” his son is getting at that Mexican clinic. He sounded like someone with false hopes and — sadly — a very low IQ.

    If Abraham and his parents had actually determined that the chemo wasn’t worth it and could admit that the Mexican “herbs” are a one-in-a-million long shot, that would be one thing. These parents have been sold a bill of goods by con artists who will 1) take all their money and 2) kill their child.

    That’s child neglect AND stupidity.

  2. 2
    Silver Blue Says:

    On this one, we’ll have to disagree. Abraham may only be 15, but if he shot someone, stabbed them, raped, them, etc., he wouldn’t be considered “not mature or educated enough” to not be tried and convicted as an adult.

    Just because someone sounds as if they have “a very low IQ” doesn’t necessarily mean they do — the question I posed, and still pose, is when do people quit having say over their own lives and what medical treatment they will or will not have?

    Take PoloRandy. He underwent gamma knife surgery, chemo and radiation for medulloblastoma. He was 38 at the time. He’s 45 now, and has stated that if it comes back, he will NOT undergo treatment again. It was that traumatic. Does that mean that the government or the courts should step in and force him to take treatment? After all, he has (according to latest census records) a good 30 years of productivity that will add to the tax base.

    I have an aunt that underwent chemo for breast cancer. She’s 56. Again, she said she’d never go through it again.

    I don’t think the government belongs in people’s medical lives. If this were a child under the age of 10, then yes, I agree — they’re too young to think of the implications. But this young man has made his decision. I just think the courts should leave him be.

    After all, when the enemy is within (as I refer to cancer), it’s not as if the parents or guardians have done anything to provoke or create it. Unless, of course, they choose to reside in Chernobyl.

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