Respectful Insolence

Yesterday, I wrote about Daniel Hauser, a 13-year-old boy with Hodgkin’s lymphoma who, with the support of his parents, has refused conventional therapy for his cancer, which would normally consist of chemotherapy and radiation. Given his stage and type of tumor, he could normally expect at least an 85% chance of surviving and perhaps even greater than 90%, wherea without therapy he is certain to die of his disease, barring a rare spontaneous remission. The reason given by his Daniel and his mother Colleen is that they belong to a highly dubious-sounding American Indian religion called Nemenhah, which is led by Philip “Cloudpiler” Landis, a white man who claims to be a naturopath and Native American “healer” peddling “cures” for AIDS and cancer. I originally described this as yet another case of irrational religious beliefs that reject science deluding another unfortunate child. Indeed, recently I learned that Chief Cloudpiler was also involved in the case of Chad Jessop, a 17-year-old who refused conventional treatment for melanoma. Indeed, he even commented on a blog I referenced about the case.

However, readers referred me to a story that makes me wonder if religion played such a huge role in Daniel Hauser’s refusal of chemotherapy after all. Actually, as I wrote yesterday’s post, I had contemplated that this might be the case as well. What made me think that is the fact that Daniel’s mother allowed him to undergo one round of chemotherapy right after his diagnosis. It was only after Daniel had a rough time with the chemotherapy that suddenly he started refusing to undergo any more chemotherapy. Add to that this bit of personal history, and the story becomes more complex, as one of Daniel’s doctors testified:

Joyce said during his testimony that Daniel’s diagnosis was not the same as Daniel’s aunt’s, who died after having chemotherapy.

Apparently this happened when Daniel was only 5. And then there’s the testimony of Shiree Oliver guardian ad litem:

Oliver said she thinks Daniel’s fear is caused by his aunt’s death and said she would recommend he see a counselor.

Oliver said she doesn’t fully understand the Nemenhah’s religious beliefs and doesn’t believe Daniel Hauser fully understands his religious beliefs or has the capacity to make decisions on his medical care by himself.

I would argue that such is true for the vast majority of 13-year-olds.

Then consider this. I have discussed now three children who have rejected chemotherapy or whose parents rejected chemotherapy for cancer. Daniel Hauser is only the most recent of them. Two of them may be familiar, and I alluded to them before: Katie Wernecke and Abraham Cherrix, the latter of whom was a frequent topic of this blog. Both of them had lymphoma. But not just any lymphoma. Hodgkin’s lymphoma. While Katie Wernecke’s parents refused radiation after a course of chemotherapy, Abraham Cherrix is much more like Daniel in that he refused further chemotherapy after having a rough time with his initial course. What all of these children (and parents) have in common is that they agreed to conventional treatment initially and then balked when they saw how difficult it was. And, make no mistake, I don’t minimize how bad chemotherapy for lymphoma can be. Despite advances over the last 30 years that have produced both treatments that are less toxic and better supportive and anti-emetic therapies, it’s still no walk in the park, and it’s even harder for a child to understand why enduring it is necessary. All the child knows is that he feels lousy, that the drugs are causing it, and that he feels better during the breaks between therapy. The parents, loving their child, see him suffering and complaining about it, but are unable to relieve it. They can only watch, hurting as they see their child hurt.

Is it any wonder that a child would do anything to make the awful feelings stop? Is it any wonder that some parents would latch on to any excuse they can find to make their child feel better while at the same time convincing themselves that they’re still treating the child’s cancer? Is it really that surprising that what some parents latch onto is a delusion, be it “alternative medicine” or religion? Is any more surprising that they would gravitate to a religious set of beliefs that seems to validate their rejection of conventional medicine and at the same time tell them that everything will be OK?

I don’t know about you, but I don’t think it’s surprising at all. Using religion to justify irrational choices is not limited to just medicine.

There’s also another factor at play here. It’s one that’s always puzzled me. For some reason, chemotherapy holds a particular horror for most people. Many operations are arguably as painful and difficult to recover from as chemotherapy; yet patients rarely refuse surgery. Comparatively speaking, they often refuse chemotherapy, at least in my experience. Indeed, remember when I wrote about cancer cure testimonials? I pointed out how, in many cases, the people making these testimonials accepted surgery for their tumors but rejected chemotherapy in favor of their favorite woo. Naturally, they attribute their survival to the woo instead of the surgery. The reason such “testimonials” are convincing is because, for most solid tumors that haven’t metastasized, surgical extirpation is the primary therapy (exceptions include anal cancer and testicular cancer), and chemotherapy is given in order to decrease the risk of recurrence. Let me repeat that: To decrease the risk of recurrence. What that means is that it’s quite possible to be “cured” by surgery alone, particularly for common tumors like breast or colon cancer. Refusing chemotherapy may make cure less likely, but chemotherapy isn’t absolutely essential to a cure occurring. The same is true of radiation. Most people don’t understand that; so the testimonials for the woo sound convincing: “I refused chemo and I’m still alive.” Of course, those who are no longer alive don’t give testimonials.

Unfortunately for Daniel, the primary treatment for Hodgkin’s lymphoma is not surgery. Indeed, surgery has a very limited role in Hodgkin’s lymphoma these days, mainly for diagnosis in the form of biopsies. Rather, the primary treatment for Hodgkin’s lymphoma consists of chemotherapy and radiation. Rejecting them is rejecting any reasonable chance at cure.

Another aspect of the fear of chemotherapy may well be how much it is associated with death from cancer in people’s minds. As cancer patients get sicker and chemotherapy begins to fail, the cancer starts to take its toll. Dying cancer patients frequently take on the cachectic look of a starving concentration camp survivor as the cancer does its evil work. To the average person, it may well appear more as though it’s the chemotherapy that’s making the patient sicker more than it is the tumor. Then the patient dies, and the linkage between chemotherapy and a horrible death is sealed in the mind of the family. It is an linkage that the “alternative” medicine cancer industry tries very hard to reinforce, as it offers “natural” medicines that supposedly cure cancer with no risk and no suffering. Would it were true! If it were, I would be totally on board using these “natural” therapies. But, sadly, whenever one looks at such claims more critically, they virtually always turn out to be without foundation or justification in science and clinical trials.

It’s not as if I’m oblivious to the fear of chemotherapy. Let’s face it. Chemotherapy is poison, and people are correctly afraid of poison. (Look for some woo-meister to quote-mine that sentence.) Chemotherapy poisons cancer cells, and the reason it can treat cancer is because it poisons the cancer cells more than it poisons normal cells. And radiation therapy does “burn.” It’s just that, the way it’s given, it’s more toxic to cancer cells than it is to the surrounding tissue, and that differential toxicity can be increased by administering it in numerous small fractions over several weeks. Be that as it may, older chemotherapy regimens could be very toxic indeed, and death due to immunosuppression and infection is a possible complication of even some of today’s chemotherapy regimens. What has to be considered is the risk of the chemotherapy versus the risk of death from cancer. In the case of metastatic cancer, the risk-benefit ratio to be considered is the risk of complications from the chemotherapy versus the relief of symptoms due to the cancer and the prolongation of life. Either way, it’s a tradeoff, with death looming in the background and some degree of suffering unavoidable. Worse, scientific medicine can’t promise what patients and parents want most: That everything will be OK. All it can give is percentages, which do not satisfy. And we all know that chemotherapy doesn’t always work; patients all too often die of their cancer anyway.

Religious quackery–or even non-religious quackery–doesn’t acknowledge that tradeoff. It promises the cure of deadly diseases with no risks and no suffering. I ask again: Is it any wonder that fearful parents or patients might seek solace in such irrational belief systems that tell them their child will be cured of a fatal disease with no suffering if they follow a “natural” therapy? Remember, Daniel’s mother testified that she believed that the “alternative” therapies Daniel was pursuing will result in a “100%” chance of Daniel’s surviving.

The more I think about this case, the more it seems to me that the specter of Daniel’s aunt is probably driving things and that religion is merely a convenient excuse for a decision that was far more the result of fear of a second round of chemotherapy in the wake of a rough course with the first round. After all, Daniel’s mother agreed to let him undergo chemotherapy at first. What probably happened is that they both freaked out when they saw the complications, echoes of Daniel’s aunt running through their minds, and that this led to their refusal to let Daniel undergo any further chemotherapy. Add to that being a member of a fake religion run by a highly dubious “healer,” and claiming that their religion forbids chemotherapy is a convenient justification to do what they wanted to do anyway regardless of religion. Indeed, apparently one of the lawyers assigned to Daniel says he will no longer acknowledge religion as a justification for Daniel’s decision:

Discussion about that testimony was forbidden by the judge, but an attorney assigned by the court to represent Danny’s best interests emerged from the session with a different perspective.

The lawyer, Thomas Sinas, said he’ll no longer acknowledge “the genuineness of Danny Hauser’s religious beliefs” based on his closed-door testimony. Sinas offered to explain the change, but Judge Rodenberg told him not to.

It’s all very easy to rail against religious ignorance as the cause of this tragic story, as many skeptics are doing (sometimes very heartlessly indeed) and certainly that was my first inclination. Often it’s justified, as in the case of Madeline Neuman, the 11-year-old girl whose parents allowed her to die from diabetic ketoacidosis rather than take her to a doctor because they believed that prayer would cure her. However, in this case, I’ve come to conclude that it’s all very knee-jerk and simplistic. Rather than being the driving cause of an irrational decision to reject curative chemotherapy in favor of quackery, in the case of Danny Hauser, religion appears to be more of an excuse to justify and provide a legal defense for a fear-driven decision in parents predisposed to “alternative” medicine. I’m again left wondering whether, if there had been better support mechanisms for families such as the Hauser family, this whole kerfuffle might have been avoided and Danny would be on his third course of curative chemotherapy right now. I realize that not everyone is reachable, but, given that Daniel’s refusal of chemotherapy appears to be far less driven by religion than I had first thought, perhaps he and his mother would have been more reachable than I had thought.

The legal decision is coming any day now (maybe even later today), and I fear the legal strategy to paint this issue as one of religious freedom rather than of child neglect and endangerment may work.

Orac’s commentary

  1. Another child sacrificing himself on the altar of irrational belief
  2. Daniel Hauser and his rejection of chemotherapy: Is religion the driving force or just a convenient excuse?
  3. Judge John Rodenberg gives chemotherapy refusenik Daniel Hauser a chance to live
  4. Mike Adams brings home the crazy over the Daniel Hauser case
  5. The case of chemotherapy refusenik Daniel Hauser: I was afraid of this
  6. Chemotherapy versus death from cancer
  7. Chemotherapy refusenik Daniel Hauser: On the way to Mexico with his mother?
  8. An astoundingly inaccurate headline about the Daniel Hauser case
  9. Good news for Daniel Hauser!
  10. Daniel Hauser, fundraising, and “health freedom”

Comments

  1. #1 Jud
    May 12, 2009

    I am wondering if (and hoping that) Judge Rodenberg’s refusal to allow testimony about the genuineness of Danny Hauser’s religious beliefs is a hopeful sign. Perhaps it’s the judge’s way of saying “Don’t go there, because it could provide grounds for an appellate court reversal, and we don’t need it anyway.”

  2. #2 Jud
    May 12, 2009

    Oh, about surgery vs. chemo: It’s rampant speculation on my part, but perhaps it has something to do with the dominance of automobiles in modern culture. No, really, hear me out.

    I remember once saying to my father after his quadruple bypass (which was a few years after his double bypass), “You think your body is like a car, and the surgeons are mechanics who’ll fix you right up.” And my dad, who’s a very smart man, said simply, “Yes.”

    When you take your car to a mechanic who installs new parts, you think of your car as “fixed.” Buying stuff yourself to pour into the gas tank is seen as a half-measure of dubious effectiveness, which, at least for cars, it probably is.

    Maybe for lay people who are desperately trying to get a handle on assessing the effectiveness of treatments in complex, unfamiliar situations where life hangs in the balance, the car metaphor is the best they can come up with.

  3. #3 PalMD
    May 12, 2009

    One of your best posts of all time….

  4. #4 DebinOz
    May 12, 2009

    Consider this situation:

    My son was born blind (anophthalmia) with a bilateral cleft lip and palate. He has since been diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome and epilepsy.

    He is now 22, and has had numerous surgeries to correct the clefts, but still needs major surgery to his nose to look relatively ‘normal’, and requires veneers on his malformed teeth.

    His surgeon is giving him the choice as to whether he has a ‘nose job’, (albeit major surgery) in such a way that makes me want to swoon over doctors that deal with ‘kids in crisis’. Without any posturing or domineering, he has convinced my son that surgery for his nose is the best thing for him.

    For this, I am really grateful. I am a scientist (PhD in epidemiology), and a mother. I need and want the medical community to help my child and others like him to live and grow.

  5. #5 Sam C
    May 12, 2009

    I don’t disagree with any of the substance of the post, and I certainly agree that some of the baying “skeptics” have knee-jerk reactions (“aaagh! religion!!”) leading to Instant Outrage.

    But his seems tricky consent-wise. We all (probably) agree that Daniel should make an informed decision. Are the medics taking the view that the only possible informed decision is to take chemo, because he almost certainly won’t live long without it?

    So is “better support mechanisms for the family” a completely honest description, or is it a nice way of saying “browbeat the family until they consent to do what we think they should do”?

    The lad apparently has rational fears of chemotherapy from seeing his aunt. At present, he doesn’t want the chemo. Without it, he’s in trouble.

    So what hoops does he have to jump through to be allowed to continue to say “no, it’s my body, my life, I don’t want it”? Maybe it’s the “wrong” decision, but life is full of opportunities for wrong and deadly decisions: jump off a cliff, torment big dogs, run into busy traffic, point a toy gun at an armed cop.

    I dunno, it’s difficult to know when it’s correct to intervene to protect folk from their bad decisions. And it’s doubly difficult when their decision is a “no thank you”.

    There’s an old legal saying: “hard cases make bad law”. I think that is simply a recognition that there are always grey areas in these decisions. Daniel is in one of them.

    I hope he chooses to live!

  6. #6 Calli Arcale
    May 12, 2009

    Indeed, an excellent post.

    One thing that I’m finding encouraging is the quality of reporting on this story compared to some others. Maybe it’s because it’s here in Minnesota, where we’ve got a strong cultural attachment to modern medicine, what the Mayo Clinic, the headquarters of Medtronic, and so forth. The Strib has a nice and appropriately skeptical piece, which comes to the same conclusion: that this is not a matter of religious conviction, but a matter of using religion as a legal shield for dubious decisions, exploring the background of the “Nemenhah” organization and also mentioning a website run by an Apache which is dedicated to exposing frauds who exploit Native American mystique. He calls these sorts “plastic shamans”.

    One sharp bit from the article: In other words, if Danny’s Internet-purchased regimen doesn’t work, critics say, he will live a tragically short life, but it won’t be because the government interfered with religion. Call it death by multilevel marketing.

    Minneapolis Star-Tribune: A closer look contains hints of sham artist, not a shaman

  7. #7 Orac
    May 12, 2009

    I dunno, it’s difficult to know when it’s correct to intervene to
    protect folk from their bad decisions. And it’s doubly difficult when
    their decision is a “no thank you”.

    As I said in my previous post, as far as I’m concerned a competent adult can refuse treatment for any disease any time he or she wants for any reason he or she wants, as long as he or she understands the consequences, the sole exception being infectious diseases that might cause epidemics, in which case the state has a compelling interest in at least quarantining such people. This is a 13 year old boy and thus is not considered capable of making these sorts of informed decisions. Normally, it is expected that the parents will therefore make such decisions for him, but they are making a decision that will lead to Daniel’s death. Adults may have the right to let themselves die by refusing treatment, but they do not have the right to impose that choice on an underage child, parent or not. In these cases, it is entirely appropriate for the state to step in and try to stop it if it can. Not providing proper medical care to a child is child neglect.

  8. #8 DLC
    May 12, 2009

    The problem with dithering over chemo or not chemo is that by the time you get a diagnosis, the clock has already been ticking. The longer you wait, the worse your chances for a successful outcome.

  9. #9 Bardiac
    May 12, 2009

    In this case and in Cherrix’s case, you mention that both went through chemo. In Cherrix’s case, I seem to recall that he went through a whole course of treatment, and that it was unsuccessful; and then he rejected going through another course (different?).

    Is there a lower chance of recovery if the first course fails? What does that look like compared to the relatively high recovery rates you cite earlier? I guess I’m wondering if there’s a balancing point where it might be reasonable to choose not to undergo further chemo because the probability of recovery is so low and the probability of suffering during chemo quite high?

  10. #10 Micki
    May 12, 2009

    No one knows the full story of the involvement this family has with this religious group, just that they follow the beliefs. This family is trying to do what they feel is right for their child and trying to defend themselves using any legal argument they can. Big medicine, big pharma, and big government has everyone else brainwashed to believe that the allopathic way and model of current times is the only way. Four years ago, I watched my father-in-law die from chemo and radiation. I spent a lot of time on the “internet” researching alternative cancer treatments. And I am glad I did. I myself was diagnosed with breast cancer almost two years ago and I am undergoing an alternative natural treatment based on nutrition, a diet of organic and unprocessed foods and an herbal tonic called Hoxsey. I go to Tijuana, Mexico every six months for the Hoxsey tonic. Harry Hoxsey was in the US for many years treating thousands of cancer patients with an almost 80% success rate. He, at one time had the largest cancer clinic in the US in Houston Texas. He, like many others, was ran out of the US by the AMA and the FDA. I am an employee of a major medical establishment in SE Minnesota and they were not very happy with me when I said I was going to go to Mexico. The good news is, I am cancer free and feel the greatest I have in my life! So all of you people who want a pill for every ill and do not want to be responsible for what goes into your body and causes your disease, step up and take the poison and stand in line to be sliced and burned when you get cancer.

  11. #11 wheatdogg
    May 12, 2009

    First of all, thanks for the link to my blog, Orac. I am honored.

    I also agree with the gist of your post. I have seen what chemo can do to otherwise robust adults. I can only imagine what it does to 13-year-olds, and to their parents. I am unclear at what point the Hausers decided to join the Nemenhah organization. Maybe, as you suggest, they found it while doing medical research on the Internet and liked what they read. The Nemenhah only sells its “medicinals” to paid members (aka “spiritual adoptees”), so the Hausers had to join in order to buy the stuff.

    The NU Journal article you link to mentions devices patented in the 1920s, but does not go into details. I wonder if those are the “purple ray” devices popular back around then. (A variety of tesla coil, btw) Apparently the Hausers were using them on Daniel, too. No harm done, but no benefits either.

    What burns me most about this case is the sketchy background of the “elders” of the Nemenhah and their misappropriation of Native American culture and beliefs to try to evade federal laws and regulations. One elder (Landis) was involved in some dubious enterprise to raise reishi mushrooms for altmed cures. Another (Mooney, who commented on my blog) was the focus of a peyote use criminal case in Utah. As near as I can tell, their Native American-ness is about as authentic as a $3 bill. One blogger calls them “pinkskins,” New Age wannabe Indians.

    Like I say in my blog post, the Hausers seem like nice folks, who are scared and certainly misguided. They’ve been duped by charlatans, and the ultimate victim of this whole fiasco is their son, Daniel.

    I can only hope the judge in this case errs on the side of saving a child’s life, and rejects the specious “Native American religion” argument.

  12. #12 sff
    May 12, 2009

    @Jud: I think that is a factor: if not the car metaphor specifically, people think of surgery as “going in and fixing it.” Also, it’s easy to understand what cancer surgeries are: they physically cut out the tumor. There’s a lot more misunderstanding and fear around the nasty chemotherapeutics.

    Also, the effects they have really *are* pretty awful, though it’s often hard to know what’s the cancer and what’s the chemo.

  13. #13 Courtney the Brave
    May 12, 2009

    Micki-
    It is your choice to either accept or reject science based treatment, your body your decision. But there is a child’s life in the mix here and it is the entire society’s responsibility to assure that he gets the treatment that will allow him to keep on living and be able to grow up to be an adult. Science and rigid testing has shown that the way to do that is through chemo/radiation. If you think that your tonic will cure cancer then you need to do the same rigid testing on it and get it put into the standard regimen. Until you do that then it is irresponsible to allow children to be given it in lieu of proven treatment.

  14. #14 Dave
    May 12, 2009

    I wonder if the difference between the acceptance of surgery versus chemo is simply the delivery. By that, I mean that chemotherapy is an ongoing thing — you have to go back for multiple treatments, for many weeks, each of which may make you feel sick as a dog.

    Surgery, by contrast, is (often) a one-time thing. Sure, you may have a nasty recovery from it, but they’re not sending you back into the operating room every week for months.

  15. #15 Joseph C.
    May 12, 2009

    I go to Tijuana, Mexico every six months for the Hoxsey tonic.

    Ah yes, Tijuana. Who needs Mayo or Johns Hopkins when you have glorious TJ? Where else can you get your cancer cured, hire the services of several bargain prostitutes, and get the worst case of Montezuma’s revenge all in the same fun-filled weekend?

    Here are some photos of a competing clinic down there:

    http://www.ratbags.com/rsoles/comment/clark08.htm

    Really palatial, high end joint. The finest facilities.

    You’ve been conned. Badly. I just hope that you don’t learn this the hard way.

  16. #16 DVMKurmes
    May 12, 2009

    Unfortunately claiming religious reasons is a very common tactic for many native american groups to use to try to get what they want in court. Here in Arizona, there are a couple of prominent lawsuits going on in which native americans are using religious claims as their main arguments. They seem to expect the argument to end the second they claim something is “sacred”. It has even had a stifling effect on the teaching of certain scientific topics in the public schools, and to my eyes seems similar to christian creationist tactics.

  17. #17 MC Pickard
    May 12, 2009

    Thanks for the different take on this case (and the link to my blog). It gives me something to think about and reconsider my position.

  18. #18 jen
    May 12, 2009

    So what hoops does he have to jump through to be allowed to continue to say “no, it’s my body, my life, I don’t want it”? Maybe it’s the “wrong” decision, but life is full of opportunities for wrong and deadly decisions: jump off a cliff, torment big dogs, run into busy traffic, point a toy gun at an armed cop.

    But is it an informed decision when he thinks that he has a 100% chance of surviving without the chemo?

    I understand your point that a person (certainly an adult) ought to be able to say “the costs of survival are high enough that I chose not to take that path”. And I agree that a person should have that choice.

    But this isn’t someone saying “dignified death is better than this treatment”. This is someone saying “The docs say I have a better than 80% chance of surviving if I take their treatment, but this guy over here guarantees I will survive if I forgo the treatment and pray hard enough. And the medical treatment scares me enough that I want to believe him.” That doesn’t sound like such an informed choice to me, especially when he’s so young.

  19. #19 Epinephrine
    May 12, 2009

    Micki:

    There is no such thing as “alternative” medicine, a fact made abundantly clear here many times. There is medicine, and non-medicine.

    I myself was diagnosed with breast cancer almost two years ago

    What kind of diagnosis? Was it simply feeling a lump? Orac has written numerous times about breast cancer and woo, and the fact that many “cancer” patients who are “successfully treated” with quackery either were never actually diagnosed with cancer, or had a surgery to remove the cancer, and then attribute their positive outcome to the herbs/reiki/quantum healing crap they followed, ignorant of the fact that the surgery was the effective treatment.

    Do yourself a favour and see a real doctor; if you truly are cancer free, great, but you shouldn’t place your faith in something with as poor a track record as miracle tonics. If they truly worked that well they’d be the first line of therapy. That’s the way medicine works, you see: the “tonic” would be tried, shown to be effective, and then very quickly adopted as a treatment.

  20. #20 joemac53
    May 12, 2009

    I had colon cancer 5 years ago, had surgery, then 7 months of chemo (4 weeks on, 2 weeks off). I was 50 and had no illusions about how I was going to feel. I wanted to show my family that I was not suffering unduly so they would not worry. I may be the only person who gained weight during chemo because my wife is such a good cook (even though everything tasted like zinc).
    I tried to be a cheerleader for those who suffered more than I did, and held a lot of hands, most of whom survived.
    I appreciate your posts, as they give me ammunition to present to my (otherwise) intelligent relatives who find reason to downplay science and turn to woo.

  21. #21 Michael Simpson
    May 12, 2009

    Micki’s comments have most of the hallmarks of pseudoscience, everything from a conspiracy to secrecy to anecdotes.

    One thing that always drives me crazy about the conspiracy theorists amongst the CAM/Woo crowd is that if they think that Big Pharma is only concerned about profits (I would say it’s a big strategic issue), wouldn’t they do everything they could to get these secret treatments? I mean if there’s a wonderful cure available in Tijuana, I’m sure Big Pharma could buy it for a few bucks, and sell it for billions in the US.

    It’s kind of ironic that these anti-science nutjobs believe that Big Pharma is intelligently evil on one hand, and completely stupid on the other.

    And Micki. Really, you either did not have cancer or you are dying and don’t know it. I’m sure eventually Mayo will have to treat you.

  22. #22 Michael Simpson
    May 12, 2009

    Orac wrote:

    What has to be considered is the risk of the chemotherapy versus the risk of death from cancer.

    Every medication, every procedure has a risk. Real medicine knows this basic fact, and informs the patient appropriately.

    AltMed Woomeisters, on the other hand, almost always state that they are perfect, without risk of side effects (well, homeopaths who are making water potions made of water won’t have any safety issues) and without stating any possibility that they might fail.

    But I guess you’re right. People rather not hear about the negative.

  23. #23 Esther
    May 12, 2009

    I’m not surprised, unfortunately. I work with the ultra-Orthodox Jewish population, and quite a few women in my clinic refuse mammograms and stool occult blood testing on the grounds that “my Rabbi said not to”. Only once, upon inquiry with the particular rabbi and/or other women who follow him (who comply with the recommended cancer screening), have I found that claim to be true.

  24. #24 goatgirl
    May 12, 2009

    You get it. Thank you for that.

    If I were the judge in this case, I would allow Daniel to remain in the custody of his parents. I think this kid has been through enough trauma already and doesn’t need more of it. Thirteen is a very young age to be separated from your family while you’re also dealing with a health crisis.

    But I would also assign a social worker or case manager to monitor the family closely and make sure Daniel is going to all his medical appointments, counseling and whatever else is deemed necessary to give him and the family the support they need to get through this. And I think there’s also going to have to be some pretty intensive case management by the medical team to get the family on board, address their concerns and keep them in the information loop.

    Medicine is not just about science and reason. At the end of the day, it’s also about human beings and about emotions and communication. We ignore this at our peril.

  25. #25 The Crack Emcee
    May 12, 2009

    Nice post, O.

  26. #26 Vance Maverick
    May 12, 2009

    Perhaps the very name “chemotherapy” contributes to the aversion. Nobody wants “chemicals”! (Though “without chemicals, life itself would be impossible”).

  27. #27 Calli Arcale
    May 12, 2009

    DVMKurmes, while you are correct that some genuine native bands have used “religious practices” to get special treatment (though up here at the northern end of the continental US, this has been mostly the only way they can get anything like what they were promised decades ago in the treaties), this case is not one of those. The “Nemenhah band” does not exist. It is not a Native American group. It is a sham. A complete and total lie. It was formed by a bunch of white guys who wanted to sell alt med, and realized that “indian secrets” would sell well — as well as potentially creating legal cover for their activities. It’s a scam all the way through.

  28. #28 Daniel J. Andrews
    May 12, 2009

    That was an excellent insightful post, Orac. Thank you for writing it to counterbalance some of the ignorant-based screeds written by other “skeptics”. You give real skeptics a good name.

  29. #29 Pablo
    May 12, 2009

    While I of course would never wish anyone to have to go through the experience of cancer, either themselves or by loved ones, I will say that having to go through the experience is extremely eye-opening and educational. It helps you to really think about what cancer means, what it does, and what it takes to get rid of it. You think about why doctors use things like radiation and chemo, and you understand more about why these things cause the problems they cause (historically, cancer treatment has been to kill the fastest growing cells, like cancer; unfortunately, other fast growing cells get hit, too, like hair and stomach lining; not coincidentally, serious side effects including hair falling out and nausea). You can learn what is all involved in a bone marrow transplant, and how much of an extreme treatment that is (and you see the results a couple of months later when the patient gets the chicken pox – whoops, what immune system?)

    And you see it all because it saves lives, or at least extends them. Go through this? Or die? Yes, it’s easy to see the treatment rittling the body, but you can’t see the disease eating away the inside.

    Yesterday, he was fine and happy and working. Today, he collapses during his daughter’s birthday party, and dies from pneumonia. He felt fine, but was dying. But it happened 15 years later than it would have had he not had the treatments that beat him down.

  30. #30 aftercancer
    May 12, 2009

    I was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 38. I went through surgery, radiation and 12 rounds of chemotherapy over the course of one year. Here’s the thing about chemo. It’s not fun my any stretch of the imagination but it’s also not what you see in the movies. I worked full time and raised my kids (who at the time were 5 and 18 months) and even went to the movies and to the occasional dinner. I am insanely radical about this case. This young man has no way of making a decision about his life and death at this age and frankly no way of really understanding what it means. Trust me, until you’ve looked at death, really looked at it, it’s not real.

    I don’t know what the legal mechanisms should be but I want to give this kid chemo and lots of it, until he is “cancer free” or in remission. Then he can grow up and hate the government or become a homeopathic doctor if he wants but at least he’ll get to grow up.

  31. #31 Kemist
    May 12, 2009

    Many operations are arguably as painful and difficult to recover from as chemotherapy; yet patients rarely refuse surgery.

    Indeed. I watched (and helped) my friend throught both (she has ovarian cancer).

    In her case, the most difficult thing was recovering from surgery. She would hardly walk (the nurses had to force her). She hated those stockings she had to wear before and for a while after. She hated it when they came to make her do the breathing exercises. Her whole body was disturbed and weak for months.

    On chemo, she was tired, she had pain and weakness in her hands and feet, felt really crappy for about 2-3 days. Then she could go back to work, do yoga, walk.

  32. #32 Kemist
    May 12, 2009

    In this case and in Cherrix’s case, you mention that both went through chemo. In Cherrix’s case, I seem to recall that he went through a whole course of treatment, and that it was unsuccessful; and then he rejected going through another course (different?).

    As I read it, it wasn’t unsuccessful, it was what is called a “partial response”, i.e. the tumor is diminished but not completely gone. In cancer treatment, you can get a complete response (tumor gone, and you’re considered in remission), a partial response (tumor shrunk but still there), a stabilisation (tumor growth has slowed or stopped, but tumor has not shrunk) or no response (tumor continues growing – treatment has no effect).

    An oncologist would never recommend, and would indeed discourage, a chemo course which has previously given no response, ie that as unsuccessful.

  33. #33 Geds
    May 12, 2009

    For whatever it’s worth, and I’m pretty sure that the answer is not much, when I was eight or nine I fell off my bike and hit the pavement. Hard. My parents took me to the emergency room to get stitches, since I was gushing blood out of my chin. The emergency room technician (nurse, PA, I don’t know) said that something looked wrong and asked me if I wanted an x-ray. I was scared out of my mind and said I didn’t.

    A couple days later my mother decided something was really wrong and I needed to get checked. It turned out I had a broken jaw. I told her that they’d offered me one at the hospital, but I’d said no. My mom got pissed. Not at me, but at the people who would simply take the response of a scared boy without even consulting with his parents.

    Cancer, of course, is many, many times worse than a simple broken jaw. It’s just too bad that this poor kid doesn’t have my mother. His fear has to take a back seat to his health, but the best advocate for the child should be the parent.

  34. #34 Jeff Lewis
    May 12, 2009

    May I point out that most people don’t approach the problem the way the author seems to indicate they do. I honestly doubt most people think “Ooo… poison.. I’m scared.” If they did, they wouldn’t go for the first treatment.

    It’s actually much simpler: they go in for the first treatment and end up feeling a LOT worse than they started. That’s a necessary evil of the process and in theory, in the end they’ll feel better – but the up front cost is VERY high.

    This is something a LOT of people don’t get. It’s something that marketing people do because it affects purchasing decisions everywhere (and choice of treatment is a purchasing decision). People are far, far more influenced by up front cost than by long term benefits.

    This is why the vast majority of people buy cheap PCs and why netbooks have taken off. The up front cost of these computers are far lower even if they’re more poorly constructed and have shorter lifespans (which is arguable anyway – but that’s a different discussion).

    In the same way, the up front cost of chemo is huge and scary – it’s painful, it makes you lose your hair, it can cause symptoms *worse* than the illness in the short term.

    THAT is what scares people off.

    With no other options – they turn to whatever hope they can find – no matter how stupid it may seem to us (who are analysing it all far more rationally and logically than the person who is sick will be).

    As for the body as a car question: the body IS a machine. It’s a collection of billions of cells operating semi-autonomously running programs stored on DNA. It’s a massively complex system that uses chemical signalling and one that we simply don’t understand well enough to tinker with – but that will come in time.

    Ironically, the notion of a person as more than a system is a weird holdover from older religious views that even science can’t seem to shake fully – and a view that really is holding medicine back. Once we accept that we really are just a collective pile of cells – we can start looking at problems as *system* problems and fix things by reconstructing optimal configuations rather than seeing the body as indivisible lumps.

  35. #35 Jacob
    May 12, 2009

    Reasoned, rational and compassionate post. There arte seldom easy answers and skeptics are as likely to have knee jerk emotional reactions to the specter of a dying child as a religious person in my experience. I have been responsible for a number of cases like this ending up in front of a judge. Often the parents are looking for someone else to make the decision that is contrary to their strongly held beliefs.

  36. #36 rrt
    May 12, 2009

    Micki:

    I lost three grandparents, an aunt, and a few other loved ones to cancer denial. Every goddamned one of them could have been saved if they hadn’t lied to themselves. I nearly lost my mother to it, but the horror of my aunt’s death tipped the scales, and she got the mammogram. And now I have just learned that my father has been ignoring a melanoma for four months.

    Do you know the rage, fear, and sickness I feel?

    For the sake of everyone you love, GO GET YOURSELF TREATED PROPERLY. NOW.

    Don’t put them through what so many families must endure. Don’t make your daughter sit at your bedside as you utter the most hateful, hurtful things about her in ways only a mother can because the cancer is eating your brain. I would do anything to take that memory from my mother, but I can’t. You still can.

  37. #37 mmackay40
    May 12, 2009

    I loved this quotation from the linked article. It is so telling of the utter vacuity of the alternative medicine practitioners.

    “Shealy said he is not an oncologist or trained in oncology and does not provide cancer treatments, although he treats people who have cancer.”

    He “treats” cancer but does not “provide cancer treatments.” What exactly does he do, then?

  38. #38 DVMKurmes
    May 12, 2009

    Calli Arcade, I understand that this particular group is a sham, it seems to blend in with the spectrum of “real” native beliefs and practice and all the new-age adulterations and scams. I live close to Sedona, and there are all sorts of people there some native, some pretenders, some just plain crazy who cater to the credulous tourists looking for native wisdom. This story illustrates one such case (http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/13/us/13peaks.html)
    One of the tribes involved in this lawsuit uses reclaimed water on their own ski resort on their own sacred mountain.
    My main complaint is that claiming “sacred” or religious reasons as a defense is used far too often, whether it is a legitimate, long held belief or a scam. Here in the southwest, there are dozens of competing worldviews and sacred beliefs. Favoring one is likely to offend another.
    I suppose I am just venting, but I would love to see a rational argument instead of appeals to the sacred.

  39. #39 Rogue Epidemiologist
    May 12, 2009

    All of this talk of faux aboriginal American lore reminds me of three words: Cherokee-hair tampons.

    It’s a shame this kid is so far gone that he’d let himself die for a sham.

  40. #40 happeh
    May 12, 2009

    Orac – “Chemotherapy is poison, and people are correctly afraid of poison. (Look for some woo-meister to quote-mine that sentence.)”

    Telling the truth is the right thing to do, even if some people will give you trouble for it.

  41. #41 rrt
    May 13, 2009

    …ummm…yyyeahhh, that’s why Orac…does it…

  42. #42 Kemist
    May 13, 2009

    People are far, far more influenced by up front cost than by long term benefits.

    So true.

    Just look at how hard it is to get somebody to modify diet or exercise levels to get a better quality of life (and in many cases, a better life expectancy).

    And these nearly cause any suffering at all, just inconvenience and discomfort.

    Accepting a cancer diagnosis and going through treatment without denial takes a lot of will and courage.

  43. #43 JP
    May 13, 2009

    @ happeh

    Yes, Orac is telling the truth. As far as I can tell, he always tells the truth about medicine.

    As for poisons, I refer you to Paracelsus: “All things are poison and nothing is without poison, only the dose permits something not to be poisonous.”

  44. #44 JennyJo
    May 13, 2009

    “Just look at how hard it is to get somebody to modify diet or exercise levels to get a better quality of life (and in many cases, a better life expectancy).

    And these nearly cause any suffering at all, just inconvenience and discomfort.

    Accepting a cancer diagnosis and going through treatment without denial takes a lot of will and courage.”

    Proponents of alternative “medicine” are often telling people that choosing alternative treatments for cancer is actually “taking full responsibility for you own health” and equals choosing “quality over quantity.” Thereby they imply that a long life is by definition without quality and people undergoing conventional treatment are nothing but spineless dopes. This is how people are lulled into thinking that their choices are motivated by their intelligence and powers of discernment, instead of by fear of harsh treatments and short-term thinking.

  45. #45 Dr. P
    May 13, 2009

    Orac – “Chemotherapy is poison, and people are correctly afraid of poison. (Look for some woo-meister to quote-mine that sentence.)”

    Telling the truth is the right thing to do, even if some people will give you trouble for it.

    Posted by: happeh | May 12, 2009 10:04 PM

    Webster’s new definition of irony…..

  46. #46 MartinB
    May 13, 2009

    @aftercancer

    Here’s the thing about chemo. It’s not fun my any stretch of the imagination but it’s also not what you see in the movies.

    Please don’t forget that there are different kinds of chemo, depending on what cancer you have. I had nearly four months of chemo (accoridng to one nurse, it was the harshest chemo they had) and it was quite as bad as in the movies, only more so, because it wasn’t over after 90 minutes. Going to the movies? Out for dinner? I was glad I could manage driving by bus to the hospital, but that was as exhausting as a marathon. So, yes, chemo can be every bit as bad as you always hear.
    However, that was 10 years ago, I’m still alive, healthy again and thank my doctors for saving me. In the end, it was an easy calculation: Loose 4 month to chemo, gain many years of life afterwards.

  47. #47 synapse
    May 13, 2009

    My friend had a bone marrow B-cell lymphoma, and he got chemo for it. The first treatment session was by far the worst- he could barely speak. Several weeks into it, though, he was working and doing many of his normal activities again. He said that his oncologist warned him that the first time would be bad, because the most cells die right after you first introduce the chemo. Would this be true of a second course of treatment versus the first- would a second course be tolerated better? (My friend only needed one course, so I wouldn’t know.) In that case, this kid and his parents are really misguided.

  48. #48 Kemist
    May 13, 2009

    @synapse:

    It depends what he is given, in what dose and in what intervals. There are a lot chemo protocols, and they have different types of side-effects.

    In cases of lymphomas and leukemias, a patient can be given what is called an “induction chemotherapy”, that is an agressive round of (curative) treatment, using sronger drugs or higher doses of the drugs to kill off most of the cancer. What is given afterwards in called “consolidation”, which aims to destroy the remaining cancer cells and/or prolong remission times and decrease chances of relapse.

    Consolidation therapy, being less agressive, is generally better tolerated.

    Depending on the case, it might be that your friend be given a second round of induction therapy (which will be harsh) followed by a consolidation. In that case the second course would ressemble the first. If it is a round of consolidation though, the effects would be milder.

  49. #49 Kemist
    May 13, 2009

    Proponents of alternative “medicine” are often telling people that choosing alternative treatments for cancer is actually “taking full responsibility for you own health” and equals choosing “quality over quantity.”

    And that is a delusion.

    Dying choked by your tumor, or with bones destroyed by it, does not correspond to anybody’s definition of “quality time”.

    I’ve seen an uncle go that way from untreated prostate cancer. At that time, screening was not widely done, and cancer could rarely be detected before in went in bones, by which time it was much too late.

    It was… not pretty. I was very young when it happened, but I was told later that my uncle asked his family to help him die. Some quality time, heh ?

  50. #50 Reuben Ternes
    May 13, 2009

    There’s a wonderful article about how alternative forms of medical treatments might spread even if their efficacy is low. For those interested, I’ve blogged about the article on my site here:

    http://www.apatternedworld.com/2009/04/evolution-education-and-witchcraft.html

  51. #51 Micki
    May 13, 2009

    I can’t believe how ignorant and cruel people are. There are people who do successfully overcome their cancer with diet and alternative therapies. Why would anyone not be happy for that? Probably because there are more people employed by the cancer industry than have cancer. So anyone against alternatives is probably part of that industry. What would happen to the economy if people were “cured” of cancer? The cost of my herbal treatment is $3500.

    Do some research on the history of alternatives so that you can understand both sides. It is much easier to say that everything is quackery than to study the subject and get the facts for yourselves.

    The doctors ignore clinical evidence of success with alternatives, calling it anecdotal. They will have you believe that the scientific studies they have picked and choosen to back them up are the absolute truth. They, the drug companies and the American Cancer Society play the numbers to keep the cash flowing in.

    As a patient and an employee of a major medical destination center, I had the opportunity to have an appointment with an oncologist for an opinion on alternatives. My sister had a friend with colon cancer who successfully treated herself with diet, supplements and juicing. This oncologist worked with her, monitoring her progress. Several years later, he himself got colon cancer and contacted her to see what she did. He couldn’t give me any help, because the law says only a drug can cure a disease. It’s true, the docs don’t want to take their own medicine.

    And by the way, I was diagnosed with a needle biopsy at this wonderful place I work for and underwent a lumpectomy. I did not let them take my lymph nodes. Cancer was later found in the lymph node, I then went to Mexico. I still follow with tests at both facilities. The lymph nodes are clear.

    I can run circles around all you so called “healthy” people. I’ll be having the last laugh. Good luck when you get cancer, one in three will.

  52. #52 Coyote
    May 13, 2009

    The plural of anecdote is not evidence. Try harder.

    Also, look up “spontaneous remission.” \

  53. #53 BB
    May 13, 2009

    @Micki, what’s the alcohol content of the alty meds you ingest?
    I doubt your entire story.

  54. #54 Chris
    May 13, 2009

    Micki:

    The doctors ignore clinical evidence of success with alternatives, calling it anecdotal.

    All you have to do is present the actual real evidence that the “alternatives” are successful more than they fail. For every anecdote of success, there are stories about those who die while trying the alternatives.

    If you search this blog you will find a few, like the one about the Orange Man (in case you did not know, Orac is a cancer doctor, specializing in breast cancer surgery).

    I also remember years and years ago when I used to lurk on the Usenet there was a case of a fellow who documented his attempt to cure his colon cancer through alternative means online. I remember I did read his website, and then his obituary… both are gone. But still remains it the google archive of the announcement of his death on misc.health alternative, Freedom of Choice. Here is some of the posting of that message (Peter Moran is a retired oncologist, he has a website that I believe is called “CancerWatcher”):

    Neil used alternative treatments, and dozens of them, for a rectal cancer. I feel rather sad at his death, as I got to know him quite well through his posts, and corresponded with him on a couple of occasions. I once tried to get him to reconsider surgery.

    … The fact that Neil lived on for three years with only local symptoms such as pain, bleeding, bowel difficulties (including incontinence) and bladder symptoms simply suggests that he had a very slowly growing tumour with little metastatic potential. He thus had an excellent chance of being cured by surgery. Note that within alternative medicine medical opinion is held to be worthless and dominated by venal self-interest unless it happens include unwise predictions regarding the progress of a newly diagnosed cancer. It can then be employed to make alternative treatments look as though they did something, when the progress is well within the range of rates of progression of cancers.

    … This is not a clear example of patient choice. It might be if the prospects of cure with alternative treatments were not such a closely guarded secret. I don’t blame him for wanting to avoid a colostomy, but his ultimate misery was far worse.

    Good luck with the path you have taken, hopefully your journey will not turn into a cautionary tale like the ones above.

  55. #55 Chris
    May 13, 2009

    Through the goodness that is the Wayback Machine I was able to find Neil’s story, it is very sad:
    Neil’s Rectal Cancer Story

    Also, I did find Dr. Peter Moran’s website, he also has a summery of the above website.

  56. #56 Scott
    May 13, 2009

    I know several people who were told to get their affairs in order because they only have a few months left who are still alive and kicking several years later, after trying alternatives. So I suppose all those people who seek alternatives and go to the foreign countries because they have been told to go home and die, should just go home and die. An alternative is not going to work. It’s not so black and white is it?

  57. #57 AnnR
    May 13, 2009

    I could never feel that I’d been a “good” parent if I let a child of mine with a treatable cancer quit treatment. Internet support boards are full of parents of childhood cancer patients and you can get plenty of support if you go looking.

    I’m sure this family loves their son very much, but they are not demonstrating it in a way that is in synch with my Anglo-Saxon culture.

  58. #58 Scott (a different one)
    May 13, 2009

    I know several people who were told to get their affairs in order because they only have a few months left who are still alive and kicking several years later, after trying alternatives. So I suppose all those people who seek alternatives and go to the foreign countries because they have been told to go home and die, should just go home and die. An alternative is not going to work. It’s not so black and white is it?

    Unless you can present actual data that the alternatives have some meaningful chance of working (which you can’t), it IS so black and white. I’ll also note that it’s pretty nearly certain that those people were told nothing of the sort, and instead were told (at most) that such was their likely result.

  59. #59 Coyote
    May 13, 2009

    It IS that black and white. You seek alternative medicines because you’re dying and regular medicine has given up? Congratulations, if you leave out the lucky bastards who roll double sixes and spontaneously remiss, all you’re going to achieve is dying miserable AND poor.

    The people who get lucky and live, despite diagnoses of death? Nothing to do with alternative medicine. Everything to do with getting lucky. For every altie who thinks that his diet of processed piss and vinegar saved his life, there are at least 20 in the grave.

  60. #60 Lauren
    May 13, 2009

    I read what the alternative medicine proponents are writing. I simply cannot understand them. My husband went through 6 rounds of ABVD with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. They were tough, but he got through them. He even gained 3 pounds of weight. Ten years later, he is still here.

    My teenager was diagnosed with Burkitt’s Lymphoma. We did one round of induction that was absolutely miserable and five rounds of consolidation that were merely awful. We had two rounds of neutropenia that put him back in the hospital. He is doing all of his one-year checkups right now, and so far, so good. His oncologist, Dr. S. Siegal, at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (plug!!) answered every question we had, told us the complete and unvarnished truth about nausea, hair loss, diarrhea, neutropenia, phosphorus, and many other things that would and could happen. The whole CHLA team supported my son in every way, allowing my son to feel in control as much as was possible. Dr. Siegal warned my son about how very sick he was going to feel, how long it would last, and how my son would gradually get better and finally feel good again. Every word of it proved true.

    Without evidence based medicine, my husband and son would both be gone. At this moment, I have both of them, and I hope that both are here for a lot longer. Every minute is a treasure and I will do anything for which there is sound scientifically collected evidence to keep them as healthy as possible.

  61. #61 Bronze Dog
    May 13, 2009

    Coyote’s point, even faster:

    Q: Why do so many alternative cancer treatments have so many positive testimonials?

    A: Dead men tell no tales.

  62. #62 Joseph C.
    May 13, 2009

    And by the way, I was diagnosed with a needle biopsy at this wonderful place I work for and underwent a lumpectomy.

    Ah, so you did undergo convention treatment, but give the credit to the shady Mexican woo.

    Sorry but this topic has been discussed here by Orac many, many times. For many breast cancers, the surgical resection is where most of the treatment efficacy comes from. Doctors then sometimes administer radiation to reduce the risk of local recurrence and chemo to reduce the risk of recurrence elsewhere. But this is just the “icing on the cake” as the meat of the treatment is in the surgery.

  63. #63 Calli Arcale
    May 13, 2009

    What I don’t get about alt med types is that although they have correctly deduced that big pharmaceutical companies are more interested in profit than actually curing people, they are completely blind to the same bias in alternative medicine companies. They believe Merck covering up inconvenient data about side effects, but they can’t even imagine that Hoxsey (for instance) would be hiding anything.

  64. #64 rrt
    May 13, 2009

    Indeed, Joseph C. Micki’s showing the classic woo pattern of “seek some conventional treatment and then credit the woo.” I hope the lymph node positive she had was just a false one and she’s in the clear.

    But while that makes me feel better, it’s worse in some ways. Now she’ll be out there peddling woo to others claiming herself as proof, and some other poor fool and his family will pay the price. But she won’t be responsible, oh no…

    And Micki can’t believe OUR ignorance…

  65. #65 mandrake
    May 13, 2009

    Hoxley, BTW, died of prostate cancer. He tried his own “cure” and it did nothing, whereupon he had surgery & standard medical treatment.
    His faith in his own product was sadly lacking.

  66. #66 Heather
    May 13, 2009

    In the end only the boy and/or his parents know for sure why they have made these particular choices. Being a parent is a hard job, and children suffer in the best of circumstances when parents are lacking in skills, judgment, maturity, experience, intellect, financial resources, emotional health. So many ways for kids to suffer, so many ways for parents to fall short. Most of the time it is not life and death stuff. This situation is really sad, and if the court won’t make a different decision, perhaps the parents will be exposed to different points of view and change their minds.

  67. #67 Jim
    May 13, 2009

    @ Micki
    Good luck girl! My annectdote: Mom (breast cancer) had the surgery, went through radiation but refused chemo.
    The cancer had metastasized (chemo might have stopped it) and started dissolving her bones. Increasing calcium concentration in her blood made her inchoherent. Funeral was earlier this year.

  68. #68 Calli Arcale
    May 13, 2009

    Of course, denial can go both ways. I’ve known people who’ve had so much faith in modern medicine that they believe it will save them long past the time when the doctors have been telling them that it won’t. They insist on heroic measures, and when it comes to those kinds of measures, you can always find somebody willing to do it. After all, on the surface, it’s not bad to intubate someone. They need to breathe, after all, and if they’re willing, why not? Where there’s life there’s hope, right? But when a person is at the end of their life, the discomfort of intubation isn’t justified. It won’t save them, so it may be kinder to let them pass. I had a relative who had that particular problem, and I fear that my maternal grandparents (whose health has become increasingly fragile lately) will go the same way, insisting on heroic measures for no good reason, making themselves miserable when they could be enjoying life a little longer.

    I remember reading about brilliant character actor Andreas Katsulas (known to SF fans as G’Kar on Babylon 5). He died of lung cancer a few years ago, the consequence of a dedicated smoking habit. (There are many stories of people encountering him in the alley behind the studio, in full Narn makeup, with prosthetics and red contacts, enjoying a smoke. A surreal image, and one he delighted in.) When he was diagnosed, the doctors were straight with him — the cancer was too advanced, and he would not live more than a year. Indeed, a year later, he was dead. But instead of living in denial, he made the most of that year. He quit smoking immediately, and joked to friends that since being told he was dying, he’d never felt better. He started eating right and exercising, and taking extra time to be with friends and family. Eventually, of course, the cancer grew, and he became gravely ill and ultimately died. But he’d made the most of the time he’d had before that, and I have to say I really admire that. I’m not sure I could be so honest with myself.

  69. #69 sophia8
    May 13, 2009

    “He couldn’t give me any help, because the law says only a drug can cure a disease. ”
    So, Micki, which law is that?
    And, if alternative medicine cured your cancer, why aren’t you giving all the details of the treatment to the oncologists at this medical place where you work, instead of commenting anonymously on a blog?

  70. #70 rrt
    May 13, 2009

    Yeah, Callie, Katsulas’ death was a real blow to the gut for his fans. Straczynski had it right…the man became a giant onscreen when he put on that role, just dominating any scene by his mere presence, and offscreen all the more so for his apparent personal humility, and his excellent handling of his diagnosis.

  71. #71 Dianne
    May 13, 2009

    As long as we’re exchanging anecdotes, here’s one of mine: A woman with multiple myeloma, a treatable but not curable disease, seeks help in various forms of woo that promise cure. She surfaces at the hospital where I was doing my residency in such horrible pain that she could not stop screaming until she got enough morphine to (initially) put her to sleep, having spent all her money, and with multiple bone fractures.

    This is a more typical story than the “miracle cure” testimonial: patient spends all their money on woo that doesn’t work and ends up in horrible pain. I’ll take chemo, if it comes to that, thanks.

  72. #72 Bill
    May 13, 2009

    He’s 13. He’s old enough to throw a monkey wrench in the works, pulling out IVs, not sitting still, etc, etc, etc. But he’s too young to understand the consequences of what he’s doing. Why waste the time of the docs? Let them treat people who desire treatment, if they feel thy have to do something, give him 5o mls of morphine IV push, and be done with it.

  73. #73 rrt
    May 13, 2009

    Um…because he’s a human being? Why would compassion stop at the point that he makes a dumb decision? Why would I stop valuing him if he has ideas I don’t like?

    If it’s a matter of triage, of sufficiently limited resources that others must go without, fine, leave him aside. If it isn’t, why wouldn’t you try to save him despite himself? At least within the bounds of ethics and rights. If he was an adult, at least then I’d say his rights preclude forcing him, but I’d still try to convince him to save himself.

  74. #74 Anthro
    May 13, 2009

    I’ve read through all this and found it stimulating and insightful and while I appreciated that people want to save Daniel in spite of himself because he’s “only” 13 years old, I have to disagree. Kids are dying of hunger and disease and war every day, why are kids in rich countries so much more special? There’s no way to undo what the parents are doing in leading him to this goofy “belief system” (by the way, aren’t ALL religions “fake”?) without some kind of reverse brainwashing–which would have its own ethical implications.

    I know that death is the enemy for doctors (and most people), but it isn’t clear to me whether or not Daniel understands that he might very well die. Maybe he accepts that. There was a case of a young girl who had already had dozens of surgeries for an incurable condition who went to court to get the right to not have any more and she won. (It may have been in England). My point is that she seemed to show more maturity than some of the adults who were totally focused on saving her at any cost rather than her own view of her quality of life. It’s not an absolute parallel to Daniel’s case, but I’d like to know more about the whole thing. Thirteen is young, but it’s insulting to say that he can’t make this decision–the real question is: does he have all the information? Thirteen year olds in Africa are raising their siblings whose parents have died of AIDS-related disease and 13-year-old girls (young women) are mothers in many parts of the world. Be careful about projecting our cultural ideas of maturity onto everyone else (not meant to imply that I necessarily thing it’s a good idea for a 13-year-old to be a mother, just that it’s not uncommon and that it doesn’t mean she can’t do it well just because of her age).

  75. #75 Djinna
    May 13, 2009

    I’ve tried using the search feature, as I’ve tried reading through all the comments, here and on the other science blogs, and really can’t believe that no one has mentioned the Cherokee Hair Tampons episode of South Park from a few years back. Bogus “native american” medicine, really sick kid with an easily treatable disease, it has it all. Too tragic that there’s not a real life version of the Cheech and Chong characters willing to admit to the parents that it’s all bogus and the kid needs to go to a real doctor. (Never thought that I’d make a statement along the lines of “if only there were a real life Cheech and Chong”.)

    Too bad SP isn’t really appropriate for 13 year olds, or else someone might slip him a copy of the season 4 dvd set

  76. #76 Dr. P
    May 14, 2009

    I don’t know , this is difficult all the way around. You can’t make a judgement on the emotional maturity of a child purely on age without attempting to find out if he truly has an understanding of the permanence of his decision.I understand the reference to kids in Africa raising their siblings and in fact I’m sure that you can find similar examples here, but in general the trend has been for children to emotionally mature later as we have progressed over the last hundred years or so.It’s not intrinsically wrong to project our ideas of maturity on this child as mentioned by the previous poster because this is happening in the United States not in Africa; that said,it may well not accurately reflect his state of maturity.What I have read of the story that concerns me is that no one has a real grip on what he understands in all of this;as mentioned,how much of this is a real fear of chemo and how much is his emotional response to the aunt’s death.I would agree that if any good is to come of this, someone in the families confidence needs to communicate with them to truly make sure that they know what the consequences of their decision will be;this should not exclude the child since it’s his life at risk.

  77. #77 Kemist
    May 14, 2009

    I can’t believe how ignorant and cruel people are.

    And I can’t believe how cynical quacks who exploit sick people can be.

    There are people who do successfully overcome their cancer with diet and alternative therapies. Why would anyone not be happy for that?

    Because it’s false hope. Some people really really believe their miscellanous diets and herbs help them… My friend, when her cancer recurred, complained that she was feeling so healthy – of course she was. Many tumors won’t give you a hard time until they massively spread, by which time nothing can be done beyond palliation.

    Unfortunately, wishing does not make it so.

    Probably because there are more people employed by the cancer industry than have cancer.

    That… doesn’t make sense. Statistics for cancer are that about one person in three will get cancer in his/her life. One in three. US population being around 350 million, that would mean that the workforce in cancer research/treatment consists of more than 145 million workers (who needs GM and Chrysler then, heh ?). None of which, of course, get cancer themselves. Or have family members with cancer. Or maybe you think that all researchers/workers who happen to develop cancers nobly sacrifice themselves and their loved ones for the company’s almighty bottom line ?

    So anyone against alternatives is probably part of that industry.

    If you think herbal quackery is not an industry, you’re sadly mistaken. And if you think the so-called big pharma doesn’t dab in it sometimes – think again. Herbals and supplements are so poorly regulated that if you abstain from making outrageous claims, nobody will bother you. Responsibility- and research-costs-free pharmaceuticals – a goldmine. Pharma CEOs salivate over this.

    And, you know, there exists other industrialized countries beside the US. Just north of you, in Canada, we have socialized medicine. Our government would suppress a cheaper cancer cure because of – what, exactly ? Heck, if they could get away with giving us cheap quackery, they would probably do it, since health care eats up about half our total budget.

  78. #78 Tsu Dho Nimh
    May 14, 2009

    DVMKurmes –
    The Apaches recycle the water for the ski resort’s artificial snow … it goes from a small lake onto the mountain as snow, melts and goes back to the lake. It is not recycled sewage like Snow Bowl wants to use.

    And none of the three peaks used for skiing at Sunrise are “sacred” to the Apache or any of the tribes of the area … sometimes a mountain is just a mountain. The San Francisco Peaks, on the other hand, are very important to the Hopi and some other tribes.

  79. #79 Tsu Dho Nimh
    May 14, 2009

    @51 Micki –
    Orac has explained that surgery, physically removing the tumor (lumpectomy) or the affected lymph node, is enough to cure many cancers. The problem is that it’s still impossible to tell which ones will be in the lucky group and which will have a recurrence, so followup with radiation and chemo is recommended to decrease the chances of occurrence.

    You are apparently one of the lucky ones (60-70% of in situ ductal carcinoma, AFAIK) for whom surgery was enough.

  80. #80 sophia8
    May 14, 2009

    @Anthro: “There was a case of a young girl who had already had dozens of surgeries for an incurable condition who went to court to get the right to not have any more and she won. (It may have been in England).”
    Was it this case?
    That girl was born with a chronic debilitating heart condition and was having long-term treatment for leukaemia; she had spent most of her life having medical treatment. She had talked extensively to her doctors, she knew what the treatment entailed and what the risks were and she made an informed decision. Social services initially intervened only because a single locum doctor, who didn’t know the girl, called them in; her own medical team – the ones who had treated her for years – supported her choice. Which, incidentally, was to accept that she was dying and have a short but happy, fulfilling and fairly comfortable life – not to spend thousands on purchasing miracle cures and false hope.
    It’s a completely different case from that of Daniel Hauser, who has clearly been grossly misinformed.

  81. #81 Joseph
    May 14, 2009

    Probably because there are more people employed by the cancer industry than have cancer.

    @Miki: That makes no sense, not only because it can’t be true. The groups are not mutually exclusive. About a third of those who work in the cancer industry will eventually develop cancer. Most of them probably have family with cancer. The numbers make any sort of conspiracy impossible.

  82. #82 deenaclaire
    May 14, 2009

    Micki, I don’t understand why you sound so angry. If you want to indulge in alternative medicine, do so. You don’t have to make comments about your “running circles” around us “healthy people” – by the way, I’m one of those “healthy people” who not only had chemotherapy, but a stem cell transplant to handle my lymphoma. And I assure you that I am healthy, but really don’t see a need to run circles around anyone.

    You have a choice to go any way you want for treatment, or no treatment at all. I had more chemotherapy than most people look at in a lifetime – and there are few, if any side effects; I pick up a cold from my grandchildren more easily than before, but I recover easily. The child under discussion in this dialogue is a child, however, and I think he is being whipped around by fear. Kids do that. It’s up to their adults/parents to research the best way to help them. I’m getting an impression that these particular parents are also being whipped around by emotion, giving another layer of inappropriate behavior. Protecting our kids is primary parental stuff – and sometimes protection isn’t easy.

    I had my treatment at Memorial Sloan-Kettering. I experienced great fatigue, very little discomfort, and almost no nausea during my five or six months of treatment. I knew exactly what was happening because it was explained to me by a wonderful medical team. Yes, I did examine alternative treatment, and couldn’t rationalize consulting John of God in Brazil, psychic surgeons in the Philippines, or accepting coffee enemas, liver fluke zappers, colonic purges, herbal medicines, chiropractic,special diets, – the proponents of which ALL speak just as passionately as you do, if not more so. Each one swore it could cure my cancer.

    Micki, to my sure and certain knowledge, physicians do choose traditional treatments, including chemotherapy, for their cancers. Some may not; it’s a choice. There is no “law” that says a physician must use “drugs.” That’s just silly stuff.

    My stem cell transplant was nine years ago. My doctors tell me that I’m cured. I eat well, but I’ve always eaten well, always trying for organic food, locally grown. Vegetarians get cancer also. I confess that I don’t always trust the “organic” label. I also confess a weakness for Carvel sundaes. I am strong, I am healthy, I am sane. I’m also no different than thousands of other Lymphoma survivors.

    Some cancer patients do die, no matter what treatment they embrace. I hope you do survive. But I see no guarantees from your “treatment” or mine. You want guarantees? Invest in gravestones.

  83. #83 Micki
    May 14, 2009

    @Sophia 8

    And, if alternative medicine cured your cancer, why aren’t you giving all the details of the treatment to the oncologists at this medical place where you work, instead of commenting anonymously on a blog?

    I am giving them my information. They are not interested. I am seen 2X a year at both institutions.

    For everyone else. Invasive ductal carcinoma, stage II, 2 lymph nodes which were shown positive by needle bioposy. I was told there is no surgical benefit to removing nodes, it’s done for staging purposes only. Actually I had to ask if that was true, then was told it was. I wasn’t told that until I asked.

    I am fortunate that what I am doing is working for me. I have never ruled out chemo. It will be a last resort and it won’t be at Mayo. I have not ruled out modern medicine in my life. There is certainly a time and place. My daughter was born with club feet and had a fantastic orthopedist. If I am in a car accident, by all means, I want to be brought to the finest.

    For those of you that started reading about Hoxsey, good for you. There are two sides to every story.

    My breast clinic doctor at Mayo told me she can’t say Hoxsey doesn’t work because it hasn’t been proven that it doesn’t. She also told me I was a difficult patient, because I was too intelligent and asking too many questions that they couldn’t answer. Wow!

    If everyone is so sure it doesn’t work, where are the dollars to study and prove it doesn’t? Surely with the billions spent each year, someone could do a study.

    It’s so damn frustrating. People don’t want the traditional cancer treatment that doesn’t work well, yet no scientist is willing to think outside the box and look elsewhere. If they do, they are ridiculed. There are peer reviewed studies relation to nutrition, etc. in the Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine, but these studies aren’t indexed.

    The medical establishment as it is today has become our culture. Just look at the advertisements on TV. Look at our elderly. I believe their conversations are centered around what ails them, what they went to the doctor for and how many pills they take. Look at the young people raising families, taking their perfectly healthy babies to the doctor for “well baby” checkups.

    I talked to the oncologists and radiation oncologists with an open mind and weighed my options. I got all the statistics from medical doctors on both sides and for my type of cancer, either way has about the same outcome. Yes, I may be a “lucky” one and had a spontaneous remission. Good for me.

    And good luck to all of you and your families, whichever path they choose for treatment. I don’t wish it on anyone.

  84. #84 sophia8
    May 14, 2009

    @micki: “If everyone is so sure it doesn’t work, where are the dollars to study and prove it doesn’t? ”
    So where are all the ex-cancer patients that have been cured by a few trips to Mexico to deal with their liver flukes or toxicity or whatever? It wouldn’t take too many of them coming back and showing their doctors that they were clear of cancer, to get those doctors sitting up and taking notice. And Big Pharma would certainly be interested in proven cancer treatments.
    Perhaps Orac can confirm that Mexico has closed all its hospital oncology wards, oncology training departments and cancer research departments and is now sending all Mexican cancer patients to these world-famous and successful clinics?

  85. #85 rrt
    May 14, 2009

    Micki, this is the heart of your problem. You consider yourself fortunate that Hoxsey has worked for you. But that’s where you fail…you haven’t properly considered HOW you know it has worked for you. That isn’t just some academic question that can be handwaved away by the average Jane, that is an incredibly critical and relevant question with life-or-death consequences.

    So you went the surgical route, and per an earlier comment that has a decent success rate by itself. Let’s be conservative and call it 50%. So you had a coinflip as to whether the surgery would cure you. Can you see, then, how under these cirumstances it would be insane to seek further therapy, be it Hoxsey, conventional chemo or invisible pink unicorn hair, and claim that therapy has “worked for you?” And now let’s push your odds. Let’s say it’s only 10% that the surgery alone cures you. Can you see how it would still be insane to claim, again in your case, that ANY subsequent therapy, quackery or conventional, worked? It’s because you can’t know in your individual case (until we perhaps someday achieve Star Trek levels of medical technology where we can scan every cell and molecule in your body in realtime). This we have to use careful studies with statistical analyses.

    Saying “I had surgery and then Hoxsey and am cancer-free so I know the Hoxsey worked” is utterly WORTHLESS in that context…you know no such thing there any more than you know the surgery worked. This is not a valid way of knowing. If you can’t see this, then you need to put a ton of effort into understanding why we make this point.

    Now, it seems as if you DO at least somewhat vaguely understand, because you argue that Hoxsey hasn’t been proven NOT to work and ask why the science-based community hasn’t tested it (actually I suspect we may have, plust you can’t philosophically prove a negative, but that’s another matter). But that is your problem. You do not assume a positive claim is true until proven false…it’s the other way around. If a person invents a Hoxsey-like therapy, how did they start? Where did the idea come from? Just as an anecdote as yours is not a good way to KNOW it works, neither is the real Hoxsey’s observations, until carefully analyzed using the scientific method to eliminate possible error and bias.

    The onus is on Hoxsey et al to provide good positive evidence for their claim. We use these methods to find out and have confidence in…to KNOW…facts like the success rate of surgery alone for various types and stages of cancer. We also use them to KNOW the rates for combined therapies, and to help determine when chemo and radiation aren’t worth the risk, expense or side effects. This is how we came to understandthat radical mastectomies and lymph node removals aren’t needed nearly so often as were once used. It’s how we’ve refined the chemotherapy drugs, doses and combinations to be both more effectiveand less nasty. It’s how we abandon countless candidate drugs for the rare ones that work

    Always, with all of this, the question is not “show me it doesn’t work.” It’s “show me it works…and show your work.” Hoxsey hasn’t done that. You don’t have a valid way of knowing it works. Just as it would be insane to say “I had combined surgery and chemo and the surgery cured me” it is insane to say without good scientific evidence that Hoxsey works, or that the onus is to disprove a novel claim rather than prove it. And you really, really need to understand that.

  86. #86 sophia8
    May 14, 2009

    @micki: “If everyone is so sure it doesn’t work, where are the dollars to study and prove it doesn’t? ”
    It isn’t up to medical researchers to prove that a treatment doesn’t work. Would you like your tax dollars spent on, for instance, proving that powdered rhino horn doesn’t boost male potency?
    The burden of proof is on the practitioners who are claiming that their altmed treatments work. All they have to do is to present the detailed medical records of some of the hundreds of thousands of patients that they’ve cured. It wouldn’t cost all that much and the patients would surely have no objection to being studied.
    Wail all you like about blinkered doctors and Big Pharma conspiracies – but anybody with a cancer cure that really works will have the whole world qeueing up for it.

  87. #87 rrt
    May 14, 2009

    Don’t mean to be super-picky, sophia8, but actually they’d have to do more than just show case studies of their patients. That’s just anecdotes, the plural of which is not data, no matter how many they had. They’d need to show good, controlled, blinded, etc, scientific studies.

  88. #88 Pablo
    May 14, 2009

    If there is a cure for cancer, I know a lot of people who would like to know it. See, they are people who actually became scientists because they lost loved ones due to cancer. They went to graduate school to learn biochemistry well enough that they could work on solving the problem, and work in companies whose goal it is to cure cancer.

    They don’t care how they do it, they want a cure. They are in the company because they think that is their best chance to help find a cure. But they don’t care – they will take anything. If someone brings them a promising cancer cure, they will jump on it. However, there is a cautionary tale: they aren’t stupid, and won’t just jump onto any random claim. It has to really be promising, in that there has to be some science behind it. It has to have solid evidence that it can work. For starters, you better be able to explain it. These folks aren’t stupid, and aren’t going to waste their time chasing down some whacko’s alchemy claims. You tell them, “This will cure cancer, and here’s how it will do it.” If the science is legit, they will jump on it. Heck, they will quit their current job and work for you if they think that will help.

    How dare you insult these people, claiming they are part of consipiracy? Damn it, we’ve all lost friends and loved ones to cancer. How can you suggest that someone doesn’t want to cure it? You should get out and meet the people that do this stuff. They are some of the most brilliant people on the planet, and they care. In some cases, passionately. It consumes them.

    You may have heard stories about such people. I know them. They exist.

  89. #89 Rogue Epidemiolgist
    May 14, 2009

    @Djinna (comment #75)
    I *did* mention Cherokee hair tampons. See Comment #39.

    What gets my goat is that WhiteLiberalGuiltTM is so pervasive that modern society seems to forget the amazing contributions white people have made in medicine. Antibiotics and all that. Just because it wasn’t conjured by an aboriginal shaman doesn’t make it any less amazing.

  90. #90 Nat W
    May 15, 2009

    @micki:

    This is the most brilliant thing you’ve said yet:

    “If I am in a car accident, by all means, I want to be brought to the finest.”

    So if you’re in a car accident, you want to be taken to those professionals who have spent years in medical school, completed residencies, and basically just undergone extensive training and research in their field. However, for cancer, you *don’t* want to go to these people? Seriously? That makes all the sense in the world. But at least you (perhaps unwittingly) acknowledge that oncologists (MDs, not spiritual healers w/ magic water in Tijuana or what have you) are the finest we have to offer.

  91. #91 freeyourself
    May 15, 2009

    @ Pablo

    I am eternally grateful to every scientist dedicated to enhancing quality of life. However, as well intended as your friends are, they can’t independently “jump on” a promising cure without financial and political support.

    Biomedical research institutions depend mostly on government appropriations or foundation grants, all of which come with conditions. Private facilities have a vested interest in making a profit, and very few will research a treatment or cure that isn’t financially lucrative. Once you get beyond the fiscal issues, regulations and restrictions dictate how, where, or even whether the study may be performed.

    A scientist is not often free to take on whatever sounds good to her or him. I’m not implying any conspiracy, although government and big business give out plenty of ammunition to do so. Pablo, if you deny that the possibility exists, then you need to take a closer look at our world’s history AND current affairs. Just Google “scientists fight political meddling” and read a couple of articles specifically related to this subject.

    But back to this boy. . . Forcing treatment on anyone seems cruel. If his parents weren’t deemed incompetent, and the boy realizes he could die by his choices, then who are we to say he can’t decide for himself? He may “only” be 13, but you most people are smart enough at that age to understand the finality of death, and I’m sure having a diagnosis like that matures you even more. This should be a private family matter, as long as they are aware of the facts. In the meantime, I’m sure his quality of life hasn’t improved at all by being in the center of a landmark legal battle.

    I wish him the best, whatever the decision is.

  92. #92 joe
    May 15, 2009

    I am a 16 year survivor of stage I Hodgkin’s Disease so I can speak on this topic with the authority of someone’s who’s been there. I think the person who wrote this blog is missing the point. Cancer treatments are very likely to cause major health problems later in life. Personally, I am depressed, I have chronic insomnia, borderline melanoma/dysplastic nevi syndrome (I also had radiation therapy), low white blood cell count, chronic neck pain, need I go on? After my first treatment, I almost died from massive bacterial infection after my white blood count dropped to near zero. Yes, I am alive because of the treatments. However, if I could go back to when I was 19 and I was diagnosed, I would most certainly have tried naturopathic methods before going with conventional treatments. Hodgkin’s Disease is very slow to spread and does so only to adjacent lymph nodes. Therefore, it is likely that this boy and his family have time to try other methods.

    In short, I would rather that the author of this blog not speak on this topic as though he/she has been through treatment for HD. You have not and you have no right to write as though you have. Of course, this is par for the course for boneheaded blog writers anyway (yes, that means I think all blog writers are boneheads).

  93. #93 C B
    May 15, 2009

    As a believer in holistic health (without religious components), I take issue with much of what you have written, but I will choose to focus on this specific comment: “It is an linkage that the “alternative” medicine cancer industry tries very hard to reinforce, as it offers “natural” medicines that supposedly cure cancer with no risk and no suffering.” Actually, what many people go through to make their way back to true health is much harder than anything western medicine has to offer. The mainstream mentality is to turn to an MD for a “cure” in the form of a pill or procedure. They want the symptoms gone without changing anything that caused their illness in the first place. They could never stick to changing decades-old cultural and familial traditions in terms of diet and lifestyle. They could never complete a round of heavy cleansing, detoxification, and/or fasting. Many can have tubes of blood drawn but cringe at the thought of having the less painful procedure of acupuncture performed – because it’s not mainstream in the U.S. No, they’d rather run to a support group for their particular condition (because misery loves company) to whine for a bit, then go home and stuff their faces with more mashed potatoes and gravy. Let me tell you, on my own journey in curing myself of one of the most crippling diseases known to mankind, I’ve accomplished things that have made me quite a warrior. I have suffered, physically & emotionally, and come out 10 times stronger because of it. My B.S., by the way, is in medical technology and I worked in the U.S. healthcare system for many years. I know everything you know…and then I learned what I really needed to know.

  94. #94 rrt
    May 15, 2009

    With all due respect, C B: you know jack.

    As I’ve said (and this goes for Joe, too) you REALLY need to analyze how you KNOW what you “know.”

  95. #95 Dave Ruddell
    May 15, 2009

    As I’ve said (and this goes for Joe, too) you REALLY need to analyze how you KNOW what you “know.”

    Ah, metacognition. If only more people engaged in it…

  96. #96 Naudia
    May 15, 2009

    What about the freedom to choose what is best for ourselves? Everyone should have the freedom to make these choices amongst themselves without government Interference. Chemotherapy is extremely difficult, and many times reduces the quality of life you are extending and can kill you. Some people are glad for it and do well. You are taking a gamble whichever you choose, and should not have to submit to another man’s conscience as to what is best for the quality and type of life you live! Ridiculous! Would you want a decision that you feel strongly about made for you simply because someone in authority doesn’t agree? Are we americans or fascists? You can’t have both. What happened to, ” Give me Liberty or Give me Death!”? My hope for every American is to realize that we are all too different to force our personal point of view on each other. Respect each other and their belief system no matter how crazy it may seem to you. That is what makes America so great right? To have the personal freedom to live your life as you choose as long as you are not infringing upon another man’s rights. What if the courts ruled everyone had to worship some God because they did studies, which they have, that your health would fare better with prayer. How many athiests out their would prefer to die than worship “some crazy man’s God.” We all have something we feel strongly enough to die for. Noone, absolutely noone should be able to take that from us!

  97. #97 Orac
    May 15, 2009

    Oh, please. Adults do have the freedom to refuse chemotherapy, as long as they understand the consequences.

    Children are considered not yet sufficiently developed to make that decision. Given that, the society expects the parents to make such decisions for them. When an adult decides to forego chemotherapy and let himself die, only that adult suffers. When a parent decides her child will forego chemotherapy and die, the child suffers. Society has an interest in protecting a child from medical neglect and suffering death due to the bad decisions of his parents or because his parents are too full of woo or too wimpy to tell a child that he must undergo what is best for him.

    We can argue about what age is appropriate for a child to be able to decide for himself about these matters (search this blog for “Abraham Cherrix” if you want to see that I’ve addressed this very issue numerous times before), but nearly everyone would consider 13 to be too young.

  98. #98 Prometheus
    May 15, 2009

    Although I have some doubts that Daniel – being 13 years old – truly understands the implications of his decisions, I would be willing to let him make this decision if it weren’t for one little thing: “informed consent”.

    A lot has been said and debated about the right (and ability) of a thirteen-year-old to make a critical medical decision, to give informed consent. However, his consent isn’t informed – he has been fed a load of baloney about post-modern “native” healing that anybody with a brain can see is a scam. Apparently, his parents have bought into this nonsense as well, or are at least too confused to assert their parental authority.

    Choosing sham(an) treatment over well-studied (and highly successful) real treatment for Hodgkin’s lymphoma is not the sign of “informed consent”. If he had said that he would choose doing nothing over chemotherapy, that would at least be a sign that he understood his true options.

    Now, while I can readily forgive Daniel’s reluctance to undergo chemotherapy, since he is still a child, I cannot so easily forgive his parents’ inaction. They need to step up and be parents. If they decide to send Daniel to this shaman instead of giving him an odds-on chance of survival, that at least is a choice. Saying, in essence, “It’s Daniel’s decision.” is the coward’s way out.

    I am also surprised that “Chief Cloupiler” isn’t trying to get Daniel to go for the chemotherapy. After all, when Daniel dies of a cancer that is 90% curable with real medicine, his herbs and teas are going to take the blame.

    If he had Daniel at least undergo a partial round of chemotherapy, “Cloudpiler” (“Dungpiler”?) could later claim “If he’d only come to me sooner…” As it stands right now, Daniel is going to be a “clean kill” on “Cloudpiler’s” score sheet. Mr. Landis strikes me as being sophisticated enough to realize this and I’d be surprised if he wasn’t working feverishly in the background to have Daniel get at least a couple doses of chemotherapy before he submits to the “herb of death”.

    Prometheus

  99. #99 Dave Ruddell
    May 15, 2009

    Well, the judge has ruled.

  100. #100 Jud
    May 15, 2009

    Hmm, see post #1. Can I claim prescience?

  101. #101 Jennifer B. Phillips (aka Danio)
    May 15, 2009

    Dave, your link is broken.

  102. #102 Lily
    May 15, 2009

    So the religious want to outlaw abortion because it’s a life after all, but want to give parents the right to let their children die without proper medical care. Typical religious hypocrisy.

  103. #103 Dave Ruddell
    May 15, 2009

    Stupid internets. Here’s the link in full:

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/ap_on_he_me/us_med_forced_chemo

  104. #104 RS
    May 15, 2009

    “Do unto others as…” At some point or another, most of you who think you have the moral obligation to stomp over an individual family’s rights and support the system will be challenged by similar circumstances. Make sure you think before you speak – and THINK HARD – for there will be no one to defend your individuality when the system stomps over what you consider appropriate for your family.

    Also, all those who trump and hail to the concept of data, numbers, facts, and figures, remember: Organizations and human beings (with egos and profits) can skew data any which way to support a point. The same people who trump the success of allopathic medicine are generally those who turn a blind eye to its side-effects and long-term harm.

  105. #105 tl
    May 15, 2009

    An article about the ruling.

    One new tidbit in the article: “Court filings also indicated Daniel has a learning disability and can’t read.” This makes it a bit more doubtful that he understands what is happening. All he has to go on is what his parents let him hear. He would have difficulty getting any other information if he wanted to.

  106. #106 sophia8
    May 15, 2009

    @cb: You’re really up yourself, aren’t you? I belong to a couple of Yahoo support groups for my health problems (supraventricular tachycardia & hypothyroidism) and we don’t “whine” – we support each other with advice and suggestions on what works and what doesn’t. I’ve found it very helpful, and I strongly doubt that the majority of us “stuff ourselves with potatoes and gravy” – a healthy diet is a big point amongst us.
    But then, I’m not a proud, strong warrior who can cure myself and who doesn’t need no stinkin’ advice.
    Mind you, the real warriors I know – I’m talking about the ones who’ve been in the military/police – know from experience that you don’t win any battles by yourself. And they’d laugh at any poser wannabes who go around declaring themselves to be “warriors”.
    Oh, and can you tell us what ‘lifestyle choices’ Daniel Hauser made that caused him to develop Hodgkin’s?

  107. #107 choirboy
    May 15, 2009

    This just in: the judge has ruled against David, saying he must get chemotherapy, unless the cancer has already progressed to the point where chemo won’t help. http://www.startribune.com/lifestyle/health/

  108. #108 grothc
    May 15, 2009

    Will the government pay for the chemo?

  109. #109 C B
    May 15, 2009

    Dearest Sophia, I didn’t say that lifestyle choices were the cause of any specific case (although they frequently are). However, once a state of disease has manifested in one’s body, changes in lifestyle are critical for a return to health. Since no one wants to admit or research the true causes of disease, there’s really little that can be definitively said about a particular case. Take my own case for example. There is no known cause for the disease or cure. At the same time, the American Academy of Pediatrics has recommended an increase in Vitamin D for children to ward off diseases like cancer and MS. Gee, do you think living in Alaska for 10 years might have played a role (where the sun isn’t strong enough even in the summer to manufacture enough Vit. D)? So when someone like me takes healing into her own hands and manages to eradicate all traces of disease, it’s hailed as a “spontaneous remission”. Uh-huh, sure. As for Daniel, was he breastfed exclusively for at least the first 6 months of life? Does he live anywhere near a major source of water pollution like pharmaceutical companies and slaughterhouses? What other toxins are present in his environment or diet? It’s not like anyone’s going to investigate. If everyone did what it took to really become healthy, this country’s economy would truly collapse overnight. What would we do without McDonald’s, Nestle, GlaxoSmithKline, and General Mills making huge profits from either creating sickness and disease or pretending to treat it?

    I just read a Yahoo news story about how ginger relieves nausea from chemotherapy. Gee, I never would have guessed! But now we have a costly, official study that says it’s so. As long as it comes from the American Society of Clinical Oncology, I can believe it now. I remember when I was like this. “Oh no, herbs aren’t regulated by the FDA! That’s just dangerous!” I remember when I thought a healthy diet meant following government guidelines. lmao BTW, I would think everyone here is familiar with the U.S.’s health and mortality statistics compared to the rest of the industrialized world. I think it’s insane to put our faith in this country’s system; and it just might be criminally negligent for those treating patients to not be doing everything that’s standard in countries who have more success.

    Sophia, don’t take anything personally just because you have chronic conditions and have not yet cured yourself. We are all exactly where we are supposed to be at in this life. The power to heal yourself is within you, whether or not you “go there” in this lifetime is not for anyone to decide but you. It’s not an easy path, that’s for sure. One thing I *do* know that no one else could possibly know is how I felt before and how I feel now. It’s not something that can be sufficiently expressed with words, but it’s so powerful that one recognizes “cured” when one feels the change.

  110. #110 mertle
    May 15, 2009

    I did a proven protocol for invasive breast cancer, I took the herbs and did the diet, plus exercise, prayer, purest water I could find. My tests were all clear of cancer the following year. I’m getting more tests, to see how I’m still doing. I did nothing else to cure it. I hope I’ve been faithful enough with herbs/diet to stay cancer-free. If not, I will go back to totally healthy eating/living, and get rid of it again. The same way.
    Thousands have been healed of cancer thru proven plans of herbs/diet. It’s just ridiculous to assume the American people are such idiots to believe otherwise! Are we assumed to be so stupid that capitalism must murder us, it’s our fate…the chemo/radiation “ovens” that pay our doctor’s med school bills and fill up the cemeteries with our bodies…that there’s no other way? and no way to live well after cancer and live 20-30 years well???
    God’s given us what we need to find healing, if we’ll stop being brainwashed and do His herbs and created foods.
    Are you so angry and full of dead people’s money, that you continue to spout death and dying on the masses?
    If you’ll only find your forgiveness in Jesus Christ, who died for our sins willingly, and then be a fountain of healing and life, it’s so so much better!!! You do have a great future with Him…He is full of life and healing, for you and for all.

  111. #111 Chris
    May 15, 2009

    mertie:

    Thousands have been healed of cancer thru proven plans of herbs/diet.

    Please provide the journal, title, author and dates of the papers showing that these plans were proven. Thank you.

  112. #112 Amy Alkon
    May 15, 2009

    It seems to me that it might help for kids with cancer to have peer counselors — other, somewhat older kids (perhaps in their 20s) who’ve survived cancer by going through chemo.

    Is this done anywhere?

  113. #113 C B
    May 15, 2009

    Re: compiling stats on altmed for “proof” of their successes. #1: it would be shot down (called unscientific and unreliable) so fast it’s a complete waste of time. MDs don’t want to hear about any “cures” that don’t come out of a pharmaceutical rep’s mouth. They would never even allow such stats to be published in anything deemed reputable. #2: there is no way to monitor and control what people put in their mouths 24 hours a day, every day. As Hippocrates said “All illness begins in the gut”. Even if such a study was possible, no one will fund it because there’s no money to be made in the end if people will only change dietary habits. #3: many success stories are achieved by a combination of alternative therapies and it’s impossible to determine which was most effective. When one is trying to heal from a major disease in a natural way, many therapies are often employed together as long as there is no conflict. Healing in this manner is a very slow and gentle process, nothing like throwing chemo at a tumor, you know? It can take a long time, and things can get worse before they get better. So, many times there are several different avenues being employed at once in order to not waste precious time.

  114. #114 Chris
    May 15, 2009

    Let’s play “Spot the Logical Fallacies”! I’ll start.

    C B:

    Re: compiling stats on altmed for “proof” of their successes. #1: it would be shot down (called unscientific and unreliable) so fast it’s a complete waste of time. MDs don’t want to hear about any “cures” that don’t come out of a pharmaceutical rep’s mouth.

    Example of:
    Special Pleading
    Pharma Shill Gambit

  115. #115 C B
    May 15, 2009

    Chris, the scientific method is not the be all and end all when it comes to health. It has done some wonderful things for mankind but, like anything else, it has its limitations. Man has a great need and desire to make sense of his world and the scientific method helps to that end. But it can blind us to methods and treatments that are just as effective but not profitable candidates for study.

    And no matter how well something developed by western medicine works, man has a way of screwing it up (particularly in the U.S. it seems). Antibiotics were/are a wonderful discovery and I don’t discount their use by any means. But their misuse and abuse has led to MRSA, VRE, and who knows what other superbugs to come. Antibiotics have allowed the rise of factory farming (where the vast majority of antibiotics go in this country) which damages the health of everyone who consumes their products.

  116. #116 Chris
    May 15, 2009

    C B, may I remind you that mertie specifically said the plans were proven. That indicates that data was taken, analyzed, and submitted to the cancer treatment community for review in a paper. I simply asked for that documentation.

    Please let mertie answer the question herself. She said the plans were proven, it is up to her provide the evidence.

  117. #117 snerd
    May 15, 2009

    Chris, the scientific method is not the be all and end all when it comes to health. It has done some wonderful things for mankind but, like anything else, it has its limitations.

    … like?

    The rest of your post is fairly boring alt-med warrghbl.

  118. #118 C B
    May 15, 2009

    RE: the Pharma Shill Gambit. Think you’ve got me all wrong. ;) I’m not a conspiracy theorist who thinks MD’s are bought by big pharma. I don’t think the MD’s are really to blame at all. They don’t have control over the education they’re given. And I don’t blame big Pharma either. Hell, everyone is out to make a buck with the product they came up with and I’m not one to blame them.

    This is all the result of a broken system. Most MD’s don’t have time to go beyond the info they’re given from a rep because they are too busy trying to see enough patients to pay for their overhead, including skyrocketing malpractice insurance. I’m sure orac is the exception to the rule, just as I’m the exception to the rule when it comes to those trained in western medicine but broke from it. However, the rule is still the rule. There are not enough hours in the day to keep up with what is going on in western medicine, let alone what’s working in altmed, and still actually see and treat patients.

    I want to make clear that there are always exceptions to the rule. I was amazingly surprised, and SO THANKFUL, to be referred to a wonderful hospital-based nutritionist who actually gushed about the benefits of sprouting with me. When folks like her are seen as someone respectable who has something helpful to offer they system, instead of a maverick who is passionate about some odd ideas, we will see some real changes and benefits to the health of the American people.

    Well, you should know that I always list my weakest arguments first! Are you going to tackle #2 and #3? TIA!

  119. #119 snerd
    May 15, 2009

    … gushed about the benefits of sprouting with me

    Ew! TMI perhaps.

  120. #120 C B
    May 15, 2009

    Oh come on, snerd, I answered your “like?” response in the very next line. And I’m boring??? Come on, surely you’ve got more than that for me!

  121. #121 snerd
    May 15, 2009

    Erm. I don’t see any references to the limitations of the scientific method in your response, just some emotional rhetoric about healing and brave maverick doctors.

  122. #122 C B
    May 15, 2009

    snerd, I said “But it can blind us to methods and treatments that are just as effective but not profitable candidates for study” in the very next line. Obviously, if a treatment is not a candidate for study, it hasn’t been proven to you. That doesn’t mean it’s not effective. As I posted earlier, ginger is now “proven” to lessen nausea from chemo. Most MDs would NEVER tell a patient to try ginger for fear of sounding like a whacko, but now they have some legitimacy through a study. The ginger was just as effective before the study, but most patients would never try it because they don’t look beyond what their MD tells them and the MD didn’t tell them.

  123. #123 Jennifer B. Phillips (aka Danio)
    May 15, 2009

    CB, you’re grossly misinformed if you think your points 2 and 3 are somehow ‘strong’ arguments. Both sound like special pleading for ‘other ways of knowing’ to me. True, humans are not genetically homogenous lab rats, so studying cause and effect in general, and treatment efficacy in particular, is rather more complex. The thing is, well-designed studies take these variables into account. With the use of appropriate controls, blinding techniques, and adequate sample sizes, such studies can provide robust data on the efficacy of various pharmaceuticals or other medical interventions.

    Your claims to the contrary suggest that you know precious little about statistically robust research studies. Given the other woo-rich comments you’ve made above this is entirely unsurprising. Yawn.

  124. #124 C B
    May 15, 2009

    Jennifer, have you ever tried to keep a “food diary”? I’m a real believer, I’ve experienced the cause & effect and it’s not something I would ever believe if I hadn’t experienced it myself, and I’m still far from perfect. I try my best every day to document what I put in my mouth and I’m quite sure there are things I miss. So I believe it to be a valid argument in this discussion.

    And, while I’m sure you are so tired of defending yourself over & over on this point, I would really like to hear how a study can be performed on altmed procedures without forcing patients to decline certain treatments to focus on others for study purposes. Personally, I employed diet, supplements, and acupuncture within a few weeks of each other and eradicated major symptoms in a very short time but, to this day, do not know where the credit lies. Since our healthcare system does not provide for any altmed treatments and I have to heal myself completely out of pocket, my list of supplements is prioritized and changes on a monthly basis depending on cash flow. Yes, there is a scientific basis to it:
    http://www.direct-ms.org/journalarticles.html

  125. #125 T.H.
    May 15, 2009

    It doesnt really matter WHAT anybody personally believes regarding this case. What does matter is that Judge Rodenberg didn’t take into accort the law of the land in Minnesota when making his decision. It CLEARLY states in 3 seperate Minnesota statutes that Religious beliefs or alternative forms of treating disease for personal reasons, IS considered a form of ‘health care’, and a person has the right to use it instead of medications. It also states that a person has the right to REFUSE treatment, if not the child, then the parent. In court, the judge and attorneys claimed a person COULD NOT refuse any type of treatment if the doctor ordered it.

    It also just so happens that Cloudpiler, IS Native American, and when he adopts anybody into his band, they have the same rights as he does, which fall under the Neferah Act, protecting all indiginous peoples and their faiths from undergoing any medical treatment if not desired. Daniel is a member of the Nemenhah band and has been so for awhile. By law, he is legally protected, and this was already held up in similar cases by the Supreme Court. Technically speaking, Judge Rodenberg has broken this Neferah Treaty. I would only assume that when this case is appealed to a judge on the federal level (who actually knows what’s going on) that this entire thing will be dismissed instantly and Daniel will be free to go on as pleased.

    Oh, might I add that this is the same Judge who got caught red handed with his son carrying marijuana in the truck of their vehicle? And this is the same County Attorney who has been accused of bribery, and being ‘bought off’ in another case. They are writing a book about this as I speak.

    In addition, it has been rumored that this same judge and possibly even the attorney for Daniel has been conveniently ‘bought off’ by the American Medical Association’ to rule in favor of Brown County. The whole trial was fishy from the beginning. Did you know they didnt even allow the ‘new’ xrays of Danny that show his tumor is actually gone? Instead they rely on past Xrays and proclaim that his cancer is growing!

    True, the Hausers DID undergo ONE round of Chemo, but it was only after being pressured at the hospital and not being allowed to leave until they signed the consent form. Oh and isnt it interesting that although one must sign a seperate consent form for each round of Chemo, technically, you do not have the right to ‘disent’. So what good is the consent form anyways?

    Wish people would write about the real details of this case, instead of reyling on a couple of entry level
    reporters who were in and out of the court room, seemingly clueless as to what was actually happening.

  126. #126 Mary
    May 15, 2009

    Everything the person stated above is true. I was at the trials. Daniel Hauser will win when the case is appealed.
    The Judge has clearly broken several laws and U.S treaties. End of story.

  127. #127 C B
    May 15, 2009

    T.H., thank you for the post. Do you have a link on the MN statutes? I’m VERY interested in the legal and ethical issues of patient autonomy.

    Also, wanted to express my agreement with the pressures felt by a patient or caregiver in a situation where you haven’t been given the opportunity to do all the research first. It’s all too easy for those perceived to be “authorities” on health to make one feel as though you are incompetent to decide for yourself and negligent if you don’t agree with everything they advocate. They don’t mean harm, but when you are in an acute situation without all the information you need, they can certainly turn the screws.

  128. #128 A Fortune
    May 16, 2009

    Well, to treat my DLBCL (non Hodgkin’s lymphoma) I have undergone 6 rounds of R-CHOP, 2 rounds of RICE and 1 round of high dose Cytoxan in preparation for an autologous SCT, with BEAM chemo and Zevalin radio-immunotherapy to come. I have to admit to researching my suicide options. They come down to two: A) Pentobarbital from Mexico, B) a helium hood from my local source. Chemo sucks. If it works, great, If not… I’m ready.

  129. #129 A Fortune
    May 16, 2009

    Well, to treat my DLBCL (non Hodgkin’s lymphoma) I have undergone 6 rounds of R-CHOP, 2 rounds of RICE and 1 round of high dose Cytoxan in preparation for an autologous SCT, with BEAM chemo and Zevalin radio-immunotherapy to come. I have to admit to researching my suicide options. They come down to two: A) Pentobarbital from Mexico, B) a helium hood from my local source. Chemo sucks. If it works, great, If not… I’m ready.

  130. #130 A Fortune
    May 16, 2009

    Well, to treat my DLBCL (non Hodgkin’s lymphoma) I have undergone 6 rounds of R-CHOP, 2 rounds of RICE and 1 round of high dose Cytoxan in preparation for an autologous SCT, with BEAM chemo and Zevalin radio-immunotherapy to come. I have to admit to researching my suicide options. They come down to two: A) Pentobarbital from Mexico, B) a helium hood from my local source. Chemo sucks. If it works, great, If not… I’m ready.

  131. #131 A Fortune
    May 16, 2009

    Well, to treat my DLBCL (non Hodgkin’s lymphoma) I have undergone 6 rounds of R-CHOP, 2 rounds of RICE and 1 round of high dose Cytoxan in preparation for an autologous SCT, with BEAM chemo and Zevalin radio-immunotherapy to come. I have to admit to researching my suicide options. They come down to two: A) Pentobarbital from Mexico, B) a helium hood from my local source. Chemo sucks. If it works, great, If not… I’m ready.

  132. #132 A Fortune
    May 16, 2009

    Well, to treat my DLBCL (non Hodgkin’s lymphoma) I have undergone 6 rounds of R-CHOP, 2 rounds of RICE and 1 round of high dose Cytoxan in preparation for an autologous SCT, with BEAM chemo and Zevalin radio-immunotherapy to come. I have to admit to researching my suicide options. They come down to two: A) Pentobarbital from Mexico, B) a helium hood from my local source. Chemo sucks. If it works, great, If not… I’m ready.

  133. #133 A Fortune
    May 16, 2009

    Well, to treat my DLBCL (non Hodgkin’s lymphoma) I have undergone 6 rounds of R-CHOP, 2 rounds of RICE and 1 round of high dose Cytoxan in preparation for an autologous SCT, with BEAM chemo and Zevalin radio-immunotherapy to come. I have to admit to researching my suicide options. They come down to two: A) Pentobarbital from Mexico, B) a helium hood from my local source. Chemo sucks. If it works, great, If not… I’m ready.

  134. #134 A Fortune
    May 16, 2009

    Well, to treat my DLBCL (non Hodgkin’s lymphoma) I have undergone 6 rounds of R-CHOP, 2 rounds of RICE and 1 round of high dose Cytoxan in preparation for an autologous SCT, with BEAM chemo and Zevalin radio-immunotherapy to come. I have to admit to researching my suicide options. They come down to two: A) Pentobarbital from Mexico, B) a helium hood from my local source. Chemo sucks. If it works, great, If not… I’m ready.

  135. #135 A Fortune
    May 16, 2009

    Well, to treat my DLBCL (non Hodgkin’s lymphoma) I have undergone 6 rounds of R-CHOP, 2 rounds of RICE and 1 round of high dose Cytoxan in preparation for an autologous SCT, with BEAM chemo and Zevalin radio-immunotherapy to come. I have to admit to researching my suicide options. They come down to two: A) Pentobarbital from Mexico, B) a helium hood from my local source. Chemo sucks. If it works, great, If not… I’m ready.

  136. #136 A Fortune
    May 16, 2009

    Well, to treat my DLBCL (non Hodgkin’s lymphoma) I have undergone 6 rounds of R-CHOP, 2 rounds of RICE and 1 round of high dose Cytoxan in preparation for an autologous SCT, with BEAM chemo and Zevalin radio-immunotherapy to come. I have to admit to researching my suicide options. They come down to two: A) Pentobarbital from Mexico, B) a helium hood from my local source. Chemo sucks. If it works, great, If not… I’m ready.

  137. #137 A Fortune
    May 16, 2009

    Well, to treat my DLBCL (non Hodgkin’s lymphoma) I have undergone 6 rounds of R-CHOP, 2 rounds of RICE and 1 round of high dose Cytoxan in preparation for an autologous SCT, with BEAM chemo and Zevalin radio-immunotherapy to come. I have to admit to researching my suicide options. They come down to two: A) Pentobarbital from Mexico, B) a helium hood from my local source. Chemo sucks. If it works, great, If not… I’m ready.

  138. #138 A Fortune
    May 16, 2009

    Well, to treat my DLBCL (non Hodgkin’s lymphoma) I have undergone 6 rounds of R-CHOP, 2 rounds of RICE and 1 round of high dose Cytoxan in preparation for an autologous SCT, with BEAM chemo and Zevalin radio-immunotherapy to come. I have to admit to researching my suicide options. They come down to two: A) Pentobarbital from Mexico, B) a helium hood from my local source. Chemo sucks. If it works, great, If not… I’m ready.

  139. #139 A Fortune
    May 16, 2009

    Well, to treat my DLBCL (non Hodgkin’s lymphoma) I have undergone 6 rounds of R-CHOP, 2 rounds of RICE and 1 round of high dose Cytoxan in preparation for an autologous SCT, with BEAM chemo and Zevalin radio-immunotherapy to come. I have to admit to researching my suicide options. They come down to two: A) Pentobarbital from Mexico, B) a helium hood from my local source. Chemo sucks. If it works, great, If not… I’m ready.

  140. #140 A Fortune
    May 16, 2009

    Well, to treat my DLBCL (non Hodgkin’s lymphoma) I have undergone 6 rounds of R-CHOP, 2 rounds of RICE and 1 round of high dose Cytoxan in preparation for an autologous SCT, with BEAM chemo and Zevalin radio-immunotherapy to come. I have to admit to researching my suicide options. They come down to two: A) Pentobarbital from Mexico, B) a helium hood from my local source. Chemo sucks. If it works, great, If not… I’m ready.

  141. #141 A Fortune
    May 16, 2009

    Well, to treat my DLBCL (non Hodgkin’s lymphoma) I have undergone 6 rounds of R-CHOP, 2 rounds of RICE and 1 round of high dose Cytoxan in preparation for an autologous SCT, with BEAM chemo and Zevalin radio-immunotherapy to come. I have to admit to researching my suicide options. They come down to two: A) Pentobarbital from Mexico, B) a helium hood from my local source. Chemo sucks. If it works, great, If not… I’m ready.

  142. #142 A Fortune
    May 16, 2009

    Well, to treat my DLBCL (non Hodgkin’s lymphoma) I have undergone 6 rounds of R-CHOP, 2 rounds of RICE and 1 round of high dose Cytoxan in preparation for an autologous SCT, with BEAM chemo and Zevalin radio-immunotherapy to come. I have to admit to researching my suicide options. They come down to two: A) Pentobarbital from Mexico, B) a helium hood from my local source. Chemo sucks. If it works, great, If not… I’m ready.

  143. #143 C B
    May 16, 2009

    I hope that the lack of response means that folks are evaluating Ashton Embry’s research and formulating an argument for me to return to the neurologist and agree to one of the 4 drugs which average a pathetic 30% efficacy along with side effects like “flu-like symptoms”, depression, and decreased peripheral cell counts (i.e. immunosuppression). As a single mother who has worked 7 days a week delivering newspapers for 3 years and sole caretaker of 2 young boys 7 days/week, I’d really like to hear a good reason why I should make myself vulnerable to every bug going around town. TIA!

  144. #144 tumaat
    May 16, 2009

    T.H. Thank you for stepping to the plate. Alopathic medicine is responsible for numerous dealths as well as drug
    poisoning. Remember Tony Snow… For those who are absent in memory he was the White house Press Secretary who doctors said had died of colon cancer but didn’t have a colon cause they took it out.

    It is unfortunate that many rely on so called medical science alone that can’t even address the common cold.

    Science has it’s place however, if science where always right we would not have an epedimic of chronic disorders.

    The rule of true health is knowledge of the cause.

    Alternative medicine not only seeks the cause but seeks to bring the body back to homeostasis – the state in which illness cannot — I repeat — cannot — persist.

    To achieve that state Wholistic Medicine looks at the “whole” being along with their environment”.

    In doing so you achieve a permenant resolve. “Body Machanics” cure nothing. When a cure is achieved it is by the body and support of it’s whole system.

    Alopathic medicine is still in it’s premative state as such the result is high levels of chronic disease and sickness accepted as normal.

    When will people wake-up.

    Here is a exercise for all you “doctors are God” believers that science is never wrong!

    Only 10 percent of all cells in the body are human — so what is the rest?

    Those who find the answer don’t need to be a rocket scientist to understand if anything should happen to that child the Parents should be allowed to sue first the Judge that ordered what he is not in a position to Judge and second the doctors that followed through with such premative treatment.

    Micki I applaud you for your courage. I know hundreds of people who have overcome cancer by understanding the cause and addressing what changes they needed to make to restore homeostasis in the their body, with the result of good health.

    When homeostasis is restored, health is restored in all disorders not 10% or 20% but 100%. When doctors are taught to communicate effectively with the body the body can tell them what is the problem 100% of the time.
    Here is that kind of communication at the basic level.
    http://www.yonemoto.com/programs/imt.htm

    The point is Alopathic medicine has a monopoly on treatment using the legal system and “so-called science”. If health is to be achieved for the masses it will require all modalities of healthcare to be acknowledged and funded in research.

    Still no Judge has the right to decide what treatment is appropriate for a parent’s child simply because the AMA says that is the only treatment.

    Wake-up people! Do your homework and stop watching the boobtube that’s scrambling your ability think for yourself.

  145. #145 C B
    May 16, 2009

    A Fortune, please email me, freewitheft@yahoo.com. I have info for you. Folks like you are at last resort, and anything I can provide is more helpful than harmful. :)

  146. #146 Basiorana
    May 16, 2009

    This child is illiterate. His parents claimed to homeschool him and did not give him the most basic necessary information– the ability to read. He has no concept of math, statistics… I would argue that the AVERAGE 13-year-old is capable of making some decisions regarding healthcare, but not an illiterate child unable to do basic arithmetic or understand the most simple principles of biology.

    His opinion on the matter needs to be discarded. And considering his parents lied to the government (claiming they were homeschooling) so they could deny him an education, they should be considered abusive. I wouldn’t recommend taking him away for the healthcare issues alone, but this child has been SEVERELY neglected. He has no education, no access to medical care, has been instilled with a deep fear of both and will never, ever amount to anything unless he is immediately removed from that environment and forced to go to school, assuming he survives the cancer. He can’t even sell the Nemeneah medicines because he is unable to read and write. He will never be able to leave the group because he cannot survive without people to translate street signs and pamphlets for him.

    If a normal 13 year old who was well taken care of, and his loving, caring parents, decided that cancer treatment wasn’t worth the cost, I could understand siding with them and their rights. But to allow abusively neglectful parents and an illiterate uneducated child to decide such a thing is tantamount to letting a six-year-old refuse transport to the hospital and care there after her father violently broke her arm.

  147. #147 Chris
    May 16, 2009

    tumaat:

    The point is Alopathic medicine has a monopoly on treatment using the legal system and “so-called science”. If health is to be achieved for the masses it will require all modalities of healthcare to be acknowledged and funded in research.

    Actually it is spelled “allopathic”, and it only means anything that is not homeopathic. That includes chiropractic, “traditional Chinese medicine” and real medicine.

    All you really have to do is prove that the procedure works, and then it is real medicine. Just learn a little science, and some statistics, plus how to read a paper… then come back with some real evidence without the special pleading.

    and tumaat continues (hoping blockquote works a second time!):

    Wake-up people! Do your homework and stop watching the boobtube that’s scrambling your ability think for yourself.

    Ummm… this is a laptop. Since when did we start calling laptop computers “boobtubes”? And to be even more specific this laptop has a liquid crystal display screen, not a cathode ray tube! Did you consider the medium you were using when you posted your diatribe?

    C B, you I am ignoring… though I am still waiting for mertie to give the documentation that the plan she is on is proven.

    Good night.

  148. #148 rrt
    May 16, 2009

    C B, there is so much crazy, I really can’t bear to address it all. But there is one little pet peeve of mine I have to tackle.

    You claimed that any solid, scientific research demonstrating the effectiveness of altmed would be aggressively suppressed and censored…that no journal would publish it, etc. NO. Nuh-uh. Not gonna fly today. Let me ask you something, C B: Do you know what the Internet is? Do you know what the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine is? Do you know who Kevin Trudeau is? How about Jenny McCarthy? Jim Carrey? Ariana Huffington? Oprah Winfrey?

    You see, C B, the problem here is that there is no excuse left today for claiming censorship and suppression of CAM. Anyone can publish anything on the Intertubes, and there are a number of prominent sites that would be happy to host and promote the research results. As for funding, there are plenty of well-heeled advocates, nevermind a significant government program that is becoming increasingly hostile to concepts like rigor. If the data’s there, there is no longer an excuse for hiding it.

    As for your other comments: You really are clueless about science. I’m actually seeing a lot of God-of-the-gaps in your arguments. Interesting…especially considering most of the gaps you hide CAM in aren’t gaps at all. A lot of what you think science can’t study, it can.

  149. #149 Happeh
    May 16, 2009

    RTT? You don’t know what you are talking about. Censorship is as easy today as it has ever been.

    You claim the internet can be used to bypass censorship. That is not true. The internet is basically controlled by Google. Google owns Youtube. Between the two of them, they can censor just about anything produced.

    It does not have to be obvious censorship. If your work is published on the internet, and the google search returns your work on page 100 of the search results, you are censored. No one looks at 100 pages of search results. Google just censored you without really censoring you.

    Youtube is banning videos left and right. I read that both Alex Jones and that guy called The Amazing Randi have had their Youtube channels completely removed from Youtube.

    How about an anecdotal story? Someone set up a Google bomb so that if you keyed in the word “liar” and hit the “I want to take a chance button” on google, the homepage of the Prime Minister of Britain, Tony Blair, would show up.

    A day later the Google bomb no longer worked. Google said “they had reworked their algorithm”. Baloney! The British Government told Google to change the google bomb or else.

    Censorship is just as easy as it ever was, whether you accept it or not.

  150. #150 Orac
    May 16, 2009

    I did a proven protocol for invasive breast cancer, I took the herbs and did the diet, plus exercise, prayer, purest water I could find. My tests were all clear of cancer the following year. I’m getting more tests, to see how I’m still doing. I did nothing else to cure it. I hope I’ve been faithful enough with herbs/diet to stay cancer-free. If not, I will go back to totally healthy eating/living, and get rid of it again. The same way.
    Thousands have been healed of cancer thru proven plans of herbs/diet.

    Do tell. Who are these “thousands”? Where is the documentation. Rest assured, if thousands had truly been “cured” by such regimens, medical science would sit up and take notice. Not surprisingly , whenever anyone tries to investigate these claims scientifically, they can never seem to find all these “thousands” of people.

    But let’s get to the nitty gritty. What size was your tumor? Were your lymph nodes positive. How, exactly, was your cancer diagnosed? What kind of biopsy was done? Do you have the pathology report? What was the histology? What tests are currently showing you to be “free of cancer”? Answer those questions, and I may start to take your testimonial more seriously.

  151. #151 jay
    May 16, 2009

    A day later the Google bomb no longer worked. Google said “they had reworked their algorithm”. Baloney! The British Government told Google to change the google bomb or else

    That’s absurd. a Google bomb is an artificial tweak that actually causes an invalid search response. Your example, while funny, is not a legitimate response to the input… it’s an exploitation of a bug, and they were right to correct it (this is true for the history of ‘google bombs’). legitimate Google searches continue to pull up plenty of criticism of the British government.

    Randi got bounced off youtube (but is back, I understand). Critics have learned that if they claim ‘copyright’ they can get stuff taken down quickly because of the draconian government imposed laws.

    But even when Randi was off youtube, he was hardly gone from the internet, and he still showed up on google searches.

  152. #152 Mertle
    May 16, 2009

    My degree is a lowly B.A., I have a bro. who’s an atty, and etc. My daughter is a nurse. However, if I myself were in the cancer treating medical community, this is why I (without Christ Jesus) would not acknowledge actual cures existed:
    (1.) I would hate to admit I’d been wrong and thousands had perished because of it, for decades.
    (2.) I and the rest would lose TONS of money in all the facets of “cancer treatments”, should the cures be acknowledged publicly.I’d have to actually love people and their health, more than the money in my pocket.
    And don’t a great God’s herbs/diet look “stupid” next to man’s great machines and knowledge? Well, we were all there, once.
    Here is some work for you to do: Google… “Essiac”, and go to http://www.beating-cancer-gently.com. Also, google “Dr. Budwig”, “Dr. Brandt”…for starters! You don’t want to take everything in at once. The grief of realizing that the death and dying that’s going on, is because of raw capitalism and ignorance, not illness, is heartbreaking.
    As for the particulars on the cancer I had, without the papers at hand, I can say it was a 9 mm tumor, a “needle” biopsy was done, it was invasive, and etc. The tests done were first a bloodtest, CA 27 29, a mammogram and an ultrasound. All clear. I would love your scrutiny! Let the challenge begin! You do your homework, I’ll do mine, by God’s grace.

  153. #153 T. Bruce McNeely
    May 16, 2009

    Mertle:
    Here is the answer I always give when someone pulls out the “cancer cures are suppressed” malarkey.
    Look up the history of Tb. The discovery of streptomycin and isoniazid eliminated an entire specialty of medicine and closed down hundreds of sanitoria.
    Vaccines have essentially eliminated disabilities in children from polio and rubella (and don’t give me the autism bullshit – it isn’t true).
    I could go on, but my point is – why would cancer be any different?
    It’s also interesting that you reject modern medicine for treatment, but you have trusted and taken full advantage of it for diagnosis.
    Another thing – did you have your tumor excised surgically? You do realize that a 9 mm. tumor would be more than likely to be cured by surgery alone. Check the threads on this case for the details.

  154. #154 Daniel J. Andrews
    May 16, 2009

    Happeh…James Randi has a video explaining why his channel was taken off youtube. He says it was all done properly over concerns about copyrighted material. He emphasizes it was all on the up and up. Check out his video on youtube suspension where he says…

    “As you can see, no one was attacking us, and no one acted unfairly – the complainants were within their rights, and YouTube acted according to their rules. In fact, when we started conversing with one of the complainants and with YouTube, everyone acted in a civilized and even friendly manner. The matter was resolved quickly and, I think, to everyone’s satisfaction.”

  155. #155 rrt
    May 16, 2009

    Oh WOW. Yeah, man, the conspiracy stretches all the way to Google!

    Happeh, you are truly a blithering idiot. You gonna tell me that Google can, and would, censor HuffPo? Whale.to? Age of Autism? Hell, even the DI is altie-sympathetic today (look at mirtle…what the heck her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ has to do with proving altmed I haven’t a clue). The entirety of NCCAM and the journals dependent on them? The celebrities and large industries who love and sell this stuff on their timeslot-dominating shows…Google can censor them, too? Man, XKCD was right…they have ninjas! Cory Doctorow save us!

    You’re an idiot. There is no excuse. The funding can be had, the venues can be had. You could even email the earth-shattering work to many of the SB bloggers, and I guarantee at least some would actually review it. But regardless of us being evil pharma shills, there is no excuse for claiming the information is censored and suppressed. Make a blog. Post it there. Post a link here. Done.

  156. #156 Ender
    May 16, 2009

    Mertle, firstly, you’re right, God has given us the right herbs to cure ourselves – and also the intelligence to design study trials to work out which treatments are actually beneficial and which aren’t. And the capability to isolate the chemical components of those herbs and use only the ones that treat the disease – which is why we can take penicillin rather than eating the fungus that produces it.

    Secondly – some of the reasons you’ve given for doctors to not acknowledge cancer cures are plausible – not the one about avoiding diet/herbs because “great God’s herbs/diet look “stupid” next to man’s great machines and knowledge? Well, we were all there, once”

    Diet is a modality used by ‘conventional’ medicine. And as for ‘us all being their once’ – no, plenty of doctors are religious, you can’t ascribe your previous views to ‘all’ of everyone else.

    What you say about doctors not wanting to kill the cash cow of cancer treatment is certainly possible. However you’re overlooking the fact that the person/team who makes the discovery will earn themselves a position in history. If the treatment is cheap to produce, say herbal, and effective – all that is needed is a verifiable study published in a medical journal and the cure will be out there – if there is a purified form that’s more effective then the pharmacological company that produces the drugs will make billions.

    And as T. Bruce McNeely says, there is a history of discoveries in medicine that eliminate established treatments – that is the way of progressive science, previous stopgaps and treatments for diseases and the symptoms people suffer from them fade away when they’re no longer necessary.

  157. #157 Chris
    May 16, 2009

    mertle, you said the plans were proven and you were asked to provide the documentation. I did not ask your educational level (I only have a BS in engineering), nor did I want you to show what words to plug into Google. I specifically asked for the journal, title, author and date of the paper that the evidence is published in… or at least the minimum that would let me get the paper in http://www.pubmed.gov.

    To show how well suppressed it is, I plugged “essiac” into the PubMed search window and got 22 hits. So exactly how is essiac suppressed again? Anyway, I clicked on the one that dealt with breast cancer, Trial of Essiac to ascertain its effect in women with breast cancer (TEA-BC), which says:

    CONCLUSIONS: Essiac does not appear to improve HR-QOL or mood states. Future studies are needed to determine whether other clinical outcomes, such as cancer reoccurrence, are affected by Essiac.

  158. #158 RMM Barrie
    May 16, 2009

    Mertle @138

    without the papers at hand, I can say it was a 9 mm tumor, a “needle” biopsy was done, it was invasive, and etc. The tests done were first a bloodtest, CA 27 29, a mammogram and an ultrasound. All clear. I would love your scrutiny! Let the challenge begin! You do your homework, I’ll do mine,

    In addition to the others, you could do your homework by answering the specific questions of Orac at 136. Etc. is not an answer. Nor is it clear which parts are pre and post self treatment. So, if your statement about “love your scrutiny!” is true, then I am sure you will be forthcoming.

    At the same time you could address the observation of T. Bruce McNeely “It’s also interesting that you reject modern medicine for treatment, but you have trusted and taken full advantage of it for diagnosis.” That includes, for me, your observations on “radiation ovens” and what your concerns would be from the ionizing radiation from your mammogram(s).

    So as not to comment before confirmation, please provide complete names for the doctors. For Budwig I got “Dr Johanna Budwig diet – Cancer, Arthritis, Multiple sclerosis, Psoriasis, Eczema, Acne, … Flaxseed oil and cottage cheese”

    For Brandt, a dermatologist, Dr. Fredric Brandt, who’s publications in PubMed are under, Brandt FS, who may or not be the same person, but I see nothing about what you are writing about.

  159. #159 C B
    May 16, 2009

    Well, yikes. I thought I had come across a site frequented by folks who could give a good debate. Instead, I find them lowering themselves to name-calling and sarcasm. Chris even pulled the online equivalent of playground behavior…you know, plugging his/her ears and exclaiming “I can’t hear you!”. I was eager to return this morning and find that someone had addressed the points I made about the U.S.’s lousy health statistics or the research link I posted last night. By the way, all of Ashton Embry’s information & protocol is available on the website of the UK’s MS Society. If only an American will do, here’s Dr. Perlmutter’s website:
    http://www.renegadeneurologist.com/category/dr-perlmutter/

  160. #160 Paul Johnson
    May 16, 2009

    “Well, yikes. I thought I had come across a site frequented by folks who could give a good debate. Instead, I find them lowering themselves to name-calling and sarcasm.”

    Thats because you aren’t capable of giving a good debate and have shown yourself to be a complete fool.

  161. #161 mertle
    May 16, 2009

    I forgive you your brusque demanding manner of communicating. And please forgive me, where I have offended you.
    I will look up the papers, but I’ve been very busy this morning. Writing here is extra, not my main exercise, lol.
    Yes, foolishly, I went along with the biopsy, and the metal chip they left in me has caused me trouble ever since. I never should have gotten it, and I never should have gotten the mammogram,
    http://www.preventcancer.com/patients/mammography/ijhs_mammography.htm. Thermography and blood test would have been sufficient. By the way, our trauma doctors do try to heal, to cure, to make whole, to mend by stitching…the Biblical definition of physician. I respect any true doctor who is an actual healer.
    Try googling Essiac testimonies, Dr. Johanna Budwig is correct, and Dr. Johanna Brandt is the other. I’d google their names plus the word testimonies and read carefully.
    Either you will believe the ramblings of super-intellectuals or people who have exprerienced amazing healing.
    For info on radiation please see http://www.mnwelldir.org/docs/fraud/radiation.htm.
    For chem info please see http://www.naturalnews.com/012727.html
    Now, I shall go locate mis papeles to see what I can share regarding diagnosis and biopsy!

  162. #162 Julian
    May 16, 2009

    The ‘doctors are evil disgusting monsters and the government is run by Hitler’ crowd has been asked to present some sort of evidence for their position that isn’t absolute crap but hasn’t.

    There’s a shocker./sarcasm

  163. #163 Kevin
    May 16, 2009

    Ok first off, if you haven’t experienced Hodgkins lymphoma, or at least cancer, personally…. then you need to stop shut up and read this. 2nd, if you have cancer and are feeling lost and scared by your doctor, and haven’t done any realistic and practical research into “alternative” treatment, then you ,REALLY need to read this.

    Now, for those still reading:

    First of all, Daniel’s parents may not be making all the “right” decisions, but they are truly making the BEST decisions when it comes to the HEALTH of their child. The irony, sadly, is that they will be condemned for it. Now why am I saying this… because I’ve invested hundreds and hundreds of hours into researching Hodgkins lymphoma clinically and alternatively. Why? Because my wife HAD it. Long story short, we refused chemo and radiation (at the time our reasons were for the fact that chemo often results in infertility) and ended up finding ourselves on a nonstop journey of education towards other methods, techniques and information. What we found, was MIND-BLOWING, shocking, challenging to the core, angering, scary, but ultimately exciting. Thanks to what we have learned, we are now healthier than ever, and expecting our first child in November. Oh, and did I mention, the cancer is G-O-N-E (we have 2 oncologists). To really begin, let me just say this: It is a FACT that cancer can be EASILY cured with “alternative” means — i.e. without the use of toxic poison. As a matter of fact, you cannot HEAL any-thing with poison! (Why is that common sense in the real world, but in the doctor’s office it’s common practice???) Some interesting facts (from my own research, not copy and pasted):

    *More people are now employed to treat cancer than there are people who are diagnosed with cancer each year (that’s over 500,000!).

    *Each cancer patient generates ~$1.2 million for the cancer INDUSTRY.

    *Out of the ~$300 BILLION cancer profit, ~$64 billion goes back out for marketing and conventional R&D (more drugs). Only $10 million is spent annually to research alternative treatments, and that’s b/c the AMA was embarassed into admitting they actually work thanks to irrefutable evidence.

    *Every American doctor only receives 0-3hrs. of nutritional education during their ENTIRE medical education!! On the flip side, they are extremely educated in drugs and other toxic chemicals. HOWEVER, NO ONE knows the negative synergy of these drugs and chemicals. You are the guinea pig.

    *When it comes to bacteria, a doctor will collect a sample, develop it in a lab, and then administer the appropriate antibiotic. This is STANDARD procedure; EVERY doc does this for bacteria infections! There are only 2 places that do this in the US. Rational Therapeutics in CA, and Impath in NY. WHY IS THIS NOT DONE WITH CHEMOTHERAPY?! (think about it.)

    One thing I’ve noticed, CT/PET scans are the main resource used for determing cancer growth and progression. There are 3 HUGE problems with this. 1) Cancer is fed by glucose. Modern medicine knows this. That’s why CT/PET scans work. Yet, when you drink they’re radioactive glucose, you have just given the cancer a steroid shot of the food it needs to grow! 2) Each CT/PET scan emits a TON of radiation into the patient. Radiation is cumulative throughtout your lifetime. Your body doesn’t excrete it. One CT/PET scan is the rough equivalent of 16yrs. of mammograms or 400 chest xrays. The public is just starting to become aware of this. Did anyone see the April ’09 cover of Reader’s Digest (http://www.zinio.com/browse/issues/index.jsp;jsessionid=202D2570AD6965BC9D34B92B71862949.ns101a?skuId=395943526) It’s a reality that radiation from CT/PET scans can CAUSE CANCER! 3) Aside from actually feeding the cancer and giving you extreme amounts of carcinogenic radiation, the main problem with the CT/PET scans is the tool used to view the cancer…… THE NAKED EYE!!!! Now, we all know that cancer operates at the cellular level.. That’s just common sense… right? Sooo,… when is the last time anyone was ever able to see a cell with the naked eye????….. Yet this is the tool the radiologist and oncologist uses to proudly declare “You’re cancer free!” — Reeeaalllyy…. — HOWEVER, other tests, infinitely more accurate than a CT/PET scan do exist. How are they more accurate? Because they provide data at the CELLULAR LEVEL. Yet they are not given or even recognized in the U.S. Why? Hmm… did I mention the average CT/PET scan costs the patient $8000+ dollars. My wife and I are still paying for ours. Quick, what’s 500,000 cancer patients x $8,000 x multiple scans annually?… I’ll let you do the math. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. (Each chemo treatment bag alone is average $30,000! Wonder what it looks like if you spill it on your hand… http://www.polymvasurvivors.com/images/chemo_spill.jpg) — Wanna know how much the other tests are? One is a blood test (the blood AMAS test) at $160, and one is a urine test at $50 (the urine HCG test). And of the 2, the urine test is more accurate! I would explain how they all work, but this is getting pretty darn long as it is. I’ll just say this, the urine test works b/c it indicates the amount of rapidly replicating cells in your body by measuring the amount of a certain hormone in your body. The test is so accurate, it can tell you if you have cancer up to 2yrs. before a CT/PET scan could ever see it!! That’s b/c by the time the naked eye can actually “see” a tumor, it’s already made up of over 5 billion cancer cells (about the size of the tip of a pencil eraser). You can read all about it in Bill Henderson’s book, Cancer-Free. I hate saying that b/c it looks like I’m selling something, but it’s the truth. Read the book if you wanna know more (or just type in “hcg cancer test” in google and read the first link — Bill Henderson will give you explicit instructions on how to do the test, google will provide some background info).

    Let’s talk about statistics for a moment. You know, the kind the judge used to reach his “oh-so-smart” verdict. If you have HIV, AIDS, heart disease, diabetes, or any other major health challenge, you would only be considered cured when the virus/ disease is permanently gone, never to return. With cancer, you are considered “cured” if you SURVIVE 5 years from the date of your DIAGNOSIS, NOT from the date of your last chemotherapy treatment… That means, the sec. a doc says “You have cancer.” the clock starts ticking and if you are breathing 5 yrs. to the day after that point, you are a STATISTICAL CANCER SURVIVOR. How disgusting and disingenuous is that?! Oh, AND, if you die BEFORE the 5 yr. mark of pneumonia, b/c the chemo scorched your immune system (1 of its many side effects), then you didn’t die from chemotherapy, you died of pneumonia! Thus, you are left out of the statistics. Additionally, people who supplement with alternative care and actually do well, are lumped in with the rest so as to make chemo/ radiation look even more effective. Lastly, if you die before treatment concludes and you are over something like 65 or 70, then you are excluded from statistics b/c you are considered to have died naturally, of old age (I forget the b.s. term given to this justification). Here’s an interesting article on another way statistics are manipulated: http://www.naturalnews.com/019368.html

    Today’s youth is the first generation in history to be SICKER THAN THEIR PARENTS!!!! WHAT?!?! Movies and documentaries like The Beautiful Truth, Food Inc., We are What We Eat, Healing Cancer from the Inside Out, Crazy-Sexy Cancer, and many others are coming out more and more. There’s a reason for that! People are waking up! A health revolution is coming. Heck, there’s already a book called The Self-Health Revolution. It’s incredible. I recommend it.

    — Thousands of people know this stuff. And if you don’t “know” it, chances are you can sense it. You know, like when you can tell someone isn’t telling you the whole truth.. instinctively. Yet no one who has actually done it is given the respected attention they deserve, and no major media network is allowed to truly and unbiasedly cover it (who do you think are the networks’ biggest sponsors?… have you noticed ~1 in every 3-4 commercials is a DRUG COMMERCIAL?! Same with magazine ads). Try to create a business around helping people eliminate cancer without poison and you go to JAIL (see Jason Vale). If a doctor even MENTIONS that you should seek alternative means PRIOR to chemo and/ or radiation and surgery, they risk losing their license, their job, their reputation, they’re fined, AND they may also go to prison! OPEN YOUR EYES PEOPLE! It’s not rocket-science. Something is WRONG. These are published, corroborated facts. Stop swallowing the lie that “modern medicine” is shoving down your throat that your own instinct is telling you is “off.” Do your own research, talk to people who have been there, outside the conventional box, and GET EDUCATED!

    A great place to start, and possibly the best summation on the topic I’ve seen, is from a guy who cured himself of stage III non-hodgkins lymphoma – Jerry Brunetti. Watch both videos.

    http://www.nuganics.com.au/2007/07/06/jerry-brunetti-food-as-medicine/

    _Kevin
    Atlanta, GA

  164. #164 tumaat
    May 16, 2009

    Well Chris if you are distracted by typos apposed to the meaning then you present well that is the way you probably think and yes from watching the boobtube (TV) which millions still do to their detriment.

    But I do stand corrected nonetheless that the spelling was incorrect.

    Again to define the word allopathic, again you are presenting your narrow-minded short-sighted position. Allopathic is “so-called conventional medicine”. By the way in the US TCM is not considered conventional medicine because primitive science can’t figure out how it works.

    Even acupuncture, which has become acceptable, is only a small part of TCM. The system in which TCM is based on, divination, to this day so called modern science cannot figure out.

    The sad truth is science alone ignores things it can’t understand and adopts only what it can understand. I call that partially informed. Without being fully informed we have situations where people are treated for Ulcers with psychology, until science can catch up and identify the cause. Only then can allopathic medicine stop shooting in the dark as it is doing with this kid. It appears the kid is in remission without Chemo — perhaps what he is doing is working.

    This is like seeing an elephant’s tail and calling it a snake cause you have not advanced in your vision to see the whole.

    Right now there are studies that show something as common as high blood pressure is being treated with medication that actually cause more sickness resulting in renal failure in many cases. No wonder there are so many people in the dialysis (AMA cash cow) shop after being forced to take beta blockers.

    Either you know what the cause is or you don’t. If you don’t then your not in a position to tell others how to deal with something.

    Again doctors nor science cure nothing. The human body when brought to a state of homeostasis cures and I repeat cures all illnesses every time, 100%.

    Many doctors know this in the US, but have not the courage to state such and promote it as they might just lose their privileged MD (license to play God).

    I rest my case.

  165. #165 Julian
    May 16, 2009

    “Again doctors nor science cure nothing. The human body when brought to a state of homeostasis cures and I repeat cures all illnesses every time, 100%.”



    Are you guys really this stupid?

  166. #166 tumaat
    May 16, 2009

    And yes, T. Bruce McNeely ,we have conquered or we thought, infectious disease with the magic pill, only to create problems else where in the body in the form of Chronic disorders, which via the Genome Project we are finally learning. Methicillin-resistant staph, have you heard of it? That’s not the only one – just the most popular and prevalent. What about Swine Flu 2, the one that affects humans, and the media is having a hyper-feast with.

    Regarding, Autism with vaccines, the verdict is not in. Like medical science you make judgment on something before you get all the facts it seems. Give it time and you may live to eat your judgement or be like Obama, know what your talking about before you open your mouth in writing. Stop watching the boob Tube as it’s scrambling your electromagnet waves to your brain. You need to operate from the part of your brain that can make good and clear judgements. Oh, you wouldn’t know about that cause Medical Science is still too primitive to prove that, right?

    We have epedemics in diabetes, heart disorders, arthritis and the list goes on…. So despite living longer we live sicker. I think it is over 36 million in the US that receive SS disability, that’s higher than unemployment. What has Medical Science done with that and it is growing at an alarming rate. By the way you have to be near dead to get those benefits.

    Again as I have stated until we get with how the body works and stop telling it how to work we will continue in darkness and great suffering dispite high intellects.

    Real science says if you do xyz you will get abc so stop doing xyz. Modern science say if you do xyz you can keep doing xyz and we will just work on 123 causes we don’t understand xyz. If it doesn’t fit in their box then it’s not considered. Hopefully with the Genome Project we will start seeing some real science and start seeing clinical results by spending more time learning the language of the human body and fulfilling what it asked to stay in a state of homeostasis.

    Understand me. I am not against science. But, let’s get some real science that can take in consideration all factors leading to a disposition. At present Medical Science as we know it is far from that and as many have stated highly politicized.

  167. #167 Julian
    May 16, 2009

    “Understand me. I am not against science.”

    He says after declaring that the weight of all medical knowledge gained through science in the past century isn’t worth anything.

  168. #168 Chris
    May 16, 2009

    tumaat:

    Well Chris if you are distracted by typos

    Once is a “typo”, more than that is a sign of being clueless. Which is shown with more clueless statements that follow with your claims without evidence on vaccine, autism, heart disorders (by the way one of the results of living longer is that fewer people die from disease, and die of diseases of the elderly like heart disease, arthritis and cancer), and on and on.

  169. #169 tumaat
    May 16, 2009

    C.B.
    Your post 109, spoken like a true master.

    The power to heal yourself is within you, whether or not you “go there” in this lifetime is not for anyone to decide but you.

    Many on here will not wake-up until the Barrel
    of the gun is between both eyes. By then it
    will be too late for them.

    Anyway got to go get my alternative treatment for the week – a full body massage!

    cya

    Don’t get so carried away by those so deep in the forest they can even see the trees.

  170. #170 Julian
    May 16, 2009

    “Don’t get so carried away by those so deep in the forest they can even see the trees.”

    Only YOU can prevent forest fires!

  171. #171 RMM Barrie
    May 16, 2009

    CB @145

    Back at 93 you said: “As a believer in holistic health” and then have re-enforced that with all sorts of statements. You make some fundamental errors which have then separated you from your hard earned money by practicing woo. So what are you looking for?

    Ashton Embry is a geologist who’s primary research activity is the stratigraphy, sedimentology and petroleum geology of the Mesozoic succession of the Sverdrup Basin, a large, hydrocarbon-bearing sedimentary basin in the Arctic Islands, who works for Geological Survey of Canada, in Calgary. In Article One of his booklets, Embry says “Most MS researchers are doctors (MDs) rather than formally trained scientists (PhDs)” There is no citation for this statement, doubt it is true and pretty much sums his bias. Embry basically has some interesting conjecture.

    Ashton Embry’s information & protocol is available on the website of the UK’s MS Society

    Direct MS in the UK is not the MS Society, so please provide a link as to whom you are referring.

    As to your post at 109, read tumaat and that is the idiocy you are associating yourself with.

  172. #172 Orac
    May 16, 2009

    And by the way, I was diagnosed with a needle biopsy at this wonderful place I work for and underwent a lumpectomy. I did not let them take my lymph nodes. Cancer was later found in the lymph node, I then went to Mexico. I still follow with tests at both facilities. The lymph nodes are clear.

    Excellent. The lumpectomy cured you, not the quackery in Mexico. I’m very happy. By the way, if they didn’t take your lymph nodes, how do you know cancer was later found in a lymph node?

  173. #173 tumaat
    May 16, 2009

    Here is a little something for those naysayers that have yet to come into contact with themselves. Those of you who are clear already will appreciate this. I hope that those who are not will be nudged into at least a tiny bit of self-connection after viewing this video.

    http://tinyurl.com/qsu2hy

    When you “know who you are” what I have said makes perfect sense. When you don’t…

    When you are in truth what is real resonates with you on the cellular level, when you’re not you have discord, poor health, and confusion etc. Need I say more.

    Watch the video then learn how to communicate where it really matters, you might shock yourself!

    peace

  174. #174 RMM Barrie
    May 16, 2009

    Mertle @ 147

    Sorry to reply this late, but I missed your post for whatever reason.

    please forgive me, where I have offended you.

    Not the least bit offended, learning the latest alt med is not something that can be found easily on google. It is your life you are playing with.

    Thermography and blood test would have been sufficient

    You have to get the basics right. Thermography, like mammography is a screening tool. Thermography identifies abnormal physiological changes in your breasts that may be cancerous. Mammography identifies certain structures in the breast that can potentially be cancer, and your link adds nothing. With both mammography and thermography, definitive diagnosis is done by other procedures such as a biopsy or lumpectomy. Blood testing is another screen ( except those of blood ) which could indicate cancer, such as breast cancer, not diagnostic of.

    metal chip they left in me has caused me trouble

    Does not seem plausible.

    plus the word testimonies and read carefully

    Testimonials is not science, is not evidence, studies nothing, is not anything except a recounting of a personal experience based on the perception and knowledge base of the raconteur.

    Essiac testimonies

    Was answered by Chris @143

    Dr. Johanna Brandt

    Was not a doctor of anything and the “Johanna Brandt Grape Cure for Cancer” is something stronger than nonsense. The chemistry, biology and description of grape composition are almost completely wrong.

    Dr. Johanna Budwig

    This diet of flaxseed oil and cottage cheese is almost equivalent to Brandt

    go locate mis papeles to see what I can share regarding diagnosis and biopsy

    Waiting

  175. #175 automandc
    May 17, 2009

    TH(#125): Please provide some link/cite/reference to the “Neferah Act” or “Neferah Treaty” (you refer to both. You do realize that an “Act” is very different from a “Treaty”, right?). Googling both got me zippo. The scientists on the blog are doing a good job calling out BS “science” references, so I figure us lawyers ought to do our best on legal woo.

    CB, tumaat, etc. If “conventional” medicine is so bad/false/fraudulent, and all we need are “God’s herbs” (which, I assume, have been around since at least Genesis Chapter 1), please explain this: http://www.data360.org/dsg.aspx?Data_Set_Group_Id=195

    Orac (#97):

    Society has an interest in protecting a child from medical neglect and suffering death due to the bad decisions of his parents or because his parents are too full of woo or too wimpy to tell a child that he must undergo what is best for him

    Can I ask you to articulate what societal interest you are invoking? From a strictly economic analysis one 13 year old more or less doesn’t really make much difference to the State of Minnesota/The United States. So I infer that you are invoking a philosophical “interest”, and that you further posit that the collective (Minnesotans/Americans) (i.e., “society”) is better off when said “interest” is ranked superior to the liberties claimed by the parents (which claimed liberties you may or may not value). Without knowing which particular “interest” you are relying on, it is impossible to agree or disagree with your assertion that the correct “interest” was valued. (There are actually several different possible “interests” that could be invoked to support the judge’s decision, and you may have meant a collection of societal interests — I won’t quibble over plural/singular).

  176. #176 RMM Barrie
    May 17, 2009

    Automandc @ 161
    I stopped reading TH @125 after the first sentence of the second paragraph, as it descended into bullshit baffles brains, or in another way, had a troll label attached to it.
    Consider the following quotes:
    The Nemenhah Band and Native American Traditional Organization (Oklevueha Native American Church of Sanpete) was formed, not by incorporation, which is the method utilized in other state laws to form a church, but rather by declaration, as is also provided in Utah State Law. As such, it is not a commerce or fee-based association or club. It is a Native American Church and Indigenous Group with a Permanent Membership which supports the Band and its official programs through generous offerings and donations at various levels of its organization.
    Source: http://blog.nemenhah.org/
    The constitution was approved by the General Assembly this Nineteenth (19) day of February, 2008, A.D.
    Source: http://www.nemenhah.org/images/pdf/NemenhahConstitution08.pdf
    Phillip ‘Cloudpiler’ Landis, NAP, ND, was elected to the position of Principle Medicine Chief and has been re-elected every year since then by the unanimous vote of the yearly Great Council of the Nemenhah.
    Source: http://www.nemenhah.org/internal/about_us.html
    The Nemenhah Band has no assets or property
    Source: http://blog.nemenhah.org/
    Phillip Ried Landis was born to Anola Jewel Bird and Ivan E. ‘Ike’ Catherman – son of Pawna Tawny, listed in the 1900 Nez Perce Census (US). Legally adopted at age four by John C. Landis.
    Given the name “Hemen Ot To-oh-yelo Akekt” by Five Eagles, Medicine Man of the Yakima and Wanapum People (now deceased).
    Graduated 1979 – Hanford High School, Richland, WA.
    Naturopathic Doctorate – Herbal Healer Academy, AK – 1999
    ANMCAB National Board Certificate (under tutelage of Don Hayhurst) – Naturopath – 2000
    Convicted – 2000 – Montana – Deceptive Business Practices/Theft by Deception – 30 days in County Jail, Two Concurrent Judgments of 10 years – Suspended.
    Convicted 2001 – Idaho – Same Case as above – Later Dismissed.
    Blessed and Appointed President and CEO of the Oklevueha Native American Church of Sanpete (Sanhempet) “For As Long As He Walks Mother Earth” – 2003 – Oklevueha Native American Church of Utah.Elected Principle Medicine Chief of the Nemenhah Band and Native American Traditional Organization – 2003 – Mother’s Council of the Nemenhah.
    Source: http://blog.nemenhah.org/?page_id=2
    Our Mission is to provide a safety net for Natural Healers by effectively bringing the Sacred back into Natural Healing. We concentrate our efforts in the Healing of the Body Physical, the Body Familial, the Body Societal and the Whole Earth.
    Source: http://www.nemenhah.org/internal/about_us.html
    In summary, this naturopath Cloudpiler, set up an organization solely to sell his brand of woo, and protect himself from any recrimination or legal repercussions. All the religious considerations is merely a smokescreen that has nearly worked in killing a child. Correct me, with reasons, if you think I am wrong.

  177. #177 T. Bruce McNeely
    May 17, 2009

    tumaat:

    You need to work on your reading comprehension before your arguments will begin to impress me.

  178. #178 tumaat
    May 19, 2009

    Well, Bruce as you have said very little of relevance I will take your recent comments as having very little relevance as well.

    Often folks that make irrelevant comments, are often devoid of anything meaningful in their life, much less the mind. It would appear that might be you. But, only you can answer that, right?

    Peace

  179. #179 Orac
    May 19, 2009

    In case anyone’s interested, I’ve done a bit of an analysis of mertle’s testimonial:

    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2009/05/when_testimonials_attack.php

  180. #180 sophia8
    May 19, 2009

    @CB: “Sophia, don’t take anything personally just because you have chronic conditions and have not yet cured yourself. ”
    I told you what my conditions were – look them up (that’s what the internet is for). They certainly can’t be cured by herbs and diet. (I’m still waiting for you to tell us what your condition is, btw.)
    I keep myself informed on my conditions, and before I take any new prescribed drug I check it on the internet, ask about it on my support groups as well as discuss it with my doctor. Unlike you, I regard my doctor – and all doctors, in fact – as colleagues and helpers in keeping me alive and healthy. While I’m the expert on my own body, doctors have a wealth of knowledge and experience in dealing with bodies that I cannot hope to equal. I’ve yet to meet a ‘natural healer’ who knows even as much as I do about how my body works – that’s why I go to the medics instead.

    Finally, a little OT: there really should be an internet law that deals with the assumption that everybody in the world lives in America. Any suggestions for a name?

  181. #181 Laurel
    May 19, 2009

    TH@ 125: “Cloudpiler” is no more Native American than I am. He discovered that playing injun was a great way to get his hands on some peyote and, later, make a profit on fake medicines without having to be held accountable to anyone for anything. Then he discovered he could charge people to “become Indians”–and keep right on charging them regularly as a condition of remaining “Indians.” How traditionally Native American does any of that sound to you? (OK, maybe the petoye, but they don’t have to lie about their race to get any.)

    http://whistlingelk.blogspot.com/

    It was very easy for me to find this out without going to the blog above or any of the other sites I’ve researched “Cloudpiler” on. All I had to do was look at what actual Native Americans have to say about such people. What they say is this:

    “Native people DO NOT believe it is ethical to charge money for any ceremony or teaching. Any who charge you even a penny are NOT authentic.”

    http://www.geocities.com/ourredearth/plastic.html

    The Native Americans I know are also very upset about this “adoptions” thing. They say you cannot be adopted into a nation (a legitimate one, that is), only into a family. Being an “adopted” NA gives you zero rights or privileges.

    The internet (and the world) is full of fake shamans, fake Native Americans who don’t care who they hurt or kill. Some have criminal records. Some have histories of sexual abuse. None have as many scruples as the average person has in hir little finger. Not one–otherwise they would not be doing what they’re doing.

  182. #182 Kurt Smith
    May 19, 2009

    How can this site be naturally selected by evolution? That sounds like insolence.

  183. #183 T. Bruce Mcneely
    May 19, 2009

    Tumaat sez:
    And yes, T. Bruce McNeely ,we have conquered or we thought, infectious disease with the magic pill, only to create problems else where in the body in the form of Chronic disorders, which via the Genome Project we are finally learning. Methicillin-resistant staph, have you heard of it? That’s not the only one – just the most popular and prevalent. What about Swine Flu 2, the one that affects humans, and the media is having a hyper-feast with.

    And what does this have to do with my point that
    cures that work are NOT suppressed by the “Medical-
    Industrial-Big Pharma” ooga-booga?

    Regarding, Autism with vaccines, the verdict is not in.

    Yes, it is. You simply choose to ignore it.

    Like medical science you make judgment on something before you get all the facts it seems.

    As opposed to you, who makes judgment DESPITE the facts
    you are getting

    Give it time and you may live to eat your judgement or be like Obama, know what your talking about before you open your mouth in writing.

    As time goes on, the “evidence” linking vaccination
    and autism gets less and less (not that there was
    anything other than fraud to begin with). I somehow
    doubt that you will “eat your judgment”.

  184. #184 Doug
    May 19, 2009

    This case and the others like them are violations of basic human rights, plain and simple. The expected outcome is irrelevant. The child does not want the treatment. The family does not want the treatment. The state has no right to browbeat what they feel to be the correct medical decision on anyone.

    They also lost the only chance they had at the family deciding that they would like the treatment for the child, or for the child to go along with it. Congratulations, now he really will die.

    Freedom means real freedom, including the freedom to royally fuck up or make a decision out of fear. Our entire government is out of control on the level of authority they want to have over families, all for the “state interest” that they want more happy good tax payers in the future.

  185. #185 Dangerous Bacon
    May 19, 2009

    Regarding Micki’s claims – her story is far too vague for any conclusions to be made. My take (from a pathologist’s perspective):

    Apparently she had a lumpectomy for breast cancer (she doesn’t say that was the diagnosis, but notes that cancer was later found in a lymph node, so it’s necessary to assume that whatever “cancer” it was came from the breast). Most commonly such a tumor would be breast carcinoma (ductal or lobular type).

    We don’t know how the cancer in the node was diagnosed (fine needle aspirate? excisional lymph node biopsy? sentinel lymph node biopsy (using a technique to identify the probable site of first metastasis from a breast primary)? axillary dissection to remove all the regional lymph nodes?). If she had a sentinel node procedure following (or at the same time as) her lumpectomy, it’s possible that surgery removed all of her tumor. Normally in such a case there’d be followup adjuvant therapy to minimize chances of further tumor metastasis. However there could still be prolonged survival or complete cure without such treatment.

    Micki’s going to Mexico to get some quack therapy did nothing except drain her pocketbook. Her story sounds like yet another case of someone who had just enough conventional treatment to get rid of their obvious cancer, who then credits woo for making them cancer-free.

    As to mertle, wonder why she never thinks of the possibility of God working through physicians like Orac? Sounds to me like a very limited version of faith.

  186. #186 Jeff
    May 19, 2009

    I have written about this issue on my blog, and reference yours.

    http://leafsofchange.blogspot.com/2009/05/court-forces-minnesota-teen-into-cancer.html

  187. #187 Erick H.
    May 19, 2009

    I’ve always been suspicious that a treatment (chemo) that doused your body with poison, makes you sick as a dog and makes your hair fall out, was bogus, and wondered if I’d ever choose it if I ever was faced with the option.

    However, in this case, where there is an 85% or 90% chance that one will survive with it and none without it, it’s obvious what the choice should be. At least TRY it.

    These parents are guilty of gross negligence. The fact that they follow some Neo-Native American Swami and try to hide their negligence under that fact is even worse.

    What vitamins is Swami going to give you to make you feel better when your kid is dead? Oh, never mind, I have no doubt he’ll find something… for the right price.

    Send me some, will you? Because this whole thing makes me sick and depressed as hell.

  188. #188 Sam
    May 19, 2009

    Has anyone hear about many, many , many people beating cancer with nutrition and alternative therapy? Traditional surgery/chemo/radiation don’t address the cause of cancer and that is it is always comes back. Nutrition and alternative treatment do. Read books of Kris Carr and David J. Fraham. My friend lives with cancer past his “due” day. If he had not refused traditional treatment, he would have been dead 4 years ago.What a shame that government intervenes. I will pray for Daniel. Run mother, run

  189. #189 Sam
    May 19, 2009

    Julian, #151, They are stupid, typical Americans that believe everything they are told. Ignoramuses. Don’t waste your breath.

  190. #190 J. D.
    May 19, 2009

    I am not religious , nor am I a lawyer, or a doctor but it seems to me , that if all the people judges lawyers doctors and clergy really want to walk their talk on this , they would pony up and pay every cent of the medical expenses since they are forcing him and his family to go against what they believe , of course lets not go there either . It also sounds like , they ( meaning the professionals in the medical community ) didnt spend enough time explaining what the treatment was and what it was all about, and what he would go through and how he would feel BEFORE the child underwent his first chemo treatment . I doubt they counseled him or his family longer then a 20 minute session or two adequate by whose standard? . I doubt they provided support ( meaning no appt necessary) for the questions that would obviously arise . A pretty heartless bunch of phonies to not take this childs emotions into consideration and disregard his families feelings as well.

    Now being forced to undergo this and possibly lose his family whom he loves because they believe differently then you or I , be put into foster care and create more hardship for them then they deserve, I hope he lives and is healed without it ! So if there is prayer thats my prayer .

    These laws need to be changed . Its their choice, not yours mine or anyone else’s. A 13 yr old not so very long ago was more of a man then most are today at thirty , regardless of education or stature many were put in situations of great responsibility.
    Lets all save everybody they cry but wont help them when they run out of $$$ . There is a real dark side to hospitals and the way they manipulate the system for those who can pay vrs those who cant then when your loved one is denied treatment or even released before they are ready to go home ( because they state run insurance wont cover it or their own insurance wont cover it ) and youve spent every dime you have then “its gods will ” ? What crock , I hope the kid lives !

  191. #191 Chris
    May 19, 2009

    Sam:

    They are stupid, typical Americans that believe everything they are told. Ignoramuses. Don’t waste your breath.

    The interwebs are international, how do you know who is American and who is not?

  192. #192 Sam
    May 19, 2009

    I am sorry # 150, I meant I am with you. So said that people are stupid. Well, they deserve what they get. Some cancers, left alone, will remain dormant and never cause any problems. If you start chemo.surgery/radiation, you will sure die rather sooner.

  193. #193 pathgirl
    May 19, 2009

    OMG, Landis went to Hanford high in Richland, Wa? I am now ashamed to call it my home town. By the way it was built around the nuclear industry & produced the plutonium in one of the H-bombs in WWII….how does that compute in his native healing BS??

  194. #194 Chris
    May 20, 2009

    Sam, the question is how do you know that any one commenter is a certain nationality? With the double “aa” in his name tumaat could just as well be Dutch. Declaring all the persons in the third largest country by population with one single attribute is not very bright either.

  195. #195 MrsGrapevine
    May 20, 2009

    What the parents don’t realize is that the pain of dying from cancer is far worst than radiation and chemo. Your body shuts down, and the pain is so unbearable that doctors have to give you morphine. My mom died of cancer, and what it does to your body is horrific. You don’t just fall asleep.

  196. #196 Rich Bergeron
    May 20, 2009

    A kid named Billy Best ran away from home in the 90s to avoid chemo and made it on Inside Edition. He took a natural treatment called 714-X and something called Essiac Tea: all natural. This 90 percent chance of a cure crap they keep slinging around about chemo is a lie. Just think of the “Cancer Treatment Centers of America” ad on TV all the time now. I’m talking about the one where “Peggy” talks about her encounter with a doctor who told her she had no “expiration date.” This case illustrates what’s wrong with the justice system and health care in the same breath. Sad for America, I think. I took 714-X myself as a preventive for cancer. I only know the Billy Best story because my cousin talked to him before she took it when doctors gave her only three weeks to live after rigorous traditional treatment. About a month after she started treatment, my 7 year old cousin was riding in the family car when a bunch of puss just ooozed out her ear. The tumor behind her nose had simply dissolved and leaked out her ear canal, and a subsequent test proved it. She is healthy and in her 20s today. Go to http://www.suckssite.com if you have something like this to protest and learn what it takes to get your message out and protect your campaign in court if you have to.

  197. #197 Chris
    May 20, 2009

    Rich, the plural of anecdote is not data.

  198. #198 T
    May 20, 2009

    No one has the right to tell you what to put in your body and what not to. Choice… I respect the choice of this young man! I respect the choice of his parents… If this was happening in my family… I would try other means before I resorted to Chemo, and that would be for my children as well, and we have the right to make that choice. FREEDOOOOOOMMMMM FREEEEDOMMMM FREEEEDOOOOM!

  199. #199 Chris
    May 20, 2009

    T, do you also support parents withholding antibiotics to a child who is about two years old? The young man is severely learning disabled, and has tried the herbs and magic water, but the tumor is back.

    Do you support the “freedom” of allowing a child to die, even though real medicine can save his life?

  200. #200 Tumaat
    May 20, 2009

    @185 Did you know that many successful and famous people grew up with learning disabilities (LD) and/or Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD)? Actor Danny Glover, business leader Charles Schwab,and celebrity designer Ty Pennington, to name a few. Here’s some more. Albert Einstein, Nelson Rockefeller, Galileo, Thomas Edison Sylvester Stallone, Mozart, Gen. George Patton, Wright Brothers Leonardo da Vinci, John F. Kennedy, Cher, Whoopi Goldberg, Bruce Jenner, Gen. Westmoreland, Tom Cruise, Eddie Rickenbacker, Charles Schwab, Henry Winkler, Harry Belafonte, Danny Glover, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Walt Disney, John Lennon, Robin Williams, Steve McQueen Greg Louganis, Louis Pasteur. I could go on with more but learning disabilities is not a “litmus test” of one’s ability to
    understand and grow. So let’s put this learning disability thing to rest.

    Intellect is valuable but as proven over and over again there is more to being human than just pure intellect.

    I did share this @159, freely. Those of you who are smart enough to see truth when placed before you will take this and investigate it more thoroughly, instead of looking for misspelled words and grammatical errors in posts.

    My point. Most people, unfortunately, have failed to tap their innate abilities and gifts that to this day science cannot, measure, quantify, dissect or understand. As such when presented with anything other than what science has deemed acceptable can not even process. The though of such creates confusion is their undeveloped mind. Should we negate the evidence of alternatives to politically motivated, so-called scientific views, simply because modern science can not figure it out, or is only particially informed?

    My friends a truth does not change. If it is correct it will not change. But mordern science is filled with findings that seem to change daily.

    Again, @152 all I am saying is science alone is not a sufficient basis upon which to judge.

  201. #201 Tumaat
    May 20, 2009

    Oh Bruce @169 My argument was not an attack upon you personally. I would never stoop to such base behavior. I would however question “out of sorts behavior and attitude”. I was pointing out the occult “marlarky” in your “here’s what I would say” statement, as your facts were only particially correct. Again the great thing about time is it eventually reveals the truth.

    Peace

  202. #202 Tumaat
    May 20, 2009

    @184 I can’t agree more with you. However I am sorry for the mother and child who have now had to resort to such drastic measures to protect their rights. This is really sad. I think we are trully moving towards a police state in the US and that is frightening. The implecations of this case are enormous. One day we may wake to saying to our grand children I remember when we had freedom.

    Peace

  203. #203 Tumaat
    May 20, 2009

    @180 Chris there you go again with this narrow minded view of things I think this case is happening in the US, often called America. How do you know Tumaat is a male. Chris, a little thought goes a long way my friend.

    Peace

  204. #204 Joelle
    May 20, 2009

    In response to aftercancer’s comment: “I don’t know what the legal mechanisms should be but I want to give this kid chemo and lots of it, until he is “cancer free” or in remission. Then he can grow up and hate the government or become a homeopathic doctor if he wants but at least he’ll get to grow up.”

    Or … maybe in a few years, if he’s forced to go through treatment unwillingly, he’ll obtain some guns & ammo, and maybe even a few bombs. He’ll go on a shooting rampage at the hospital where he was forced into treatment, taking quite a few lives before turning a gun on himself and pulling the trigger. It’s unfortunate, but I feel that I *have* to point this out. Taking people’s power away, like that judge in Minnesota wants to do, often has extremely nasty consequences. I know that my example is pretty extreme, but people can’t assume that this kid is going to take such a thing in stride and grow up to be a mild-mannered libertarian or naturopath either.

  205. #205 Chris
    May 20, 2009

    Tumaat, as far I am concerned you could be a hermaphrodite, and Sam was calling you ignorant.

    While I agree with Sam that you are ignorant, I just think it is just as ignorant of Sam to claim the entire 300 million plus population of the country has that one attribute. I also tend to object to that particular country calling themselves “Americans” when there are two continents with “America” in their name (where I grew up they were called norteamericanos).

  206. #206 Christian
    May 21, 2009

    As usual, religion is seen as leading to irrational choices. Ironically, one of your more famous atheist intellectuals, Bill Maher, has come out against medicine such as aspirin, claiming it’s poisonous. Maher also told David Letterman not to take his medication after the latter had undergone quadruple heart bypass surgery for similar reasons. Yet you atheists talk about religion as if not only is it only religion irrational, but also that it is the only irrational thing thing in the world. As if you getting rid of religion will somehow bring about a utopia. But how can you atheists be so sure you are not the irrational ones? Many of you atheists sound like you would get rid of religious people by any means necessary if you had the chance.

  207. #207 arkadaş
    May 21, 2009

    Sam, the question is how do you know that any one commenter is a certain nationality? With the double “aa” in his name tumaat could just as well be Dutch. Declaring all the persons in the third largest country by population with one single attribute is not very bright either.

  208. #208 resimlerine bak
    May 21, 2009

    Consider this situation:

    My son was born blind (anophthalmia) with a bilateral cleft lip and palate. He has since been diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome and epilepsy.

    He is now 22, and has had numerous surgeries to correct the clefts, but still needs major surgery to his nose to look relatively ‘normal’, and requires veneers on his malformed teeth.

    His surgeon is giving him the choice as to whether he has a ‘nose job’, (albeit major surgery) in such a way that makes me want to swoon over doctors that deal with ‘kids in crisis’. Without any posturing or domineering, he has convinced my son that surgery for his nose is the best thing for him.

    For this, I am really grateful. I am a scientist (PhD in epidemiology), and a mother. I need and want the medical community to help my child and others like him to live and grow.

  209. #209 Natalie
    May 21, 2009

    Christian, are you sure you’re not at the wrong blog? This isn’t an atheist blog, and Orac already posted an entire post supporting his opinion that the reason these people are refusing treatment has little to do with their faith.

  210. #210 Tumaat
    May 21, 2009

    @191 Chris my darling, are you in the playground again?
    I was justifying my point, so I asked you the same question you asked Sam, but it seems to have eluded you mind.

    Nonetheless, thanks for attempting to defend me but it appears I am quite capable of that.

    By the way did you miss this…

    @178 I am sorry # 150, I meant I am with you. So said that people are stupid. Well, they deserve what they get. Some cancers, left alone, will remain dormant and never cause any problems. If you start chemo.surgery/radiation, you will sure die rather sooner.

    Posted by: Sam | May 19, 2009 9:06 PM

    You’ve got to look outside the box sometimes,amigos ;-)

    Peace

  211. #211 Tumaat
    May 21, 2009

    @150
    “Many doctors know this in the US, but have not the courage to state such and promote it as they might just lose their privileged MD (license to play God).”

    …and here is why!!!

    http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/medicine/laureates/2005/marshall-lecture.pdf

    again,

    I rest my case

  212. #212 Tumaat
    May 21, 2009

    Correction @196

    You’ve got to look outside the box sometimes,amigos/a ;-)

    Peace

  213. #213 Marcus Ranum
    May 22, 2009

    Ironically, one of your more famous atheist intellectuals, Bill Maher…

    Now that’s irony. “Intellectual”?
    He’s an entertainer. And a woo-woo.

  214. #214 Jan
    May 23, 2009

    How dehydrated do you have to be before you will consent to drink from a source which has toxins that could cause you various cancers, liver, heart, spleen, or other organ damage, immune suppression, breathing problems, sterility, or even death, and is not 100 percent guaranteed to hydrate you? What if you decide to try something else, but a judge tells you to drink that swill under penalty of the law? This is the best analagy of chemo I can come up with at the moment. It is a horible decision cancer patients face every day. Each person is an individual, and statistics are general. They do not include numbers of people who died from what the chemo did to them, only those who did not die from the cancer. They do not guarantee a cure, a healthy life after treatment, or even longevity, and they do not guarantee no recurrence. Chemo is awful to endure, and I cut my own treatment short due to this fact. Your body knows this is poison, and mentally overcoming the instinct to run is a job in itself. I had five out of eight rounds before my instincts won out, and I am so glad. After I quit, it turned out my body had been so battered that more chemo probably would have killed me. I was hospitalized on IV nutrion for 10 days with a colon infection and possible perforation, and barely escaped surgery to give me a colostomy, perhaps even take part of my colon. I am a year and a half out from my chemo and a bit over a year from radiation, and still waiting for normal bloodwork, still disabled by fatigue and lack of stamina, among other things. After I endured what I did endure, I was told new studies are showing the chemo probably didn’t help my form of cancer after all. It affected my heart, my bone marrow, and who knows what else–I will find out down the line. And no one can tell me if it did anything against recurrence. It is all guesswork. I don’t know what the treatment is for this boy, and maybe it is nothing that will work, but I just have to support anyone’s decision not to endure chemotherapy, and to realize that whatever they face because of that, it is their decision. It is not anyone else’s place to force chemo on anyone who does not want it. Mushrooms do have a lot of amazing effects on health, and echinacea is something I used myself (short term–be careful and do research) to help boost my immune system after chemo. There are studies that are starting to show results with natural treatments, and if anything, the judge should appoint a panel of naturopaths to oversee this boy’s treatment accordingly, and not force him to undergo a toxic treatment he does not want. Please, please, don’t make this about religion or pass judgement on what you know so little about. Stop calling the mother ignorant. Why should she come back to this kind of reception? Work out a solution she and her boy can endure, and give it a chance to work.

  215. #215 Orac
    May 23, 2009

    Each person is an individual, and statistics are general. They do not include numbers of people who died from what the chemo did to them, only those who did not die from the cancer.

    Wrong, wrong, wrong. The term “overall survival,” which is the gold standard endpoint for a well-designed cancer trial, means just that: overall survival. In other words, it counts everyone who survived, and the death rate counts every subject who died during the trial from any cause, be it cancer, complications from chemotherapy, or being run over by a bus.

    I’m sorry you had such a rough time with chemotherapy, but, please, do learn something about how clinical trials are actually performed before making such inaccurate statements.

  216. #216 Jan
    May 23, 2009

    How dehydrated do you have to be before you will consent to drink from a source which has toxins that could cause you various cancers, liver, heart, spleen, or other organ damage, immune suppression, breathing problems, sterility, or even death, and is not 100 percent guaranteed to hydrate you? What if you decide to try something else, but a judge tells you to drink that swill under penalty of the law? This is the best analagy of chemo I can come up with at the moment. It is a horible decision cancer patients face every day. Each person is an individual, and statistics are general. They do not include numbers of people who died from what the chemo did to them, only those who did not die from the cancer. They do not guarantee a cure, a healthy life after treatment, or even longevity, and they do not guarantee no recurrence. Chemo is awful to endure, and I cut my own treatment short due to this fact. Your body knows this is poison, and mentally overcoming the instinct to run is a job in itself. I had five out of eight rounds before my instincts won out, and I am so glad. After I quit, it turned out my body had been so battered that more chemo probably would have killed me. I was hospitalized on IV nutrion for 10 days with a colon infection and possible perforation, and barely escaped surgery to give me a colostomy, perhaps even take part of my colon. I am a year and a half out from my chemo and a bit over a year from radiation, and still waiting for normal bloodwork, still disabled by fatigue and lack of stamina, among other things. After I endured what I did endure, I was told new studies are showing the chemo probably didn’t help my form of cancer after all. It affected my heart, my bone marrow, and who knows what else–I will find out down the line. And no one can tell me if it did anything against recurrence. It is all guesswork. I don’t know what the treatment is for this boy, and maybe it is nothing that will work, but I just have to support anyone’s decision not to endure chemotherapy, and to realize that whatever they face because of that, it is their decision. It is not anyone else’s place to force chemo on anyone who does not want it. Mushrooms do have a lot of amazing effects on health, and echinacea is something I used myself (short term–be careful and do research) to help boost my immune system after chemo. There are studies that are starting to show results with natural treatments, and if anything, the judge should appoint a panel of naturopaths to oversee this boy’s treatment accordingly, and not force him to undergo a toxic treatment he does not want. Please, please, don’t make this about religion or pass judgement on what you know so little about. Stop calling the mother ignorant. Why should she come back to this kind of reception? Work out a solution she and her boy can endure, and give it a chance to work.

  217. #217 RA
    May 24, 2009

    My 25yr old son is going through treatment now for Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. No it’s not fun. He was diagnosed with stage 3 the day after Thanksgiving. He has two more treatments left in this round of Chemo. He gets irate that this woman is allowing her son to die. That is what will happen if he is not treated. I believe in natural meds for many things in my life. Cancer is not one of them. My son would love to just take herbs and vitamins but he knows that the best outcome will come from chemo. Yes it makes him sick for a few days after a treatment but then he feels better till the next one. He knew the risks and the benefits of chemo, this young man doesn’t. From what has been reported he can’t even read to learn more about cancer. Daniel says he doesn’t feel that he is ill and that he doesn’t need treatments. Normally I believe that the government has too much say in our lives but in this case the judge was right in his order. We protect our children from abuse and neglect and this is what this amounts to. He has already stated that he is in pain and is having trouble breathing. I just hope that the mother doesn’t wait till it’s too late to help him.

  218. #218 DreadMacUserRoberts
    May 26, 2009

    Orac, go fuck yourself in the ass for saying that children are immature. Maturity is earned through life experiences, not given automatically based on age. I am 12, and i have had three surgeries and was in horrible pain.

  219. #219 RA
    May 26, 2009

    DreadMacUserRoberts…Point proven You are very immature.

  220. #220 JP
    May 26, 2009

    So wait, a parent can only make an informed decision that isn’t really a decision? Basically, you’re saying if they don’t do what you think they should do then they’re wrong? So there is no “choice”. A parent MUST choose chemo, period? If a child cannot make an informed choice then it’s up to the parents to make the choice, but when the parents make the same choice that the child makes then……they’re what, stupid? Is that what i’m getting from this?

  221. #221 AClemons
    May 26, 2009

    What right does the government have to force someone to receive medical treatment that they DO NOT want? Yes, I do believe that chemotherapy would probably be the best course of action but it is not MY life that hangs in the balance thus it is not my decision. Nor is it the government’s decision or the doctor’s. This decision belongs solely to Daniel and his parents (because he is a minor). Shame on anyone who wants to take away another person’s rights simply because they do not like their choices.

  222. #222 PRStein
    May 27, 2009

    It is an undisputable fact that chemotherapy will kill the individual if given long enough and that successful treatment is the ability to kill the cancer cells off before the patient. Chemotherapy destroys the immune system, weakening the individual to fight other threats including a reocurrence of cancer.

    There is some debate here but not nearly enough on the validity of alternative, natural treatments to cancer that are both effective and safer than chemotherapy. No doubt those not versed in natural therapies and basing much of their opinion and knowledge on what is spoon fed to them by the media (funded by pharmaceutical drug companies) are not going to respect a parent’s right to choose non-chemical approaches to curing cancer. However, it is a viable choice that everyone should consider if they are to make an informed decision on treating any disease.

    This story is picked apart by those with half-truths and misinformation, judging caring parents. Are we really to believe a good parent seeing their child suffer would allow him to choose no treatment if they believe this route will most likely kill him? Obviously, there is much at play here that we do not understand and it is none of our business.

    If we wish to debate the unnecessary death of children in this country we should look at all that medicine is doing wrong, taking the lives of many due to medical mistakes such as allergic reactions by infants to ingredients found in vaccines — too many given and given too early in a child’s life.

    I am a libertarian who believes gunpoint medicine is something that should terrify every parent in this country. I am just shocked how few look at this story as one of interference in a parent’s choice.

  223. #223 Natural Law
    May 29, 2009

    Here is more information about the traditional way to “treat” cancer:

    1/ “Cheo gene helps cancer thrive” at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/6668727.stm

    2/ “Chemo drugs destroy brain cells” at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/6156961.stm

    3/ Doctors ‘rely on chemo too much’ at http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/7722626.stm
    ” A review of 600 cancer patients who died within 30 days of treatment found that in more than a quarter of cases it actually hastened or caused death.”

    Looking for natural therapy at:
    http://www.orientalmedcare.com/testimonials.html

  224. #224 Natural Law
    May 29, 2009

    In this country, people just don’t know the medical level natural therapy (besides vitamins). In China, TCM doctors cured cancer with herbs and acupuncture therapy.

  225. #225 Natural Law
    May 29, 2009

    In this country, people just don’t know the medical level natural therapy (besides vitamins). In China, TCM doctors cured cancer with herbs and acupuncture therapy.

  226. #226 Mu
    May 29, 2009

    You left out the dried bear gall bladder, beating cobra heart and Siberian tiger penis in you list of effective TCM.

  227. #227 Orac
    May 29, 2009

    In this country, people just don’t know the medical level natural therapy (besides vitamins). In China, TCM doctors cured cancer with herbs and acupuncture therapy.

    Really? Got any scientific evicence that TCM doctors can cure cancer with herbs and acupuncture? I’ll wait.

  228. #228 Julie
    June 1, 2009

    Who CARES why they don’t want to undergo the treatment? Shouldn’t it be up to the patient and their family? They know the risks; know that it could cost him his life. HE is willing to take that risk, and so are they. He’s not a 5 year old child; he’s a young man. Forcing medical treatment on someone is a slippery slope.

  229. #229 Julie
    June 1, 2009

    Who CARES why they don’t want to undergo the treatment? Shouldn’t it be up to the patient and their family? They know the risks; know that it could cost him his life. HE is willing to take that risk, and so are they. He’s not a 5 year old child; he’s a young man. Forcing medical treatment on someone is a slippery slope.

  230. #230 Charles Kotulski
    June 18, 2009

    I think you are totally wrong and have no right to say what you have just wrote. Daniel’s refusal to chemotherapy had NOTHING to do with chemotherapy. My father is Daniel Hauser’s primary care physician. Chemotherapy does not cure as you said, so why have it. It causes so much unbearable pain and physical and emotional distress. Instead, the Hauser’s were leaning more towards alternative medicine such as Vitamin C therapy. This therapy is very cheap to the patient. It costs 20 times less than the average round of chemotherapy. You can look it up if you want. It also has a higher chance of curing cancer. Chemotherapy does not. There are no unbearable side-effects. Maybe a few red patches on the skin and loose stools. But if the patient is ill enough, these symptoms won’t occur because all of the Vit. C is being absorbed.
    Also, when a Doctor gives a round of chemotherapy, they are making several thousand dollars. Compare this to a doctor who gives a round of Vit. C therapy ($150). Chemotherapy is a huge money maker for the doctor and hospital, while Vit. C therapy not. Now you tell me what is wrong with this picture. Know your facts and understand the truth before you write and criticize.

  231. #231 Charles Kotulski
    June 18, 2009

    (above statement had a mis-spell in it)
    I think you are totally wrong and have no right to say what you have just wrote. Daniel’s refusal to chemotherapy had NOTHING to do with RELIGION. My father is Daniel Hauser’s primary care physician. Chemotherapy does not cure as you said, so why have it. It causes so much unbearable pain and physical and emotional distress. Instead, the Hauser’s were leaning more towards alternative medicine such as Vitamin C therapy. This therapy is very cheap to the patient. It costs 20 times less than the average round of chemotherapy. You can look it up if you want. It also has a higher chance of curing cancer. Chemotherapy does not. There are no unbearable side-effects. Maybe a few red patches on the skin and loose stools. But if the patient is ill enough, these symptoms won’t occur because all of the Vit. C is being absorbed.
    Also, when a Doctor gives a round of chemotherapy, they are making several thousand dollars. Compare this to a doctor who gives a round of Vit. C therapy ($150). Chemotherapy is a huge money maker for the doctor and hospital, while Vit. C therapy not. Now you tell me what is wrong with this picture. Know your facts and understand the truth before you write and criticize.

  232. #232 Fact-knower
    June 18, 2009

    Know your facts and understand the truth before you write and criticize.

    FACT: Vitamin C therapy may be “cheap,” but it has not been demonstrated to be efficacious in treating Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

    …try taking your own advice.

  233. #233 Fact-knower
    June 18, 2009
  234. #234 KB
    June 18, 2009

    I think you underplay how difficult chemotherapy is. My son had cancer at 2 — Burkitt’s lymphoma. The High Dose Methotrexate gave him a severe stroke and he suffered for months from the chemo and the chemo alone. When he had his stroke, his own doctors at first thought the chemo and couldn’t be the cause. They wanted to continue with the chemo schedule but we pushed back and said “no”, not until you find out why he had the stroke. Eventually they honed in on the methotrexate and reworked his protocol to eliminate that drug. If we hadn’t pushed, another dose would have killed him. If the doctors hadn’t been willing to listen to us and work with us, we would have taken him off chemo completely. Thankfully my son is alive and well (except for the consequences of the stroke, which are significant) 12 years later.

    I think oncologists need to be more forthright with their patients that chemo is horrible. Maybe find slightly different words but be clear, it’s a terrible challenge that will present multiple issues and you won’t know if its been worth it until the end. Oncologists also need to be more forthright with themselves — what we’ve got today isn’t even close to perfect, keep working. I know it is difficult to balance the goal every doctor (that I’ve ever met) has to help people with the reality that chemo is horrid, but please, please remember that chemo is horrid, cancer is slightly worse, and you need to work your butts off to widen that gap.

    I’m grateful that there are docs who live this out every day, but there are others who don’t know how to work with kids and families, and that’s where I think these kinds of cases come from.

  235. #235 Garry
    June 24, 2009

    This is so sad. Seems like a bunch of people without medical degrees are advising this kid and his parents. Sure, chemo therapy makes you sick, but it’s better than the alternative…being dead. I’ve survived two different types of cancer, the last, 6 years ago was a non-hodgkin’s lymphoma. I had chemo treatments for 6 months. My oncologist told me that it was important not to loose weight while on chemo. Whether I felt like eating or not, I forced myself to eat small amounts several times a day. I actually gained a little weight in those 6 months. My first cancer was 13 years ago, the second 6 years ago. I get regular checkups and so far, I’m cancer free. I think the judge made the right decision

  236. #236 Garry
    June 24, 2009

    This is so sad. Seems like a bunch of people without medical degrees are advising this kid and his parents. Sure, chemo therapy makes you sick, but it’s better than the alternative…being dead. I’ve survived two different types of cancer, the last, 6 years ago was a non-hodgkin’s lymphoma. I had chemo treatments for 6 months. My oncologist told me that it was important not to loose weight while on chemo. Whether I felt like eating or not, I forced myself to eat small amounts several times a day. I actually gained a little weight in those 6 months. My first cancer was 13 years ago, the second 6 years ago. I get regular checkups and so far, I’m cancer free. I think the judge made the right decision

  237. #237 carlos folmann
    June 26, 2009

    God use this man in Brazil, very, very strong. His names is Apost. Valdomiro Santiago. The main temple is located in Sao Paulo-Brazil, the phone number is 011 55 11 3577 3800.The lenguage in Brazil is portuguese, but i believe they have translater for spanish and englise.A lot of people going there.I see many people cured by the Power of God, in name of Jesus.Doctors and commum people, got healed.Cancer, H.i.v., ressurrectioned too.The name of the church is Igreja Mundial do Poder de Deus(World Church of the Power of God).You can see on youtube Apostolo Valdomiro Santiago.Thank you, and God bless your son and family.

  238. #238 Leslie, APHON certified RN
    July 6, 2009

    I am glad Daniel Hauser is having chemo again and hope it will be successful, but I think it is also important to acknowledge the special toll chemo takes on children.

    Depending on which drugs are used and the child’s age, the patient may become permanently developmentally delayed, learning disabled, sterile. And any patient who has been cured with chemotherapy has a higher risk of cancer later in life than the average person. There must be life-long follow-up. Personally, the long-term effects of chemo scare me much more than the immediate ones.

    The choice of whether or not to treat still seems clear to me, but the fear involved in submitting your child to such life-transforming drugs must be great. The family’s panic seems extreme to me, but essentially normal.

  239. #239 Leslie, APHON certified RN
    July 6, 2009

    I am glad Daniel Hauser is having chemo again and hope it will be successful, but I think it is also important to acknowledge the special toll chemo takes on children.

    Depending on which drugs are used and the child’s age, the patient may become permanently developmentally delayed, learning disabled, sterile. And any patient who has been cured with chemotherapy has a higher risk of cancer later in life than the average person. There must be life-long follow-up. Personally, the long-term effects of chemo scare me much more than the immediate ones.

    The choice of whether or not to treat still seems clear to me, but the fear involved in submitting your child to such life-transforming drugs must be great. The family’s panic seems extreme to me, but essentially normal.

  240. #240 Leslie, APHON certified RN
    July 6, 2009

    I am glad Daniel Hauser is having chemo again and hope it will be successful, but I think it is also important to acknowledge the special toll chemo takes on children.

    Depending on which drugs are used and the child’s age, the patient may become permanently developmentally delayed, learning disabled, sterile. And any patient who has been cured with chemotherapy has a higher risk of cancer later in life than the average person. There must be life-long follow-up. Personally, the long-term effects of chemo scare me much more than the immediate ones.

    The choice of whether or not to treat still seems clear to me, but the fear involved in submitting your child to such life-transforming drugs must be great. The family’s panic seems extreme to me, but essentially normal.

  241. #241 Leslie, APHON certified RN
    July 6, 2009

    I am glad Daniel Hauser is having chemo again and hope it will be successful, but I think it is also important to acknowledge the special toll chemo takes on children.

    Depending on which drugs are used and the child’s age, the patient may become permanently developmentally delayed, learning disabled, sterile. And any patient who has been cured with chemotherapy has a higher risk of cancer later in life than the average person. There must be life-long follow-up. Personally, the long-term effects of chemo scare me much more than the immediate ones.

    The choice of whether or not to treat still seems clear to me, but the fear involved in submitting your child to such life-transforming drugs must be great. The family’s panic seems extreme to me, but essentially normal.

  242. #242 Leslie, APHON certified RN
    July 6, 2009

    I am glad Daniel Hauser is having chemo again and hope it will be successful, but I think it is also important to acknowledge the special toll chemo takes on children.

    Depending on which drugs are used and the child’s age, the patient may become permanently developmentally delayed, learning disabled, sterile. And any patient who has been cured with chemotherapy has a higher risk of cancer later in life than the average person. There must be life-long follow-up. Personally, the long-term effects of chemo scare me much more than the immediate ones.

    The choice of whether or not to treat still seems clear to me, but the fear involved in submitting your child to such life-transforming drugs must be great. The family’s panic seems extreme to me, but essentially normal.

  243. #243 Leslie, APHON certified RN
    July 6, 2009

    I am glad Daniel Hauser is having chemo again and hope it will be successful, but I think it is also important to acknowledge the special toll chemo takes on children.

    Depending on which drugs are used and the child’s age, the patient may become permanently developmentally delayed, learning disabled, sterile. And any patient who has been cured with chemotherapy has a higher risk of cancer later in life than the average person. There must be life-long follow-up. Personally, the long-term effects of chemo scare me much more than the immediate ones.

    The choice of whether or not to treat still seems clear to me, but the fear involved in submitting your child to such life-transforming drugs must be great. The family’s panic seems extreme to me, but essentially normal.

  244. #244 Leslie, APHON certified RN
    July 6, 2009

    I am glad Daniel Hauser is having chemo again and hope it will be successful, but I think it is also important to acknowledge the special toll chemo takes on children.

    Depending on which drugs are used and the child’s age, the patient may become permanently developmentally delayed, learning disabled, sterile. And any patient who has been cured with chemotherapy has a higher risk of cancer later in life than the average person. There must be life-long follow-up. Personally, the long-term effects of chemo scare me much more than the immediate ones.

    The choice of whether or not to treat still seems clear to me, but the fear involved in submitting your child to such life-transforming drugs must be great. The family’s panic seems extreme to me, but essentially normal.

  245. #245 Leslie, APHON certified RN
    July 6, 2009

    I am glad Daniel Hauser is having chemo again and hope it will be successful, but I think it is also important to acknowledge the special toll chemo takes on children.

    Depending on which drugs are used and the child’s age, the patient may become permanently developmentally delayed, learning disabled, sterile. And any patient who has been cured with chemotherapy has a higher risk of cancer later in life than the average person. There must be life-long follow-up. Personally, the long-term effects of chemo scare me much more than the immediate ones.

    The choice of whether or not to treat still seems clear to me, but the fear involved in submitting your child to such life-transforming drugs must be great. The family’s panic seems extreme to me, but essentially normal.

  246. #246 Leslie, APHON certified RN
    July 6, 2009

    I am glad Daniel Hauser is having chemo again and hope it will be successful, but I think it is also important to acknowledge the special toll chemo takes on children.

    Depending on which drugs are used and the child’s age, the patient may become permanently developmentally delayed, learning disabled, sterile. And any patient who has been cured with chemotherapy has a higher risk of cancer later in life than the average person. There must be life-long follow-up. Personally, the long-term effects of chemo scare me much more than the immediate ones.

    The choice of whether or not to treat still seems clear to me, but the fear involved in submitting your child to such life-transforming drugs must be great. The family’s panic seems extreme to me, but essentially normal.

  247. #247 Leslie, APHON certified RN
    July 6, 2009

    I am glad Daniel Hauser is having chemo again and hope it will be successful, but I think it is also important to acknowledge the special toll chemo takes on children.

    Depending on which drugs are used and the child’s age, the patient may become permanently developmentally delayed, learning disabled, sterile. And any patient who has been cured with chemotherapy has a higher risk of cancer later in life than the average person. There must be life-long follow-up. Personally, the long-term effects of chemo scare me much more than the immediate ones.

    The choice of whether or not to treat still seems clear to me, but the fear involved in submitting your child to such life-transforming drugs must be great. The family’s panic seems extreme to me, but essentially normal.

  248. #248 Leslie, APHON certified RN
    July 6, 2009

    I am glad Daniel Hauser is having chemo again and hope it will be successful, but I think it is also important to acknowledge the special toll chemo takes on children.

    Depending on which drugs are used and the child’s age, the patient may become permanently developmentally delayed, learning disabled, sterile. And any patient who has been cured with chemotherapy has a higher risk of cancer later in life than the average person. There must be life-long follow-up. Personally, the long-term effects of chemo scare me much more than the immediate ones.

    The choice of whether or not to treat still seems clear to me, but the fear involved in submitting your child to such life-transforming drugs must be great. The family’s panic seems extreme to me, but essentially normal.

  249. #249 Leslie, APHON certified RN
    July 6, 2009

    I am glad Daniel Hauser is having chemo again and hope it will be successful, but I think it is also important to acknowledge the special toll chemo takes on children.

    Depending on which drugs are used and the child’s age, the patient may become permanently developmentally delayed, learning disabled, sterile. And any patient who has been cured with chemotherapy has a higher risk of cancer later in life than the average person. There must be life-long follow-up. Personally, the long-term effects of chemo scare me much more than the immediate ones.

    The choice of whether or not to treat still seems clear to me, but the fear involved in submitting your child to such life-transforming drugs must be great. The family’s panic seems extreme to me, but essentially normal.

  250. #250 Leslie, APHON certified RN
    July 6, 2009

    I am glad Daniel Hauser is having chemo again and hope it will be successful, but I think it is also important to acknowledge the special toll chemo takes on children.

    Depending on which drugs are used and the child’s age, the patient may become permanently developmentally delayed, learning disabled, sterile. And any patient who has been cured with chemotherapy has a higher risk of cancer later in life than the average person. There must be life-long follow-up. Personally, the long-term effects of chemo scare me much more than the immediate ones.

    The choice of whether or not to treat still seems clear to me, but the fear involved in submitting your child to such life-transforming drugs must be great. The family’s panic seems extreme to me, but essentially normal.

  251. #251 Leslie, APHON certified RN
    July 6, 2009

    I am glad Daniel Hauser is having chemo again and hope it will be successful, but I think it is also important to acknowledge the special toll chemo takes on children.

    Depending on which drugs are used and the child’s age, the patient may become permanently developmentally delayed, learning disabled, sterile. And any patient who has been cured with chemotherapy has a higher risk of cancer later in life than the average person. There must be life-long follow-up. Personally, the long-term effects of chemo scare me much more than the immediate ones.

    The choice of whether or not to treat still seems clear to me, but the fear involved in submitting your child to such life-transforming drugs must be great. The family’s panic seems extreme to me, but essentially normal.

  252. #252 Leslie, APHON certified RN
    July 6, 2009

    I am glad Daniel Hauser is having chemo again and hope it will be successful, but I think it is also important to acknowledge the special toll chemo takes on children.

    Depending on which drugs are used and the child’s age, the patient may become permanently developmentally delayed, learning disabled, sterile. And any patient who has been cured with chemotherapy has a higher risk of cancer later in life than the average person. There must be life-long follow-up. Personally, the long-term effects of chemo scare me much more than the immediate ones.

    The choice of whether or not to treat still seems clear to me, but the fear involved in submitting your child to such life-transforming drugs must be great. The family’s panic seems extreme to me, but essentially normal.

  253. #253 F. Beachler
    July 30, 2009

    Dear author,
    Let me guess…your own diet is chocked full of meat and processed foods. Chemotherapy – the administration of poison(s) refined by medical science over decades, makes perfect sense to someone engaged in such a lifestyle. To me, I’d like science to have more information about the cause(s) of Daniel’s disease instead of their fixation on learning how to administer poisons to cure the symptoms. Most of the medical science you cite as fact may indeed be empirical, and I question it. Will historians make the same analogies about chemotherapy in the future that we do today about mercury treatment and shock therapy?

    Finally, I don’t see how it’s in America’s best interest for the state to take the actions it has in Daniel’s case. Clearly Daniel’s family cares for him and they want to choose their own path, even if they fail. It becomes not an issue of negligence, but one of state and society’s power over the individual. Daniel’s doctors cannot be helping his disease by forcing him and his family through this stress. They obviously don’t care what happens to Daniel if they’re willing to see his mother end up in jail because she doesn’t agree with their methods. On top of it – their proposed cure has already failed for a family member of his. They seem to utterly lack compassion and may in fact be unqualified to treat him.

  254. #254 Colin Proctor
    August 25, 2009

    Why do these “experts” lie to people and give them false hope? I think people should have a choice to live and die the way they want – as long as it’s not hurting anyone else. Chemo may delay Daniel’s death but it will only be saved by natural means. The body is natural so why would something UN-natural heal cancer? There are so many ways to cure cancer it’s amazing! Cancer was not a big deal in the old days, they had lots of solutions. Chemo is not medicine – it does not cure anything – it does not address the CAUSE of the problem so why would it work? Treat the symptoms and what do you get? – more illness. Too many people believe too much in the competence of the medical establishment – you all need to start asking more questions and being a bit more skeptical, it might save your life.

  255. #255 Ramel
    August 25, 2009

    Fetch the sack.

  256. #256 William
    October 11, 2009

    I just want to know how hes doing AFTER all this. It’s been awhile and I was hoping he could get some natural treatments.

    I don’t understand why people don’t think that there is a cure for cancer, and it doesn’t come from man made machines. We all came from the earth, and the earth provides cures for every disease out there that the earth has to offer…
    All cancer is is just a fungus. I know there are things out there to kill fungus naturally, and if the hospitals would quit worrying about the almighty dollar and put humanity first then we wouldn’t have this problem. As a matter of fact, the hospitals have come across cures for many diseases by accident, but since theres no money in a cure they refuse to research it.

    Think about it… what the first thing the hospital asks you when you walk in the door? “How are you going to pay?” Thats their main focus is how you’re going to pay. Also, if you think about it… Name ONE drug or treatment ANY hospital has EVER made that “cured” anything? You can’t because there is none. The hospitals aren’t worried about your health, their worried about their income.

    I’m not saying every individual docter is more worried about their pay then about their patients, but the pharmacies as a whole who supposedly have all the medical and health knowledge cover up cures, covers up proof that their is other treatments then drugs, and other ways to be healed rather then with expensive anti-biotics and dangerous drugs.

  257. #257 Chris
    October 11, 2009

    William:

    I just want to know how hes doing AFTER all this. It’s been awhile and I was hoping he could get some natural treatments.

    Then why did you post on this older post from over four months ago, and not the more recent update from last month? If you read that you will see is doing quite well.

    William then tell us:

    All cancer is is just a fungus. I know there are things out there to kill fungus naturally,

    Um, where did you pick up that novel “fact”? How about you tell us what real evidence you have, and remember it cannot be some random website or book: actual scientific evidence.

  258. #258 Chris
    October 11, 2009

    William:

    Also, if you think about it… Name ONE drug or treatment ANY hospital has EVER made that “cured” anything? You can’t because there is none.

    Antibiotics for a variety of bacterial infections from strep throat to Hanson’s Disease (also known as leprosy).

  259. #259 David
    November 17, 2009

    To Post # 176:

    I really enjoyed and echo your views, Thought I’d also give everyone a follow up on Daniel Hauser’s situation:

    Judge drops case against family that denied chemo

    Associated Press
    Last update: November 17, 2009 – 4:34 PM

    NEW ULM, Minn. – A Brown County judge has closed the case on a teenager whom the court forced to undergo chemotherapy against his family’s wishes.

    Judge John Rodenberg says in his order that there’s no further need for court involvement after tests have shown 13-year-old Daniel Hauser of Sleepy Eye is now cancer-free.

    In April, family services officials in Brown County filed a child protection order after a doctor reported that Hauser’s family was refusing to treat his Hodgkin’s lymphoma cancer with chemotherapy. Rodenberg ordered the treatment, prompting Hauser’s mother to flee with him to California for a week before returning to Minnesota.

    Hauser completed his final radiation treatment earlier this month. His family says he’s free of cancer.

    http://www.startribune.com/local/70300697.html?elr=KArksLckD8EQDUoaEyqyP4O:DW3ckUiD3aPc:_Yyc:aUUsA

  260. #260 Jessica
    February 2, 2010

    I still can’t believe anyone could be so stupid. Someone needs to slap this bitch across the face. She basically murdered her son by being so ignorant and naive. The reason this idiot refused to get him treatment, and thought that “praying would cure him” is the EXACT same reason my grandmother died. Shame on her for being such a naive, crappy mother. I can’t stand seeing things like this happen, a child dying, when he could have at least gotten treatment. Life isn’t a fairytale, you don’t just “wish your problems away” and people who seem to view life that way really, really irritate the hell out of me. How old is she, 5? I could not believe when I saw all this going on on the news that someone would really be that dense. And the whole “treatment doesn’t always work” argument is absolutely ridiculous. Look how many things HAVE been fixed. A lot of money and effort has been put into medical research for a good reason- obviously you need to TREAT a disease like this to see improvement.
    I am not at all surprised that this boy died, everyone knew it was coming. And thanks to his incompetent mother, it didn’t take too long. Shame on her. I can’t believe someone would do that to their own child. It’s common sense that it was going to end badly if they refused treatment, OBVIOUSLY. I just can’t get over the fact that anyone could be so stupid. It disgusts me.

  261. #261 Chris
    February 2, 2010

    Jessica:

    I am not at all surprised that this boy died, everyone knew it was coming. And thanks to his incompetent mother, it didn’t take too long.

    Do you have a link to a news report that Danny Hauser has died? Because, as far as we know he responded to the treatment and is recovering. I looked and can’t find anything.

  262. #262 George
    April 13, 2010

    I would like someone to show me “real” evidence that chemo actually works…ther is none that is the real truth…why are we the sickest country in the world if our medicine is so great?

    There are many natural therapies out there work but you will never here about them because remeber natural thereapy; herbs, supplements etc. are not allowed to claim they can cure anything only big pharma can do that with their synthetic drugs which just make people sicker..

    Chemo kills more people than it “cures”…Anything that makes you lose your hair, lose weight, puke all the time is not good for the body…in fact in most cases chemo actually makes cancer spread…

    If my child was diagnosed with cancer she would not get chemo either…My wife and I are both educated people and know the facts of both sides and still live in the US which should mean we have the right to CHOSE how we want to raise and treat our child.

    Here is a study from a “peer reviewed” journal that is credible yet no one seems to care about its findings…

    http://cancerfighter.wordpress.com/2008/10/10/how-effective-is-chemotherapy

    Also I think we still have FREEDOM OF RELIGION in this country last time I checked it is in a pretty important document which is the framwork for our country!

  263. #263 Orac
    April 13, 2010

    That Australian article is not nearly as impressive as you think it is:

    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2009/05/daniel_hauser_shameless_commerce_and_hea.php

    And since this post is nearly a year old, with this I shut down comments.