1. SPS Accounts:
    Do you find yourself coming back time after time? Do you appreciate the ongoing hard work to keep this community focused and successful in its mission? Please consider supporting us by upgrading to an SPS Account. Besides the warm and fuzzy feeling that comes from supporting a good cause, you'll also get a significant number of ever-expanding perks and benefits on the site and the forums. Click here to find out more.
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
You are currently viewing Boards o' Magick as a guest, but you can register an account here. Registration is fast, easy and free. Once registered you will have access to search the forums, create and respond to threads, PM other members, upload screenshots and access many other features unavailable to guests.

BoM cultivates a friendly and welcoming atmosphere. We have been aiming for quality over quantity with our forums from their inception, and believe that this distinction is truly tangible and valued by our members. We'd love to have you join us today!

(If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact us. If you've forgotten your username or password, click here.)

Court Orders Parents to Get Medical Treatment for Their Child

Discussion in 'Alley of Dangerous Angles' started by Aldeth the Foppish Idiot, May 15, 2009.

  1. Drew

    Drew Arrogant, contemptible, and obnoxious Adored Veteran

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2005
    Messages:
    3,605
    Media:
    6
    Likes Received:
    190
    Gender:
    Male
    Martaug is absolutely correct, and it is true that some people do die from the Chemo. On the flip side, while chemo and/or radiation is not likely to kill a patient, any form of cancer malignant enough to warrant Chemo or radiation almost certainly will kill the patient without the treatment.

    Well, more than the odds of surviving with Chemo need to be accounted for. A 2:1 chance of survival with Chemo therapy may not look like much, but compared to the 1,000+:1 odds of survival without it?
     
  2. Blades of Vanatar

    Blades of Vanatar Vanatar will rise again Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2008
    Messages:
    4,106
    Likes Received:
    203
    Gender:
    Male

    Alright, i'm tyring(apparently without much success) to reference other situations, not just chemo cases. I'm asking when do we let the courts intrude into our lives? What are the guidelines?

    And i believe Martaug is right about the Chemo, it might save a life, at least temporarily, but the damage it causes in itself is tremendous...
     
  3. Taza

    Taza Weird Modmaker Veteran

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2002
    Messages:
    1,447
    Likes Received:
    25
    Of course not.

    The court makes it's decisions based on best known data.

    The court can order parents to utilize the best known treatments; the court can also force a child to undergo said treatments. The court has no responsibility as long as they weren't malicious. Exactly as it should be.

    Now, adults are perfectly free to refuse treatment and suffer the consequences.

    But a child isn't an adult, and a parent who is willing to kill their child because of superstition should get their child taken away.
     
  4. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

    Joined:
    May 15, 2003
    Messages:
    12,434
    Media:
    46
    Likes Received:
    249
    Gender:
    Male
    I know of several people who have received chemo, and I certainly am well aware of many of the nasty side effects you get from it. (Just about everyone knows someone who has undergone chemo, lost their hair and usually a lot of weight from not being able to eat.) However, this is the first time I've heard that there is actually a statistically relevant chance of the chemo killing you.

    Getting back to BoV - I think I finally get what you're asking. However, there is no easy answer to your question. While I doubt we will see an official law passed, every case sets legal precedent, and a great many court decisions are not based on legislation itself, but rather case law. And I do think these decisions need to be done on a case-by-case basis. There is no one size fits all solution.

    A case like this one is quite easy to decide. While there is no sure thing either way, receiving treatment will most likely save the child's life, whereas refusing treatment will most likely result in the child's death.

    But I don't think you can simply play the odds every time, unless statistics favor one decision overwhlemingly (as was the case in this example). I'm not absolutely certain that a 2:1 ratio would be sufficient to override the parent's wishes, especially when we are at the low end of the scale. If you have a 1% chance of survival without treatment, and a 2% chance of survival with treatment, but the treatment will make you extremely ill so that you may not even be able to enjoy the last few months of your life, I can see a reasoned decision being made to forego the treatment (especially if the patient has undergone several sessions of chemo previously without success). Of course, I can also understand the decision to fight to the end and receive the treatment, because it does increase your odds ever so slightly.

    On the flip side, if the 2:1 odds are a 66% survival rate with treatment, but a 33% survival rate without treatment, I'm much more likely to say the court should order the treatment. It's still a 2:1 ratio, and it's still twice as many people surviving as without treatment, but here the overall percentage chance swings drastically in the patient's favor with treatment.

    And regardless of what decision you make, there will be cases where the patient dies with or without treatment, and there will be cases where the patient survives with or without treatment.
     
  5. NOG (No Other Gods)

    NOG (No Other Gods) Going to church doesn't make you a Christian

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2005
    Messages:
    4,883
    Media:
    8
    Likes Received:
    148
    Gender:
    Male
    Drew, it is you who's making the mistake here. You're lumping together all non-conventional treatments AND the lack of treatment into one statistic. That statistic is not likely to be valid for any single individual type of treatment. It's like saying 70% of people that have metal barrells pointed at them suffer gunshot wounds, so you have every right to attack anyone pointing a metal barrell at you, even if it's the "barrell" of a laser-pointed, before you've even tried to identify it. I know, that's an odd comparison, but it's accurate.

    Blades also brings up a valid point. If the courts have the legal grounds to order medical treatment, what happends in other situations? What if the conventional treatment is surgory that has a 60% likelyhood of success and 40% likelyhood of death, whereas even no treatment whatsoever has a 40% likelyhood of recovery, or at least years of life? The courts would still be ordering the statistically more likely option, but is that a decision they should be making, and why shouldn't they be responsible if the patient dies?

    Taza, you may say the courts aren't responsible, but why not? The parents would be held responsible if their medical choice to refuse treatment lead to the child's death. The doctors would be held responsible if they took the choice out of the parents' hands with false information. Why shouldn't the courts be held responsible if they make the decision? Especially if they do so without seriously investigating the alternative methods. I think a wrongful death suit would have good grounds here.


    Aldeth, death from Chemo is a real possibility in many cases, though it depends on a lot of factors. In many cases, Chemo will be stopped if it isn't working and is harming the patient. Additionally, in many cases, it may not be the Chemo itself that kills the patient, but rather results from anemia and lowered immune systems. Still, I would lay that at the feet of the Chemo. I don't know what the statistical probability of it is, and I imagine it depends heavily on both the patient's individual case and the doctor treating the patient, but it is not a statistical non-entity.
     
  6. Déise

    Déise Both happy and miserable, without the happy part!

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2007
    Messages:
    631
    Likes Received:
    26
    The vast majority of non-conventional treatments are non-treatment, they do nothing. For the tiny handful that do, we don't know that they do. We've no logical reason to use them. If people want to waste their money on crap it might irritate me but that's probably not a reason to stop them. If it makes them 'feel better' the psychological improvements should lead to physical improvements, as circular and annoying as that sounds. That's for stuff like tonics though, there's no way it should be considered an alternative for something like chemotherapy.

    I would trust most judges to do the right thing on a case by case basis, obviously they would be following what the doctors believe to be the right thing in pretty much every case. A court/doctor would only be held responsible if it was later found that they had made a complete **** up based on the information they had, or should have had, available. They're not going to be blamed just because the right treatment didn't work. If it's not clear what to do I'd imagine the patient/parents would get the right to decide.
     
  7. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

    Joined:
    May 15, 2003
    Messages:
    12,434
    Media:
    46
    Likes Received:
    249
    Gender:
    Male
    Exactly - that's what I was talking about earlier when I said that if you want to try an herbal treatment to cure your poison ivy, regrow your hair, or increase the size of your manhood, be my guest, but are you confident enough in the effectiveness of the herbal treatment to bet your life on it?

    Despite NOG's assertions otherwise, if herbal treatments/natural remedies actually showed potential for curing things like cancer, they would be studied and used. But the current evidence shows that they do nothing to treat the disease in question, and we certainly don't know what some of the potential deleterious effects of them are.

    EDIT: The boy is now refusing the court ordered treatment.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2009
  8. Déise

    Déise Both happy and miserable, without the happy part!

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2007
    Messages:
    631
    Likes Received:
    26
    From Arthur Caplan, chair of the medical ethics department at the University of Pennsylvania. I think this sums up pretty much what most have been saying on this thread.
     
  9. martaug Gems: 23/31
    Latest gem: Black Opal


    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2002
    Messages:
    1,710
    Likes Received:
    59
    Not if it(the herb or natural remedy) is non-PC here in the states. Look at the DECADES of scientific study of the medicinal uses of marijuana in other countries compared to here. All test batches have to come from the University of Mississippi (which is a very low-end batch at 6-8% potency) & when the studies produce any good data they are cut off from receiving any further marijuana from the university.
    Whereas, in canada, they regularly produce crops with potencies reaching 25%.
    Saw a show on discovery the other nght, with a guy from canada that makes cannabis butter(at like 25-30% potency), he said after 1 cookie the patients are already feeling better. Just ask almost any chemo patient if they weren't helped by the use of marijuana, it helps with their pain, nausea, lack of an appetite, depression & numerous other symptoms.
    Who knows how many other natural plants could help as much but it is a no-no to test them as that would challenge the current regimen.
     
  10. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

    Joined:
    May 15, 2003
    Messages:
    12,434
    Media:
    46
    Likes Received:
    249
    Gender:
    Male
    And which absolutely does not cure the cancer. If they took marijuana and it makes them feel better, that's great (and I have no problem with medical uses of marijuana), but the marijuana would not cure cancer, which is what my point was.

    Also I doubt that medical uses of marijuana fall under the "herbal remedies" category, as there actually HAS been testing done on them, which is why you and I both know that it is effective. Most of these other alternative treatments have nothing to back them up.
     
  11. martaug Gems: 23/31
    Latest gem: Black Opal


    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2002
    Messages:
    1,710
    Likes Received:
    59
    Oh sorry Aldeth, i wasn't trying to say that it would cure cancer just that if a natural herb or remedy could that it wouldn't be tested just because of it's origins.

    The "If it wasn't created in a lab it must be no good" idea.

    Yes there has been studies done on marijuana, in other countries, but trying to get our FDA to recognise the legitimacy of them is another.
    The old "Nope, Nope, just another illegal drug people use to get high. No medical value whatsoever" mindset.
     
  12. Drew

    Drew Arrogant, contemptible, and obnoxious Adored Veteran

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2005
    Messages:
    3,605
    Media:
    6
    Likes Received:
    190
    Gender:
    Male
    Martaug, I feel compelled to point out that all medicine is, in fact, derived from natural sources. Morphine s derived from Opium, Amoxicillin is derived from bacteria, and the FDA does recognize the medicinal benefits of marijuana. That's why Marinol (the active ingredient in marijuana -- derived from the same source, except without its undesirable attributes) is manufactured and prescribed.
     
  13. martaug Gems: 23/31
    Latest gem: Black Opal


    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2002
    Messages:
    1,710
    Likes Received:
    59
    Yes, drew but i'm pretty sure you understood what i meant.:)

    Marinol & Dronabinol lack some(& in some cases many) of the beneficial properties of marijuana. Also marinol has been linked to more intense psychoactive effects than marijuana.
    The main problem with these drugs is that they are(usually) oral doses, with many recipients unable to keep the medication down due to nausea.
    Taken by vaporization(medically safer & cleaner than smoking) the effects can be felt in bare minutes as opposed to an hour for the oral drugs.

    Oh, and for the record, i don't smoke it(yes i did as a teenager:thumb:).

    However, i have known many that do & have seen the effects on several friends that have &/or had serious diseases(cancer & MS).
    The sheer physical relief you can see in them after the marijuana takes effect is nothing short of miraculous. You see someone go from heaving their guts up, to being able to sit in comfort & actually drink some water & have an appetite.
    Sorry for getting preachy, back to the discussion.:tobattle:
     
  14. countduckula Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2008
    Messages:
    165
    Media:
    14
    Likes Received:
    16
    False.


    By the way, what happened to all that "My body, my choice!" claptrap that pro-abortionists are always citing? If the child doesn't want to undergo invasive medical treatment that will cause severe side effects, what right does anyone have to force him to do so?

    What if the State felt it was in the best interests of a child to have an abortion, but she didn't want to? Would you find it ethical and proper to physically restrain her and suck the fetus out with a vacuum against her will? What is this, Communist China?
     
  15. NOG (No Other Gods)

    NOG (No Other Gods) Going to church doesn't make you a Christian

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2005
    Messages:
    4,883
    Media:
    8
    Likes Received:
    148
    Gender:
    Male
    This is why study is necessary. This is why I like that the judge ordered further testing to monitor the child's condition. We don't know if this alternative treatment is anything or not, which makes it just as possible that this is a legitimate treatment as it is that this is bunk. And again, in the US at least, the medical establishment has, in several cases, blatantly refused to educate itself on the proven benefits of alternative medicines. They're too elitist, too established. Hell, most of them don't even know much about pain management using their own established treatments. If you want to manage your pain, even from a curable condition (i.e. while you're recovering), a hospice worker would be a better person to talk to than a doctor.

    This raises the question, why don't you just give the doctor that authority? If the judge is going to base his decision off the doctors, and if that is right and appropriate, why not just bypass the judge altogether and let the doctor decide? The reason is that we give parents that authority, and with good cause. It is assumed (and usually rightly) that parents have the best interests of the child at heart and, no matter what the ideal may be, a judge or a doctor are never going to have the same relationship, the same responsability. A court should have to prove that the parents are unfit as parents before side-stepping their decisions and authority.

    Now this article is rather telling. First off, it seems that, at some point, the courts did suspend the parents' parental rights (though I get the impression that wasn't until after the mother and child had fled), that it was for religious reasons they were refusing treatment (and stupid ones from what I can tell; if any treatment does work it will be because it is toxic), and that the mother and child are now fleeing a legitimate court order (no matter whether I disagree with it or not, it is legitimate).

    But the point is that research has been, at best, stalled and heavily restricted here in the US because it is taboo. Even proven benefits aren't being used, even in life-or-death situations.

    No, actually, true, and neccessarily so since man cannot create matter. Everything has to come from somewhere, and all of it ultimately comes from somewhere natural. Even radiation therapy uses "natural radiation" (i.e. we don't make our own uranium or whatever).

    This is all part of the legal oxymoron that is American Civil Justice. All too often, actual logic and, in some cases, the law itself, are bypassed for the socially accepted result.
     
  16. T2Bruno

    T2Bruno The only source of knowledge is experience Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2004
    Messages:
    9,744
    Media:
    15
    Likes Received:
    437
    Gender:
    Male
    ... in unrelated news the boy and his mother are on the run (actually happened a few days ago).
     
  17. countduckula Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2008
    Messages:
    165
    Media:
    14
    Likes Received:
    16
    They can convert basic chemicals into synthetic molecules and substances that aren't found in living beings, though. Note that in pharmacology, a natural products is "...a chemical compound or substance produced by a living organism - found in nature that usually has a pharmacological or biological activity for use in pharmaceutical drug discovery and drug design. A natural product can be considered as such even if it can be prepared by total synthesis."

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_product

    Many drugs are derivatives of natural products, but not all. There are other ways that drugs have been rationally designed, such as CoMFA (Comparative molecular field analysis), where a library of random molecules is generated and docked at the target site. Each molecule is assessed and it is determined which features grant it pharmacological activity, and then these features are used to synthesise a drug molecule.

    Usually I wouldn't be on Drew's case for such a minor factual error, but it is my field of study, soooo...
     
  18. Taza

    Taza Weird Modmaker Veteran

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2002
    Messages:
    1,447
    Likes Received:
    25
    If a thirteen year old child didn't want an abortion but there was a 90% chance she'd die if she didn't get one - I'd side with the court if they forced an abortion.
     
  19. Shoshino

    Shoshino Irritant Veteran

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2001
    Messages:
    2,086
    Media:
    66
    Likes Received:
    79
    Gender:
    Male
    I guess this will always come back to "is it right to force someone to live?"

    I say, no
     
  20. Déise

    Déise Both happy and miserable, without the happy part!

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2007
    Messages:
    631
    Likes Received:
    26
    I saw an example of a herbal remedy being found to work on another forum, St John's Wort. I knew I had seen one before. This was an old 'medicine' that has since been found in proper trials to have beneficial health effects.

    The point is that alternative methods should have to undergo the same standard of tests that conventional methods do. You do realise you're suggesting using a 13 year old kid as a guinea pig instead of using a cure we know works? A conventional method would have to go through years of research in a lab before moving onto large scale clinical trials with consenting adults. There's no way you'd start your testing on a single child.


    Yes, the default is to give the authority to the parents. Hence why the judge is asked to supervise the decision of the doctors'. In this specific case though, the actions of the parents are 90% likely to lead to the death of the child. How more unfit can you get? I don't believe that they are 'bad' people, just seriously misguided in this case. And whatever their convictions, when they've this many respected people telling them they're wrong they should almost certainly accept that it is them that is wrong. The news that they've fled is real worrying, you'd have to fear for the kid.

    I'm not sure I'd agree that the reasons why the billion dollar big pharma industry the world over doesn't look into alternative treatments is because they are 'taboo.' If they thought they could make a buck they'd jump at it. I'd guess that the ratio of real/hokum for alternative treatments is too high to make it a worthwhile avenue for exploring treatments. Their money (ultimately society's resources) are better used following up known leads that we have.
     
Sorcerer's Place is a project run entirely by fans and for fans. Maintaining Sorcerer's Place and a stable environment for all our hosted sites requires a substantial amount of our time and funds on a regular basis, so please consider supporting us to keep the site up & running smoothly. Thank you!

Sorcerers.net is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to products on amazon.com, amazon.ca and amazon.co.uk. Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates.