Respectful Insolence

A couple of weeks ago, I commented on the story of 10 year old Amish girl in northeast Ohio with cancer whose parents, alarmed by the side effects of chemotherapy, had decided to stop the chemotherapy and treat their daughter with folk medicine instead. As a result, alarmed at the likelihood that Sarah Hershberger would suffer and die unnecessarily at a young age, the hospital treating her, Akron Children’s Hospital, went to court. It lost the first round, but earlier this month the original ruling was overturned, and it was ordered that Hershberger undergo chemotherapy to save her life. The odds of her survival with chemotherapy were estimated to be on the order of 85%. Her odds without chemotherapy? About as close to zero as you can imagine.

One of the most disturbing things about this case is the reaction of so many people to it. It was not what you might hope. In reality, the predominant reaction was outrage that the state would so usurp parental rights. Indeed, if you go to the hospital’s Facebook page, you’ll see that there are still people ranting over it, with posts like this:

I won’t EVER EVER EVER step foot in Akron Children’s Hospital EVER EVER EVER again. My children will NEVER go there after what you’ve done to this family.

You should all be ashamed of yourselves. You want people to vote on something in November? I can tell you that I won’t be voting for anything for your hospital. Was it worth it? Putting this family through all of this? Was it WORTH IT? You’ve ruined your public image. You’ve ruined the confidence of parents trusting you and bringing their children to your doctors and hospital. I can tell you that I am not the only person who feels this way about your hospital now. People are scared to death to bring their children to you now. People talk and they don’t trust your hospital any more. It’s your own damn fault. http://journal.livingfood.us/2013/10/27/amish-girl-being-forced-into-experimental-chemotherapy-taken-out-of-us-and-recovers-with-natural-treatment/

There was a lot more of this on the Facebook page a couple of weeks ago, all with generally the same hysterical tone. There were post after post after post by people claiming all sorts of evil intent on the part of the hospital, accusing it of “poisoning” the girl, and all sorts of other nastiness. What caught my interest, though, was the article cited in the mini-rant above, entitled Amish Girl Being Forced into Experimental Chemotherapy Taken Out of US and Recovers with Natural Treatment.

That’s right. Sadly, but not entirely unexpectedly, the Hershbergers have apparently taken their daughter out of the country to avoid chemotherapy. The longer they do that, the more likely it is that their daughter will die a horrible death, and it will be her father Andy Hershberger’s fault. I realize that he has nothing but the best intentions and believes he is doing the best thing for his daughter, but he is wrong, so very wrong. If his decision is not reversed, his daughter will almost certainly pay a very unpleasant price.

As an aside, let me just make a brief mention of the first thing I thought of when I saw the name of the author, David Michael. Way back in the day, when I first discovered Holocaust denial and cut my teeth on combatting online Holocaust deniers, one of the deniers I tangled with the most often was named David Michael. He’s the guy I mentioned back in 2005 who gloated over the 9/11 attacks, calling the attack a “truly wondrous thing” and the day a “glorious day.” No, this David Michael is not that David Michael. For one thing, that David Michael is British, and this David Michael lives in northeast Ohio and writes for a website called the Journal of Natural Food and Health. He’s also very obviously antivaccine and pro-quackery. I only mention this because it’s a weird coincidence, and it’s hard for me to stop thinking about it. In any case, let’s take a look at what he claims:

Early in October 2013, the entire nation heard about how Sarah Hershberger, a 10-year old Ohio Amish girl with leukemia (now recovered), is being forced into a two-year unproven experimental chemotherapy study by Akron Children’s Hospital (ACH). It was just learned the parents, Andy and Anna Hershberger, took their significantly recovered daughter out of the United States before the court ruled that a hospital-affiliated, attorney-nurse, Maria Schimer, was made the medical guardian to make sure Sarah will get her treatments. Parents reported this week the child is fully recovered through natural treatments. Schimer is General Counsel (chief legal advisor) for Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED), a close affiliate and business partner of the hospital. According to Andy, Ms. Schimer has never met Sarah or him and his wife and they were never told their child was being used in a research study—among other things.

Although they do not know it yet, the hospital now has a big problem they must deal with. Sarah is completely recovered, as of October 23, according to Andy. The hospital told them and the news media that Sarah would die in a few months without the treatment they recommend. Three doctors that have treated her with a natural, biochemical protocol using nutrition, supplements and plant extracts have declared Sarah cancer free based on cat scans and blood tests—confirmed three times.

Well, this is mighty convenient. Nothing fishy here, right? Now that court has ruled that Sarah Hershberger has to undergo conventional treatment, suddenly the father claims that Sarah is cancer-free, thanks to the quackery to which he subjected her. The three doctors who allegedly treated her with “natural therapies” are not identified, and no evidence that Sarah Hershberger is, in fact, cancer-free is presented. All of this puts the hospital at a profound disadvantage, because it can’t comment on Sarah Hershberger’s case because of patient confidentiality laws. In contrast, Andy Hershberger can say whatever he wants and doesn’t have to produce any actual evidence. I’d love to know the names of the three doctors to see what sorts of treatments they recommend for cancer and what sorts of tests they order to determine if someone is “cancer-free.” Let’s just put it this way. David Michael won’t take the hospital’s word for it that Sarah Hershberger will die without chemotherapy. I won’t take his or Andy Hershberger’s word for it that Sarah is cancer-free. Let me just challenge Mr. Michael: Identify the three doctors who allegedly treated Sarah Hershberger with “a natural, biochemical protocol using nutrition, supplements and plant extracts.” Let us know what the protocol is.

That isn’t to say that I think Mr. Hershberger is lying. He is almost certainly telling the truth as he sees it, but he also clearly grossly misunderstands cancer treatments, specifically why pediatric oncologists do what they do. Unfortunately, quack apologists are taking advantage of Mr. Hershberger’s ignorance about cancer, an ignorance shared by most people. Most likely what happened is that the chemotherapy shrank Sarah’s tumors to the point where they are no longer detectable on CT scans. This is a common initial outcome after early rounds of chemotherapy. The problem with lymphoma is that, although it is fairly easy to put lymphoma into an apparent complete remission, making that remission permanent is difficult. It takes a lot more than just a round or two of chemotherapy, a lesson learned painfully by pediatric oncologists back in the 1960s and 1970s. For example, for the type of tumor that Sarah has, lymphoblastic lymphoma, the treatment is two years duration. It consists of an eight drug induction over nine weeks followed by an eight week consolidation course and then maintenance therapy for a total therapy duration of 24 months. For chemotherapy for lymphoma, there are three phases, as listed above. The induction phase is designed to put the patient into remission. Consolidation chemotherapy is given to patients who have gone into remission and is designed to kill off any residual cancer cells that might be present, thus increasing the chance of complete cure. Maintenance chemotherapy is the ongoing, longer term use of chemotherapy to lower the risk of recurrence after a cancer has gone into remission. It’s basically lower dose chemotherapy given for two to three years to help keep the cancer from returning.

So it’s quite possible that Sarah has no detectable cancer. If that’s the case, it’s the chemotherapy that she’s received thus far that almost certainly did it, not the herbs and vitamins. If that’s the case, it also means that failing to consolidation and maintenance chemotherapy greatly increases the chance that Sarah Hershberger’s lymphoma will relapse, a chance that is probably a near certainty if she only received one or two rounds of chemotherapy, as has been reported. That is the price of quackery. Worse, relapsed cancer is always harder to treat. The first shot at treating cancer is always the best shot, with the best odds of eradicating the cancer. Letting cancer relapse through incomplete treatment breeds resistant tumor cells the same way that not finishing a complete course of antibiotics contributes to the development of resistant bacteria.

The next part of Mr. Michael’s analysis is even more unbelievable:

The Hershberger family says they never were told the chemotherapy was part of a research project using experimental chemicals. They also said the hospital did not get their signature for the second phase of different chemicals and only Sarah was asked to “put her name on the line.” They claim they were not told of the serious side effects. They said Sarah’s confidential medical information was given to the news media violating federal privacy laws. After a significant improvement in killing the cancer, they saw that the chemo was starting to kill Sarah and decided to stop the treatment and employ a better option to stop the cancer altogether. This is when the hospital took legal action to keep Sarah in the treatment study.

This part sounds highly dubious. One thing that you need to understand about pediatric cancer is that a very high percentage of patients with pediatric cancers are enrolled in clinical trials, well over 50%. Compare this to the 5% or so of adults with cancer who participate in clinical trials. Indeed, this is one of the reasons why survival rates for pediatric cancers have improved so much over the last four decades. So it would not be the least bit surprising if Akron Children’s Hospital enrolled Sarah Hershberger on a clinical trial. In fact, I’d be disappointed in the hospital if its doctors didn’t at least offer her parents a clinical trial.

Clinical trials run by facilities that receive any federal funding or grants (as Akron Children’s Hospital surely does) are overseen by the Office of Human Research Protections (OHRP Department of Health and Human Services, and children are considered a vulnerable population for which extra protections are mandated. I find it highly unlikely that Akron Children’s Hospital didn’t get the appropriate informed consent. However, I never completely dismiss the possibility that I could be wrong. So here’s what I propose. If Andy Hershberger really thinks that Akron Children’s Hospital failed to obtain proper informed consent, he has only to report it to the OHRP. If the drug in the study is a new drug, then he could report the issue to the FDA as well. In fact, I would very much urge him to do so if he thinks that he was not offered adequate informed consent for a clinical trial.

Next up, Michael accuses the hospital of being all about the money:

ACH will lose as much as $1,000,000 or more by not treating Sarah the full 110 weeks in this study and, according to our sources close to the case, has already billed $130,000 for the first five weeks. Add to this the various pediatric cancer research grants and other funds it is receiving directly or indirectly for this type of study. This is not counting the billings for treatments for the long-term side effects such as other cancers, kidney dysfunction, heart problems and nerve damage—all common for those that survive chemotherapy.

This is, of course, a misrepresentation of how clinical trials work. In clinical trials, the funding agency pays for all clinical trial-related treatments and tests that are not standard-of-care. The rest are billed regularly. Moreover, for the most part, hospitals do not make money off of clinical trials. The infrastructure to run them is hideously expensive, and funding agencies often don’t quite cover the full cost, particularly in these days of the sequester, which has hit NIH-funded clinical trials hard.

Ironically, Michael asks a question that should make all of those ranting about how greedy and evil Akron Children’s Hospital supposedly is think:

Why is the hospital going to all the time and expense, even with the risk of tarnishing their reputation, all to make sure their advice is taken as opposed to other available treatments widely known in Europe as well as clinics in the U.S.? After all, these are Amish people, and it could become an extremely costly public relations nightmare. ACH and NEOMED may have banked on the Amish to stay quiet and not talk to the outside world, knowing also the Amish does not sue in court thereby making more information public.

I’ve been asking the same question myself. It would have been so much easier for ACH to do nothing, to shrug its collective shoulder and let the Hershbergers do whatever they wanted to with Sarah. It would have been far easier, far less trouble, and far less expensive. By any stretch of the imagination, it would have been the easy way out. But ACH didn’t take the easy way out. While conspiracy theorists might fantasize that this is because there is some amazing prize that makes all the bad publicity and harassment by the “health freedom” crowd worthwhile. Reasonable people know that this is a matter of principle. The hospital is willing to go through all this hassle because making sure that Sarah Hershberger is treated according to science-based medicine is the right thing to do.

Comments

  1. #1 Pris
    The Dark Side of the Force
    October 28, 2013

    Repeat after me, people: ‘Children are not property.’

    Parental rights do not mean that you can do whatever you want with your children.

    This is especially true if it involves matters of bodily autonomy.

    A competent adult can decide to eschew scientific proven treatment. A competent adult can not decide to do this for a child. Not even if they are a parent.

    The dental surgeon that extracted my wisdom teeth told me that he would always explain the risks to the patient at the appropriate level as well as the legal guardian. He also always asked to sign both the patient and the legal guardian to sign the consent form.

    When my first wisdom teeth were extracted I was 17 and wondered if me signing the consent form was legal, prompting him to explain his personal policy.

    I really hope that Sarah gets the treatment she needs to keep her cancer from resurfacing.

  2. #2 Lucario
    Sunrise in SoFla
    October 28, 2013

    Pris,

    Just out of curiosity, when and in what cultures were children ‘property?’ Outside of slave-owning cultures, that is.

    (My knowledge of world history doesn’t go too deep, sorry.)

  3. #3 DLC
    October 28, 2013

    In the dim beginnings of time, DLC was a patient at ACH.
    It was not a good experience, as I had Hep A, and was very ill for several weeks. I remember seeing national guard medivac hueys flying in. It was just about my only entertainment. As near as I can tell — I’m no expert — ACH is a non-profit institution with just over a million dollars in money changing hands annually. So what’s all this bollocks about them being in it for the money?

  4. #4 lilady
    October 28, 2013

    David Michael uses other names (David Michael Augenstein), to post his pseudoscience:

    http://healthimpactnews.com/2011/new-study-vaccinated-children-have-2-to-5-times-more-diseases-and-disorders-than-unvaccinated-children/

    He’s claims to be for “vaccine choice” and he is anti-water fluoridation and a proponent of raw milk, as well.

    http://vax.livingfood.us/?p=6860

    So come on over Mr. Augenstein, to discuss natural foods, herbs and supplements and their role in curing Sarah’s cancer.

  5. #5 lilady
    October 28, 2013

    @ Pris @ Lucario: Don’t be ridiculous. Children are not property, they are chattel according to this guy. :-)

    http://abcnews.go.com/Health/ohio-hospital-force-chemo-amish-girl-court/story?id=20513841

    StevenNewsom jrzwrld
    • 19 days ago

    Sorry but under our laws, children are chattel of their parents, until they become adults, or are made wards of the state

  6. #6 Dangerous Bacon
    October 28, 2013

    The Hershberger’s fleeing the country can only help cure their daughter; after all they are taking charge of her cancer, and we all know that aids survival.

    Or at least that was the claim of Ohio State University emergency physician Diane Gorgas in a recent column:

    “Those who show the least amount of resiliency likely will feel devastated by serious medical diagnoses and never come close to fully recovering. On the other end of the spectrum are those who, after the initial shock, grow from the experience and, over time, develop more strength and positiveness than they had before the diagnoses…
    And when resilience turns to action, remarkable things can happen. Multiple breast-cancer studies have found that patients who say they want to take control of their disease have better outcomes, even for those in advanced stages.”

    http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2013/10/27/your-health/patients-show-power-of-resiliency.html

    Think positively, take charge, and cancer will be on the run! Except the literature is anything but convincing on the subject. I’m not sure what “multiple studies” Gorgas is referring, but here’s one showing “resiliency” does not impress cancer:

    http://discovermagazine.com/2008/feb/hope-may-be-useless-against-cancer#.Um5WMFOHNjs

    What ticks me off about uninformed glurge like what’s promoted by Gorgas, is that it makes people who are down about their diagnosis feel guilty for not “taking charge of their disease” and not being “resilient”, when there’s no good evidence that attitude makes a difference.*

    *one of Gorgas’ examples of “taking charge” is a woman with leukemia who got pregnant and apparently is stopping chemo (to protect the fetus). Somehow that doesn’t sound like she’s “taking charge” of her cancer.

  7. #7 palindrom
    October 28, 2013

    Dangerous @ #6 — The example in your post demonstrates, once again, that a subset of physicians really don’t have much grasp of what science is and how it works, even though every one of them has been sieved through pre-med science courses.

    Our esteemed host, of course, is way over on the other side of the scale …. !

  8. #8 palindrom
    October 28, 2013

    This is totally O/T but may be of interest to many: I was touted onto a web text called “Statistics done wrong”, by an apparently very able statistics grad student. It’s clear, and amusing, and appears to be full of excellent advice:

    http://www.refsmmat.com/statistics/index.html

  9. #9 DaveH
    October 28, 2013

    @Lucario:

    Much of the modern day Middle East. In Saudi Arabia, IIRC, all wives, all minor sons, all unmarried daughters, and all domestic servants, are essentially a legal extension of the father, and have next to no rights on their own, at least by our standards.

    Note from wiki on Women’s Rights in Saudi Arabia: “Depending on the guardian, women may need their guardian’s permission for: marriage and divorce; travel, if under 45; education; employment; opening a bank account; elective surgery, particularly when sexual in nature.” I don’t know the laws for children, but IIRC, they are similar. Anyone here know or have time to investigate? I have to run will be AFK for a few hours myself, but I will research then.

  10. #10 DaveH
    October 28, 2013

    Damn. I have to run *and* will be AFK.

  11. #11 Kathy
    October 28, 2013

    ” Three doctors that have treated her with a natural, biochemical protocol using nutrition, supplements and plant extracts have declared Sarah cancer free based on cat scans and blood tests—confirmed three times.”

    It would be very interesting to know who and what these three doctors are. It seems that more and more sCAMmers are allowed to proclaim themselves “Doctor”, and may even soon be licensed for primary care. In which case, this sort of thing may become much more common in future, and parents may be reassured by these “Doctors” that their child is getting better when he or she isn’t. How can they know that the “Doctor” in question doesn’t know a melanoma from a gumboil?

  12. #12 Chris Hickie
    October 28, 2013

    Here is a similar instance from Phoenix in late 2012 (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/12/emily-bracamontes-sick-girl-hospital-phoenix-mexico_n_2284835.html) where an 11 year-old girl with leukemia was taken from Phoenix Children’s Hospital to somewhere in Mexico for “treatment”. Mexico has no extradition policy, so this child is effectively lost to follow-up (until perhaps her parents bring her back to the US half -dead). Frustratingly, given that this family had removed her previously from two California hospitals against medical advice, someone within social services at the hospital should have contacted Arizona Child Protective Services and had the child place in state protective custody.

  13. #13 DrBollocks
    October 28, 2013

    This situation is disturbingly similar to the tragic case of Tamar Stitt in Perth, Western Australia. Her parents refused chemo and skipped the country just before a court could make a decision. They took her to El Salvado for mud wraps and other nonsense:

    http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/a/-/wa/5910714/why-my-daughter-doesnt-need-chemotherapy/

    The judge was quoted afterwards as saying he would have ordered her to have treatment as requested by the hospital but since she had already left the country he did not want to turn the family into fugitives. He figured they would be be more likely to return if they were not subject to a court order.

    Sadly, she did not return (at least not alive):

    http://www.skeptics.com.au/latest/news/death-of-girl-denied-chemo-for-clay-therapy/

  14. #14 Orac
    October 28, 2013

    It would be very interesting to know who and what these three doctors are. It seems that more and more sCAMmers are allowed to proclaim themselves “Doctor”, and may even soon be licensed for primary care.

    The problem is, of course, that we now have no way of knowing if these doctors are in Medina County, where the Hershbergers live (or nearby), or whether they’re in Canada, which is almost certainly where the Hershbergers fled given how close the border crossing at Buffalo is to Akron, although it is possible that they went to Mexico)

  15. #15 Orac
    October 28, 2013

    @DrBollocks:

    If Andy Hershberger doesn’t bring his daughter Sarah back soon, I fear that we will be seeing the same story before too long here in the US.

  16. #16 DaveH
    October 28, 2013

    “they’re in Canada”

    Yeah, my home and native land seems to be going woo-ey in my absence. Two provinces even allow them to prescribe pharmaceuticals and do “minor” surgeries, though I don’t know how far minor goes. The University of Toronto has a fairly large naturopathy program. I once (3 or 4 years ago) got into an argument about that program with someone who had just been accepted into said program. She leaned on the “if UofT accepts it, it must be legit” aspect a little too much. UofT publishes more scientific papers than any other university in North America. And the University Health Network is world-class, Sick Kids is at the cutting edge, etc. Harvard beats it in total number counting all disciplines including humanities, etc. but UofT is high (2nd maybe?) even there. Which is funny, because she also leaned on the “Harvard has a whole centre” argument too.

    My counter argument, which was not very well expressed, due to my state of inebriation at the time (she happened to be a non-drinker), was “it’s all about the money.” When you consider how much universities like Harvard get in overhead fees, and how liberally the NCCAM hands out money, they would be idiots (from a fiscal standpoint), not to. For UofT, there is enough people who demand such a program that it is perhaps inevitable that Canada’s largest and most prestigious university would want to be at the forefront. It takes a few words in the right ears, not scientific accuracy, to get the ball rolling.

    As for why Canada is so open to the woo in general, is perhaps because we have a pathological fear of being paternalistic and trodding out “traditional beliefs”. Which is not entirely unfounded, my homeland’s historical and ongoing treatment of Aboriginal people generally makes me want to punch things. We tolerate those who have become so open minded that their brains have fallen out. Arguments can be made that it is better to err on that side than the other, but I sometimes wonder about the harm that is being done by neglected medical care when people put their trust in naturopaths.

  17. #17 AnObservingParty
    October 28, 2013

    whether they’re in Canada, which is almost certainly where the Hershbergers fled given how close the border crossing at Buffalo is to Akron, although it is possible that they went to Mexico)

    Where they went is interesting to me, what with Canadian border crossings how requiring a passport or an enhanced license (it’s actually easier to get a passport, IMO). The Buffalo/Niagara Falls borders are notorious for being PITAs with this since it’s started. Anecdote: I’ve had my car x-rayed on two different occasions, both times I had sufficient documentation and receipts of lodging, etc, and just about every other time I’ve been grilled for at least 5 minutes. I’m not exactly suspicious. Anyone know how easy it is to get through at Detroit to Windsor? I know everywhere requires a passport or enhanced license, and I’m wondering how many Amish have US passports readily available. They take awhile to get, and if the courts were hounding these people, wouldn’t it raise some flags?

  18. #18 rs
    October 28, 2013

    Just because they’re said to have left the country does not mean that they have left the country. They are probably harder to find in-country since they don’t have to present papers to anyone. They can find all the woo and woo-enablers they want within the US, and stay out of sight/state.

  19. #19 Orac
    October 28, 2013

    I had actually thought of that. Given how insular the Amish are, they really would probably be harder to find if their community is hiding them than if they actually left the country. At this point, who really knows where they are?

  20. #20 Orac
    October 28, 2013

    Anyone know how easy it is to get through at Detroit to Windsor?

    Not hard at the tunnel. I haven’t used the bridge in decades, but I do occasionally visit Windsor via the tunnel. The crossing at the tunnel is quite reasonable. The Border Patrol does, of course, require either a passport or an enhanced drivers’ license.

  21. #21 TBruce
    October 28, 2013

    The University of Toronto has a fairly large naturopathy program

    U of T does not have a naturopathy degree program, nor does any other accredited university in Canada. The Canadian College of Naturopathy is located in Toronto (for their sins), which is what you may be thinking of. It is a private college unaffiliated with U of T.

  22. #22 DaveH
    October 28, 2013

    @TBruce:

    The woman I was talking to represented it as such, as far as I remember. I stand corrected. I have some faith restored in Canada.

  23. #23 Julian Frost
    October 28, 2013

    Given how insular the Amish are, they really would probably be harder to find if their community is hiding them than if they actually left the country.

    Yes. It struck me as very odd that an Amish family would leave the country and travel abroad. However, I thought the Amish were pretty happy with modern medicine. One hopes that the community would talk some sense into the Hershbergers.

  24. #24 De
    Mississippi
    October 28, 2013

    You know what’s funny: they could have aborted her before birth and nobody would’ve cared!!! Let the mother still have control: she could still possibly live. My mother died of cancer with all the chemo treatments!! The outcome is not always great. If after all the family tries and this girl still dies: remember she could have been aborted!!!!
    The people that get all mixed up in this don’t look at their decisions in different areas and realize how dumb it is!!!

  25. #25 Edith Prickly
    October 28, 2013

    My mother died of cancer with all the chemo treatments!!

    I’m sorry to hear that. You have my sympathy. However, chemo does save a lot of people, and extends the lives of many others who would have died much sooner without treatment.

    You know what’s funny: they could have aborted her before birth and nobody would’ve cared!!

    How is this relevant to the discussion?

  26. #26 Narad
    October 28, 2013

    Let the mother still have control: she could still possibly live.

    Somebody is apparently unfamiliar with gender roles in Amish society.

  27. #27 Narad
    October 28, 2013

    Just because they’re said to have left the country does not mean that they have left the country.

    One might note that the source didn’t even bother to change the file name on the photo captioned “Amish people gather throughout Ohio and elsewhere to hear about Akron Children’s Hospital and the story of the Hershbergers”

  28. #28 Narad
    October 28, 2013

    Oh, and the buggy one is William Thomas Cain/Getty Images. I can find it going back to 2007.

  29. #29 Lindsey Leonard
    http://www.arcpointlabs.com/greenville_sc
    October 28, 2013

    All I pray is that she is really healthy and back to full status. What a crazy story!

  30. #30 Karl Withakay
    blog.cordialdeconsturction.com
    October 28, 2013

    ORAC@20

    I took the bridge to Canada for an uncle’s funeral in April.
    We needed passports, but they just glanced at them, compared the photos to our faces, and handed them back without looking anything up on a computer. Maybe they would check the names against a list/database if an Amber alert was on, but that would require prior knowledge the parents were going to run.

  31. #31 jane
    October 28, 2013

    It’s apparently not disputed that this girl had been enrolled in a clinical trial; might this trial have included different regimens during the proposed two- to three-year maintenance phase? And if so, did the hospital only seek to have the courts order her to undergo a minimum standard regimen of treatment during those years, or did they seek to order the family to continue with all originally planned treatments, including those to which she was assigned as part of a trial? If so, that would be legally and ethically untenable, no matter what greater good is perceived to come from having so many pediatric cancer patients enrolled in trials. Participation in clinical trials must be voluntary, meaning that consent can be withdrawn at any time.

    Also, I wonder if the parents might have been less unhappy from the beginning if their child had not been enrolled in a trial, so that her suffering could be perceived solely as the result of toxic but important “treatment” rather than as the result of participation in an “experiment.” Perhaps parents who are likely to have limits to their tolerance for side effects should not be pushed to enroll their children in trials.

  32. #32 TBruce
    October 28, 2013

    The woman I was talking to represented it as such, as far as I remember.

    I should have predicted this: a pretend doctor going for a pretend U of T degree.

  33. #33 Kemist
    October 28, 2013

    Just out of curiosity, when and in what cultures were children ‘property?’ Outside of slave-owning cultures, that is.

    The US is I think the only country in the west that refused to adopt a children’s rights charter – that is laws that would protect a child’s right to adequate care and education.

    Parental rights trump the child’s rights in the US – children are, in effect, the property of their parents.

    And notice that this comes from the very same people who rip out women’s rights in order to protect the existence of blastulas.

    You gotta love “pro-life” people and their “family values”.

    FREEDUMB !

    *puke*

  34. #34 Lucario
    Sunny SoFla
    October 28, 2013

    DaveH @#9:

    So, why is it that much of the Middle east treats children like chattel and we find it abhorrent? What changed in Western society to make us believe that children are people and not property, and how can we change the people in the Middle East so that they do the same?

    I’d really like to help them change, whether it be through the ballot box or the cartridge box….

  35. #35 Narad
    October 28, 2013

    It’s apparently not disputed that this girl had been enrolled in a clinical trial….

    Considering that it’s just been mentioned, I don’t know who’s expected to be doing the disputing. It’s not in the court documents that I recall, so it seems like an odd time to be making a stink about it all of a sudden.

    And if so, did the hospital only seek to have the courts order her to undergo a minimum standard regimen of treatment during those years, or did they seek to order the family to continue with all originally planned treatments, including those to which she was assigned as part of a trial?

    You tell me: “Dr. Prasad Bodas testified that S.H.’s chemotherapy treatment has five separate phases: Induction (5 weeks), Consolidation (seven weeks), and Interim maintaince (eight weeks), Delayed Intensification (six weeks) and Maintenance (90 weeks). The total duration of the therapy is two years, three months.” In re S.H., 2013-Ohio-3708, ¶ 16 (PDF).

  36. #36 Orac
    October 28, 2013

    Parental rights trump the child’s rights in the US – children are, in effect, the property of their parents.

    Indeed. There’s a doozy of a post up over at AoA that demonstrates exactly this attitude that I might have to…examine.

  37. #37 Orac
    October 28, 2013

    Also, I wonder if the parents might have been less unhappy from the beginning if their child had not been enrolled in a trial, so that her suffering could be perceived solely as the result of toxic but important “treatment” rather than as the result of participation in an “experiment.” Perhaps parents who are likely to have limits to their tolerance for side effects should not be pushed to enroll their children in trials.

    I’ve been thinking about it, and the clinical trial angle smells fishy to me now. I agree that it’s odd that this wasn’t mentioned, as far as I can tell, during the court hearings. Moreover, it’s highly unlikely that any hospital would try to force a child to be on a clinical trial. The OHRP and FDA really, really frown upon that. As far as I can tell, the hospital was trying to make sure this child received standard of care therapy.

    One should also note that pediatric cancer therapy has gotten so good that most of these trials are now of the “fine-tuning” or “comparative effectiveness” variety, in which different treatments falling within the standard of care are compared to each other or in which existing drug regimens are “fine tuned” to see if, for example the same results can be produced with shorter treatment durations. It’s highly unlikely that any new drugs are being tested in these regimens. Indeed, I perused ClinicalTrials.gov for pediatric lymphoblastic lymphoma trials. Most of them seem to be about bone marrow transplantation for advanced disease (which doesn’t appear to apply to Sarah Hershberger) or trials like this:

    http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT00408005?term=pediatric+lymphoblastic+lymphoma&rank=16

    Which compares different existing combination chemotherapy regimens.

  38. #38 Narad
    October 28, 2013

    A quck one, as I have to get my nose back to the grindstone:

    Parental rights trump the child’s rights in the US – children are, in effect, the property of their parents.

    This wasn’t even true in the common-law days, in which fathers had certain obligations to the child. In the meantime, parens patriae developed (so one could claim that the state has a property interest, I suppose) and so forth. It’s quite a way from sending children to the Colonies as indentured servants.

    Ownership of a child’s earnings in the U.S. is still a matter of state law, though, as I understand it (cf. the Coogan law).

  39. #39 H323
    October 28, 2013

    All of this is caused by the general rejection of Judeo-Christian values. The Bible if very clear that children are a gift from God our Creator to the parents. They are God’s and God has given them to parents as stewards. The Bible leaves no room for the state to have custody of children! I am Mennonite and of the same Anabaptist faith as the Amish. The Amish and Mennonites will simply not accept a socialistic government that takes custody of it’s children and hands them over to a medical system that has little regard for human life (abortion services are considered a medical service.) If we have too, we will leave this country before we accept this type of horror. When the mother wants to kill, the state grants the choice to the mother. When the mother wants to make cancer treatment choices, the state takes the choice from the mother! The cause for this is a society that has no regard for the Word of the Lord.

  40. #40 meg
    smokey sydney
    October 28, 2013

    @Kemist – IIRC this has to do with the death penalty. ie, the charter forbids the death penalty for children (defined as under 18) whereas there are still states that allow juvenile execution.

  41. #41 meg
    October 28, 2013

    completely unrelated, but pretty cool – saw this one the news last night. I had no idea an Aussie was involved in this.
    http://www.smh.com.au/technology/sci-tech/pioneer-in-fight-against-child-virus-wins-top-science-prize-20131028-2wc2e.html

  42. #42 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    October 28, 2013

    H323 – so you DO consider your children your property, and believe you can do with them as you will – even if it will kill them?

    Just asking.

  43. #43 herr doktor bimler
    October 28, 2013

    Hands up anyone who believes that H323 is really a Mennonite, and is sincere about anything except trolling.

  44. #44 Michael
    October 28, 2013

    @meg- no states still allow the death penalty for kids under 18 but some still allow life imprisonment, which is also prohibited by the treaty.

  45. #45 meg
    October 28, 2013

    @Michael – apparently only after 2005 with a Supreme Court ruling, 15 years after the convention. (went it researched it after I commented – should really do that first). Also looks like a ruling last year may have declared life imprisonment without parole unconstitutional as well.

  46. #46 Narad
    October 28, 2013

    Hands up anyone who believes that H323 is really a Mennonite

    Well, I don’t believe that “H323″ (When the mother wants to make cancer treatment choices) isn’t “De” (Let the mother still have control).

    “The head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man.”

  47. #47 Christine (the Public Servant Christine)
    October 28, 2013

    @meg: I cheered that one, too.

  48. #48 novalox
    October 28, 2013

    @h323

    What “god” to you worship?

    Because that is a deity that I don’t want any part of, nor would I want to worship, if he/she/it allows parents to kill their children on a whim just because they feel like it.

  49. #49 DrBollocks
    October 28, 2013

    @H323

    You appear to object to abortion but have no problem if parents allow a child to die rather than receive life-saving treatment.

    Your position, even from an apparently “Christian” viewpoint, is, to put it charitably, not logically consistent.

  50. #50 Shay
    In a county full of Mennonites
    October 28, 2013

    I’m not an expert on the sect, but I have a hunch that H323′s opinion would get pretty short shrift at the Mennonite hospital here.

  51. #51 Edith Prickly
    October 28, 2013

    @HDB

    Hands up anyone who believes that H323 is really a Mennonite, and is sincere about anything except trolling.

    Both my hands are down. And I’m sure it’s merely a coincidence that H323 is the second commenter to mention abortion for no reason other than (perhaps) rhetorical excess.

  52. #52 DaveH
    Northern Ontario rednuck currently employed in the ROK
    October 29, 2013

    Lucario: “I’d really like to help them change, whether it be through the ballot box or the cartridge box…”

    I prefer to save the latter for egregious cases, though I am not naive enough to forget about both the occasional necessity and the limitations of force. Iraq springs to mind, since the country, which had been a functioning but brutal state fell apart for a few years, and ended up with militias, etc. The use of force is a roll of the dice, and is only worth it if there is few if any ways it could get worse.

    As for actual change, first and foremost, education. Educating children and women produces long-term change in a society. This should be the main goal. However, the political realities are that the West imports massive amounts of oil from the Saudis, so they smile and nod, and then do their own thing. If we got ourselves off our oil habit (a discussion for another time and place), we would be much less beholden to the Saudis, to the rampant human rights violations in Nigeria, etc. Once the Saudis have been forced off their oil extraction for everyone else economy, it will likely precipitate change from within, or at least it can’t hurt. Furthermore, that change MUST come from within for it to be lasting; any externally imposed change, however truly for good and well-intentioned, will only engender enough resentment to render it futile or simply cause new problems, like a hard-line opposition movement yearning for the “good old days.”

  53. #53 Lucario
    October 29, 2013

    So, how can I wean myself off of oil, and how can I teach others to do the same? Bonus points for tips and tricks that don’t cost too much.

    Also, are there any charities that are working to educate women in places where women are still treated like chattel? I’d like to able to do the little I could to help change things down there.

  54. #54 Nina Danko
    United States
    October 29, 2013

    This biased article assumes (erroneously) that a) doctors and hospitals are always right and we, peasants, are stupid and must listen to them for our own good, and b) that doctors and hospitals have our best interests in mins NOT PROFIT!!!)
    Well, most intelligent and informed people reject these assumptions and our number is growing. I can cite cases after cases proving that PROFIT, not our well being, is at the heart of the medical establishment. This, plus the hubris displayed by this author and the medical ‘authorities’ makes me want to vomit. By the way: who made them ‘authorities’? They are supposed to be public servants!

  55. #55 Nina Danko
    Ohio
    October 29, 2013

    PS. EVERY DRUG RECALLED BY THE FDA WAS FIRST PROVEN TO BE SAFE AND EFFECTIVE BY THE FDA. Same goes for EXPERIMENTAL ‘treatment’ ‘authorities’ wanted to subject Sarah to. So why should we trust them?

  56. #56 Edward Nigma
    October 29, 2013

    I could go through paragraph by paragraph and show you the thousand things that make you look stupid, but I’ll just say this instead: The tone you take towards the Hershberger family is incredibly insulting to the millions of people who have been killed or had their lives ruined by the way mainstream medicine treats cancer. Do you have any idea what you’re talking about or are you just a politically correct imbecile? Why don’t you seek out one of the tens of thousands of people on the internet who claim to have cured cancer through alternative means and ask them what they think? Why don’t you seek out a doctor who claims to be able to cure cancer through the means mentioned above and ask him why he might not want is name in the newspaper?

    I know why you won’t do these things: You’re a daft, shallow, unwitting shill, who is in denial about the evil, greedy nature of main stream medicine.

    I can say these things with confidence because I know that If you were any better than what I’ve claimed, you would not have been so disrespectful to the family in question.

  57. #57 Edith Prickly
    October 29, 2013

    I can cite cases after cases proving that PROFIT, not our well being, is at the heart of the medical establishment.

    Be our guest. Please note, however, that stories from Natural News or mercola.com will get you laughed off the thread.

  58. #58 JGC
    October 29, 2013

    H323, you’re speaking as if the bible were known to possess some inherent authority.

    Why?

  59. #59 Orac
    October 29, 2013

    I could go through paragraph by paragraph and show you the thousand things that make you look stupid

    Please do. The entertainment value ought to be enormous.

    As for the rest of your rant: Yes, I know what I’m talking about—far better than you do, if your comment is any indication. I have no need to “seek out one of the tens of thousands of people on the internet who claim to have cured cancer through alternative means and ask them what they think.” I’ve read many of their stories, and they are not convincing if you actually look at them closely with a knowledge of cancer biology and treatment. I’ve yet to find one that makes me step back and really wonder whether it was actually a “miracle cure,” and I’ve looked. As for seeking out cancer quacks, I’ll pass on that too.

    I’d also note that the doctors who treated Sarah at Akron Children’s Hospital are reluctant to be identified because of people like you. I don’t blame them. But they testified in court; at least one of them is known. That is more than can be said of these quacks.

  60. #60 JGC
    "I read it on the internet, so of course it must be true"
    October 29, 2013

    Why don’t you seek out one of the tens of thousands of people on the internet who claim to have cured cancer through alternative means and ask them what they think?

    I’m too busy seeking out the tens of thousands of people on the internet who claim they were abducted by grey aliens flying advanced faster-than-light spacecraft and subjected to medical examinations (complete with, of course, the de rigeur anal probing).

    You do believe in that aliens routinely abduct humans for experimentation, don’t you Mr Nigma? After all, the evidence in support of abduction is absolutely indistinguishable from the evidence that has apparently convinced you alternative medicine can cure advanced cancers.

  61. #61 Richard Smith
    October 29, 2013

    Maybe… maybe the cure for cancer* is to be anally probed by grey aliens…?

    *Of course, that is, THE cancer. It’s the only cancer, and greys are the only aliens. It’s true because the Internets!

  62. #62 Calli Arcale
    October 29, 2013

    Mr Nigma:

    The tone you take towards the Hershberger family is incredibly insulting

    Because, of course, the feelings of people are what’s most important to you, right? As long as they’re people who believe alt med cured their cancer, anyway. If not, well, sucks to be them, since you don’t seem to mind how horrifying the whole story is to people who have been cured of lymphoma by chemotherapy.

    Many people claim they have been cured by herbs or prayer or sunlight or homeopathy or whatnot. Many people also claim to have spoken to deities, to be personally acquainted with Elvis (who is still living), to have traveled to other worlds via astral projection, to know the secret to guaranteed wealth, to have seen Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster, to be able to read minds (and I don’t mean cold reading). How do I evaluate these claims? With evidence. Many who claimed to have been cured by quack treatments later died . . . of the original cancer. Many others who made the same claim also had surgery to remove the tumor or used quackery in addition to chemo, yet do not consider the chemo to have been a factor.

    The only way is through science. And so far, as unpleasant as it is, chemo seems to be the best bet for many cancers. Surgery is better, but not always applicable, unfortunately. I have seen no evidence that would convince me to try homeopathy, naturopathy, chiropractic, reflexology, acupuncture, reiki, the Gerson Protocol, nor any of the other strange ideas that people suggest in these circumstances. Show me the evidence, and I may change my mind. But I do not accept testimonials. Not when the stakes are this high. Testimonials can mislead, and can even outright lie. If my child gets cancer, I will not be able to afford a risk like that.

    Now, you may call that insulting. But you know what? I don’t care. This isn’t about protecting anyone’s feelings. This is about science, and finding out what’s true. If you care more about people’s feelings than about telling them the truth, then I think you’re in for some real problems in your interpersonal relationships in life. Because even in life, avoiding unpleasant truths in the interests of not hurting feelings is not usually healthy.

  63. #63 Tsu Dho Nimh
    October 29, 2013

    How difficult would it be to cross in one of the rural areas in upstate NY and meet a sympathizer on the other side?

    Or along the ND and MT borders where it’s just ranches?

  64. #64 Edward Nigma
    October 29, 2013

    You’re comparing me to some kind of UFO conspiracy nut and all I’m saying is that you run this blog where you run around trying to discredit alternative medicine, you’re completely insensitive and incredibly insulting to people who are victims of disease and should be treated with respect and humility, you have no concern or consideration for the emotional and human side of things (case and point you referred to the sudden amputation of a healthy girls arm as a cure numerous times… that’s a misnomer at best and at worst a symptom of a much grosser condition within your mind). You have a mainstream politically correct opinion and you have no real original content and nothing to say. This is basically a blog exhibiting your defensive and childish reaction to alternative medcine (because it challenges what you have invested your life in, and you can’t stand to imagine that your BWM represents a corrupt healthcare system that you tacitly support). This blog is inherently negative.

    Where in all that did I ever mention UFOs? And don’t try to get out of this by saying that you were only making a comparison between the evidence for UFOs and the evidence for alternative medicine, because you have often talked about how people who believe in alternative medicine are also “UFO nuts”. It was a smug, shallow jab at me designed to incite laughter from your arrogant colleagues. It was an emotional reaction to my incisive comments.

    I want to point out that your insult makes you a hypocrite.. You talk about others going ad hom to win an argument, but you aren’t any better. And you say “you went ad hom first” yes but I’m not on a pedastal like you, and I can admit that two wrongs don’t make a right. Can you? This whole blog is incredibly daft and immature.

    Let me tell you something about Doctors. You are perhaps the most indoctrinated, defensive people in the world. First, most MDs are doing it for the wrong reason. Then, they invest so much money getting their degrees that once they have them, and they get even the slightest bit disillusioned, they go completely into denial about the corruption in mainstream medicine. They do this because they are paralyzed by the fear of losing what they have worked for and basically having their lives ruined, and they are too shallow to see the hegemony that is taking place. But deep down, subconsciously, they know that actually makes them accessory because their failure to defend themselves allows the establishment to go on continuing to use hegemony to keep doctors in line. Finally, they become these older professional who surround themselves with people who won’t tell them the truth about themselves, that they’re shallow, egotistical, and corrupt. They surround themselves with patients and employees mostly, people who want something from them and so won’t tell them what they really think.

    You might be wondering about my ethos. Well my father is a Dr., and he is more or less a good man (as I’m sure you are), but hes just as indoctrinated as you. My grandfather is a Dr. My uncle. My brother. My mom is a nurse. I work for a Dr. at a Dr. office. I don’t know those are all the obvious ones I can think of. Anyway, aside from making me angry I don’t find this blog very interesting I think it’s a place full of bad emotions and wrongheadedness. You pick and choose which comments to post so I doubt this will get posted but I hope you read it goodbye.

  65. #65 jane
    October 29, 2013

    “One should also note that pediatric cancer therapy has gotten so good that most of these trials are now of the “fine-tuning” or “comparative effectiveness” variety, in which different treatments falling within the standard of care are compared to each other or in which existing drug regimens are “fine tuned” to see if, for example the same results can be produced with shorter treatment durations. It’s highly unlikely that any new drugs are being tested in these regimens.”

    Agreed. Being in a trial likely didn’t worsen the harms of treatment one bit. I only ask whether those harms may be perceived differently by parents of children in a trial. Since a clinical trial should involve equipoise, if there were two regimens involved of which one was shorter or less toxic, it should have been legally possible to remove the child from the trial and allow her to undergo the easier regimen. If the two were equally toxic, still, when the child has been randomized as part of an “experiment,” the parents may suspect that she would have suffered less in the other arm. Parents like these, who are not particularly knowledgeable about or committed to compliance with the medical process, seem to me unlikely to be spontaneously eager to put their child in a trial. One might wonder whether they were “encouraged” to do so, and whether any perceived pressure to do so fed their mistrust of the doctors when things started getting difficult.

  66. #66 Edith Prickly
    October 29, 2013

    I work for a Dr. at a Dr. office.

    For both your sakes, you should consider a career change.

  67. #67 Orac
    October 29, 2013

    You pick and choose which comments to post so I doubt this will get posted but I hope you read it goodbye.

    I’m so disappointed that Mr. Nigma flounced off before going through my post “paragraph by paragraph” showing me the “thousand things” that allegedly make me look stupid. Darn.

  68. #68 Sastra
    October 29, 2013

    Let me tell you something about Doctors. You are perhaps the most indoctrinated, defensive people in the world.

    Ahem.

    Edward Nigma — consider the possibility that you might be wrong and that the people who criticize alternative medicine not only do so as a matter of conscience and concern, but are right to do so. Because you are engaging in conspiracy thinking, and assuming that the people who disagree with you are monstrous.

  69. #69 Calli Arcale
    October 29, 2013

    Orac: well, of course not. That would take effort — and require admitting that he really has no counterargument. He just prefers not to examine his own position.

  70. #70 JGC
    You're confusing me with Orac, Nigma
    October 29, 2013

    You’re comparing me to some kind of UFO conspiracy nut and all I’m saying is that you run this blog where you run around trying to discredit alternative medicine

    First, I’m not comparing you to some kind of UFO conspiracy nut: I’m comparing the evidence you’ve offered in support of the efficacy of alternative medicine (anecdotal presonal accounts posted to the internet) to the evidence UFO conspiracy nuts offer in support of alien abduction (anecdotal presonal accounts posted to the internet) and finding them to be indistinguishable.

    Second, Orac runs this blog–I merely comment here.

    Where in all that did I ever mention UFOs?

    You didn’t. I did, in order to make the point described above: anecdotal accounts are not evidence.

    And don’t try to get out of this by saying that you were only making a comparison between the evidence for UFOs and the evidence for alternative medicine, because you have often talked about how people who believe in alternative medicine are also “UFO nuts”.

    That is, however, exactly what I was doing., and I haven’t argued that ‘people who believe in alternative medicine are also UFO nuts’ (you’re confusing me with Orac once again.)

    It was a smug, shallow jab at me designed to incite laughter from your arrogant colleagues.

    No: it was a useful illustration of why your suggestion that we would profit by seeking out one of the tens of thousands of people on the internet who claim to have cured cancer through alternative means and asking them what they think would be a meaningless exercise.

    It was an emotional reaction to my incisive comments.

    No, it was a measured response to your failed defense of alternative medicine. I’d suggest it’s the post I’m replying to represents an emotional response to my reasonably dismissing your claims re alternative medicine being an effective cure for advanced cancers due to lack of evidence.

  71. #71 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    October 29, 2013

    Edward Nigma,

    You’re comparing me to some kind of UFO conspiracy nut

    You’re correct, JGC satirized your statements by using similar statements that might be made by someone researching UFO stories. JGC’s point might be summarized as “just because people believe something to be true does not mean it is actually true in any objective sense.”

    you run this blog where you run around trying to discredit alternative medicine

    Discredit means “to attempt to harm the good reputation of”. That is not what Orac is doing; he is showing that the evidence in support of alternative medicine are insufficient and does not prove it to be effective. In that he has been quite successful.

    case and point you referred to the sudden amputation of a healthy girls arm as a cure numerous times

    I do not recall Orac making this statement. Please provide a reference and context.

    This blog is inherently negative.

    And your statements are in some way more positive and uplifting?

    you have often talked about how people who believe in alternative medicine are also “UFO nuts”.

    Once again, I cannot recall Orac making this statement. Please provide a reference and context.

    It was an emotional reaction to my incisive comments.

    I’m sorry, but every word in that statement was wrong.

    I want to point out that your insult makes you a hypocrite.. You talk about others going ad hom to win an argument, but you aren’t any better.

    First, Orac didn’t refer to UFOs, JGC did. Second, the comment was not an ad homynym attack.

    You might be wondering about my ethos

    If we had been, you provided no insight to it. You know people in medical careers. What that has to do with your guiding beliefs?

  72. #72 Calli Arcale
    October 29, 2013

    I believe Mr Nigma read Orac’s comments on the topic of crank magnetism and found it sounded uncomfortably familiar to him. I wonder why.

  73. #73 LH
    October 29, 2013

    Nina: “By the way: who made them ‘authorities’? They are supposed to be public servants!”

    Answer: their extensive years of schooling and real world experience make them authorities. And public servants? Um, they’re not politicians; we don’t elect doctors.

    Nina again: “PS. EVERY DRUG RECALLED BY THE FDA WAS FIRST PROVEN TO BE SAFE AND EFFECTIVE BY THE FDA”

    Ummm…duh? Of course all recalled drugs were shown to be safe. They couldn’t be recalled if they hadn’t been previously allowed. Did you know that the FDA has also kept hundreds (thousands?) of drugs from ever being put on the market?

  74. #74 JGC
    October 29, 2013

    In other news, all divorced couples were first considered to be married couples, and all college dropouts were first enrolled in college.

  75. #75 Bob G
    Los Angeles
    October 29, 2013

    Palindrom: Thanks for the link. It will be useful, particularly in explaining things to the young science fair students.

  76. #76 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    October 29, 2013

    ad homynym

    Naturally, I meant ad hominem. I don’t know what I was thinking.

  77. #77 Nick Theodorakis
    October 29, 2013

    MOP, I just assumed you meant “ad homonym,” which is an attack that sounds just like another one but means something different.

    Nick

  78. #78 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    October 29, 2013

    Nick Theodorakis – well said!

  79. #79 herr doktor bimler
    October 29, 2013

    Nina again: “PS. EVERY DRUG RECALLED BY THE FDA WAS FIRST PROVEN TO BE SAFE AND EFFECTIVE BY THE FDA”

    Perhaps this message reached us from an alternative reality in which the FDA is resourced to run its own drug research, and “prove” safety and efficacity.
    In this reality, alas, rather than “proving” anything, the FDA is limited to accepting or rejecting research from elsewhere.

    MOP, I just assumed you meant “ad homonym,”
    Flashback!

  80. #80 Pareidolius
    October 29, 2013

    Nigma, please . . . don’t bullshit an old, ex-altie like me. Your love of Lifetime Original Movie™-level drama is palpale across the æther. You don’t work for a doc and nobody in your family is a doc. You are what we call a “liar.” Go away.

  81. #81 herr doktor bimler
    October 29, 2013

    you referred to the sudden amputation of a healthy girls arm as a cure numerous times

    I can only guess that Mr Nigma was reading RI with Apocalypse Now playing in the background, and fell into a kind of hypnopompic trance in which he confused Kurtz’ lines about “A pile of little arms” with the words on the screen.

    You might be wondering about my ethos.

    No, I don’t think anyone gives two tugs on a dead dingo’s dick about Mr Nigma’s ethos.
    Here, as so often, the Goon Show scripts come to mind:

    Mr. Eccles, we are not for one moment doubting your sincerity. It’s just your intelligence that’s in question.

  82. #82 Sara
    October 29, 2013

    This message is for Orac: Do not confuse what is deceptively called “Holocaust denial” with any of the other behavior of these irrational people. There are crazy and hateful people who deny that reality of genocidal behavior against the Jewish population of Europe 70 years ago and at other points in history. There are also people who have exposed the exaggeration of the offenses. Several concentration camps have retracted their casualty claims–including Auschwitz, which admits the “gas chambers” were reconstructed after WWII and do not reflect the configuration of that camp during the war. Orac is being a bit irrational with these kinds of assertions. That detracts from the current problems and arguments.

    I personally discount anything associated with the experience of inmates in the concentration camps of WWII without solid evidence of claims. I’m surprised that as a bright guy with a solid scientific background that he expects readers here to assent automatically to evidence-free and rather hysterical appeals to cliches that need to be supported by evidence.

    And I am Jewish, so please don’t use the reflexive AS card.

  83. #83 Chris,
    October 29, 2013

    Sara, you chose to post that comment about the Holocaust on the wrong blog. You might want to check to what some of the larger fonts are spelling in the tag cloud on the right side of this page.

  84. #84 Lawrence
    October 29, 2013

    @Sara – wrong blog, wrong topic & just plain wrong….you don’t have to be AS to be stupid, as you have most adequately proved.

  85. #85 Krebiozen
    October 29, 2013

    Edward Nigma,

    You might be wondering about my ethos.

    I’m wondering about a lot more than that. Almost everything you have written here is demonstrably untrue. It’s as if you have read a hundred alternative medicine sites on the internet and uncritically believed all the lies and misinformation you found there.

    I am very saddened that there are people like you who are deceived by this nonsense so completely you think it is OK to attack a breast cancer surgeon who I am quite certain has personally saved more lives than any alternative cancer. Shame on you.

  86. […] case you can make whatever decision you want.  But sadly this translates quite often into parents not seeking the proper treatment for sick children, and that I cannot abide.  When your patients bring up these treatments of homeopathic, […]

  87. #87 Kevin
    October 29, 2013

    @Kemist 33 – there are just two countries in the world that have not signed the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child: the USA and Somalia. There are some in the USA who think children should be treated worse than property; look up the “parental rights” movement (parentalrights.org), but only if you want to get sick to your stomach – and look up its Congressional support (proposed amendment to the US Constitution), H J Res 50, 113th Congress, which features all the usual suspects (Bachmann, Barton, Neugebauer, etc.) as co-sponsors (it’s probably not going to get anywhere, as it’s been introduced in the previous two Congresses, and the number of co-sponsors is dwindling, but its very existence is rather troubling).

  88. #88 Mewens
    October 29, 2013

    Just a note to everyone — Edward Nigma is perhaps better known in certain circles as the Riddler, of “Batman” fame.

    In other words, dude’s a bad joke.

  89. #89 meg
    October 29, 2013

    If doctors are out for money/profit whatever, why has:
    1) my neurologist decided I don’t need to see him anymore, unless my condition changes, which he doesn’t see happening (he gets AU$140 for an average 20 minute visit)
    2) my neurosurgeon decided that I don’t need surgery, and that what was initially deemed as something that needed to be checked on every 6-12 months now only needs to be done every 2 years (he’s been getting AU$100 for an average 10 minute visit)

    You’d think they didn’t want to make money off me or something. . .

  90. #90 Nina Danko
    October 29, 2013

    Edith is clearly a paid shill

  91. #91 Gray Falcon
    October 29, 2013

    Nina is clearly lacking in evidence and going for direct libel.

  92. #92 JP
    FL
    October 29, 2013

    I can NOT believe how people are just like a herd of cattle! How is it that chemo is good for the body?? In some forms of cancer it is helpful but for the most part it s detrimental. WHY not go to herbs and God given remedies!! The Amish people are more to earth then many so I am not surprised that they would not want their daughter to suffer. We are responsible for the care of our children and when the government or Dr.s step in to make that decision it is JUST WRONG!! Get with it people!! Chemo and Radiation KILLS people!! We are letting Big Pharma and the Chemo pushing Dr’s kill us!! I AM CURING naturally! I CAN BE DONE! With a diet of no sugar, very little lean meats and more fruits and veggies, Green veggie drinks, fresh veggie juic and high antioxidant vitamins and more it can be done!!! People ARE curing cancer naturally! Why are we like sheep or a herd of cattle?? Are we in the dark ages!!?? Check out this website! http://www.cancertutor.com/

  93. #93 Nina Danko
    October 29, 2013

    Krebiozen: what the hell is ‘proper care’? Submitting a child to an EXPERIMENTAL treatment which makes her sick?
    Now tell me: HOW MANY CHILDREN DIED MISERABLE DEATHS AFTER A COURSE OF CHEMOTHERAPY AND RADIATION?!
    Are we supposed to trust bureaucrats who don’t even
    know the child more than parents who know, love, and nutrured the child? re we supposed to believe that a concoction of chemicals which killed thousands of chemotherapy victims is the RIGHT way to cure the child? The answer is NO. We, the people, have had enough of the arrogance. We had enough of the state and medical quacks usurping parental rights! We had enough of the hubris and the callousness of the ‘scientific’ drug pushers and their toxic nostrums, medicine for profit, and the smart asses who believe that they are superior to us and we must obey them!
    http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/health/shock-study-chemotherapy-backfire-cancer-worse-triggering-tumor-growth-article-1.1129897

  94. #94 herr doktor bimler
    October 29, 2013

    Is this Nina Danko the VERY BRAVE PERSON with the BROKEN CAPS KEY who is NOT AFRAID OF BILL GATES?

  95. #95 Narad
    October 29, 2013

    Submitting a child to an EXPERIMENTAL treatment which makes her sick?

    You seem to have skipped the part where a clinical trial is even shown to have existed. Moreover, am I the only one who finds it odd that none of the media outlets that covered the story initially have picked up this complete-with-bogus-photo-caption report from David Michael Augenstein?

  96. #96 Nina Danko
    October 29, 2013

    The arrogance and hubris of the medical and ‘scientific’ quacks is mind boggling. Equally mind boggling is their belief that children should be the property of the state to do with them as it pleases (for their own good, of course -lol) – a belief which was espoused by both: the Nazis and the Communists. This is not going to happen here as WE THE PEOPLE will not allow it, and we are legion!

  97. #97 Erwin Alber
    New Zealand
    October 29, 2013

    There is no way I would let anyone with chemo (or a vaccine for that matter) come near me or any child of mine as chemotherapy as well as vaccination are in my opinion medical abuse and junk science of the worst kind. I too would flee the country rather than let these criminals pump their toxic crap into my or my child’s body.

  98. #98 novalox
    October 29, 2013

    @nina

    Petty sure that 4chan won’t be happy with you trying to ursup their tactics.

    @jp

    [citation needed]

  99. #99 Nina Danko
    October 29, 2013

    lieber herr doctor bimbler: Bill Gates kann sich selbst ficken

  100. #100 Gray Falcon
    October 29, 2013

    Nina, we aren’t saying that the children are the property of the state. We are saying they are human beings and should be treated as such. I suggest you consider sticking to the truth.

  101. #101 Nina Danko
    October 29, 2013

    novalox, what tactics are you talking about?????

  102. #102 Nina Danko
    October 29, 2013

    Gray : countless members here are bitching about the ‘folly’ of parental rights, and insisting that ‘authorities’ should make decisions about their treatments. Read them.

  103. #103 Edith Prickly
    October 29, 2013

    Edith is clearly a paid shill

    Oh honey, that’s all you’ve got? Go back to the kiddie pool.

  104. #104 Narad
    October 29, 2013

    countless members here are bitching about the ‘folly’ of parental rights, and insisting that ‘authorities’ should make decisions about their treatments.

    “Countless”? BTW, the only one who’s used the term “authorities” is you.

  105. #105 novalox
    October 29, 2013

    @nina

    Oh, little dearie, you really don’t know what you are doing, eh.

  106. #106 Alain
    October 29, 2013

    The arrogance and hubris of the medical and ‘scientific’ quacks is mind boggling.

    Glad to be a scientific quack although I’ll disagree on the word quack. You see, I’m on the process of learning software carpentry and after that, I’ll be learning software engineering to a degree (read: PhD) where I’ll enlist the help of probably over 100,000 computers at google or amazon to digest through a large number of genomes in order to come up with the best atlas of brain functions in our really diverse brain.

    Oh, you were speaking about herbs? I guess that’s useful a subject of studies for the tiny brain of those likely to prescribe raw herbs, vitamins and homeopathic remedy who’d have no clue about the kind of jobs to submit to a 100,000+ computer cluster if it bit them in the posterior.

    Basically, I want to learn & publish about neuroscience by doing software engineering. I guess that makes me a quack but I fully endorse scientifically validated treatments for every illness if it’s medically recommended.

    Alain

  107. #107 Alain
    October 29, 2013

    Oh, about the financing of the use of 100,000+ computers, I’m working on it but that will be my little secret but it won’t involve taking clueless patient for a ride :)

    Alain <– Quack.

  108. #108 Nina Danko
    October 29, 2013

    novalox, you silly lil’ ding-dong. You are so funny. You missed your calling. you should have been a clown

  109. #109 Nina Danko
    October 29, 2013

    Alain: your resume is very impressive. LMAO

  110. #110 Alain
    October 29, 2013

    As Impressive as every doctor or scientist worth his salts. Your complaint is?

    Alain

  111. #111 Nina Danko
    October 29, 2013

    Edith, sweetie-pie: take your meds and go nighty-night

  112. #112 Nina Danko
    October 29, 2013

    Alain: not complaint (as I don’t give a sh**) just an observation of: hubris, narrow mindedness, pomposity, bragging, intolerance, snottiness, self-importance and a bunch of other traits very prevalent among the nouveau geek. LMAO

  113. #113 Gray Falcon
    October 29, 2013

    Nina Danko- Perhaps the reason why they seem that way is because you’re a jerk, and nobody likes a jerk.

  114. #114 Narad
    October 29, 2013

    not complaint (as I don’t give a sh**) just an observation of: hubris, narrow mindedness, pomposity, bragging, intolerance, snottiness, self-importance and a bunch of other traits

    You seem to have those bases covered excellently yourself.

    very prevalent among the nouveau geek. LMAO

    Oh, the irony of the September that never ended.

  115. #115 novalox
    October 29, 2013

    @nina

    Yawn, still making empty threats and ad homs?

    Try better, child. I’ve heard worse from 5 year olds.

    And again, why should anyone believe you when you haven’t shown any evidence and instead resort to petty insults.

    But please keep entertaining us. You do make quite the fool for a few cheap laughs.

  116. #116 Nina Danko
    October 30, 2013

    novalox, Alain, Falcon: it is amusing to see pompous asses throwing hissy fits when challenged. YOU AND YOUR ILK CANNOT TAKE CHALLENGE NOR CAN YOU DISCUSS THINGS INTELLIGENTLY – YOU TRY TO PUT PEOPLE DOWN BUT WE WON’T LET YOU and it makes you mad! There are more of US than there is of YOU and we will prevail!

  117. #117 Pareidolius
    October 30, 2013

    Jeepers. We usually don’t get this caliber of cray-cray here. Sadly, it’s only fun for a few minutes as the likes of Nina, Edwin, JP and, of course, the possibly ersatz Mr. Nigma grow stale quickly. Poes or not, you have to know we’ve heard all of your trembling outrage, all of your spittle-flecked diatribes, inept snark and conspiracy mongering here before. Same old lyrics, different tune. I have something much more interesting to do. Dishes.

  118. #118 Pareidolius
    October 30, 2013

    Are of you Nina. Are.

  119. #119 novalox
    October 30, 2013

    @nina

    Your comment just smacks of hypocrisy and ignorance.

    And who is the one calling people names, screaming at other people, and making bombastic comments again?

    I do like seeing a utter fool like you being reduced to childish threats, and will continue to enjoy your little temper tantrum.

    So keep it up, I need my entertainment. That’s all you are good for anyways. Cheap. Laughable. Entertainment.

  120. #120 Shay
    October 30, 2013

    “YOU AND YOUR ILK CANNOT TAKE CHALLENGE NOR CAN YOU DISCUSS THINGS INTELLIGENTLY”

    Oh, pot. Meet kettle.

  121. #121 Khani
    October 30, 2013

    #39 H323 “The Bible if very clear that children are a gift from God our Creator to the parents. They are God’s and God has given them to parents as stewards.”

    If God gave children to parents as stewards, they should damn well be stewards to them, and not pointlessly let them die of cancer. That’s not good stewardship by any definition of the term.

    #54 Nina Danko

    Feel free to quote exactly where the article says “doctors are always right” or “other people are stupid,” because it doesn’t. You are reading that into the article yourself, which says a lot more about what you think than about what the article says.

    “I can cite cases after cases proving that PROFIT, not our well being, is at the heart of the medical establishment.”

    Do.

    #56 Edward Nigma

    “I could go through paragraph by paragraph and show you the thousand things that make you look stupid…”

    Do.

    “The tone you take towards the Hershberger family is incredibly insulting…”

    Tone is not relevant to content.

    “Why don’t you seek out one of the tens of thousands of people on the internet who claim to have cured cancer through alternative means and ask them what they think? Why don’t you seek out a doctor who claims to be able to cure cancer through the means mentioned above and ask him why he might not want is name in the newspaper?”

    Why don’t you provide a few peer-reviewed studies in top-tier journals that show these cures are legitimate?

    “You’re a daft, shallow, unwitting shill, who is in denial about the evil, greedy nature of main stream medicine.”

    Actually, he literally saves lives for a living. What do you do?

    #64 Edward Nigma

    “case and point you referred to the sudden amputation of a healthy girls arm as a cure numerous times…”

    That “healthy girl’s arm” has visible cancer lesions.

    “First, most MDs are doing it for the wrong reason.”

    Citation, please? No peer-reviewed first-tier journal needed for this; I would accept a well-done survey from a representative sampling of the medical profession.

  122. #122 Khani
    October 30, 2013

    #77 Nick Theodorakis

    You crack me up!

    #89 meg

    Compare and contrast with chiropractors of the quackier sort, who want you to come in for “maintenance adjustments.”

    #92 JPG

    “How is it that chemo is good for the body??”

    Answer: “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.”

    It is not always good for the body. Nothing is always good for the body, not even pure water, as if you drink enough of it, it will kill you.

    “Chemo and Radiation KILLS people!!”

    So does water.

    #93 Nina Danko

    “Now tell me: HOW MANY CHILDREN DIED MISERABLE DEATHS AFTER A COURSE OF CHEMOTHERAPY AND RADIATION?!”

    How many children died miserable deaths of untreated cancer? Because if you look at the numbers across history, this number will be much, much higher than the number of children lucky enough to even be eligible for chemo and radiation–who at least have a chance to survive.

    “Are we supposed to trust bureaucrats who don’t even know the child more than parents who know, love, and nutrured the child?”

    I say we trust whoever is backed by solid science, from peer-reviewed, top-tier journals, whether that person knows the child or not.

    “We had enough of the state and medical quacks usurping parental rights!”

    You do not have the right to kill your child, nor allow him or her to die through inaction.

    “…and the smart asses who believe that they are superior to us…”

    Better a smartass than a dumbass, I always say. But that’s just me.

    #96 “The arrogance and hubris of the medical and ‘scientific’ quacks is mind boggling.”

    Why do you care about their arrogance? Surely all we should care about is whether they’re right, as their attitude will not magically make their treatments work any worse, or better.

    “Equally mind boggling is their belief that children should be the property of the state to do with them as it pleases (for their own good, of course -lol)…”

    Or, equally mind-boggling is the belief that children should be the property of their parents, to do with them as they please (for their own good, of course)…

    #97 Erwin Alber

    Unfortunately, your opinion is incorrect and not backed by facts.

    #112 Nina Danko

    “…just an observation of: hubris, narrow mindedness, pomposity, bragging, intolerance, snottiness, self-importance…”

    Again, who cares? All we should be caring about here is whether they’re right or not. Their attitude is not relevant.

  123. #123 Khani
    October 30, 2013

    (There. Caught up at last.)

    #116 Nina Danko

    Please stop using all-caps; it is considered the online equivalent of shouting, and makes people that use all-caps seem crazy or rude.

  124. #124 herr doktor bimler
    October 30, 2013

    The arrogance and hubris of the medical and ‘scientific’ quacks is mind boggling.

    If some doctor or scientist wants to keep a pet hubri, I do not see the problem.

  125. #125 Rebecca Fisher
    That London
    October 30, 2013

    There is no way I would let anyone with chemo come near me

    - Erwin Alber

    Can we have that as a legally binding sworn statement please?

    Kind regards,

    Becky

  126. #126 Dangerous Bacon
    October 30, 2013

    “Why don’t you seek out one of the tens of thousands of people on the internet who claim”

    …what? That any of a myriad of bogus remedies cured or prevented cancer? That water fluoridation, vaccines and aspartame are horribly toxic? That 9/11 was an inside job? That the Illuminati/lizard people control the planet? That Jews are the fount of all evil?*

    Why should I accept what tens of thousands of dingbats on the Internet say?

    *seeing as how you started in with the Nazi reference, turnabout is fair play.

  127. #127 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    October 30, 2013

    Erwin Alber,

    chemotherapy as well as vaccination are in my opinion medical abuse and junk science of the worst kind.

    On what facts do you base your opinion? Given the many studies that demonstrate the benefits and risks of each, and showing where the benefits substantially outweigh the risks, what data have you seen that says this is false?

  128. #128 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    October 30, 2013

    @Sara – so what part of the historical events referred to as the Holocaust do you deny? That Jews (and other groups) were selectively taken into custody? That once in custody Jews (and other groups) were kept in inhumane conditions and in some locations deliberately killed on a massive scale? Or are there specific details in the common narrative you disagree with?

  129. #129 Chris Hickie
    October 30, 2013

    @ Nina (all your posts)–please review the following flow chart and try to escape the “Yes” loop: http://dontbeadickday.com/howtonotbeadick.jpg

  130. #130 Dorothy
    Oz--the other one
    October 30, 2013

    I have a feeling that Edward Nigma and Erwin Alber might be the same person. No evidence, mind you. You can get enigma out of Edward Nigma, but nothing equally obvious with Erwin Alber, but they have the same “ring” as do the gist of the comments.

    Nina Danko actually made a few good comebacks to some who were unnecessarily rude or odd, but this is overshadowed by the much larger body of rantings she offers.

    To whoever was asking about more remote border crossings: I crossed in Whitefish Montana with an expired (very old) passport and birth certificate a couple of years ago. It was midnight and I’m an unassuming pensioner with lots of easily seen camping gear.

  131. #131 AdamG
    October 30, 2013

    I have a feeling that Edward Nigma and Erwin Alber might be the same person.

    I doubt it. Erwin Alber is the homophobic, AIDS-denialist nutjob who runs @antivax on twitter and is particularly active on facebook. He’s never had any qualms about posting his filth under his own name, and I’m not sure why he’d start here.

  132. #132 Alain
    October 30, 2013

    @ Nina,

    Oh! Me, MAD? come-on, I get along pretty well with the mass of peoples I meet every day and I do a fine job of educating them when they are open. But actually, do these peoples I encounter every day happen to be similar of you, the empowered crank?

    Good luck overpowering us :)

    In the meantime, I shall progress on my brain atlas which will be useful to the mass of peoples not having a science education but which are curious about their brain :) Are you too?

    Alain

  133. #133 Alain
    October 30, 2013

    @ Ma chère Denice,

    Merci encore pour les explications des Nina de ce monde, je suis en train de valider ta théorie :)

    Ton minion, Alain

  134. #134 herr doktor bimler
    October 31, 2013

    there are just two countries in the world that have not signed the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child: the USA and Somalia.

    That was true until South Sudan became a country. Now there are *three* non-ratifying countries.

  135. #135 Jowe
    October 31, 2013

    Shame on you for thinking that it is better for humans to be coerced by the state, managed and injected like cattle, especially children. Shame on you for supporting the crime of kidnapping. Shame on your for supporting child abuse and the idea that strangers have more rights than family. You have been fooled into believing in the totalitarian state, that forces decisions upon unwilling citizens. This type of thinking is entirely opposed to freedom, something valued by traditional Americans. This type of forced chemical experimentation not only reminds us of the worst Nazi crimes, but is also probably supported by people who believe that government should never interfere in allowing any mother to do what she wants with a child in her womb. But once the child is out of the womb, they no longer support the mother’s choice. I know you will not feel the shame of your hypocrisy.

  136. #136 John
    Ohio
    October 31, 2013

    The author states that he doesn’t know what treatment this child has undergone,…yet he calls it quackery. It would appear that anything other than chemo is quackery to you. Very close minded and unscientific.
    Also,…..he insinuates that chemo is not poison. That is simply untrue.

  137. #137 Kiiri
    Sunny Side Up
    October 31, 2013

    This is really beginning to irk me. Abortion rights are women’s rights. Women should have the right to decide what to do with their own bodies. Pro-life fundamentalists should stay out of the decision. As for when your child is born, you should take care of that child to the very best of your ability which includes (but is not limited to) providing the best medical care. Best medical care should be from a licensed MD providing sound science based care not some wack-a-doodle promoting juice, coffee enemas, chelation, or other various nuttery. And yes, if your child is so terribly unfortunate as to be diagnosed with cancer you should seek the chemotherapy and radiation treatments which have overwhelmingly beaten back the scourge of childhood cancers transforming what was once (very recently) a death sentence into a very good shot at a long and healthy life. And yes, the chemo may make your child ill. You comfort and care for them but because it is in their best interests and you suffer through. Knowing in your heart that your are giving your child the very best shot at making it to a ripe old age. Only discontinuing therapy in order to spare your child the side effects to have them die horribly of cancer is unethical. And please Judeo-Christians try to be aware that others of us in this country do not follow your faith and don’t wish to have your faith forced upon us through laws, legislation, and relentless campaigning.

  138. #138 novalox
    October 31, 2013

    @jowe

    Ah, pulling out a Godwin, I see, as well burning a heaping good amount of strawmen.

    So where in the article does it advocate “supporting the crime of kidnapping”, and “child abuse”?

    Inquiring minds would like to know.

  139. #139 herr doktor bimler
    October 31, 2013

    Jowe sounds like H323, back with a new nym.

  140. #140 Shay
    October 31, 2013

    Oh, novalox, seeking custody through the legal system is just kidnapping; and providing access to lifesaving medical treatment for a critically -child is really child abuse.

    You obviously haven’t been paying attention.

  141. #141 Shay
    October 31, 2013

    “Critically-ill child.”

    Le sigh.

  142. #142 Khani
    October 31, 2013

    #135 Jowe

    “But once the child is out of the womb, they no longer support the mother’s choice.”

    No, we don’t. We support the child’s rights once he or she is born. That right includes not being killed or having proper medical treatment withheld.

    Children are not owned by their parents. They are people. Small people, yes, but people.

    #136 John

    “…he insinuates that chemo is not poison. That is simply untrue.”

    In a limited sense, yes, chemotherapy is poison. So is water. So is virtually every “herbal” supplement. If you take enough of either, it will kill you. Dose makes the poison.

  143. #143 George de free
    Netherlands
    November 1, 2013

    I think that you are an insane quack and hope that soon you get to take the deadly chemo treatments that you put on as the only saving grace in the world. Every person that I have ever known that had chemo died within three months. It wasn’t a pretty death either. Chemo doctors make huge amounts of money for prescribing their deadly drugs. They get rich, their patients get sick and die. I hope you are one of them soon after stumbling across your blog which I hope to never see again.

  144. #144 Renate
    November 1, 2013

    Well, George, perhaps you could look at the alternative, like the former wife of Roel van Duijn.
    http://www.skepsis.nl/kushi.html
    http://www.skepsis.nl/flora2.html
    And an English translation of the first article:
    http://www.skepsis.nl/macrobiotics.html

  145. #145 Calli Arcale
    November 1, 2013

    George:

    I think that you are an insane quack and hope that soon you get to take the deadly chemo treatments that you put on as the only saving grace in the world.

    Given that he’s a *surgeon*, it’s pretty obvious he doesn’t regard chemo as the only saving grace in the world. ;-) If it were, he’d be out of a job!

  146. #146 Orac
    November 1, 2013

    @George de free:

    Wishing cancer followed by a horrible death on someone? And I thought people from the Netherlands were so nice…

  147. #147 Renate
    November 1, 2013

    @ Orac
    Some of us are nice, but we have our share of not so nice people as well. Don’t start a discussion about ‘Zwarte Piet’, because you might be in for a real treat, or a threat.

  148. #148 Krebiozen
    November 1, 2013

    Every person that I have ever known that had chemo died within three months. It wasn’t a pretty death either.

    I suppose they would have been fine if only they hadn’t had the chemotherapy. I’m getting pretty fed up with these idiots who don’t understand that dying of cancer is nasty, and criticize chemotherapy when they have no effective alternative.

    I have several friends and family members who are alive today because of chemotherapy. My mother-in-law would probably be alive today if she hadn’t refused it.

  149. #149 dan
    November 1, 2013

    This article whoever wrote it is full of none sense and make belief assumptions that have no valid claims. It is sick and wrong someone would go to this extend to make claims that are not true . Whoever wrote it can not even back up anything written as truth. It’s pure assumptions geared at trying to strata people into believing what’s not even true.

  150. #150 The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge
    November 1, 2013

    I think it’s the same lack of an historical sense as the anti-vaxers. They’ve never seen these childhood diseases (Because of vaccines, you morons!), so they can’t be much of a threat.

    For a generation or two now, most have never seen anybody die of cancer without undergoing modern treatment, so they attribute all the ill effects to the treatment and not the cancer. Cause cancer never killed anybody before Big Pharma came along, amirite?

  151. #151 novalox
    November 1, 2013

    @dan

    Uh, what?

  152. #152 Mark McAndrew
    November 1, 2013

    Top tip for all the swivel-eyed conspiracy/God-bothering loons, which might help normal people take your arguments seriously (well, the moment one of you actually provides one):

    Learn basic spelling and grammar.

    Seriously, why are you all straight fails at primary school standard literacy? It’s embarrassing. Learn to read and write like adults.

    And then keep learning other stuff, like real medicine. Or how research and science actually work. And eventually, when you’re educated beyond Taliban-level, come back here and argue with the swivel-eyed loons that you no longer are.

    God says it’s okay to kill your kids? How dare the State stop you? Total. Utter. Freaks.

  153. #153 Chris,
    November 2, 2013

    dan: ” full of none sense” and “trying to strata people into believing what’s not even true”

    Please explain those above phrases. I can see the words are in a dictionary of the English language, but not in those particular word orders.

    Also, tell us with actual data that those with cancer have fared better without medical care than those who got treatment.

  154. #154 AngelaTC
    November 2, 2013

    If you want to live in a free country, you have to accept the ideas that children do not belong to the state and that sometimes peope wi make decisions that you do not agree with but are none of your business.

    I have no doubt that the girl’s odds would be infinitely better with proper medical care, but the decision is not ours, or the government’s, to make.

  155. #155 Antaeus Feldspar
    November 2, 2013

    If you want to live in a free country, you have to accept the ideas that children do not belong to the state and that sometimes peope wi make decisions that you do not agree with but are none of your business.

    I have no doubt that the girl’s odds would be infinitely better with proper medical care, but the decision is not ours, or the government’s, to make.

    But you’ve put forth no argument why this should be one of those “sometimes”. If not now, when the girl’s life is at stake, when would you acknowledge a limit to a parent’s power over their children?

    The problem is that people get confused between the concepts of “in this country, you’re free to believe anything you want” and “in this country, you’re free to act as if anything you believe is true, is true.” That’s not the case. You may believe that you know as much about the law as any lawyer, but you can’t hang out a shingle and start vending legal advice without a degree. You may believe that you know better than the medical establishment what the treatment should be for a deathly ill person, but you can’t say “Okay, I’m going to deprive you of that treatment because I know better than the doctors who actually got a medical education.”

  156. #156 Orac
    November 2, 2013

    I have no doubt that the girl’s odds would be infinitely better with proper medical care, but the decision is not ours, or the government’s, to make.

    So basically, you are indeed arguing that parents own their children and that they have an absolute right of life and death over them. You concede that the child’s chances would be a lot better with proper medical care. You then say that the parents have the absolute right to make the decision to deny her that very medical care that would save her life and that the state should have no role in that decision.

  157. #157 Mark McAndrew
    November 2, 2013

    Why stop there, Angela?

    If parents have absolute rights to treat their children how they choose, then starving them to death, torture or sexual abuse – all none of the Gubmint’s business, right?

    Of course parents have rights. Killing their children isn’t among them.

  158. #158 Khani
    November 2, 2013

    #154 “If you want to live in a free country, you have to accept the ideas that children do not belong to the state and that sometimes peope wi make decisions that you do not agree with but are none of your business.”

    Here, let me fix that for you.

    “If you want to live in a free country, you have to accept the ideas that children do not belong to their parents and that sometimes people will make decisions that endanger children’s lives and require action.”

  159. #159 Joseph
    Memphis, TN
    November 2, 2013

    10 year old Amish girl flees U.S. to escape chemo. Exclusive Interview. | “I have an exclusive interview with Isaac Keim, grandfather of Sarah Hershberger, the 10 year old Amish girl who has fled the US to escape being taken away from her parents and forced to do chemotherapy against her wishes by Akron Childrens Hospital in Ohio.

    This will make your blood boil.”

    http://www.chrisbeatcancer.com/10-year-old-amish-girl-flees-us-to-escape-chemo/

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vzSUnSem1tI #cancer #health #tyranny #rawfood #lifestyle #naturalhealing

  160. #160 Scottynuke
    November 2, 2013

    Somehow I think Joseph wandered onto the wrong website, and he certainly didn’t read Orac’s post.

    Hashtags? Really?

    Tyranny? Srsly???

    *shaking my head sadly*

  161. #161 Narad
    November 2, 2013

    Somehow I think Joseph wandered onto the wrong website, and he certainly didn’t read Orac’s post.

    Yes on 2, indifferent on 1. There continues to be no actual media coverage of the putative flight, but the parade of “underground” commentary is impressive in its indiscretion, at least from an outside lens. The invocation of Keim now points to the seemingly bonkers Swartzentruber schisms.

    The combination of Youtube videos and internecine conflict doesn’t seem like the greatest way to protect a secret.

  162. #162 Broccoli
    November 3, 2013

    Hold on a second….this article is only telling one side of the story. Aren’t educated people supposed to hear both sides before rushing to judgement? There is only one interview with the family, and it’s on chrisbeatcancer.com. (Which, by the way, is a website where people who have cured their cancer with non-chemo treatments share their stories- and the author of this article left this link there…)

    If you don’t want to listen to the long phone interview, this is the cliff notes version: Sarah was diagnosed with cancer, the doc recommended 27 months of chemo treatment. She completed the first round, was preparing for second round despite being violently ill, when they found out the “Treatment” was itself a carcinogen. The parents wanted to talk to the doc about this, when they did, the doc brought along a lawyer and PR rep and the whole situation blew up. Multiple unsuccessful lawsuits later, the hospital FINALLY found ONE judge who would side with them, and now they must turn their daughter over to an RN/lawyer “guardian”.

    I challenge any parent in their situation to react differently. Wouldn’t you want your questions answered? Wouldn’t you see red flags everywhere? I mean, you want to ask your daughter’s doc a question, and he meets you with his LAWYER??? Come on!

    This is NOT about religious quackery, as many other websites are claiming. This is about their overwhelming desire to keep their child safe. They don’t want her to die- they just want her to be treated in the safest way possible. And exploring alternative methods- i.e. non-other-cancer-causing treatments- is perfectly okay. Wouldn’t you want that for your daughter? Your mother? Yourself?

    Why is chemo the gold standard? Why is trading one cancer for another okay? Why is curing your body (of cancer, headaches, stomach issues, acne, etc, etc) with nutritious, healing foods considered “crazy” but pumping your body full of toxins considered smart?

    There are many, many, instances of people curing their own cancer without chemo- a simple Google search will blow your mind. Just because you choose not to believe them, doesn’t mean they aren’t real. (And let me save you the trouble- I don’t believe in Santa or UFOs.)

    I am an RN who will NEVER work in “traditional” healthcare settings again, because I believe I was truly doing more harm than good.

  163. #163 Scottynuke
    November 3, 2013

    Joseph, meet Broccoli. Broccoli, meet Joseph.

    Since you both have “inability to read blog posts for comprehension before commenting,” I’m sure you’ll get along famously.

    “Why is curing your body (of cancer, headaches, stomach issues, acne, etc, etc) with nutritious, healing foods considered “crazy” but pumping your body full of toxins considered smart?”

    Because apart from frank (and easily determined) nutrient deficiencies such as scurvy, diet cannot “heal” medical conditions, and because impartial evidence has shown chemotherapy (which has improved over time and likely will continue) can a) force many cancers into complete remission b) give many patients additional years (if not decades) and/or c) keep a terminal patient’s final time as comfortable as possible.

    If you were an RN, the fact that you’d prefer Google U to rigorous medical research means the medical profession is improved by your departure.

  164. #164 Orac
    November 3, 2013

    I’ve listened to the long phone interview. Expect a blog post about it. It actually confirms much of what I wrote above, particularly the description of Sarah’s initial therapy and that the first course of chemotherapy is what shrank the tumors.

  165. #165 Orac
    November 3, 2013

    I am an RN who will NEVER work in “traditional” healthcare settings again, because I believe I was truly doing more harm than good.

    And I’m glad that you don’t work in traditional healthcare settings.

  166. #166 Lawrence
    November 3, 2013

    @Orac – agreed. That interview really doesn’t say what people think it says….and it does validate the concerns that the Hospital had (and the parents are now being led down the “primrose path” by the alt-med wackos).

  167. #167 lilady
    November 3, 2013

    “There are many, many, instances of people curing their own cancer without chemo- a simple Google search will blow your mind. Just because you choose not to believe them, doesn’t mean they aren’t real. (And let me save you the trouble- I don’t believe in Santa or UFOs.)”

    Why don’t you provide the links to those Google sites?

    “I am an RN who will NEVER work in “traditional” healthcare settings again, because I believe I was truly doing more harm than good.”

    What type of “non-traditional” health care setting are you referring to?

    Good riddance to you and your quackery, Broccoli.

  168. #168 Todd W.
    http://www.harpocratesspeaks.com
    November 3, 2013

    @Scottynuke

    Joseph reminds me of this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=57dzaMaouXA

    @Broccoli

    (And let me save you the trouble- I don’t believe in Santa or UFOs.)

    So? Whether or not you believe in Santa or UFOs is irrelevant to whether you accept the findings of medical science or opt for believing in fairy tale medicine. As others have noted already, the currently available tools for fighting cancer (chemo, surgery and/or radiation) are the best we have available. If diet and lifestyle changes alone were sufficient, don’t you think that doctors would recommend those instead? (I know, I know, you’ll probably play the whole “They’re in it for the money” card, even though you’d be wrong in the majority of cases.) Doctors try to use the least invasive means available for dealing with diseases. If diet or alt-med woo were viable options, they would be part of the suite of treatment options. That you cannot see that speaks volumes, and I have to agree with the others, that it is a good thing you’ve left the legitimate medical profession.

  169. #169 Scottynuke
    November 3, 2013

    Indeed, Todd W, but Joseph is nowhere near as funny… *SIGH*

  170. #170 Edith Prickly
    November 3, 2013

    Broccoli is plainly just a shill for Big Vegetables.

  171. #171 Khani
    November 3, 2013

    #162 Broccoli: “Why is chemo the gold standard?”

    Because a number of peer-reviewed, top-tier journal studies show that it improves chances of survival by large amounts.

    Other treatments don’t have that evidence behind them.

    If you don’t support evidence-based, scientific treatment that’s proven to improve survival chances, it is probably for the best that you are no longer functioning as a real nurse. I hope you found a career you can believe in that does not involve giving vulnerable, desperate people incorrect information.

  172. #172 Narad
    November 3, 2013

    @Broccoli:

    I find it extremely tedious to have to sift through court records to correct people whose laziness leads them to the conclusion that talking out of their ass is an adequate substitute. Please do your own homework next time.

    Multiple unsuccessful lawsuits later,

    I count one lawsuit, with appeals. If Dorit Reiss is around, I hope she’ll correct me.

    the hospital FINALLY found ONE judge who would side with them,

    On July 9, Schimer filed for medical guardianship. The preliminary stuff was dealt with by a magistrate, but the upshot is that a guardian ad litem was appointed on July 10, and there was a full evidentiary hearing on July 26, with the matter now in the hands of the trial court.

    The original decision, July 31, presumably* by Judge John J. Lohn (retired and sitting by assignment) in the Probate Division of the Medina County Court of Common Pleas, rejected the application for medical guardianship.

    The appellate case, before the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Appellate District, reversing and remanding the judgment of the probate court, was decided by the Hon. W. Scott Gwin, presiding, Hon. William B. Hoffman, and Hon. John W. Wise on August 27.

    Upon remand, Lohn did the same thing as before (September 3; he also seems to have failed to take note of the admonishment to counsel by the appeals court regarding disclosure of personal identifiers).

    This time around, on October 1, Gwin, Hoffman, and the Hon. Sheila G. Farmer, reversed and ordered the probate court to appoint Schimer as medical guardian and further remanded.

    That is four judges to one. (Or two, if you can demonstrate that it wasn’t Lohn the first time, which wouldn’t make a great deal of pragmatic sense.)

    and now they must turn their daughter over to an RN/lawyer “guardian”.

    Again, if you had actually read the case materials before spouting off about them, Schimer wasn’t even going to be physically present. The authority was to be exercised by telephone, with Sarah’s parents taking her to the treatments, staying there, and bringing her back.

    * Based on the wording of the second probate judgment.

  173. #173 Krebiozen
    November 3, 2013

    We do seem to have a problem with people who should know better, a RN for example, reading the copious misinformation about alternative cancer treatments on the internet and accepting it, apparently unquestioningly. I’m still mulling over the idea of taking some measures to stop the spread of misinformation. Even in the Land of the Free, surely spreading lies about the efficacy of alternative cancer treatments should be curtailed somehow? I hate censorship on principle, but I’m struggling to see any other way to deal with this.

  174. #174 Jon Lee
    Virginia
    November 4, 2013

    Separating truth from fiction is a very difficult thing, especially in the medical field. I know, I have tried. We lost my wife’s mother to cancer. Mine is still fighting it. The medical field sees health with tunnel vision. The ones that go aside from main line often get hung up with occultist practices and theories. The alternative guys are constantly shooting at the health care field. I have found both to be crooks at various times. I have also found some very nice, competent practitioners on both sides. But no one is the complete authority. Anyone who claims to have all the answers to cancer is lying. That is why it is called medical “practice”. Because of the difference in bodies people react differently to the same meds and treatments. So we should not be so proud in claiming one is right and all the others are wrong. How do you know there is not an alternative treatment that would work better? How do you alternative guys know that all medical professionals are crooks trying to make another dollar?

    But really, all that is not the real issue. I am appalled at the direction that “law and order” is taking. Increasingly, big brother knows better and forces someone to do it his way and pay the bill. For the hospital to have control is conflict of interest. At the very least, it should have been left to another authority, who should have gotten opinions from multiple medical professionals before making a decision. But really, if a parent is doing what they think is best for the child … God gave the child to them, not to the hospital.

    And what is really bizarre – in this country it is fine for a mother to pay someone to kill her unborn child, but it is not ok for a mother to choose a treatment she thinks is best for her child, when it run contrary to public opinion.

    God help us!

  175. #175 novalox
    November 4, 2013

    @jon lee

    Just wanted to respond to a few points.

    The ones that go aside from main line often get hung up with occultist practices and theories.

    I’m sure you could provide us all with a few examples, right?

    How do you know there is not an alternative treatment that would work better?

    Simple, other alternative treatments haven’t been found to be as effective, if at all, compared to mainstream practice, which have been tested vigorously and have been found to work.

    But really, if a parent is doing what they think is best for the child … God gave the child to them, not to the hospital.

    So, by your standards, because a deity allowed a couple to have a child, they can do whatever they want with it, including killing it, since they “own” the child?

    Whatever god you worship, I wouldn’t want any part of it.

  176. #176 Narad
    November 4, 2013

    That is why it is called medical “practice”.

    No, it’s not. You’d do well to disabuse yourself of the notion that spurious teleoetymology-by-coincidence is good for anything.

  177. #177 Jon Lee
    Virginia
    November 4, 2013

    Novolox, I can provide a few. Homeopathy, reflexology, acupuncture, iridology are just examples of some that I know just enough to be afraid of.
    I am not opposed to using chemo. My mother is on chemo right now with my blessing. If I thought I knew a better option, I would advise it. But 15 years ago dad was told that mom was so full of cancer that “not even prayer would help”, They prayed, went on an herbal formula that they were recommended, and promised God that if the symptoms disappeared, they would answer the call for a term of mission work that they were contacted about in the meantime. The symptoms disappeared, and they served off and on for 10 years. The symptoms didn’t return till mom was on the plane coming home the last time. So was it prayer, the formula, or a crazy dr that didn’t know what she was talking about? I don’t know. I do know that in the last 18 months, mom went back on that formula in between her other cancer treatments. Her cancer numbers dropped like a rock, but then went back up. We discovered that her gall bladder was in bad shape. Did she overload it? (she took more than recommended) Consider for yourself, does the medical field today have the same views towards healthful living and supplements as it did 20 years ago? And I doubt it will 20 years from now. And the ones that brought positive change were sometimes boo’d out of town.

    As for the last point, I don’t think you listened very well. The parents are doing their best to keep the child alive, however ignorant they might be. But part of the medical field is lawfully killing unborn babies. Please explain that logically.

  178. #178 Narad
    November 4, 2013

    The parents are doing their best to keep the child alive, however ignorant they might be. But part of the medical field is lawfully killing unborn babies. Please explain that logically.

    Perhaps you could first explain logically what randomly tossing out an equivalence between fetuses and 10 year olds contributes to anything.

  179. #179 AdamG
    November 4, 2013

    But part of the medical field is lawfully killing unborn babies. Please explain that logically.

    A fetus is not a person. You may disagree, but ultimately it’s the mother’s decision whether to abort her fetus. You do not have the right to decide for all women what is and is not a person.

    Jon, do you also believe that parents of the Christian Science faith have the right to deny medical care of any sort to their children?

  180. #180 Bill Price
    November 4, 2013

    Jon Lee, #174:

    The medical field sees health with tunnel vision.

    Professionalism of a medical practitioner requires using practices and medicines that actually work for the benefit of the patient. Professionalism in medical research requires using practices that actually work, to characterize whether (and how well) a new practice or med is preferable to that which is already known. If limiting oneself to what actually works be tunnel vision, so be it.

    The ones that go aside from main line often get hung up with occultist practices and theories. The alternative guys are constantly shooting at the health care field. I have found both to be crooks at various times.

    A good example is Dr Oz, presumably a professional on operating days (including diagnosis, pre-op and post-op), but an occultist on Oprah days and an alt-med shill on wife-influenced days.
    Jon, if you can see any meaningful difference between the alt-medders and their shills and marks vs the occultists and their shills and marks, your eyes are much better than mine.

    it is not ok for a mother to choose a treatment she thinks is best for her child, when it run[s] contrary to public opinion.

    Let’s rephrase that for accuracy:

    it is not ok for a mother to choose a treatment she thinks is best for her child, when it run[s] contrary to reality.

  181. #181 Jon Lee
    Virginia
    November 4, 2013

    Narad and Adam,

    What you or I think actual makes very little difference. But God says of Jeremiah, ” Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.” Jer 1:5 You can’t know someone who isn’t someone.

    And do the research from a practical standpoint – what does a newly born baby have that a “fetus” does not? At only 4 weeks its heart is beating. At 10 weeks, all parts of the brain and spinal column are formed. Look at the picture on 20 weeks. That’s not a baby? http://www.justfacts.com/abortion.basics.asp
    Also, if it is only a bunch of junk, why do women who have abortions struggle so much? Read paragraphs 7-8 especially in the following article. It is logical that religious women who have been taught against abortion would struggle, but why the other ones? http://hopeafterabortion.com/?p=109
    Should I recommend that you ask honest questions from someone you know had a abortion?
    And if it really is someone, and if God created it, who has the right to end its life? And then the comparison I made is not so far out after all.

    The Christian Science is a difficult one. Perhaps it should be black and white, but to me it is not. I certainly do not subscribe to their beliefs as a whole. And I will not say there is never a time for the law to step in. But what concerns me is the leaning toward big brother deciding for everyone else. I believe that unless the direction changes, things will happen in the next ten years that will even make you appalled at the freedoms being lost. I hope not, but….

    From a slightly different perspective, the love, acceptance and goodwill within many Amish homes would make many a child in this country willing to give up their toys if only mommy and daddy would love them and each other and live together again as a happy family.

  182. #182 Narad
    November 4, 2013

    And then the comparison I made is not so far out after all.

    I take it you mean aside from the part where it has no bearing whatever on the item at hand, which furthermore centers around a stalwartly patriarchical subculture, making the attempt to slither in on the premise that this all comes together with the ability of “a mother to choose a treatment she thinks is best for her child” fall apart, just as with the two previous entries in the derailment sweepstakes.

  183. #183 Narad
    November 4, 2013

    And…

    From a slightly different perspective, the love, acceptance and goodwill within many Amish homes would make many a child in this country willing to give up their toys if only mommy and daddy would love them and each other and live together again as a happy family.

    Given what appears to be fairly routine schisms and jockeying for power within Amish sects, it should come as no surpise that this smaller-scale fantasy is just that.

  184. #184 herr doktor bimler
    November 5, 2013

    why do women who have abortions struggle so much?

    We seem to be drawing a general rule from the opinions of those women who *do* agonise over an abortion. Does a similar evidentiary status apply to the opinions of women who *don’t* agonise?

  185. #185 Bill Price
    November 5, 2013

    Jon Lee, #181:

    What you or I think actual[ly] makes very little difference. But God says … You can’t know someone who isn’t someone.

    You think that the book of Jeremiah is meaningful, but “What you or I think actual[ly] makes very little difference.” That was a neat way of saying “what I’m about to quote makes very little difference.” I’m sure we can agree on that, and agree to ignore your biblical quote, and the questionable conclusion you draw from it.

    And do the research from a practical standpoint – what does a newly born baby have that a “fetus”[sic] does not?

    A fetus is part of the mother’s body; a “baby” is not. (If you can abuse scare-quotes, so can I. Of course, scare-quoting nominative use of either baby or fetus is abuse of the reader, for which I apologize.) By definition, a fetus is a fetus until some ill-defined point in the delivery (or termination) process, at which point it becomes a baby.
    The process of converting a fetus to a baby terminates the pregnancy – sometimes termination of pregnancy results in a dead baby or a complex of tissue that might resemble one, sometimes a live baby. Sometimes a pregnancy is terminated by vaginal birth, sometimes a caesarian birth, sometimes a D&X or a D&C.

    Look at the picture on 20 weeks. That’s not a baby?

    No, it’s not. At 20 weeks gestation, the fetus is not capable of other than parasitic life. It is barely, sometimes, capable of surviving as a baby at (IIRC) 25-26 weeks, with heavy technological assistance, and with iffy chances of thriving later.

    Should I recommend that you ask honest questions from someone you know had a abortion?

    No, you shouldn’t, since such anecdotal information demonstrates little, none of which is of value. Nonetheless, I hereby report on what my wife told me about the abortion she had, and struggled with, long before we met. She loved children (and still does). She almost bled to death giving birth to her third child. Her (ex-)husband’s girl-friend had also beaten her into a bleedout (to cardiac arrest in the ER) during her recovery. With a very fragile uterus, she had a choice: terminate the pregnancy, or leave the three (or four, as a very low probability) children motherless with a runaway dad and an abusive stepmother. (She ultimately had a hysterectomy, BTW.)
    Another danger she struggled with, as if life or death weren’t bad enough: she worked as a nurse at a Catholic hospital, and would be fired if it became known that she had violated the RCC’s chosen religious beliefs – her life, and the life of the three children, were not relevant to the local bishop. How would you decide — life or death? She obviously chose life, and I’m glad she did. She still experiences sadness at times, because of the decision she had to make, but it’s overcome by joy over the three adult children she raised, and the adult grandchildren they’ve raised.

    And if it really is someone, …

    Is a fetus someone, or a part of someone? You’ve decided to think that a fetus is someone, but you admit that what you think makes very little difference, and I agree.

    and if God created it, …

    You’ve decided to think that your god created the fetus, but you admit that what you think makes very little difference, and I agree.

    who has the right to end its life?

    Since, until birth, the fetus has no life except as part of a sentient creature, the sentient creature (“mother”) has the right — and sometimes the duty — to amputate it.

  186. #186 herr doktor bimler
    November 5, 2013

    But God says of Jeremiah, ” Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.” Jer 1:5 You can’t know someone who isn’t someone.

    Demonstrating yet again that the Reductio ad absurdum approach to reasoning simply doesn’t work with people who argue their way to an absurdity and see it as something to embrace.

  187. #187 Jon Lee
    November 5, 2013

    Your mother was in a very difficult position. So many people are very likely in a similar one….

    “What you or I think actual[ly] makes very little difference.” (thanks for the correction) The point here was that you or I won’t have the last word. God will.

    Truth is truth, whether you or I agree with it or not. Not aligning with truth always brings consequences.

    The babies I had weren’t able to live alone after birth either.

  188. #188 Krebiozen
    November 5, 2013

    Technically, since most abortions are spontaneous, you could argue that God nature is the greatest abortionist, despite allegedly “knowing” the aborted soul.

  189. #189 Todd W.
    http://www.harpocratesspeaks.com
    November 5, 2013

    @Jon Lee

    If the family starved the girl in the belief that it would help her thrive, should state authorities be allowed to appoint someone else to make decisions about feeding her? After all, in your words, God gave her to her parents, not to the state and not to the other family, so her birth parents should be able to do whatever they want, no?

    Or suppose that the parents decided that beating her regularly was for her own good, even if it led to broken bones or disfigurement, or “simply” psychological trauma. God gave her to them, so they get to do whatever they want, under your argument, and state authorities/courts should not intervene to place her wellbeing under the auspices of some other person.

  190. #190 Jon Lee
    VA
    November 5, 2013

    If God gave life, is it wrong for Him to take it?

    If parents starved, beat or abused their child, would anyone mistake that for love? In this case, there seem to be well meaning people on both sides trying to look out for her well being. In cases of vast disagreement, shouldn’t the parents have the privilege to decide?

  191. #191 Shay
    November 5, 2013

    In cases of vast disagreement, shouldn’t the parents have the privilege to decide?

    Jon: no. Because the disagreement here is between proven therapies that will give Sarah a greatly improved chance of not just survival, but life, and an unknown treatment that has never passed a single trial in which n>1.

    One of my sisters has a friend who firmly believes that seat belts don’t work and refuses to make his children wear them. Is this a case of vast disagreement, or merely someone who is very, very, very wrong?

  192. #192 Andy and Ole
    United States
    November 5, 2013

    To the multitude of word-writers in this blog,
    We are also among the “plain people” groups, members of a Mennonite church. Our hearts go out to the Hershberger family, although we do not personally know them. They are certainly fighting two battles: Sarah’s health and the God-given responsibility to make the best decisions for their absolutely loved child based on their beliefs.

    Generally, in the plain communities – and of course this is never perfect among any group of human people – as Christians, they choose to work together and honor each other out of reverent fear of the Lord and love for their brethren. In our own experience, we do not communicate with each other as I have witnessed all of you on this blog do. Therein is found a very real one of our reasons for leaving the background we were born into and the churches we brought our family up in to join the plain people. I very much appreciate the humility and honor displayed on a daily basis by the kind people we have chosen to associate with.

    I have been reading everything concerning this Hershberger case that has come to our attention. In the case of this article, I found another side that is in defense of the medical decisions made by the Akren Hospital. Because I am not God, I cannot decide the true merits of each side (I have a dear friend who is doing quite well several years after mainstream cancer treatment for breast cancer; and I also have friends whose grown son is completely healthy after having leukemia as a little boy and opting for natural treatment against the doctor’s advice and the attempts of Children’s Services to force them otherwise. In that case, Children’s Services stepped back because it was obvious that the parents were being responsible in every way to their child.)

    Out of interest in reading the comments of others, my interest in what I hoped to be meaning wisdom and insight, I scrolled down through perhaps half of the comments given so far. I find myself left very unenriched for it. This is no longer about the Hershberger family or about parents who truly love their child doing their very best that they know how to provide for and protect them. It is about words -any and every word that anyone can possibly put together in any kind of assemblance to put out one’s own views and to defend those views and refute with ultimate disrespect, if necessary, the views of others, as if, with rare exception, these views have any merit based on knowledge or truth of one who sees all and knows all. I am very disheartened, and disappointed in myself for having wasted my morning reading through these wanting passages. I am sure we all have much better things to do with our time that are ultimately more profitable in eternity.

    I said in the beginning that this dear family is fighting two battles necessary for their family and their conscience. I am very saddened that so many others are forcing yet this other battle upon them. We will not be a part of it. We instead will pray for God’s direction in their lives. He is the only qualified one to give them guidance and correction. You all would do well by them and yourselves to use your time, thoughts, and words to issue forth life rather than death by them.

  193. #193 Calli Arcale
    November 5, 2013

    Jon Lee,

    In general, the basis for allowing mothers to decide what to do with themselves while pregnant is because it is, in fact, their bodies. It’s a question of self-defense at that point. This is not pretty, but it is the way things are; babies cannot grow without taking a great deal from their mothers, and not every mother is prepared to allow that. But once the baby is born, you can’t generally use that argument (unless your child is psychotic and attacking you with an axe or something). You can’t arrest a pregnant woman for not taking prenatal vitamins. But you can certainly arrest a mother for starving her four year old. Parenthood is a massive responsibility, and though I cannot in conscience force any woman to carry a child she doesn’t want to, once that child is born if she chooses to keep the child she accepts that responsibility. You have the right to reproduce, and to pass on your cultural heritage, but your child has rights too, and sometimes this creates a conflict that has to be resolved.

    I do believe parents should have significant latitude in how they raise their children. But there has to be a line at some point.

  194. #194 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    November 5, 2013

    If God gave life, is it wrong for Him to take it?

    If I give you $5, is it wrong for me to take your wallet?

  195. #195 Chris,
    November 5, 2013

    Jon Lee: “If parents starved, beat or abused their child, would anyone mistake that for love?”

    Locally a pair of parents have each been sentenced to decades of prison after using a form of religious child rearing called Train Up, as described in Corpses Don’t Rebel: A former follower of Michael Pearl’s “To Train Up A Child” reacts to the death of Hana Williams.

    Jon Lee, I hope you worship a different deity than Michael Pearl. His God is the one you really want to avoid. He advocates beating children to show them the love of his God.

  196. #196 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    November 5, 2013

    The parents are doing their best to keep the child alive, however ignorant they might be. But part of the medical field is lawfully killing unborn babies. Please explain that logically.

    You’ve managed to try to make a comparison of two unrelated legal, not medical, questions. The law sets the distinction for what is (or is not) a “person” for the sake of various protections. Likewise, the law sets those things that may reasonably done by one “person” to another “person”. In this case it has determined that a fetus up to a certain number of weeks old and a child born through any method do not have the same protections in some ways. It may seem arbitrary to you, and that’s OK. That is what the law says.

  197. #197 Krebiozen
    November 5, 2013

    Andy and Ole,
    I’m sorry that you feel you have wasted your valuable time reading the comments here. I have learned a great deal from the kind of exchange of views that you find so unenriching, disheartening, disrespectful and wanting. I must admit I do find it difficult to show any respect to those that neglect a child’s health care in this way, or those that support such neglect.

    Because I am not God, I cannot decide the true merits of each side

    I don’t believe that God understands chemotherapy or the best treatment for this child. Medically uneducated people certainly don’t. I think it is best to leave it to those who have used their intelligence (God-given I presume you believe) and devoted their lives to understanding these matters. What kind of arrogance is it to think otherwise?

    You all would do well by them and yourselves to use your time, thoughts, and words to issue forth life rather than death by them.
    I want Sarah Hershberger to have the treatment that her parents are denying her. According to the author of this blog, who is a cancer surgeon and whose opinion I trust, she stands an 85% chance of a full recovery with this treatment, while without it she faces almost certain death.

    How is it that those of us who want her to have this live-saving treatment in any way “issue forth death” with our words? To my mind it is those who deny this child the treatment that will very probably save her life that are issuing forth death with their behavior.

  198. #198 Krebiozen
    November 5, 2013

    Oops. Blockquote should end after “death by them”.

  199. #199 Chris,
    November 5, 2013

    Andy and Ole: “We instead will pray for God’s direction in their lives. He is the only qualified one to give them guidance and correction.”

    Why not use the brain cells, free will and ability to reason that was endowed upon you by your deity? Try actually learning the science and statistics to become qualified to make a decision. And if it is beyond your education, then try trusting those who have used their brain cells, free will and ability to reason to get the requisite education (like perhaps the oncologists).

  200. #200 Jon Lee
    VA
    November 5, 2013

    Probably bad wording on my part. I am speaking about vast disagreements between large, well meaning groups of people with different perspectives.

    One of the basic problems here is that we have large organizations and systems who have too often proved themselves to be biased, money or power hungry and insensitive to those they have sworn to serve. This is happening in government (local and federal), big business including the medical field, and unfortunately, even in churches. When that happens, people become more and more afraid to trust that those they are accountable to are really looking our for their welfare.

  201. #201 Gray Falcon
    November 5, 2013

    Jon Lee, Andy and Ole: Why are you using man-made technology like the Internet to communicate with us? Shouldn’t you simply pray to God, faithful that your words will reach us by His will?

  202. #202 Darcy
    November 5, 2013

    I can not believe what is written on this tread. First of all argument comes from know only one side, second name calling is of pure ignorance and immaturity. I know both sides. Yes, chemo kills cancer and if your cancer is not aggressive you can go on and live a normal life. When chemo is pump into you as aggressive as the cancer itself you will end up with no immune system, neuropathy so bad it puts you in a wheel chair, kidney and liver failure. As a parent; we want to make the best decision possible, but we can not judge these parents on what we know unless we experience what they are going through. Now know what tradition treatment can do I would have to base on what I know and go natural. There is real doctors out there that practice natural and base that on what they know to make this choice. In natural treatment; the body becomes an environment that cancer cells can’t live in and kills off the cancer. Do you ever wonder why a body gets cancer? Natural treatment finds the cause, eliminates that cause, then creates an environment of oxidation, high ph levels, builds the immune system, detoxes, and some do a parasite kill if the body is contaminated with them. Have you ever gone to the doctors for instance high blood pressure like I did and been give a prescription and in fact it did lower the blood pressure but with side affects. Did your doctor ever try to find out why you had high blood pressure? I found out on my own in which I started to take in more potassium and went off the prescription and lowered my blood pressure and it has stayed that way for over a year. It is hard to argue against natural when you have experienced positive results. Don’t argue in your ignorance, educate yourself; it is more productive.

  203. #203 AdamG
    November 5, 2013

    Do you ever wonder why a body gets cancer? Natural treatment finds the cause, eliminates that cause, then creates an environment of oxidation, high ph levels, builds the immune system, detoxes, and some do a parasite kill if the body is contaminated with them.

    Do you have any evidence that this is true?

    Don’t argue in your ignorance, educate yourself; it is more productive.

    I agree. That’s why you should do the research yourself and see if you can find any published evidence that supports your claims.

  204. #204 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    November 5, 2013

    Darcy,

    First of all argument comes from know only one side

    That seems untrue on the face of it. Argument comes from having two people who believe things to be different, either the facts or their interpretation of the facts.

    When chemo is pump into you as aggressive as the cancer itself you will end up with no immune system, neuropathy so bad it puts you in a wheel chair, kidney and liver failure.

    It is true that chemotherapy can have side effects and these can be severe.

    In natural treatment; the body becomes an environment that cancer cells can’t live in and kills off the cancer.

    Please tell us what this natural treatment is, how it is known to work, and where the data for safety and effectiveness is published in a top tier peer-reviewed journal. it would be even better if you could point out the evidence that the data has been replicated by independent teams.

    Natural treatment finds the cause, eliminates that cause, then creates an environment of oxidation, high ph levels, builds the immune system, detoxes, and some do a parasite kill if the body is contaminated with them.

    Please provide evidence that any of this is true. Thanks.

    Did your doctor ever try to find out why you had high blood pressure? I found out on my own in which I started to take in more potassium and went off the prescription and lowered my blood pressure and it has stayed that way for over a year.

    Good for you. It is well known that lifestyle changes like diet, exercise, and weight control can significantly benefit hypertension. Please let us know how that applies to curing cancer.

    Don’t argue in your ignorance, educate yourself; it is more productive.

    Always willing to be educated, but I dislike being misinformed. If you have good solid evidence for anything you say (except for your blood pressure story, which I’m quite prepared to accept without further proof), please share.

  205. #205 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    November 5, 2013

    re: environment of oxidation – I thought that anti-oxidants were considered all the rage these days in natural health. That would logically lead to an environment of reduction instead of oxidation. Which is it, please?

  206. #206 Shay
    November 5, 2013

    Darcy: considering the high percentage of scientists and researchers who comment regularly on this blog, your post reeks of the arrogance of ignorance.

    Educate yourself.

  207. #207 Gray Falcon
    November 5, 2013

    As a parent; we want to make the best decision possible, but we can not judge these parents on what we know unless we experience what they are going through.

    How self-centered. Assuming that because someone disagrees with you, it’s because they have no experience with that. Orac is an oncologist, he’s lost family to cancer. Don’t assume he doesn’t understand.

    Have you ever gone to the doctors for instance high blood pressure like I did and been give a prescription and in fact it did lower the blood pressure but with side affects

    In other words, your doctor was either incompetent or unethical. That doesn’t say anything about the entirety of the medical profession, or the treatment of cancer, only that you had a single bad experience. Most doctors, upon seeing a patient with high blood pressure, will usually make dietary suggestions.
    PS. Arsenic and belladonna are natural, and if you take enough of them, you’ll never have issues with cancer again.

  208. #208 Calli Arcale
    November 5, 2013

    Chris:

    Why not use the brain cells, free will and ability to reason that was endowed upon you by your deity?

    “I do not believe that the same god who has endowed us with sense, reason and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.” — Galileo

  209. #209 Calli Arcale
    November 5, 2013

    Darcy:

    Natural treatment finds the cause, eliminates that cause, then creates an environment of oxidation, high ph levels, builds the immune system, detoxes, and some do a parasite kill if the body is contaminated with them.

    Finding the cause is great! (Well, when you do find it, anyway. So many things can cause cancer that it’s usually not possible to say what caused a particular cancer. A smoker is at higher risk of lung cancer — but can you tell whether his lung cancer is from his smoking, or from radon gas in the basement where he spends hours working his beloved woodcrafting hobby? I’ll save you some time: no, you can’t.)

    But it doesn’t really do bupkis for the cancer that’s already there. If I have raw sewage flooding my basement, knowing that my sewer line has gotten invaded and clogged with tree roots is helpful, but doesn’t fix the problem. I can cut down the tree to remove the cause, and I can hire a honey wagon to come pump out the grody stuff in the basement, but the problem’s still there, and will get worse if I don’t do something. I could even end up with a sinkhole in the yard, since if roots got in, it stands to reason the water can get out. I need to actually fix the problem, not just remove the cause.

    Actor Andreas Katsulas (Babylon 5 fans know him as G’Kar) was a very heavy smoker. Many a passer-by was startled during filming to see a reptilian alien with red eyes standing out back of the studio having a smoke. ;-) And then he was diagnosed with lung cancer. Quite advanced, too; the doctors gave him a year to live. He immediately quit smoking, improved his diet, and started exercising religiously. He joked that ever since being told he was dying, he’d never felt better. Which was probably true, really. It helped him feel better. But it couldn’t reverse the cancer, of course, which was still there. The horse had left the barn, and he died not long after. I think he lasted about a year, as the doctors had predicted.

    BTW, you don’t want high pH levels. That’ll kill your cancer, for sure, but it’ll do it the same way ricin or cyanide would, by killing *you*.

  210. #210 MIRose
    November 5, 2013

    Well, I am 6 years out from chemo. I am not dead. I am not in a wheelchair. My liver and kidneys are just fine, thank you very much. I do wish people would learn some facts about the things they spout of on. Here they will not get away with it. They will be met with people like me with personal experience and experts in the medical field. I wonder why they come here and spout such nonsense.

  211. #211 herr doktor bimler
    November 5, 2013

    Natural treatment [...] creates an environment of oxidation, high ph levels

    I think you have confused “natural treatment” with “the recipe for lutefisk”.

  212. #212 Chris,
    November 5, 2013

    Calli Arcale, exactly.

    My son had surgery at the Mayo Clinic a bit over a year ago. The Mayo family (father, two sons, and at least one nurse wife) worked with a Catholic order of nuns to create a hospital, and finally a world class medical center. They also brought a Methodist hospital into the center.

    There is nothing in the Christians that helped create the Mayo Clinic that would reject learning how the natural world works, and creating treatments to help people. Though the difference between the historical display at St. Mary’s Hospital has a very different slant than the one in the lobby of the Mayo Building.

    I am only willing to “Let go, let God” if it is some act of fate that I cannot control, just so I don’t get mad at the world. But if my son again complains with slurred speech that his heart is fluttering and his left arm is going numb, I’m dialing 911.

  213. #213 Narad
    November 5, 2013

    @Andy and Ole:

    Generally, in the plain communities – and of course this is never perfect among any group of human people – as Christians, they choose to work together and honor each other out of reverent fear of the Lord and love for their brethren.

    Do explain why the various Swartzentruber factions won’t even break bread with each other, then.

    (At least when Karen M. Johnson-Weiner wrote New York Amish, the very Isaac Keim who is shooting his mouth off about the Sarah Hershberger case wound up with, and I don’t mean “among,” the Mose Miller band as opposed to the Troyers and Weavers.)

  214. #214 Krebiozen
    November 5, 2013

    Why is it that whenever someone writes something like:

    Don’t argue in your ignorance, educate yourself; it is more productive.

    you can be sure it will be accompanied by the most ignorant uneducated nonsense imaginable? Have these people no sense of irony or insight?

    In natural treatment; the body becomes an environment that cancer cells can’t live in and kills off the cancer.

    That simply isn’t true. There is no natural treatment that can possibly do that. There is no natural treatment that is effective against cancer, or if there is, someone is keeping it very quiet indeed. Most, if not all, of the alternative cancer treatments currently being peddled have been tested and they don’t work. Even those that haven’t been tested don’t look too good when you look closely at the testimonials.

    Do you ever wonder why a body gets cancer?

    I have some knowledge on the subject, but from what you have written here I don’t think you have the faintest clue.

    Natural treatment finds the cause,

    No it doesn’t, alternative diagnostic methods are almost always either useless or are horribly misused.

    eliminates that cause,

    No it doesn’t, unless you mean it persuades a person to give up smoking, lose weight, get more exerise or somthing like that, all of which my conventional doctor is very keen on..

    then creates an environment of oxidation,

    I don’t believe it does that either – how do you think it does that, and how does that selectively kill cancer cells?

    high ph levels,

    If your body pH is lower or higher than normal it will adjust it back through buffering, respiration and by excreting or through complex actions by the kidneys. I have measured hundreds of people’s blood pH and seen how this happens personally. If your pH is high enough to kill cancer cells it is high enough to kill healthy cells, as we can easily see in cell cultures.

    builds the immune system,

    Which part of the immune system and how? This simply isn’t true either.

    detoxes,

    I have a liver and a pair of kidneys that do that perfectly well. Natural treatment cannot remove toxins from the body better than these organs can, in fact I don’t believe it does so at all. How do detox treatments work, what do they remove from the body and where is the evidence that they do so?

    and some do a parasite kill if the body is contaminated with them.

    You think parasitic infection is a common cause of ill health in the developed world? It isn’t. Anyway, which natural treatment kills parasites?

    Years ago I picked up giardia in Egypt, but the initial course of antiparasitic drugs didn’t completely get rid of it. I tried various alternative health treatments, including a natural parasite-killing course that involved various capsules and foul tinctures in increasing doses for a month. It didn’t work. In the end it took a week’s course of a conventional drug to get rid of the giardia. It had side effects but it worked.

  215. #215 Narad
    November 5, 2013

    @John Lee:

    If G[-]d gave life, is it wrong for Him to take it?

    OK, clarify which of G-d’s creations qualify as His acceptable and Right agents in the taking of life.

  216. #216 Narad
    November 5, 2013

    Have you ever gone to the doctors for instance

    Sure.

    high blood pressure like I did

    You went to the doctor with high blood pressure as a complaint?

    and been give a prescription and in fact it did lower the blood pressure

    Yup.

    but with side affects.

    It depends on how you define “side affects.” In my case, the “side affect” was the main point; controlling the mild hypertension was gravy.

  217. #217 herr doktor bimler
    November 5, 2013

    You will have the Frau Doktorin’s sympathy, Narad — she has the Raynauld’s condition.

  218. […] A piece written in response to this claim asks for the evidence of her remission.  The doctor who writes it suggests that this may be a result of the initial chemotherapy: […]

  219. #219 skeptic
    November 8, 2013

    “Her odds without chemotherapy? About as close to zero as you can imagine.”

    Please remove the word “science” from your blog, as you have absolutely no proof that chemo is the only viable option for cancer treatment. Someone out there might actually believe you, and that is a shame. Pfizer shareholders probably love your spin on it though.

  220. #220 Chris,
    November 8, 2013

    Dear “skeptic”, please add reading comprehension and statistics to the list of things you should learn. The odds with chemotherapy were discussed in the above article with links to the data.

    The words that are in a different color (blue on my monitor) are links to other webpages. When you put your mouse over the words the (again on my monitor) little arrow turns into a little hand. If you click on it, you will find the evidence of chemo efficacy.

    You could also read this other article by the blog owner, who is a surgical oncologist (try clicking on the word “Orac” under the title, again the different color means it is a link to another web page):
    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2013/10/30/so-chemotherapy-does-work-after-all-revisited/

    Also, the Pharma Shill Gambit is old and boring. Try something new and interesting like actual evidence.

  221. #221 Krebiozen
    November 8, 2013

    skeptic,

    Please remove the word “science” from your blog, as you have absolutely no proof that chemo is the only viable option for cancer treatment. Someone out there might actually believe you, and that is a shame.

    I take it from this that you have convincing evidence that there is a viable cancer treatment for lymphoblastic lymphoma other than 2 years of chemotherapy. Please share this evidence with us. Can you even provide some case studies of patients with lymphoblastic lymphoma cured without chemotherapy? That would be a start.

    If you don’t have any convincing evidence, why would you make a foolish comment like this? Someone might believe you, which could very easily put their life, or their child’s life, at risk, and that truly would be a shame.

  222. #222 herr doktor bimler
    November 8, 2013

    Please remove the word “science” from your blog
    P.S. I am not a crank.

  223. #223 mykaayah
    west va
    November 15, 2013

    I applaud this family. Change the diet and cure the cancer. My sister was a great meat eater, was diagnosed with bone and blood cancer and spent three months in and out of a cancer center in New York where she under went a total transformation. She was so beautiful but chemo and radiation burned her skin and took out all her haid and $500,000 later she is dead. I have a friend who is in holistic natural remedies and she told me most of her clients are doctors; they do not take prescription medicine and would never take chemo or radiation, but they will give it to us. Its all about the miney, they do not want you to know about natural remedies; they do not get money from pharmaceuticals for them. Amen

  224. #224 Dallas
    United States
    November 16, 2013

    I totally support the parents decision! The government should have no right to force parents to submit their child to modern sorcery! Last year, the hospital/state forced my 13 year old son to take 5 months of heavy chemo for leukemia. The drug poisons that they pumped into him killed his system. When the leukemia came back, we used natural remedies to fight the leukemia and just before he died this June, his lab tests showed that our natural treatments had reversed the leukemia. The problem is that there was no natural remedies to undo the deadly effects of the chemo. All the symptoms that he developed as he was dying were listed “side effects” of the drugs they pumped into him. Most people don’t realize that chemo plants “seeds” in the system that can come back and kill you – even years later! Here is a view of his lab tests. http://www.swiftrunnerministries.com/why-i-believe-in-natural-remedies.php

  225. #225 Shay
    November 16, 2013

    Calling Drs Dunning and Krueger….

  226. #226 Khani
    November 16, 2013

    “we used natural remedies to fight the leukemia and just before he died this June….”

    Yet you associate the death with chemotherapy rather than leukemia. I am sorry for your truly tragic loss, but you have ascribed the death to the wrong cause.

    ” Its all about the miney, they do not want you to know about natural remedies; they do not get money from pharmaceuticals for them.”

    Actually, a lot of pharmaceutical companies sell so-called “natural” remedies as well, under different labels. Perhaps you weren’t aware of this, but lots of drug companies make tons of money this way–and then there are the snakeoil salesmen who charge $25,000 for “administration” of treatment, but that’s the other thread.

    By the way, “natural” isn’t inherently healthy–many of the world’s deadliest poisons are entirely natural.

  227. #227 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    November 16, 2013

    @Dallas – I am very sorry for the loss of your son. I can only imagine that it is heartbreaking.

    There is substantial evidence that current science based medical treatment provides better outcomes than other known treatments. I don’t know what natural remedies you tried, but I would like to ask you – what evidence do you have that these treatments work at all, let alone better than the current standard of medical care?

  228. #228 Krebiozen
    November 16, 2013

    mykaayah,

    I have a friend who is in holistic natural remedies and she told me most of her clients are doctors; they do not take prescription medicine and would never take chemo or radiation, but they will give it to us.

    I don’t believe your ‘friend’. I have known many conventional doctors over the years, some who have had cancer themselves or whose loved ones have had cancer, but not one of them has rejected conventional cancer treatment.

    That’s because they know that holistic natural remedies are useless for cancer, and of little use for anything else.

  229. #229 herr doktor bimler
    November 16, 2013

    what evidence do you have that these treatments work at all

    Dallas is a religious nutbar with his own Church of Medical Neglect, a.k.a. Swiftrunner Ministries. His idea of providing supportive lab tests is to link to a Youtube vid. Only the spawn of Satan would care about “evidence”.

  230. #230 Narad
    November 16, 2013

    Yet you associate the death with chemotherapy rather than leukemia.

    Well, he apparently associated the leukemia with a bad meal. From a month earlier.

  231. #231 Calli Arcale
    November 16, 2013

    Krebiozen:

    I have known many conventional doctors over the years, some who have had cancer themselves or whose loved ones have had cancer, but not one of them has rejected conventional cancer treatment.

    I know only one doctor who rejected conventional cancer treatment. My grandfather was in his 90s when he developed symptoms of what was probably pancreatic cancer. Given his age and the general lethality of that cancer, he elected to forgo treatment and even biopsy; the only drug he took was morphine for the pain. He’d been in excellent health, so it took a long time to die; when I last saw him, a few days before his death, he was no longer eating solid foods, and his sole sustenance was liquid morphine, highballs, and Dos Equis. And, of course, intelligent conversation on any matter of topics.

    He didn’t decline chemo because he didn’t believe in medicine. He declined it because he was ready to go and didn’t see any reason to spend resources on him that could be better spent on someone younger and more likely to benefit. That’s just the sort of person he was.

  232. #232 Khani
    November 17, 2013

    #230 … yeah, that’s not how leukemia works.

  233. #233 mehitabel
    November 21, 2013

    imo, Sarah Hershberger was not cured naturally…and no details are given…but she was apparently receiving undisclosed experimental chemo and suffered undisclosed serious side effects.
    This link is to an article with a different take than orac’s.
    In a different light, Akron Children’s Hospital is guilty of serious mistreatment.

    http://journal.livingfood.us/2013/11/18/full-story-ohio-amish-girl-being-forced-into-experimental-chemotherapy-fled-u-s-for-natural-treatments-said-to-be-free-of-cancer/

  234. #234 AdamG
    November 21, 2013

    Did you miss the part of the article where Orac says

    I find it highly unlikely that Akron Children’s Hospital didn’t get the appropriate informed consent. However, I never completely dismiss the possibility that I could be wrong. So here’s what I propose. If Andy Hershberger really thinks that Akron Children’s Hospital failed to obtain proper informed consent, he has only to report it to the OHRP. If the drug in the study is a new drug, then he could report the issue to the FDA as well. In fact, I would very much urge him to do so if he thinks that he was not offered adequate informed consent for a clinical trial.

    Is the author of your link urging the family to submit these reports, or is he content as long as the donations are rolling in?

  235. #235 JGC
    November 21, 2013

    Mehitable, did you fail to notice the autor’s explicit statement that the reports were written to tell only one side of the story–the Hershbergers?

    This investigative report, which began with Isaac’s call to me from the special clinic, is the Hershberger’s side of the story

    He lists accusations against the ACH made by the Hershbergers uncritically, without any attempt to establish their validity. He appears to have spoken only with members of the Hershberger family–there’s not even the standard boilerplate paragraph re: “Representatives of he ACH were invited to comment on this report but declined”.

    Investigative report? In a pig’s eye.

  236. #236 Narad
    November 21, 2013

    We just learned that a request of appeal was filed on November 12 to the Ohio Supreme Court to reverse the lower court decision. An amicus brief has also been filed by a powerful Ohio constitutional legal association.

    Filings are here, if anybody cares to take a look. My dance card is pretty full. (I don’t get the impression that 1851, which is basically just Maurice Thompson, is particularly “powerful,” though.)

  237. #237 Narad
    November 21, 2013

    Um, glancing at the memorandum in support, the argument is quite bizarre. Then again, I’m only up to the part where withdrawing chemotherapy is equated to withdrawing life support for an infant in a permanent vegetative state. Let that sink in; it certainly doesn’t bode well for the chemo-is-teh-ebil crowd skulking around.

  238. #238 Angel
    November 22, 2013

    Seems to be a secret meeting was set up between Sarah’s guardian and her Grandfather.If what the Dr, is saying about her cancer is true,time is of the essence.I pray that these people will do what is best for this little girl and stop wasting what precious time she has left.Let her be with her family,Let her get the treatment that she needs because in the end she will pay the price for this disagreement between the parties involved.I fear that within the next few weeks I will be reading about the death of a child that should not have died if only the people involved would let go of their egos and truly do what is best for her!

  239. #239 Bronwyn
    Perth, Australia
    November 24, 2013

    There are two sides to every story and I found this blog to be a complete misrepresentation of the actual facts of this case. First of all, the family initially consented to the first stage of treatment and they saw the treatment work, Sarah had a lump in her neck (lymphoma) which literally started shrinking and they were impressed with how well Sarah had become. However, the second stage of treatment, which neither parent signed a consent form, caused Sarah to become extremely unwell, so sick she couldn’t eat or get out of bed. She begged her parents to help her and not make her continue the treatment. They had a nurse come out to their house to administer treatments, she acidentlally let slip that the treatment itself can cause cancer, after all chemo is a carcinagin. So the family went to the hospital to discuss this with the medical specialist who reluctantly agreed, chemo can cause cancer. The family asked to withdraw Sarah from treatment, they refused unless a Medical Practitioner was willing to oversee her care, which they found one to sign the forms for Sarah’s release from hospital. Then the hospital contacted Children’s Services, they refused to become involved. Then they were taken to court, not once or twice but around 6 times, every time the parents won and the hospital appealed. They eventually did lose, so the father and daughter fled. There was little to no mention of herbal medicine in the 37 minute interview with Sarah’s Grandfather and he said nothing of knowing that she was “cured.” In fact I wouldn’t trust anyone suggesting knowing her current condition as being in contact with fugitives and not alerting the authorities as I believe is against the law and they could be held in contempt of court.

  240. #240 Lawrence
    November 24, 2013

    @Bronwyn – perhaps your post would hold more water if it wasn’t a “word for word” verbatim post from the various cranks and quacks that have posted here and in other places before….

  241. #241 Krebiozen
    November 24, 2013

    Bronwyn,

    There are two sides to every story and I found this blog to be a complete misrepresentation of the actual facts of this case.

    Presumably you somehow have access to “the actual facts of the case”, all the way from Australia – perhaps you would be willing to share your source. It would be very helpful if you would explain specifically which facts Orac has completely misrepresented, supported with evidence. I am especially interested in your claim that:

    Then they were taken to court, not once or twice but around 6 times, every time the parents won and the hospital appealed.

    Even if this were the case, which I don’t believe it is, I think the hospital has a duty of care to its patient, and should do everything in its power to ensure she has adequate treatment. Don’t you?

  242. #242 dingo199
    November 24, 2013

    @Dallas,
    I too am sorry for your loss, but bewildered that you insist chemotherapy killed him when the story indicates he died from progressive leukaemia.

    Five days before he died, blood tests show that his blasts were down to 23% and his white blood cell count, even though it was elevated, was 2/3 less than it had been when we originally took him to the hospital. The natural remedies appeared to be fighting off the cancer, but Trenton died June 9, 2013. So why did he die? His counts suggest that his bone marrow was dead from the chemo and unable to replace the blood cells.

    With respect, you are wrong. I say this not just because I am a doctor and you are not (but a firm believer in “natural remedies”), but because the progression and lab tests indicate it was so, and I have seen many children with leukaemia.

    You place undue reliance on the fact that Trenton’s blast count had “reduced” from earlier higher counts, and say this means the leukaemia did not kill him. Yet you misunderstand what leukaemia is and how it affects the marrow. Initially, Trenton initially had a total WBC of 211, and this was 76% blasts – evidence of severe acute leukaemia. The fact that he “survived” these levels is directly attributable to the conventional medical care he received, and the chemotherapy.

    You make much play of the fact that when he relapsed and was readmitted to hospital (having stopped chemotherapy and now being reliant on “natural remedies”), that his percentage blast count was 56%, and had apparently fallen further to 23% before his death. According to you, this is a sign his marrow was poisoned by chemotherapy and had sustained irreversible damage.

    There are several things wrong with this interpretation, not least the fact that when you look at the total white cell count, this had risen from 19 at readmission to 82 before his death. This indicated a responsive, productive marrow, and if it had been damaged then the total white cell count should have been below 5, and in other cases I have seen of marrow failure, would probably have been below 1.

    You will also note that although the percentage of blasts had apparently declined between these two tests (56% to 23%), in fact the absolute number of blasts (a truer indication of whether leukaemia has relapsed) has actually risen from around 10 (56% of 19.1) to 19 (23% of 82.2). In other words, his absolute blast count nearly doubled during this time you claim the marrow was supposedly damaged, his leukaemia was supposedly not relapsing and while he was supposedly “responding” to “natural therapies”.

    It is patently clear there was no bone marrow failure consequent to chemotherapy, but that this was relapse of AML from which he died, having not been receiving further induction chemotherapy.

  243. #243 Bronwyn
    Perth, Australia
    November 24, 2013

    Lawrence- Actually I watched an interview with Sarah’s Grandfather stating these facts, haven’t seen anyone stating this much information on this blog and I haven’t looked at any other blogs on this, but since you say so many other people have made the same word for word comments, perhaps there is some truth to it.

    http://www.change.org/petitions/stop-forced-chemotherapy-by-hospitals-and-the-states?share_id=LUXDPbKdJd&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=petition_invitation#

  244. #244 Narad
    November 24, 2013

    Then they were taken to court, not once or twice but around 6 times, every time the parents won and the hospital appealed.

    Congratulations, you can’t even successfully follow the narrative of your own third-hand talking points. Perhaps you’d like to further opine on the most recent filings, in which the family’s counsel flatly states that chemotherapy is to be filed under “life-sustaining” on the way to arguing that that the family has the right to “pull the plug,” in a direct comparison to an infant in a vegetative state, because they haven’t been completely stripped of custody.

  245. #245 Chemmomo
    Land Without Preview
    November 24, 2013

    Bronwyn @ 242

    Actually I watched an interview with Sarah’s Grandfather

    Was it the same interview discussed here?
    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2013/11/04/chris-wark-spins-the-story-of-the-amish-girl-with-cancer-whose-family-refuses-her-chemotherapy/

  246. #246 Bill Price
    November 24, 2013

    Bronwyn, Perth, Australia, November 24, 2013:

    but since you say so many other people have made the same word for word comments, perhaps there is some truth to it.

    Experience tells us that the same text, published under a multitude of names without attribution to an original source, is almost certainly some sort of astroturfing — trying to sell an idea by argumentum ad populum rather than on its merits.
    Your inclusion of the change.org URI adds credence to the astroturfing scenario: that’s the idea you’re peddling. Astroturfing is not an indication of “some truth” to the idea being peddled. On the contrary, it tends to indicate a distinct lack of merit in the idea, so much that even the proponents don’t bother with merit-based argumentation.

  247. #247 Bronwyn
    November 24, 2013

    Krebiozen ok whats with the comment “all the way from Australia?” As if my address has anything to do with my ability to research! Aussies have access to the same websites as the rest of the world. I stated some of the facts of the case in my previous comment, the misrepresentation of the facts I was referring to is the bias of the entire blog, its dead obvious to me very little, if any actual research was done on the story to begin with, then he picked and chose which info to present as facts. I don’t have any objection to personal opinion, I just think Orac could have looked at both sides to give the story justice, just my opinion. My source, as posted above, is from a telephone conversation with Sarah’s Grandfather and its the first time the family have commented. I definitely agree each patient should be entitled to receive adequate medical treatment, however, I don’t feel anyone either child or adult should be forced to suffer the side effects of chemo, which can cause cancer down the track. We are told to avoid anything that could possibly cause cancer, yet we think its totally ok to use a cancer causing man made poison on children without their consent, that’s just cruel and inhumane. Obviously most of you think that’s perfectly moral, I find it disgusting we treat dogs with more dignity and respect when it comes to death and dying then we do our own people. Death is a natural part of life, we will all die and if we can’t choose not to have a drug, essentially a poison that kills every living cell in your body in order to live maybe 5 more years but with a damaged body, then how free are we really?

  248. #248 Chris,
    November 24, 2013

    “My source, as posted above, is from a telephone conversation with Sarah’s Grandfather and its the first time the family have commented.”

    Um did you miss this: http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2013/11/04/chris-wark-spins-the-story-of-the-amish-girl-with-cancer-whose-family-refuses-her-chemotherapy/

    “We are told to avoid anything that could possibly cause cancer, yet we think its totally ok to use a cancer causing man made poison on children without their consent, that’s just cruel and inhumane.”

    And exactly what poison is that?

  249. #249 Narad
    November 24, 2013

    Krebiozen ok whats with the comment “all the way from Australia?

    It certainly goes to your ability to begin to contextualize the issue, something that you’ve shown not a glimmer of so far. Did you even know where Ohio was* when you elected to start thoughtlessly regurgitating the raw-milk I’ll-take-20%-of-them-donations guy’s party line? How familiar are you with Amish social practices? Do you think an 8th-grade education is a proper foundation for evaluating treatment approaches to lymphoblastic lymphoma, particularly given the fact that the patriach has made clear that he’s under the impression that they can just pick up where they left off when this maneuver blows up in their face?

    * There’s a much better one of these around, but I’m cooking.

  250. #250 Chemmomo
    Where I can read comments posted earlier
    November 24, 2013

    Bronwyn @247

    As if my address has anything to do with my ability to research!

    Remember posting this?

    Actually I watched an interview

    The comment number is now 243 instead of 242 when I first read it.
    Watching a video about someone else’s phone conversation is not doing research.
    Research requires work, and thought.

    I just think Orac could have looked at both sides . . . its dead obvious to me very little, if any actual research was done on the story to begin with

    Orac has written about this story extensively from his point of view as a doctor who specializes in cancer research. Had you poked around the blog a little more before commenting, you would have discovered this for yourself.

    Instead, you chose to voice your opinion, based on watching a video , and you seem to think that this opinion compares to the opinion of the blog author trained in the field being discussed (albeit in a different subspecialty). It’s a bit mind boggling, really.

  251. #251 Angel
    November 25, 2013

    It’s mind boggling to me that the family hasn’t talked to an Amish family in the area who’s son with the same disease, went through the same chemo,different hospital with amazing success. Yes it was hard,he got sick,but he is alive now.Seven years later he is cancer free and a healthy thirteen year old! Isn’t Sarah worth the effort to try and make her better by a proven remedy?Again time is of the essence,soon their will be no chance of recovery and Sarah’s recovery fund will be in vain.But I guess some people will be richer,so that’s o.k.Sad!!

  252. #252 Krebiozen
    November 25, 2013

    Bronwyn,

    Krebiozen ok whats with the comment “all the way from Australia?” As if my address has anything to do with my ability to research! Aussies have access to the same websites as the rest of the world.

    Personally I’m in the UK, and I would have to be very sure of myself indeed before I started telling an American oncologist that he had completely misrepresented the facts about a cancer patient in America. I wondered if you had access to some information that Orac had not referred to, and that had not been published anywhere, but that doesn’t appear to be the case.

    I stated some of the facts of the case in my previous comment, the misrepresentation of the facts I was referring to is the bias of the entire blog,

    The alleged “bias of the entire blog” does not constitute a “complete misrepresentation of the facts”. It seems you can’t point to any specific facts that have been “misrepresented”.

    its dead obvious to me very little, if any actual research was done on the story to begin with, then he picked and chose which info to present as facts.

    It’s dead obvious to me that Orac has researched the case considerably more thoroughly than you, yet you feel justified in accusing him of misrepresentation? Orac is more than capable of defending himself, but this sort of behavior is all too common, and it greatly irritates me.

    My source, as posted above, is from a telephone conversation with Sarah’s Grandfather and its the first time the family have commented.

    Yes, I have seen this interview; Orac discussed it at some length in a previous blog post here that he links to in his post above. This is not new information.

    I definitely agree each patient should be entitled to receive adequate medical treatment, however, I don’t feel anyone either child or adult should be forced to suffer the side effects of chemo, which can cause cancer down the track.

    You are seriously suggesting that a child should be condemned to almost certain death because if the treatment saves her life she might possibly get cancer again later down the road? You do understand that her chances with the treatment are very good indeed, and without it are very bad indeed? That’ makes no sense to me.

    We are told to avoid anything that could possibly cause cancer, yet we think its totally ok to use a cancer causing man made poison on children without their consent, that’s just cruel and inhumane. Obviously most of you think that’s perfectly moral, I find it disgusting we treat dogs with more dignity and respect when it comes to death and dying then we do our own people.

    Personally I think it is allowing a child to die a miserable death from cancer when there is a treatment that stands a very good chance of saving her life is inhumane. I also think it’s despicable that you think a child should be put down like a dog rather than have her life saved by chemotherapy. This is not a child with terminal cancer – what’s the matter with you?

    Death is a natural part of life, we will all die and if we can’t choose not to have a drug, essentially a poison that kills every living cell in your body in order to live maybe 5 more years but with a damaged body, then how free are we really?

    Firstly chemotherapy is not “a poison that kills every living cell in your body “, that’s a despicable lie that is designed to frighten people away from live-saving treatment.
    Secondly, where did you get the idea that Sarah’s life expectancy is only five years after treatment? That’s another despicable lie. With treatment she stands a very good chance of living a normal healthy life without getting any further cancer. You would rob her of that chance?

    Please Bronwyn, in future think before accusing people of “completely misrepresenting the facts” when they have a much better grasp of the facts than you do, and especially stop spreading lies about cancer treatment that could easily lead people to make life-threatening errors of judgment if they believe you.

  253. #253 Khani
    November 25, 2013

    Chemotherapy doesn’t kill every living cell in your body, or everyone who had it would die on the spot. I think that’s pretty obvious, even to people who haven’t taken a lot of biology/life science classes.

    Also, your “dead in five years” scenario is totally inaccurate. But even if it were accurate? I’d take dead in five years but damaged over dead now. I still have things to do, and I’m pretty sure some of them can indeed be accomplished “damaged” as many people with disabilities would tell us.

    Speaking of which, and thinking of staunch defenders against ableism, where the heck is elburto? Does anybody know if she’s okay?

    I miss her take-downs.

  254. #254 Bronwyn
    Perth, Australia
    November 25, 2013

    Chemmomo- I couldn’t care less if Orac is a doctor, the blog is bias, he could have looked at it from both sides, the absence of which is bias and not credible. First off It wasn’t a video, had you known anything about the Amish is that they refuse to be photographed or filmed, it was a phone conversation. My mistake for saying “watched,” it started as a video with the interviewer then led to a phone conversation. You would have known that had you bothered to enlighten yourself with the other side of the story, so you are bias also.

    Narad- actually you don’t have to be American to know where Ohio is or about Amish practices, as it so happens I was born in Seattle, I grew up there, half my family is American and I am also a dual citizen. Its not wise to assume my background given that all you know is where I am currently living and I still don’t see how where I live has anything to do with me posting the other side of the story! I would have hoped that such intellectual minds would welcome others with differing opinions to join in on the conversation, but it seems you can’t join in if you disagree with the blog, pointless really.

    I stand by what I have said, I’m entitled to my opinion like the rest of you. Unlike the rest of you I don’t have the time to attack personal opinions all day long, its tiresome and accomplishes nothing. I offered the other side of the story not mentioned in the blog and my personal opinion and I really couldn’t care less of your opinions with regard to my opinion, seriously the lot of you need to get a life!

  255. #255 Shay
    November 25, 2013

    As has been noted here before, yes, you are entitled to your opinion. But not your facts.

  256. #256 Rose Taberner
    Sydney, Australia
    November 26, 2013

    Bronwyn
    You are digging a hole.
    10/10 for having an opinion. 0/10 for your other side of the story. Chemo may have very likely cured this girl.

  257. #257 Bill Price
    Where it's a grand night for fisking
    November 26, 2013

    Bronwyn, Perth, Australia, November 25, 2013

    Chemmomo- I couldn’t care less if Orac is a doctor, the blog is bias[ed], he could have looked at it from both sides, the absence of which is bias and not credible.

    You have been given links to at least one article by Orac which covers the “other side”. One of them covers (what seems to be) the very telephone conversation you’re so worked up about. Your denial that that article exists shows actual “bias and not credible.” In light of the lack of good faith you’ve shown so far, I won’t bother to repeat the link. As of right now, the article is still on the blog’s front page.

    First off It wasn’t a video, had you known anything about the Amish is that they refuse to be photographed or filmed,

    In other words, all the multiple still photos and interviews with the Amish, the ones we’ve all seen, are fake? Thanks for your expertise in Amish behaviors.

    It was a phone conversation. My mistake for saying “watched,” it started as a video with the interviewer then led to a phone conversation. You would have known that had you bothered to enlighten yourself with the other side of the story, so you are bias[ed] also.

    Again, you’re obscuring the fact that most, if not all, of us have actually read Orac’s article on the phone conversation & mdash; you know, the article whose existence you so want to ignore.

    Narad- … I would have hoped that such intellectual minds would welcome others with differing opinions to join in on the conversation, but it seems you can’t join in if you disagree with the blog, pointless really.

    There was another recent article on the subjects of whether parents do and should have the power to sacrifice their children on an altar of their preference (religious or other wise). There’s a lot of disagreement on those subjects, since they are not fully fact-based subjects. This article, and the others on the Sarah Hershberger case, are not opinion-based, they are fact-based.

    I stand by what I have said, I’m entitled to my opinion like the rest of you. Unlike the rest of you I don’t have the time to attack personal opinions all day long, its tiresome and accomplishes nothing.

    As Shay has already pointed out, you’re entitled to your own opinions, but not your own facts.
    You are not being personally attacked for your opinions. Your opinions are not being attacked. Your opinions are based on contra-factual imaginings (yours, Grandpaw H, or Sarah’s parents’) rather than facts — it’s those imaginings that are being attacked.

    I offered the other side of the story not mentioned in the blog

    As I mentioned above, this statement is contra-factual, since “the other side of the story” has been amply discussed on this very blog.

    and my personal opinion and I really couldn’t care less of your opinions with regard to my opinion, seriously the lot of you need to get a life!

    The people who frequent this blog are (with a few exceptions now and then) are deeply concerned with life. That’s why we take death merchants (like Bursynski, woo-peddlers, antivaxxers and the like) seriously. That’s why we take cases like Sarah’s, where the parents seem to prefer Sarah to die for their imaginings rather than to be treated, as good ways to spend (a part of) the lives that we have.
    We care. We care that you, and many others like you, are selling unnecessary death when you promote your “opinions” that contradict reality, especially wen you promote them as being fact.

  258. #258 Rose Taberner
    Sydney, Australia
    November 26, 2013

    @ Bill Price
    The people who frequent this blog are (with a few exceptions now and then) are deeply concerned with life. That’s why we take death merchants (like Bursynski, woo-peddlers, antivaxxers and the like) seriously.,,,,,

    As a non medical person and a BC sufferer, I am indebted to my wonderful (science based) medical team and to unknown virtual heroes that do take life seriously and continue to expose the woo-ers.

    @Bronwyn
    No, you wouldn’t care less…..you have made your point.

  259. #259 herr doktor bimler
    November 26, 2013

    First off It wasn’t a video, had you known anything about the Amish is that they refuse to be photographed or filmed,

    A few months ago I watched one of Werner Herzog’s documentaries which took him to Pennsylvania to look at the weird little world of cattle auctioneering:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/How_Much_Wood_Would_a_Woodchuck_Chuck_%28film%29
    He interviews various cattle breeders; in particular, a number of Amish proudly front up to the camera.

    So which to believe? Bronwyn’s deep knowledge of Amish custom, or my own lying eyes? It is difficult.

  260. #260 Krebiozen
    November 26, 2013

    Bronwyn,

    I stand by what I have said, I’m entitled to my opinion like the rest of you. Unlike the rest of you I don’t have the time to attack personal opinions all day long, its tiresome and accomplishes nothing.

    You have stated that chemotherapy “kills every living cell in your body” and that Sarah would only live another 5 years after treatment. Both these statements are completely and demonstrably wrong. I hoped you might have the honesty and integrity to admit this and apologize for spreading dangerous misinformation about conventional cancer treatments. But no, you continue to defend this nonsense.

    I offered the other side of the story not mentioned in the blog

    Except it was mentioned in the blog, in more detail, at more length and far more accurately than in your comment.

    and my personal opinion

    Which is apparently based on wildly erroneous beliefs about chemotherapy and prognosis in acute lymphoblastic lymphoma.

    and I really couldn’t care less of your opinions with regard to my opinion, seriously the lot of you need to get a life!

    You come to a blog, falsely accuse its host of misrepresenting the facts, make some dangerously inaccurate statements about cancer treatment, suggest that a child would be better off being euthanized* than receiving a treatment that has an 85% chance of success, and then you tell those who try to point out your errors that they should “get a life”? I’m almost lost for words, and those that come to mind are not kind, so I will leave it there.

    * Unless there is another interpretation of, “I find it disgusting we treat dogs with more dignity and respect when it comes to death and dying then we do our own people” that I have overlooked.

  261. #261 William Hewitt
    Marion IN
    November 29, 2013

    Hello wake up hospitals and doctors kill 200,000+ patients each year by medical error, documented by 6 studies since 1998. The IHI.org studies of 2006 (100,000 lives campaign) and 2008 (5 million lives campaign) prove that hospitals and hospital doctors harm 40% of all admitted patients by killing or maiming them and Clinton, Bush, and Obama rewarded them with tort reform. Every medical doctor and nurse should have the same HOS (hours of service) law and random drug tests as professional school bus drivers and truck drivers! These medical professional harmers should never be able to force a medical procedure on any patient!

  262. #262 Sarah A
    November 29, 2013

    Nearly half of all patients admitted to hospitals are killed or maimed? Gee, you’d think someone would have noticed. In other words, [citation needed]

  263. #263 herr doktor bimler
    November 29, 2013

    Obama rewarded them with tort reform

    Please explain what changes Obama has made to tort law.

  264. #264 Khani
    November 29, 2013

    Yeah, I’d love to look at the citations for that.

  265. #265 Krebiozen
    November 29, 2013

    William Hewitt,

    Hello wake up hospitals and doctors kill 200,000+ patients each year by medical error, documented by 6 studies since 1998.

    Firstly that figure is grossly inflated, secondly the vast majority of patients who die through medical errors would undoubtedly have died without any medical treatment at all. Of course we need to continue to reduce medical errors, but claiming this is a good reason to deny life-saving treatment to a child seems extremely foolish to me.

  266. […] as he indicated in a comment, has been following the Sarah Hershberger case. He has a very informative post from October 28; very informative and very […]

  267. #267 Albert
    November 30, 2013

    The hospital kept appealing and appealing until they got their own selfish way. Sounds fishy. I guess if you look hard enough you’ll find a corrupt judge sooner or later!

  268. #268 AdamG
    November 30, 2013

    The hospital kept appealing and appealing until they got their own selfish way. Sounds fishy. I guess if you look hard enough you’ll find a corrupt judge sooner or later!

    Is it that hard to believe that the hospital fought for the best care for this child because it’s the right thing to do?

    Also, see comment #172. Are all 4 judges who ruled independently in favor of the hospital “corrupt?”

  269. #269 LW
    November 30, 2013

    hospitals and hospital doctors harm 40% of all admitted patients by killing or maiming them

    I wonder if William Hewitt knows the definition of “maim”. If he did, I think he would realize that results like that would be impossible to overlook or conceal. Perhaps he thinks “maim” means “leave a scar”. 

  270. #270 Khani
    November 30, 2013

    It’s selfish to give a child an 85% chance of survival rather than none?

    Chalk me up as being that kind of selfish, I guess!

  271. #271 Albert
    November 30, 2013

    The hospital’s motive was profit plain and simple, not the so-called “best interests” of the child”. This hospital stands to lose a fortune if this child discontinues chemo “therapy”, so come down off your high horses and stop your self righteous preaching and phony compassion. Also anyone who loses appeal after appeal and then suddenly prevails after the sixth attempt pulled strings and greased palms to get what they want. Don’t tell me otherwise.

  272. #272 Chris,
    November 30, 2013

    Albert: “The hospital’s motive was profit plain and simple, not the so-called “best interests” of the child”.”

    So you would rather that the child died?

  273. #273 Khani
    November 30, 2013

    “The hospital’s motive was profit plain and simple”

    How do you know that, exactly? Is the family on record as saying “No, I want to get our chemo somewhere else” or something? I’d be quite interested to see that evidence, if so.

    “Also anyone who loses appeal after appeal and then suddenly prevails after the sixth attempt pulled strings and greased palms to get what they want.”

    Really? I’m sure you have the documented evidence for this, right?

  274. #274 Narad
    November 30, 2013

    So which to believe? Bronwyn’s deep knowledge of Amish custom, or my own lying eyes? It is difficult.

    Ordnung are, basically by definition, charismatic idiosyncrasy in action. For a nominal cult of humility, the Amish/Mennonite history reads an awful lot like a trashy novel.

  275. #275 Narad
    November 30, 2013

    Also anyone who loses appeal after appeal and then suddenly prevails after the sixth attempt pulled strings and greased palms to get what they want.

    The only party here who repeatedly lost appeals is the patriarch.

    Don’t tell me otherwise.

    Whoops.

  276. #276 herr doktor bimler
    November 30, 2013

    Hello wake up

    William Hewitt forgot the obligatory SHEEPLE.

  277. #277 Shay
    November 30, 2013

    He hasn’t asked who’s paying us yet, either.

  278. #278 Albert
    November 30, 2013

    Khani,
    Lose several appeals, then win after the sixth try.
    That’s evidence enough in my book.

  279. #279 Khani
    November 30, 2013

    Okay.

    The radium girls bribed the court system??? Here I thought they were poor!

    http://www.fourthestatenewspaper.com/entertainment/2013/03/06/radium-girls-light-up-weidner/

    And Anthony Graves also used bribes to get his retrial. http://www.pbs.org/now/shows/306/index.html

    So did Freeland. http://www2.macleans.ca/2013/02/06/glen-george-freeland/

    So did this Alzheimer’s patient’s wife. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/elderhealth/3352725/Alzheimers-Tagging-means-freedom.html

  280. #280 The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge
    November 30, 2013

    Can’t be arsed looking it up—this “six appeals” sounds made up to me—but if there really were five judges who ruled that “parental rights” extend to denying a child a treatment that would give her an 85% chance of survival, in favor of no treatment with an almost 0% chance of survival, those judges need to be: A) removed from the bench, 2) disbarred, and III) prosecuted.

    The right-wingers have packed the courts with so many troglodytes, and blocked every new appointment for the last five years, so I don’t suppose any of that will happen.

  281. #281 Alain
    November 30, 2013

    @The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge,

    You know, sometime I get to wonder where natural selection is heading us as a society….

    Alain

  282. #282 Narad
    November 30, 2013

    Lose several appeals, then win after the sixth try.
    That’s evidence enough in my book.

    Do you understand what an “appeal” is? Some problem on this front seems to be the only generous explanation for your simply misstating the facts repeatedly.

  283. #283 MadisonMD
    November 30, 2013

    @271

    The hospital’s motive was profit plain and simple

    Also anyone who loses appeal after appeal and then suddenly prevails after the sixth attempt pulled strings and greased palms to get what they want. Don’t tell me otherwise.

    This claim is absurd. In what alternate universe could a hospital profit by paying a legal team to appeal 6 times? Everytime I step in a hospital, it is up to the gills with patients who need help. It would have more profitable for this small hospital to forget this one young girl. They invested in a legal team to do the right thing to prevent her from dying of a highly curable cancer.

  284. #284 sheepmilker
    December 1, 2013

    Alain, I agree with you wholeheartedly. As evidence, I give you Rob Ford. People still say they will vote for him.

  285. #285 Albert
    December 1, 2013

    MadisonMd,
    In what alternate universe could a hospital profit by paying a legal team to appeal 6 times:
    The chemotherapy being given to this child is a clinical experiment that was done without the parent’s permission or consent. This hospital stands to lose substantial funding if this experimental chemotherapy treatment is discontinued.

    The cost of all these stupid appeals by this profit driven hospital were minor in comparison to the funding they will lose if this child discontinues this experimental and unproven ‘treatment’, which was making her violently ill.

  286. #286 Krebiozen
    December 1, 2013

    Albert,

    The cost of all these stupid appeals by this profit driven hospital were minor in comparison to the funding they will lose if this child discontinues this experimental and unproven ‘treatment’, which was making her violently ill.

    Firstly, why do you think the hospital would lose money if one patient withdraws from a clinical trial? Hospitals don’t usually make money from clinical trials.
    Secondly, this treatment is neither experimental nor unproven, the treatment used for children with this type of cancer has been developed over several decades to give the very best chances of survival with the least side effects. The clinical trials being done with children suffering from lymphoblastic lymphoma are fine-tuning a treatment that we know already works very well, to make it work even better. This child will almost certainly suffer a recurrence of her lymphoma and die if she is not given further treatment. With further treatment she stands a very good chance of surviving, better than 85% according to the hospital.
    What part of this are you having trouble understanding? Do you need evidence of any of this to convince you? It is readily available if so – the links given by Orac in his blog post are a good place to start.

  287. #287 Narad
    December 1, 2013

    The cost of all these stupid appeals by this profit driven hospital were minor in comparison to the funding they will lose if this child discontinues this experimental and unproven ‘treatment’

    Uh-huh. At this point, you’re merely embroidering upon the third-hand story you found floating down the gutter and doing a really, really bad job of it. Akron Children’s Hospital is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. You’re welcome to go look at their Form 990′s. While you’re busy doing this, be sure to note the amount of funding from human experimentation.

    Oh, and on that subject, could you go find the clinical trial identifier for the “experimental and unproven ‘treatment’”? Actually, it would be nice if you could identify what it is, as well.

    Or you could get around to demonstrating that you didn’t also completely make up your version of the legal history of the case. Whatever.

  288. #288 Sara
    December 1, 2013

    So if I understand correctly, the fundamental argument is that libertarian principles/parental rights trump this child’s right to live? The hospital’s alleged fascistic conduct is somehow completely unrelated to our accepted social standard that vulnerable children must often be protected by institutions? All of the complexities of these arguments boil down to whether the family accepts that they are taking an increasingly weakened Christian Science stand.

    I’ve lived near and had a few substantive conversations with Amish families. In that area (middle Tennessee) the Old Order Amish were surprisingly open to interaction with others and after surmounting some trust issues were not reluctant to discuss their beliefs. They showed me, though, that they often have real difficulties accepting that this country was founded on the principle of freedom FROM, not OF, religion. They seemed to think they are exempt from some forms of assimilation even in matters of safety and welfare.

    This child has the right not to have her life shortened by the imposition of religious belief to the detriment of her personal freedom and right to be protected from harm. I suspect the people I knew would find that concept disconcerting and perhaps unacceptable.
    .

  289. #289 Sara
    December 1, 2013

    After skimming some of the comments about the Amish, I just have to weigh in on some non-medical misinformation in this thread. First, there is no monolithic “Amish” culture or set of norms for their communities. There are many, many branches of the sects that we collectively characterize as Amish, and they have widely varying beliefs and a great deal of autonomy about how they conduct their lives. Most decisions are made at a very local, decentralized level depending on the traditions of the sect involved. In Tennessee (Perry County and elsewhere), where I got to know them, and Kentucky, it was known that some families had cars hidden in their barns and had a fluid definition of eschewing mechanized vehicles. Some communities allow cell phones, solar chargers, propane heating and refrigeration, and modern farm equipment. They often run highly profitable small manufacturing, crafts, and food processing businesses in partnership with the “Englische.”

    Amish societies are diverse and often contradictory in their practices and beliefs. Understanding them all would be a life’s work.

    For anyone who romanticizes their values, keep in mind that the Amish operate many puppy mills. One family I knew bred and sold Pomeranians, and I heard of others raising and selling dogs in unethical conditions and refusing to allow humane organizations to visit and inspect their properties.

  290. #290 Dangerous Bacon
    December 1, 2013

    Albert: “Don’t tell me otherwise”

    That should be featured on the official Alt Med banner.

    I picture the words on a scroll, beneath which is an altie with fingers firmly inserted in ears, chanting “Na na na na na”.

    Still working out design details, but I anticipate it’ll sell a lot of T-shirts.

  291. #291 Dangerous Bacon
    December 1, 2013

    Speaking of T-shirts, I think we should all chip in and get Orac these for Xmas. They’ll make a great fashion statement at the next TAM:

    http://www.zazzle.com/keep_calm_and_trust_a_homeopath_t_shirt-235625910231678720
    http://www.zazzle.com/nancy_malik_genuine_degree_in_baloney_t_shirt-235956361825895322

  292. #292 Narad
    December 1, 2013

    After skimming some of the comments about the Amish, I just have to weigh in on some non-medical misinformation in this thread. First, there is no monolithic “Amish” culture or set of norms for their communities.

    I think things have been broken out to the level of the Isaac Keim/Andy Weaver/Joe Troyer/”Mosey Mosies” Swartzentruber schism, if you look a bit closer.

  293. #293 Chris,
    December 1, 2013

    Albert: “Don’t tell me otherwise.”

    Albert, why do you want this child to die?

    The odds are an 85% cure if she goes through the therapy, and 0% if she does not. It has been pointed out to that you are wrong on several counts, including that it is a non-profit hospital.

    Really, why do you want this child to die?

  294. #294 MadisonMD
    December 1, 2013

    Re: Amish.
    I’ve had limited contact with Amish and related Mennonite people. They are good people and in general accept modern medical care, and take very good care of their children. I don’t think this is a story about the Amish. It is just another story of a family who believes the alt med liars–the real villains here– who tell them that ALL can be cured by means other than chemotherapy. We all wish this were true because if so, we would be able to put children through much less of an ordeal to save a life. Of course, there is no evidence it is true.

    As a result, this child won’t go through the ordeal of chemotherapy but will go through the ordeal of death of ALL. We can only hope the truth will dawn on the family before it is too late. However, they may now be surrounded by too many quacks.

  295. #295 MadisonMD
    December 1, 2013

    Albert:
    If you you have insider information on these details, can you tell me how much the hospital has spent on legal fees and how much it would stand to profit from curing this young girl of ALL. If possible, cite your references.

  296. #296 Lawrence
    December 1, 2013

    @Madison – I tend to agree. Due to the number of very serious genetic diseases that are rampant among the Amish, they tend to be a bit more educated about modern medicine than we would expect…..is this case, it is a single family that has been taken in by the woo-meisters…..

  297. #297 Chris,
    December 1, 2013

    Lawrence: “is this case, it is a single family that has been taken in by the woo-meisters…..”

    Perhaps one of the woo-meisters is named Albert.

  298. #298 Narad
    December 1, 2013

    I don’t think this is a story about the Amish. It is just another story of a family who believes the alt med liars–the real villains here– who tell them that ALL can be cured by means other than chemotherapy.

    I’ve said this before, but keep in mind the following: “‘We told them if it gets to the point that we cannot do anything for her, we would come back,’ [Andy Hershberger] said.”

    Sure, one can make the case for a degree of sophistication among the “plain people” on the basis of having to deal with hereditary issues and eschewing insurance,* but when, on principle, formal schooling beyond the 8th grade is off-limits, it strikes me as difficult to maintain that the residue of cultural strictures isn’t in play.

    The current press coverage suggests that Mr. Hershberger is burrowing deeper into the hole, but roughly 12 weeks ago, he certainly seemed to give the impression that they could just have a “do over” if things didn’t pan out. The issue with hierarchical advocacy of simple-mindedness is that sometimes it’s going to work.

    * The WSJ ran an item verso, under the fold, on the front page several years ago about this situation requiring personal negotiations with hospitals.

  299. #299 Shay
    December 1, 2013

    It hasn’t occurred to this trout that if he waits too long, it won’t matter?

  300. #300 herr doktor bimler
    December 1, 2013

    the “plain people”
    These are just simple farmers. These are people of the land. The common clay of the new West.

  301. #301 Sara
    December 1, 2013

    OK, let me reiterate. I see some real irrationality here. This particular family has been seduced by dangerous ideas, but they may not be typical of their community and are certainly not typical of all Amish, whose communities are diverse, complex, and espouse a range of beliefs about the degree to which they may want or need to participate in modern society. Please stop the hysterical and ignorant condemnations of these communities’ beliefs. They are not the problem. The problem is that this particular family has been driven into a dangerous reaction through fear, ignorance, and perhaps aggressive indoctrination by some very self-serving parties who are exploiting their fear/ignorance.

    I despair that rationality can prevail and create a good solution for this little girl and give her a real chance when I read some of the overheated responses here. Most of you consider yourselves rational people who have the best interests of a child in mind here. Please stop this vitriolic and arrogant intolerance. Some of what I’ve read here is crude and childish.

    I guess I’m done with this blog. Too much nasty aggression and not enough attempts to educate those who are enmeshed in woo. Also not enough encouragement of others who are also trying to penetrate the fog of intolerance and ignorance.

  302. #302 Sara
    December 1, 2013

    For Narad–Your post above:

    I think things have been broken out to the level of the Isaac Keim/Andy Weaver/Joe Troyer/”Mosey Mosies” Swartzentruber schism, if you look a bit closer.

    Please tell me how does this abstruse (meaningless to most) reference advances this discussion in any way.

    I hope we may please ditch the pretentiousness and return to the issue of how this little girl can be helped to get the care she needs by illuminating this issue publicly and finding the means to convince her family that without followup care her chances of survival may be very, very small. Or use the nuclear legal option of forcing her family out of the picture.

    I personally don’t care to wade through someone else’s obscure references (and thus self-styled, presumed erudition) in a discussion about a child in crisis.

    It’s very disappointing to read so much arrogant crap here, frankly, that contributes nothing to understanding how to help this little girl and bring the larger issues that her situation reveals into public discourse.

  303. #303 Sara
    December 1, 2013

    Edit: Please tell me how this abstruse (meaningless to most) reference advances this discussion in any way.

  304. #304 Shay
    December 1, 2013

    Sara, for the love of Mike would you stop taking yourself so g-d seriously?

    Did Orac die and leave your prissy little self in charge? Sheesh.

  305. #305 Narad
    December 1, 2013

    Please tell me how this abstruse (meaningless to most) reference advances this discussion in any way.

    You appear to have decided to embark upon lecturing with respect to something that doesn’t much exist, that’s how. You’re complaining about the setting on my abstruseness meter when it’s directly attached to one of the principals and also that your desired level of nuance has not been achieved?

  306. #306 AdamG
    December 1, 2013

    It’s very disappointing to read so much arrogant crap here, frankly, that contributes nothing to understanding how to help this little girl and bring the larger issues that her situation reveals into public discourse.

    But it was totally relevant to bring up Amish puppy mills? That really contributed a lot.

  307. #307 Orac
    December 2, 2013

    I, too, wondered “WTF?” when the subject of puppy mills was brought up.

    In any case, here is an update of Sarah Hershberger’s situation:

    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2013/12/02/confirmed-sarah-hershbergers-family-has-fled/

  308. #308 Antaeus Feldspar
    December 2, 2013

    I myself am most puzzled by Sara’s reference to “contributes nothing to understanding how to help this little girl”. I’d very much like to know what Sara thinks we can do to help Sarah Hershberger.

  309. #309 Krebiozen
    December 2, 2013

    Antaeus,

    I’d very much like to know what Sara thinks we can do to help Sarah Hershberger.

    Perhaps it would involve steaming into a discussion to lecture people about the diversity of Amish culture and their puppy farming enterprises, and throwing around accusations of abstruseness, “nasty aggression” and “arrogant crap” when challenged.

  310. #310 Albert
    December 2, 2013

    Chris,
    “Albert, why do you want this child to die?”
    Don’t put words in my mouth! I never said that.

  311. #311 Shay
    December 2, 2013

    But you are arguing in favor of her parents not giving Sarah the medical care her condition so desperately needs. Her chances of survival without chemo are nil.

  312. #312 Calli Arcale
    December 2, 2013

    Albert, if all the hospital cared about was profit, they wouldn’t have pushed chemo on her. They would have been obsequious to the parents, offered painless alternatives, herbal remedies, iridology, aromatherapy, pet therapy, music therapy, outings to the local zoo and cultural events, a personal concierge, spa services…..

    …but that’s not what they did. Rather than focus on the things the parents could easily be enticed to pay for, they focused on the things that would help the girl get well.

    I do find myself wondering who really is profiting off of this family. Someone has promised them something they can’t deliver, something they refuse to share with the world because they are more interested in profit than in healing. It’s a story that has played out many, many times. And I fear it is playing out once again.

  313. #313 Albert
    December 2, 2013

    Krebiozen,
    The hospital would lose money because they are paid according to the number of patients who are undergoing the experiment.
    You said this particular treatment works, but it’s just being ‘fine tuned’.
    If it works and it’s so successful, then why does it need to be fined tuned.

  314. #314 Angel
    December 2, 2013

    It works!! There are two Amish from the community that were treated for the same type of cancer.One a six year old boy who was treated at Saint Jude’s seven years ago.He is a healthy thirteen year old now.Another also treated seven years ago by Akron was a twenty two year old with stage three cancer.She was expecting her first child when they found her cancer. The child is seven and she is expecting her third child.Yes the treatments were hard.Yes they both got sick.But both are healthy and enjoying their lives to the fullest.Yes they both used holistic methods combined with the chemo.If not for the chemo they both would have died without a doubt.This type of cancer is extremely aggressive and will no doubt will come back with a vengeance.These people have been convinced that they are doing what is best for their child.Unfortunately in the end Sarah and her family are the ones who will pay the ultimate price for their choice!

  315. #315 Lawrence
    December 2, 2013

    @Albert – god forbid that continue to try to make things better……

  316. #316 Chris
    December 2, 2013

    Albert, then why do not want the child get the 85% chance for a cure?

    There would seem to be two answers to that question:

    1. You are the alt-med practitioner who would profit by diverting patients from to the hospital to you.

    2. You want the child to die.

    Then you said: “If it works and it’s so successful, then why does it need to be fined tuned.”

    That is the nirvana fallacy, thinking you should only use something if it is perfect. Which leaves the third possibility: you don’t have a clue.

    Perhaps you should go up and read with better comprehension all of the articles wrote about this issue, and stop making stuff up.

  317. #317 Shay
    December 2, 2013

    “If it works and it’s so successful, then why does it need to be fined tuned.”

    I suppose you have never purchased an upgrade to anything in your entire life, then?

  318. #318 Orac
    December 2, 2013

    You said this particular treatment works, but it’s just being ‘fine tuned’. If it works and it’s so successful, then why does it need to be fined tuned.

    Because, as good as 85% survival is for a disease as devastating as lymphoblastic lymphoma, it’s not good enough, particularly when we’re talking about children. Pediatric oncologists want to do better or at least do as well with fewer side effects. Simple, eh?

  319. #319 herr doktor bimler
    December 2, 2013

    The hospital would lose money because they are paid according to the number of patients who are undergoing the experiment.

    I’m going to add this to my list of “Extraordinary claims made by Albert, unsupported by evidence.”

    Who is paying them? A name would be appreciated, not just “Big Pharma”. Since no new drugs are involved, only a consortium of oncologists refining a regimen of drugs which already exist, the companies manufacturing the drugs certainly have no incentive to fund the trials.

    Who is paying the hospital, Albert?

  320. #320 Calli Arcale
    December 2, 2013

    Albert:

    The hospital would lose money because they are paid according to the number of patients who are undergoing the experiment.

    Do you labor under the delusion that this hospital only does exactly one treatment? That if a patient refuses oncology for lymphoma, that there is absolutely no other way they could possibly make money off of them? Balderdash. Plenty of less scrupulous hospitals (i.e. for-profit ones) know this is not the case, and are happy to offer all manner of worthless but billable malarkey.

    This hospital would make more money if they just gave up on her. That’s what quacks do; when a patient turns away, they just give up on them, focusing their efforts on more credulous and therefore profitable patients. They would make more money by not spending their financial resources on this girl, and moving on to more profitable efforts.

    They’re not in this for money. You’ll have to find a different way to villify them.

  321. #321 JGC
    December 2, 2013

    The hospital would lose money because they are paid according to the number of patients who are undergoing the experiment.

    Albert, exactly who would pay them according to ‘the number of patients who are undergoing the experiment”? Be specific.

    Exactly how much more will they be paid if Sarah is a part of the experiment than if she is not?

    How much does the additional revenue generated if Sarah is enrolled in the experiment exceed the costs they accrued as the result of going to court to have a medical guardian appointed to ensure she receives treatment? Again, be specific.

    And finally, tell us your source or sources for all of the above, so we can verify their accuracy.

  322. #322 Dangerous Bacon
    December 2, 2013

    “This hospital would make more money if they just gave up on her.”

    There’s potential for _someone_ to make a lot of dough in cases like these once the cancer returns – beyond salvage chemotherapy and other modalities, there’s hospitalizations to deal with the complications of out-of-control cancer and hospice…probably plenty of extra $$$ compared to just doing the life-saving chemotherapy up front.

    I’m reminded of those people who attempt to burn off their skin cancers with bloodroot salve, thinking they’re putting one over on the greedy doctors and saving money. But once you add in the cost of plastic surgery to repair grievous burn scars, as well as radical surgery to contain the extensive carcinoma or melanoma that develops because you didn’t get the deep microscopic extensions of tumor (and maybe drugs/radiation later on), that turns out to be very expensive salve indeed.

  323. #323 Krebiozen
    December 2, 2013

    Albert,
    Other commenters have answered your questions better than I could. I have worked in health care for more than two decades, and I have never come across anyone who is in it for the money. Of course the rewards for some following medical professions can be great, but the amount of determination and dedication required are remarkable.

    There are easier ways for highly intelligent and motivated people to make just as much money, if not more, which don’t involve dealing with blood, guts, pain and death on a daily basis. In the vast majority of cases people work in health care because they care about people and want to make a difference.

    So, I do not accept the picture you paint of the hospital staff in this case pursuing treatment of this child to make money. I believe they have put her best interests first every step of the way, because they know from experience that further chemotherapy is her best hope of survival. No one likes to see a child die, I can assure you.

  324. #324 Krebiozen
    December 2, 2013

    Grammar fail – “is remarkable”.

  325. #325 Narad
    December 2, 2013

    I’d very much like to know what Sara thinks we can do to help Sarah Hershberger.

    My impression is simply that Sara got a whiff of “the Amish this” and “the Amish that,” which is understandable with its preface, viz.,

    After skimming some of the comments about the Amish, I just have to weigh in on some non-medical misinformation in this thread.

    If one were to solely pick up on Bronwyn’s graven-images allusion and its responses, OK, fine, but when the production devolves into a declaration of Possession Of The Signal, it can be a bit much.

  326. #326 Narad
    December 2, 2013

    Don’t put words in my mouth! I never said that.

    Albert, the words that are already “in your mouth” are problem enough, to the point that, like the preparation of a glace de viande, you seem to be intent on reducing your sauce to the point that it contains nothing but thoughtlessly yet tediously rendered blobs of firm gelatin that you forgot to give a hayride with a bit of starch.

  327. #327 Hibiscus
    December 2, 2013

    If anyone here actually tells me that you wouldn’t agree to chemotherapy for your cancer-diagnosed child, you are either sadly mistaken or a horrible parent. How do I know? My five year old son was diagnosed with Stage IV kidney cancer. What does Stage IV mean, those of you who fancy yourself experts (but aren’t) might ask? It meant my son had a 16-cm tumor that had metastasized to his lungs.

    Without chemo, he had a nearly 100% chance of dying. (And, keep in mind, there almost *are* always going to be a few people who will live without chemo. Just a very few.) With chemo? He had a 20% chance of dying.

    Chemo sucked. He was sick the whole time. I had to worry about stupid parents who didn’t vaccinate their children the whole time. But you know what. IT WORKED. My son is now 10 and healthy. He has a scar and has to be checked regularly on the off chance that the CT scans he had as part of treatment give him a secondary cancer.

    Oh, and all of you arguing about the “experimental treatment”? You have NO idea what you are talking about. As has been mentioned before, “clinical trials” for children are about fine-tuning previous proven treatments. My son was enrolled in a clinical trial, which simply meant that they tried a slightly different blend of the three proven chemo drugs and skipped radiation. I had everything explained to me repeatedly, and many, many forms were signed. There is NO possible way the parents were not informed or that the treatment was any more dangerous than established protocols, or it wouldn’t have been done.

    And for those of you arguing that the hospital wanted to treat the girl to make money? Go spend a day, just a day, in a children’s oncology ward. And watch those mean money grubbers trying to steal every bit of money from those families. Or, just maybe, you might see caring people who devote their lives to saving the lives of stricken children. And social workers who do their best to make sure that costs are kept as low as they can and that those families can get help with their bills or get dinner for free when possible to help them out, or any of many other small things that happen there on a daily basis.

    Why do they do it? Because they know that chemo works. Because they know it saves lives, and they have the hard data to prove it. I can tell you specific statistics about my son’s cancer, and all the natural-treatment people can do is reference anonymous anecdotal testimonials on some random website that probably sells $1000 sugar pills.

    It frustrates me to no end that people who have no idea what they are talking about think they can take one WBC reading and declare their child healed. Because that isn’t how leukemia works. And doctors DO know how it works. Thinking you know more than someone who has devoted decades of work to a topic because you did a Google search is just idiotic, and, unfortunately, epidemic in our culture.

    No parent should be able to sentence their child to death as these parents have done. Of course their daughter was miserable. My son would cry and beg to not go to treatments. I had to hold him as he threw up over and over. And I took him in there every single time. (Thank goodness, my mother-in-law would sneak wine in to me to help me get through.)

    So, go ahead and spout all the crap you read on NaturalNews. I can tell you, from the inside, oncologists are caring, educated people who make decisions based on data, facts, and research. And my son is alive as a result.

  328. #328 Angel
    December 2, 2013

    God bless you and your son,But believe me I know these parents and they will not be able to forgive themselves if she dies because they made the wrong choice.They are being conned by people who are benefiting from their plight.They need support and education on what will happen to their daughter if she doesn’t get the chemo.Maybe a letter from you may help.If nothing else your prayers!

  329. #329 Chris,
    December 2, 2013

    Hibiscus: “And my son is alive as a result.”

    While I know what we went through for our son’s heart surgery is nothing compared to your kid’s cancer, I understand a bit about hospitals.

    Thank you for your story, and may your son continue to thrive.

    “Or, just maybe, you might see caring people who devote their lives to saving the lives of stricken children.”

    And three cheers for the nurses! Who we got to see them more than the doctors. They were quite willing to fill us in on what to expect.

    Oh, and while my son had the heart surgery as an adult college student, I also have high praise for the janitor at the Children’s Hospital where he spent Thanksgiving as a two year old (for something else). She was kind, and made sure to try to make him and his baby brother laugh with funny faces.

    “(Thank goodness, my mother-in-law would sneak wine in to me to help me get through.)”

    I love your moher-in-law! The barman at the restaurant across the street from the hospital was very understanding when we came in the evening after our son’s surgery.

  330. #330 Hibiscus
    December 2, 2013

    “They are being conned by people who are benefiting from their plight.”

    People who sell quack cures to people with curable cancer deserve a special place in hell. And people who do that to children are the lowest of the low.

    Angel, if I had a means to actually communicate with them, I would give it a try, but I know the hospital explained everything to them. And all of the information on treatment outcomes is available on the web. I despair sometimes at the willful and proud ignorance of so many these days. How did we get to a point in this world where people believe the person selling them homeopathy/supplements/whatever with no actual research behind it (and a HUGE profit motive) more than the people who spent decades in school and have data and studies to back up their decisions? It seems that the majority of the people who claim that doctors and hospitals and pharmaceutical companies are only in it for the money are perfectly fine with buying overpriced herbs/mud baths/whatever.

  331. #331 Angel
    December 3, 2013

    Hibiscus,problem is they don’t have access to the web and Grandpa is one of the people pushing them to use herbs.He was diagnosed with a different type of cancer a year ago and decided on surgery & natural treatment.He believes it is working for him.He happens to be the main Bishop in the area so he has a lot of clout with his people.Unfortunately this puts his daughter and Granddaughter in a precarious position.I honestly don’t know if anything will help at this point.Except maybe prayers!

  332. #332 Albert
    December 3, 2013

    Chemo doesn’t work for everyone, and it wasn’t working for her. It was causing her excruciating pain, and she begged her parents to have it stopped, and so they did. Chemo itself is a cure that’s worse than the disease. It’s carcinogenic and causes heart, lung, kidney and nerve damage. This has been well documented by the medical profession time and time again. It’s rough when it’s done on adults, much more so on a child. If any of you are stricken with cancer, undergo chemotherapy and then come back and tell me it’s a safe and effective treatment. Also, this gestapo hospital failed to fully inform the parents of the deadly side effects of this experimental treatment that their daughter was receiving. They were using this child as a guinea pig without the parent’s knowledge or consent, and they were evasive when asked direct questions about the safety of the treatments that were being administered. They were dishonest and unethical from the beginning, and then to add insult to injury, they imposed additional financial burdens and stress upon the parents by taking them to court. These parents were going through hell enough already, and the hospital’s actions were reprehensible and unconscionable, and only made matters worse. This family did the right thing by escaping, and I applaud them for putting their daughter’s interests ahead of the financial interests of this greedy and arrogant hospital.

  333. #333 Angel
    December 3, 2013

    @ Albert,chemo was working for her.It actually shrank all of the tumors in her body.She has stage 3 cancer,that doesn’t just go away without the full treatment.She experienced fatigue and nausea which they were told would happen.I know firsthand what this treatment is like and what happens without it.It is a hard disease to beat but you can beat it.Again I know this firsthand.I hope that she will get better,but if she doesn’t it will be because of choices that were made because of influence by people who only care about making a profit off of this horrible incident.My prayers are with Sarah and her family!

  334. #334 Lawrence
    December 3, 2013

    @Albert – again, where are you getting this information? What we do know is that the child was getting better, but was suffering from some of the known side-effects from chemo….but again, she was getting better.

    Now, she’s probably going to get worse (much worse) and most likely now die….how does that make you feel?

  335. #335 AnObservingParty
    December 3, 2013

    @ Albert,

    You’re entire post is ill-informed, presumptious, and just downright wrong, but you officially lost the thread with this, Also, this gestapo hospital

  336. #336 JGC
    My wife would tell you this, Albert
    December 3, 2013

    If any of you are stricken with cancer, undergo chemotherapy and then come back and tell me it’s a safe and effective treatment.

    My wife would tell you this–she had cervical cancer in her 20′s, was treated with chemotherapy and has been cancer free for three decades.

    And I’m willing to bet so would Sharon Osbourne, Melissa Etheridge, Lance Armstrong, Tom Green, Kylie Minogue, Richard Roundtree (aka ‘Shaft’), Kate Jackson…well, you get the idea.

  337. #337 JGC
    Oh, and Albert?
    December 3, 2013

    Now that I’ve responded to your question @ 332, can I expect you will respond to mine @321?

    To refresh your memory, they are

    Exactly who would pay the hospital according to ‘the number of patients who are undergoing the experiment”?

    Exactly how much more will the hopsital be paid if Sarah is a part of the experiment than they will be paid if she is not?

    How much does the additional revenue generated if Sarah is enrolled in the experiment exceed the costs the hospital accrued as the result of going to court to have a medical guardian appointed to ensure she receives treatment?

    And finally, what is your source or sources for all of the above, so we can verify the accuracy of your figures?

    I’ll wait patiently for your response (most likely, forever).

  338. #338 Hibiscus
    December 3, 2013

    Albert, did you read ANYTHING I wrote? Or did you just stick your fingers in your ears and keep typing, regardless of the factual information I provided?

  339. #339 herr doktor bimler
    December 3, 2013

    Also, this gestapo hospital failed to fully inform the parents of the deadly side effects of this experimental treatment that their daughter was receiving. They were using this child as a guinea pig without the parent’s knowledge or consent

    Says who? Leprechauns? Hughie the dwarf who speaks to you from inside power-poles?

  340. #340 Hibiscus
    December 3, 2013

    After re-reading your comment, I am sitting here pretty much boiling mad. “Chemo itself is a cure that’s worse than the disease. It’s carcinogenic and causes heart, lung, kidney and nerve damage.” Are you possibly saying that my son was better off certainly dead than taking on the small chance of a secondary cancer from his treatment? Really? Also, did you know that there is no such drug as “chemo”? There are many different drugs that are used as chemotherapy, and they all have benefits and side effects, all of which are painstakingly explained by hospital personnel.

    And I am telling you that there is ZERO chance that the “clinical trial” was not explained to and signed off by the parents. ZERO.

  341. #341 Orac
    December 3, 2013

    Indeed. As I said on more than one occasion, if Sarah Hershberger’s parents really think they weren’t provided with adequate informed consent and that the docs at ACH used experimental therapy on her without their permission, they should contact the FDA and HHS, specifically the Office for Human Research Protections and file a formal complaint. The FDA and OHRP take such complaints very seriously. If there is anything to the complaint, ACH could potentially face penalties as bad as the loss of all federal funding for research for a couple of years or more.

  342. #342 al kimeea
    quackademiology.com
    December 3, 2013

    As I’ve mentioned, I ‘ve been in 2 clinical trials and my handlers in both had me read the salient docs in front of them and ask any questions I may have. The docs were quite explicit for anyone with more than middle school degree.

    For example, ANY ATTEMPTS AT CONCEPTION WERE VERBOTEN. Caps, if not phrasing, in original. Otherwise, the probs of success and or all known side effects – temp or perm – were laid before you along with a plea to let them know if you experience anything not on the list.

    Big $CAM doesn’t really do this.

    One handler said “Science doesn’t know everything” when poked aboot acupuncture. The other demurred comment or elided. Memory is muddy.

  343. #343 eNOS
    December 3, 2013

    Chemo is not better than dead, Albert.
    Also, go read this and work on your phrasing a bit if you don’t want to come off as a complete imbecile.

    http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Godwin%27s_Law

  344. #344 eNOS
    December 3, 2013

    speaking of imbeciles…

    that should read “chemo is not worse than dead…”

  345. #345 Narad
    December 3, 2013

    Hibiscus,problem is they don’t have access to the web and Grandpa is one of the people pushing them to use herbs.

    Angel, it ain’t herbs. Courtesy of Raw Milk Guy, who has a distinct problem with using his actual name, one is informed that it’s vitamin C megadosing, laetrile, HBOT, vague “detoxification,” and IV chelation.

    The whole thing is less “natural” than polycephaly.

  346. #346 Narad
    December 3, 2013

    ^ (And if I weren’t so deep in other obligations that I need a diving bell as it is, I’d be inclined to confirm my suspicion that the candidate list of “clinics” south of the border isn’t really that long.)

  347. #347 herr doktor bimler
    December 3, 2013

    Courtesy of Raw Milk Guy
    Following that link, I am impressed once again by the number of people who feel entitled not only to their own opinions and their own facts, but also to their own spelling.

  348. #348 Antaeus Feldspar
    December 3, 2013

    Albert, it’s time to put an end to your evasions. We’re going to go to ultimatum questions.

    You’ve been insisting since your very first comments here that the hospital “stands to lose a fortune” if Sarah Hershberger discontinues chemo treatment.

    Now it’s time for you to answer the question: How do you know that to be the case?

    Have you seen an original signed contract spelling out that the hospital has a duty to keep certain patients enrolled in a clinical trial and failure to fulfill this duty will result in revocation of remuneration?

    Have you, in fact, not seen any documentation at all of these supposed deals, but just accepted a stranger’s word that such deals did in fact exist? And then come here and swore to it as if you personally knew it to be so, when you were simply repeating hearsay?

    Or have you in fact invented everything you’ve purported to know about the hospital’s supposed financial incentive to keep Sarah Hershberger in chemo? Have you simply said “Oh, well, my prejudices say that the hospital must be a bunch of nasty money-grubbers, so logically there must be a big pot of gold waiting for them”?

    You haven’t been the least bit shy about hurling your accusations, Albert, so now it’s time for you to answer the question about what facts you have to back it up.

    If you make three comments, on this or any other post, and within those three comments you do not answer the question, it will be taken as you affirmatively answering the question “I never had any evidence for any of the accusations I made about the hospital’s financial situation. I simply made up everything I pretended to know about the financial aspects of this affair, out of my imagination and my prejudices.”

  349. #349 Narad
    December 3, 2013

    Following that link, I am impressed once again by the number of people who feel entitled not only to their own opinions and their own facts, but also to their own spelling.

    Well, one doesn’t imagine oneself entitled to openly skim 20% off the top of one’s “charity” fund-raising effort for nothing.

  350. #350 Albert
    December 5, 2013

    I know what I know from an interview with the family, who I tend to trust more than the hospital, I’m sorry if that upsets anyone. Also, if people believe that chemo is the best way to treat cancer, then they have the right to make that decision for themselves only, not for anyone else. Courts and hospitals should never FORCE anyone to undergo chemotherapy against their will. Many doctors have told me repeatedly that they themselves would not want to undergo chemotherapy if they had cancer, so why should anyone else have to suffer through it.

  351. #351 Lawrence
    December 5, 2013

    @Albert – boy, you are really missing the part where this particular treatment is the girl’s only hope for survival (and a good hope – at 85% effectiveness)….so what you are really saying is that the parents should have the right to withhold life-saving treatment from their child (in essence, letting her die)?

    Sound about right there Albert?

  352. #352 Krebiozen
    December 5, 2013

    Albert,

    I know what I know from an interview with the family, who I tend to trust more than the hospital, I’m sorry if that upsets anyone.

    Why would you expect a family with no medical training to know what their child’s prognosis is with or without treatment? Surely you can see that those who have spent their lives studying this and treating children with the same condition would have the best and most accurate information on this, can’t you?

    Also, if people believe that chemo is the best way to treat cancer, then they have the right to make that decision for themselves only, not for anyone else. Courts and hospitals should never FORCE anyone to undergo chemotherapy against their will.

    If that person is equipped to make that decision and is properly informed, I agree. A child is not able to make that decision, legally or practically. If her parents are unable or unwilling to provide their child with adequate medical care I think it is quite right that the courts should intervene.

    Many doctors have told me repeatedly that they themselves would not want to undergo chemotherapy if they had cancer, so why should anyone else have to suffer through it.

    “Many doctors” have told you this? I’m sorry, but I don’t believe you. This is a lie that is frequently told by people who for some reason do not like conventional medicine. It is usually based on a single research paper from several years ago about one experimental treatment for one specific form of cancer which was of limited efficacy and which had severe side effects. It has since been abused as evidence that all doctors would reject any form of chemotherapy for any type of cancer which is just not true at all.

    If what you claim is true perhaps you would tell us where you met these doctors and how you knew them. Only naturopaths or other “doctors” who have no experience working with cancer patients are likely to be dumb enough to make such a foolish statement.

    I have known several doctors who have had chemotherapy, including my own father. He knew it would only buy him a bit more time, but he had it anyway because that time was valuable to him. There may be isolated cases when a doctor has rejected chemotherapy – sometimes in advanced terminal cancers the risk and benefits may be about equal, and there is a rational basis for rejecting it, but in the vast majority of cases I don’t believe it.

  353. #353 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    December 5, 2013

    I’m sure that, if asked, 9 out of 10 doctors would say they would not want to have cancer. I personally (not a doctor) wouldn’t want to undergo surgery, radiation therapy, or chemotherapy under normal circumstances. If I had cancer, I would want to cure it by eating a lot of Belgian chocolate and perhaps drinking some good beer.

    Sadly, there are no studies that show that this regimen would be effective. So even though I wouldn’t want surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy I might well undergo it if the evidence says it has a reasonable chance of curing my cancer. If I were actually sick, what I wanted (e.g. To be cured by chocolate and beer) would have very little to do with my treatment.

  354. #354 Antaeus Feldspar
    December 5, 2013

    I know what I know from an interview with the family, who I tend to trust more than the hospital, I’m sorry if that upsets anyone.

    So in other words, your whole position and all your accusations are based on circular logic. You told us the reason to take the family’s word over the hospital’s was that the hospital purportedly stood to rake in big cash. But the only reason you thought that was the case is that someone from the family made that claim, and you decided to take the family’s word over the hospital’s.

    By that same logic, Bernie Madoff is an utterly trustworthy guy, ’cause he says he is, and an utterly trustworthy guy would never think of lying to us and saying he’s a trustworthy guy if he wasn’t actually a trustworthy guy…

  355. #355 MIRose
    December 5, 2013

    Albert
    If any of you are stricken with cancer, undergo chemotherapy and then come back and tell me it’s a safe and effective treatment
    I did and I am.

  356. #356 MIRose
    December 5, 2013

    Albert
    “If any of you are stricken with cancer, undergo chemotherapy and then come back and tell me it’s a safe and effective treatment”
    I did and I am.
    That’s better. Sorry.

  357. #357 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    December 5, 2013

    You may have gleaned from my comment above that I personally have not had to be treated for cancer. I do have friends, however, who have been treated with chemotherapy along with other treatments as appropriate to their particular cancers. Not all of them survived their diseases; many are now cured (in the sense that they no longer show signs of cancer after 5 years). My friends who had lymphoma tell me that radiation therapy was much more difficult than chemotherapy.

    It’s not up to me to say, but as I understand it the science says that chemotherapy is safe and effective – realizing that the terms “safe” and “effective” are relative terms.

  358. #358 Shay
    December 5, 2013

    “If any of you are stricken with cancer, undergo chemotherapy and then come back and tell me it’s a safe and effective treatment”

    Wait a sec’ I’ll get my brother to the phone.

  359. #359 Shay
    December 5, 2013

    Mephisto, if you ever do run across a condition that can only be treated with Belgian chocolates and beer, please let the rest of us know so we can contract it?

    Much obliged.

  360. #360 Lawrence
    December 5, 2013

    @Albert – I have at least three good friends that all went through standard Chemo regimens – all are now in remission and living healthy, vibrant lives….I do currently have family members undergoing Chemo – haven’t heard of them suffering the side-effects you mention & they are currently doing great.

  361. #361 Alain
    December 5, 2013

    Mephisto, if you ever do run across a condition that can only be treated with Belgian chocolates and beer, please let the rest of us know so we can contract it?

    Mild depression? thought it’s best treated with a multi-pronged approach consisting of low dose meds, therapy, belgian chocolate and beer (but not too much for the last one and don’t take meds with your beer).

    Alain

  362. #362 Calli Arcale
    December 5, 2013

    Antaeus:

    By that same logic, Bernie Madoff is an utterly trustworthy guy, ’cause he says he is, and an utterly trustworthy guy would never think of lying to us and saying he’s a trustworthy guy if he wasn’t actually a trustworthy guy…

    [DRWHOQUOTE]
    DOCTOR: “Scringe stone” found in a dead man’s pocket? A lost mine? A phoney map? Are people still falling for that old guff? I mean are they?
    ROMANA: You mean you didn’t believe his story?
    DOCTOR: No.
    ROMANA: But he had such an honest face.
    DOCTOR: Romana! You can’t be a successful crook with a dishonest face, can you?
    ROMANA: Oh.
    [/DRWHOQUOTE]

  363. #363 Calli Arcale
    December 5, 2013

    BTW, one of my good childhood friends had leukemia at the age of 5, underwent chemo and bone marrow transplant, and made a full recovery. She’s now 38 and got married last summer. ;-) She graduated a year behind me; the cancer treatment caused her to miss a year of school. But she’s never had any ill effects since.

  364. #364 Rob
    nj
    December 24, 2013

    chemo is a form of chemical that was patented in the 1980s-and is profitable…go look it up. You have to research the effects of these drugs…it does work sometimes. But it can also kill the person receiving it. There are limits to suffering and im so surprised that anyone would dismiss a parent that would try to avoid any suffering. The writer of this article seems to chuckle at “natural remedies” as if they could not exist. Lets not forget that hospitals are for profit systems. I see this article as a hospital who is trying to cover up a possible natural cure for cancer…..we wouldn’t want that because it isn’t profitable. I like one of the comments “backed by science based medicine”….and who funded those studies? There are TONS of studies of people who have cured themselves and other by homeopathic treatments. Im not saying in all cases this will work but it sure is strange that this isnt even considered a possibility? common sense would tell you other wise.

  365. #365 Shay
    December 24, 2013

    “I see this article as a hospital who is trying to cover up a possile natural cure for cancer…we wouldn’t want that because it isn’t profitable.”

    I sure hope you weren’t a business major. A clinically proven non-chemo cure for cancer would be so enormously profitable the pharmaceutical industry would be falling all over themselves to test and market it.

  366. #366 Mrs Woo
    December 24, 2013

    Shhh… Shay! Logic has no place in conspiracy theories!

  367. #367 Bill Price
    A fisking we will go, a fisking we will go, ...
    December 24, 2013

    Rob, nj, December 24, 2013:

    chemo is a form of chemical that was patented in the 1980s-and is profitable…go look it up.

    Yes, go look it up. You’ll find, along with other actual information, that chemo has been used for cancers since the 1940′s. You’ll find that ‘chemo’ is a process, not a ‘form of chemical’: it is the therapeutic use of one or more chemical agents to deal with a cancer, and that the particular agents are specific for different cancers. If you look into patent law, you’ll notice that ‘chemo’ is not itself patentable, and that any patent from the 1980′s would have expired by the 2000′s anyway.

    You have to research the effects of these drugs…it does work sometimes.

    What do you think Orac does for a living? Hint: actual research is more than googling and visiting woo sites on the web. The goals of actual chemical oncology research is to test and (hopefully) validate the use of specific chemo agents in specific protocols for specific cancers (in the presence or absence of other conditions of the patient), for effectiveness against those specific cancers and safety for the patients. It is a fact of real life, in general, that nothing works all the time: medicine is certainly not an exception.

    But it can also kill the person receiving it.

    Because of actual research, the chances of the treatment killing the patient is greatly outweighed by the chances that the cancer woild kill the patient — that’s one of the treatment criteria.

    There are limits to suffering and im so surprised that anyone would dismiss a parent that would try to avoid any suffering.

    As a parent, I would very much prefer that my kids not suffer (hell, as a human being, I would equally prefer that no one suffer). What we attempt to avoid, as in Sarah’s case, is avoiding a smaller suffering now in order to encounter a greater, terminal suffering later. To most of us (parent or not), the trade-off is obvious, albeit difficult..
    Were you paying attention to those of us – including Orac – grieiving with thge patents as well as the daughter? It seems that you missed that.

    The writer of this article seems to chuckle at “natural remedies” as if they could not exist.

    Most of them don’t, in fact, exist as efficacious treatments: their only effectiveness is enrichment of the ones peddling them. There is an unconfirmed (so far as I know) report that Sarah was treated with laetrile, a ‘natural remedy’ chemotherapy agent that has been shown to not work. Another report indicates that she was subjected to gerson protocol, another ‘natural remedy’ chemotherapy regime that doesn’t work either.
    There have been ‘natural remedy’ chemotherapies that have worked. When it was demonstrated that Pacific Yew (IIRC) had positive effects against certain breast cancers, some actual research got done: the ingredient that made it work was isolated, tested, and validated, and is in use as a much better treatment than the ‘natural remedy’ it derives from.

    Lets not forget that hospitals are for profit systems.

    Some of them are, in fact, for-profit entities. Sarah’s hospital, ACH, is a not-for-profit hospital, as are most reputable cancer-treatment specialists. OTOH, we have the ‘natural remedy’ peddlers, all of which are intended as profit-making organizations. Are the gerson-protocol clinics non-profits? How about Mike Adams’ ‘natural remedy’ empire? How few bathrooms would Stan Burzynski’s mansion have without the profits from his “natural remedy’ chemo sales and service? How much does Dr Oz bring in by promoting “natural remedy” quackery?

    I see this article as a hospital who is trying to cover up a possible natural cure for cancer……

    In that case, I would suggest a trip to an optometrist — you seem to have vision problems :).

    we wouldn’t want that because it isn’t profitable

    The “natural remedy” quacks, of course, want to avoid any actual treatments — that would certainly interfere with profits.

    I like one of the comments “backed by science based medicine”….and who funded those studies? There are TONS of studies of people who have cured themselves and other by homeopathic treatments.

    There are non-study reports, commissioned (and performed) by the successed-water industry, claiming without actual evidence that homeopathic magic potions cure whatever ails you. None of them have ever stood up to scrutiny by qualified investigators.

    Im not saying in all cases this will work but it sure is strange that this isnt even considered a possibility? common sense would tell you other wise.

    Common sense – and high-school chemistry from 50-odd years ago – tells me that (A) Hahnemann’s homeopathy hypothesis sounded possible (if not plausible) 200 years ago; (B) when Avogadro measured the divisibility of substances, Hahnemann’s work was down the tubes; and (C) still is. Common sense tells us that when anyone mentions homeopathy and homeopathic potions in a positive fashion, we should be careful of our wallets.

  368. #368 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    December 24, 2013

    Rob – have you ever actually read about the assumptions underlying homeopathy and looked at the contents of homeopathic medicines? If you do, you might understand why claims that it is effective as a cure for pretty much anything would require some very strong evidence to take seriously.

  369. #369 novalox
    December 25, 2013

    @rob

    [citation needed]

  370. #370 herr doktor bimler
    December 25, 2013

    Lets not forget that hospitals are for profit systems.

    Yet another person is convinced that nothing exists outside the borders of the US.

    chemo is a form of chemical that was patented in the 1980s-and is profitable…go look it up.

    Some suggestions about where to look up this interesting claim would be welcome.

  371. #371 Khani
    December 25, 2013

    Most US hospitals are nonprofits.

  372. #372 Mark
    December 25, 2013

    Lot’s of “pro-establishment” comments here. A few years ago my wife and I met a man who was a medical doctor in the U.S. (can’t remember what specialty, but I think it was Pneumo.) He became so sick and frustrated pumping toxic chemicals into his patients that he had to quit. Gave up his practice and transitioned into more natural remedies. Too bad this argument has become just like the left/right political debates. Full of name calling and character assassinations. Oh how we will fight to the end for our “beliefs” won’t we?

    • #373 Orac
      December 25, 2013

      No, not really. This is an argument of science versus quackery. Nice try, though, and Merry Christmas.

  373. #374 Shay
    tatting, with a cat on my shoulders who is trying to 'help.'
    December 25, 2013

    No, just a preference for reality-based medicine. The kind that
    saved my brother’s life, Mark.

  374. #375 novalox
    December 25, 2013

    @mark

    So, any actual citations that would support your arguments, or just a unverified anecdote with a touch or tone trolling?

  375. #376 Militant Agnostic
    December 25, 2013

    I think the specialty of the doctor in the anecdote was Thermo-Pneumo (Hot Air).

  376. #377 Dangerous Bacon
    December 25, 2013

    “Lot’s of “pro-establishment” comments here.”

    “Too bad this argument has become just like the left/right political debates. Full of name calling and character assassinations.”

    You can take a supplement to bolster that deficient sense of irony. They don’t sell them in the NaturalNews store, unfortunately. :(

  377. #378 kate william
    December 28, 2013

    I have been suffering from HIV/AIDS since 9yrs now,and i happen to have 2 kids for my husband, and now wecannot proceed to have another kid all because of my diseaseand now i have do all what a human like i and my husband can do just to get mydisease healed, i have gone to several places to seek for help but all to no avail, until imet a comment on the daily news paper that was commentedby Miss Marilyn about how this powerful traditional doctor help her get cured of the disease (HIV-AIDS)ifirstly taught having a help from a spiritual traditional healer was a wrong idea, but i thought of these, will i continue to stress my self on these disease all day when i have someone to help mesavemy life?” so i gathered all my faiths,and put in all interest to contact him through his Email address at dr.malakasimu@gmail.com,so after i have mailed him of helping me get my disease cured,he responded to me fast as possible that i should not be afraid, that he is a truthful and powerful doctor which i firstly claimed him to be. So after all set has been done, he promised me that i will be healed but on a condition that i provide him some items and obeyed all his oracle said. I did all by accepting his oracolous fact and only to see that the following week Drmalakasimu mailed me on my mail box that my work is successfully done with his powers, i was firstshocked and later arise to be the happiest woman on earthafter i have concluded my final test on the hospital by mydoctor that i am now HIV- Negative. My papers for checkup arewith me and now i am happy and glad for his miraculous helpand power.With these i must confess to everyone who might seek for any help,either for HIV cure or much more.contact him now at,dr.malakasimu@gmail.com

  378. #379 Mykaayah
    January 1, 2014

    I have read so many of the comments and rebuttals. I am a devout believer in natural remedies and prayer, putting prayer and faith in the Most High first and above all. I was diagnosed with an aneurysm on my brain, was told that if I did not have surgery I would end up blind and in a wheelchair I went to an old fashion revival about five days after the diagnosis and the preacher anointed his hands with oil, placed his hands on my head and prayer a prayer of faith over me. It has been 26 years now. I had symptoms off and on for about a year, which were head aches, but I kept my faith and believed they would stop. With a lot of prayer they did stop and they never stopped me from doing my chores and sustaining my lifestyle. About 20 years ago, I changed my eating habits and became a Vegan, using natural herbs instead or traditional medicines. I have not been to a doctor for anything in the last 20 years, It does work, I am a living witness. I got sick when I was 37, I am now 63 and doing just fine.

  379. #380 Shay
    January 1, 2014

    …and fuller of tripe than the belly of a cow.

  380. #381 Scared Momma
    January 1, 2014

    That’s nice your higher power decided you should live, and the two year old with a brain tumor died. She just didn’t pray hard enough I guess.

  381. #382 Shay
    January 1, 2014

    Why is it I’m getting the impression that that ‘kate’ and ‘Mya’ idn’t show up here by chance?

  382. #383 Scared Momma
    January 1, 2014

    They’ve had a vision to come save us Shay!

  383. #384 Chris,
    January 1, 2014

    Mykaayah, can you tell us which deity gave cured you? Because it seems one that is either very fickle. Please tell us why the prayers for kids in this church have died, and the parents ended up in jail. What did they do wrong?

    And why is it spreading:
    http://doubtfulnews.com/2013/11/oregon-media-traces-child-faith-healing-deaths-to-idaho/

  384. #385 herr doktor bimler
    January 1, 2014

    The “kate wilson” spambot might have been attracted by the word ‘orac’, going by the appearance in its message of ‘oracolous’. It is also drawn towards websites mentioning AIDS, for obvious reasons. Google informs me that there are umpteen variants of the same spam clogging up comment threads around with world, differing only in the name of the Powerful Traditional African-sounding Healer. I suspect that educated people are not really the spambot’s targets.

  385. #386 Militant Agnostic
    January 1, 2014

    using natural herbs instead or [of?] traditional medicines.

    I thought herbs were”traditional” medicines.

    faith in the Most High

    While I find “Dave’s not here” still hilarious after all these years, I do not consider Cheech and Chong to be deities and I would certainly never rely on them for a serious illness.

  386. #387 Chris,
    January 1, 2014

    Militant Agnostic, I know of some natural herbs that can kill you. Some just think they are pretty flowers, or in the case of hemlock: white carrots.

  387. #388 Dangerous Bacon
    January 1, 2014

    I’m reminded for some reason of a comedian who years ago went up onstage at a televised revival, walked over to the famous preacher conducting it, shook his hand, and then limped off the stage.

    Sort of wish I’d been there.

  388. #389 Mykaayah
    January 3, 2014

    In response to Chris. Jesus said greater things we shall do because he went to the Father and anything we ask in his name it will be done unto us. All I can say is I am here. I cannot answer why anybody else was not healed of their sicknesses. It has been a rewarding 26 years. I left a job paying $60,000 in 1987, gave away almost all my belongings to follow Jesus. All that I gave up has been given back to me spiritually. The materialistic things does not matter to me. I have a chance to witness to you and many others what the Name of Jesus can do and has done in my life. You can laugh and joke all you wish, but one thing I can say is that I am here, I am alive, going back to college at 63, driving some times 3,000 miles a week feeding hungry children and to me that is a wonderful blessing. If I die tomorrow, the time he gave me was worth it. My BP is 109/62, I weigh 158 lbs, I sing, walk 5 miles a day, ride my bike, have a CD license and drive big trucks and buses, what more can I ask for. I lived to see three grandchildren grow up, my oldest just graduated AIT and is in special forces training, just heard that I got a great grand baby. If I had not received my healing I would have missed out on all these wonderful events.

  389. #390 Narad
    January 3, 2014

    Mykaayah, given that your tale seems to have nothing to do with cancer but does have to do with veganism and the Abrahamic G-d, perhaps you’d like to explain to me why my best friend, a strict vegan and orthodox Jew since his teens, succumbed to metastatic colon cancer at age 40.

  390. #391 Chris,
    January 3, 2014

    Nice anecdote, but I am sorry but the plural of anecdote is not daa.

    Mikaayah: “Jesus said greater things we shall do because he went to the Father and anything we ask in his name it will be done unto us.”

    I lived a third of my youth in South and Central America. I now live on the west coast of the USA. There are lots of people who are named “Jesus” (often pronounced hay-suse).

    Could you be more specific on the deity, because you just mentioned at least a few guys any of the two high schools I attended (Central America and Texas). I did ask you specifically “Mykaayah, can you tell us which deity cured you?”

    Come on, give us details. Including concrete evidence this deity is a substitute for real medicine. And explain why this deity did not save the kids in Oregon City.

  391. #392 Narad
    January 3, 2014

    And….

    I weigh 158 lbs

    You seem to have left out your height from the list of personal details.

  392. #393 Narad
    January 3, 2014

    I overlooked this part:

    I cannot answer why anybody else was not healed of their sicknesses.

    OK, so what do you have to offer, then? Do you have a hypothesis as to the causation here?

  393. #394 Militant Agnostic
    January 4, 2014

    Chris

    I did ask you specifically “Mykaayah, can you tell us which deity cured you?

    Mikaayah seems to be confused, given that she earlier was talking about the “Most High”, a Hispanic deity would seem to refer to Cheech as opposed to Chong. I have no idea how this Jesus character got dragged unless it was because he was a descendent of Dave.

  394. #395 Chris,
    January 4, 2014

    Narad quoting Mykaayah: “I cannot answer why anybody else was not healed of their sicknesses.”

    That is precisely why anecdotes are not data. And trust us we are not laughing at you.

    Pronouncements that some deity or Jesus Mendez/Gonzalez/Rojos/etc cured you is not evidence. It is basically not anything that is useful in curing some child’s disease. Especially when this kind of thinking has killed so many kids (and may kill the little girl in this article):
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Followers_of_Christ

    Here is an idea, Mykaayah, go to your local children’s hospital and become a volunteer. Do whatever you can (without discussing your religion) to help sick kids. Give them comfort, play with them, or just run down the hall and get them medically sanctioned beverages. Along with feeding hungry children, give sick kids some of your time.

  395. #396 herr doktor bimler
    January 4, 2014

    I cannot answer why anybody else was not healed of their sicknesses.

    Sounds as if the results of “prayer and faith in the Most High” are indistinguishable from random chance.

  396. #397 Johnny
    127.0.0.1
    January 4, 2014
    I cannot answer why anybody else was not healed of their sicknesses.

    Sounds as if the results of “prayer and faith in the Most High” are indistinguishable from random chance.

    Ye of little faith…

    (Audio (and maybe text) on this site not work-safe)
    http://loltheists.com/?p=804

    The page deals with Tim Minchin’s song, “Thank You, God”.

    Money quote –

    Thankyou God for fixing the cataracts of Sam’s mum.
    I didn’t realise that it was such a simple thing.
    I feel like such a ding-a-ling, what an ignorant scum.
    Now I understand how prayer can work,
    A particular prayer in a particular church,
    In a particular style, with particular stuff,
    And for particular problems that aren’t particularly tough,
    And for particular people, preferably white,
    For particular senses, preferably sight,
    A particular prayer in a particular spot,
    To a particular version of a particular god.
    And if you get that right, he just might,
    Take a break from giving babies malaria,
    And pop down to your local area,
    To fix the cataracts of your mum.

  397. #398 Shay
    waiting for the snow
    January 4, 2014

    And trust us we are not laughing at you.

    Not laughing, just disgusted.

  398. #399 Mrs Woo
    January 4, 2014

    @Mykaayah – do you know how in the New Testament we are told to be “like a little child”? They are very trusting – Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny…

    I personally know a little eight-year-old girl who found out just after Christmas one year that her mommy had cancer. She believed in Jesus, the son of Joseph and Mary, and believed that he was the son of the Old Testament God most high of Israel. With all the trust and faith a child can muster, she prayed for her mommy to get well and come back home and be there for them…

    She prayed and prayed and prayed…

    And her mommy died on June 2. Her father was threatened at the funeral, so he married the first woman to say yes, who proceeded to abuse the girl and her sister…

    Tell me – why did God not answer her prayer? Wasn’t her faith good enough? Was she not as good as you?

  399. #400 herr doktor bimler
    January 4, 2014

    And trust us we are not all laughing at you.
    Amended for accuracy.

  400. #401 Mykaayah
    January 6, 2014

    I cannot any the Y’s. I wish I could and I do not know Y me. I have classmates that died with the same thing I had. I don’t know Y God chose to allow me to live. I have worked so hard the last 26 years and I sacrificed and gave up everything to follow Jesus. If I had the power to heal all those that needs healing, I would not hesitate. But be assured that those that have gone on are in the presence of a merciful God. Just think, he knows more than what we do and those persons might have been faced with a horrible life if they had lived. He never makes a mistake.

  401. #402 Mykaayah
    January 6, 2014

    In response to the Tim’s post, I am not white, I am black.

  402. #403 Mykaayah
    January 6, 2014

    I pray that one day, I will be able to do those greater things that Jesus spoke of. I believe he left me here for a reason and I desire to go about healing all. Let me make one thing clear, when I was prayed for in New York, I did not go up to be prayed for; I was called up. I had no idea that I was going to be healed, so it was not my faith that did it. After and only after I was prayed for did the Holy Spirit start dealing with me to leave New York and my job. I worked beside the World Trade Center and would enter into my job through the concourse in the mornings. I would have been on my way to work and through that concourse at 9:00 a.m., on 911. I really believe that if I had not obeyed and left my job and New York, I would have been in that building on that day. People that do not believe in God is so stupid. So many things have happened in my life, that my faith is unshakable. Blessings to all of you. My Pastor still prays for the sick and they are still getting healed, HIV/Aids, cancer, Highblood problems, limbs straightened out and healing blindness on the eyes and so many other things. One lady was in a wheelchair for 20 years and he prayed for her and she got up and walked. He is not one of those that is on national television, this is not important to him. He’s a quiet, humble man, who has a great gift of healing. I am still here and that is my testimony.

  403. #404 Mykaayah
    January 6, 2014

    Chris, the Jesus I am talking about is not your friends in school. I am talking about Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God, the one who died on the cross for me as well as you. you are a real joke, are you a believer? You seem to want to play around with this instead of being real. One day you will need Jesus and he will show you just who he is. I will not answer any more questions or post any more remarks, but I hope all is blessed.

  404. #405 JGC
    January 6, 2014

    I don’t know Y God chose to allow me to live.

    The fact is that you don’tknow god had anything what-so-ever to do with your surviving and your classmates failing to: you simply believe god did, which isn’t the same thing at all.

  405. #406 JGC
    Oh, and Mykaayah?
    January 6, 2014

    I notice you’re speaking as though the bible were known to possess some inherent authority, and that the events depicted in the gospels where accurate representations of actual historic events.

    Why?

  406. #407 Mykaayah
    January 6, 2014

    JGC I could not resist this even though I said I would not comment. I know in whom I serve and I know where my healing came from and it was not a doctor. You are so sad not to have a relationship with Jesus, I do and I am not ashamed to say so. The bible does posses inherent authority, you should try it sometimes.

  407. #408 Chris,
    January 6, 2014

    Mykaayah: “. I am talking about Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God, the one who died on the cross for me as well as you.”

    Citation needed. Preferably from the modern historical literature.

    Then you can come back with the relevant medical literature on how worshiping this particular deity provides better medical care than science based medicine. Because there are graves, some of them are of children, where that has utterly failed.

    Stop dancing on those graves with your supplications.

  408. #409 Woo Fighter
    January 6, 2014

    Mykaayah,

    If your god is so merciful and benevolent why did he give you cancer in the first place?

    Isn’t it cruel for your god to firstly give you cancer (which he of course had the power to have prevenged) and then make you to pray and beg to be healed? Why not just “cut out the middleman” and not give you the cancer in the first place?

    Is it all a big test?

    I’ve asked several other religious people who believe god heals this same question right here on this blog. I have never had the courtesy of a reply or attempt at an explanation, so I hope you stick around long enough to answer my questions, which I pose with respectfulness and sincere curiousity.

    And why do you just automatically assume everyone reading this blog either:

    a)believes in your god (i.e. Jesus Christ)? There are other religions, you know…
    -or-
    b) believes in any god at all?

  409. #410 Woo Fighter
    January 6, 2014

    Corrections to my stupid errors above:

    Prevented. Make you pray. Respect.

    (I wish we had an edit function after the fact, like Chowhound…you have several minutes after posting to correct any typos or other errors you notice.)

    I also mistakenly assumed Mykaayah had cancer. It was, in fact, a brain aneurysm. That doesn’t change my questions to her one iota, however. Her god gave her the aneurysm and then made her pray and beg to be healed.

  410. #411 Narad
    January 6, 2014

    One lady was in a wheelchair for 20 years and he prayed for her and she got up and walked. He is not one of those that is on national television, this is not important to him.

    Why will you not reveal his name? The special charism of miraclulous healing is imparted to servants of Christ that that His doctrine may become credible and that Christians may be confirmed in their faith.

    I know in whom I serve and I know where my healing came from and it was not a doctor

    “Make friends with the doctor, for he is essential to you; G-d has also established him in his profession. From G-d the doctor has wisdom, and from the king he receives sustenance. Knowledge makes the doctor distinguished, and gives access to those in authority…. [G-d] endows people with knowledge, to glory in his mighty works, through which the doctor eases pain, and the druggist prepares his medicines. Thus G-d’s work continues without cease in its efficacy on the surface of the earth.

    “My son, when you are ill, do not delay, but pray to G-d, for it is he who heals…. Then give the doctor his place lest he leave; you need him too, for there are times when recovery is in his hands. He too prays to G-d that his diagnosis may be correct and his treatment bring about a cure.

    “Whoever is a sinner before his Maker will be defiant toward the doctor.” (Sirach 38:1–15)

  411. #412 Chris,
    January 6, 2014

    Shorty version of the quote posted by Narad:

    “Use the brains your deity gave you and get real medical help!”

  412. #413 Politicalguineapig
    January 6, 2014

    Woo Fighter: Is it all a big test?

    I’m beginning to think so. In recent years, I’ve come to the conclusion that God is malevolent. Everything that’s even remotely fun (reading, sex, music, drinking) is a sin, and believers tend to live in an intolerant, no-fun zone. Plus, God pretty much hates everyone who isn’t a man or a fetus anyway, so what’s the point?

  413. #414 Chuff
    January 7, 2014

    Mykaayah, I’m not sure you have quite understood the implications of your comments. So….does it give you pleasure to crow about how much God values you? About how much more deserving of a miracle you are than all of the children out there who suffer their whole lives as a consequence of sexual abuse? Because that’s what you are saying by claiming God picked you to save out of all those suffering.

  414. #415 Mykaayah
    January 7, 2014

    If you must know, I was in a two car accident. in 1979 I had a brain concussion and was in a coma. The other driver was at fault, but the doctor’s told the insurance company that I would have no further problems. I was in the hospital for about three weeks. I signed the release allowing the insurance company to pay me a small amount of money letting them off the hook. Note, the Doctors told them that there would be no more problems. I was 29 and stupid. They gave me $20,000 dollars which I used to move to New York. Eight years later, I came home from work, went to bed and the next morning, I could not get out of my bed, and could not walk. I was eating right, not a heavy drinker and definitely not on drugs. I was running five miles every morning and took aerobic classes most afternoons. There was no other lick to my head. I was rushed to the hospital and after 8 hours of tests and examinations, I was referred to a neurologist, who told me that I had an aneurysm on my brain. The scar from the accident was so minute but had started to swell over the years. I was told that I needed surgery and that if I did not have it, I would end up blind and in a wheel chair until death. Well, I did not do it. I went back home and began to pray. This was on a Saturday and the following Thursday, I was invited to a revival with a friend; getting healed of the condition was the last thing on my mind. I wanted to go to church. I was doing a fifty day fast, eating one meal a day after six p.m., which was to stop in Easter Sunday. I got my healing, you can say it was predestined or whatever, but it happened. I don’t know why God chose Mary to bring forth Jesus into the world, but he did. There are a lot of things we can answer, and the bible says for us to lean not to out own understanding but to put all our trust in Jesus and that is what I am doing. Jesus did not give me the cancer, my fast lifestyle and the way I was living at time caused me to go through that trial. Thank God he did not allow me to die in the car accident or of the brain cancer. And, Yes, I do go to the children’s cancer center and pray and play with the children. I am not above reaching out to anybody. Suffer the little children to come unto me and I will give them rest. This is what Jesus said in the Word of God. Maybe the athiest or agnostics do not believe this, but I know there is a reason for all things and the God I serve will take care of everything. I am not crowing about it, you are. I cannot say that I was more deserving of a miracle because I was not. I was young, single, very pretty and living as I wanted to. I know the innocence of those children was was no match for my lifestyle. I cannot explain it and I will not try.

  415. #416 Johanna
    January 7, 2014

    Umm, an aneurysm isn’t cancer.

  416. #417 ebrillblaiddes
    January 7, 2014

    @Mykaayah: (#415)

    I was eating right, not a heavy drinker and definitely not on drugs. I was running five miles every morning and took aerobic classes most afternoons.

    I wanted to go to church. I was doing a fifty day fast, eating one meal a day after six p.m., which was to stop in Easter Sunday. I got my healing, you can say it was predestined or whatever, but it happened.

    Jesus did not give me the cancer, my fast lifestyle and the way I was living at time caused me to go through that trial.

    When you say “fast lifestyle”, do you mean the church-related fast that you believe was part of the faith that you imply was related to your recovery? Or are you using the meaning of that phrase which would seem to contradict your previous statement about all the clean you were doing?

    How are you sure that your recovery was a miraculous healing, rather than a randomly flared-up thing running its course and calming back down naturally? I’ll give you credit for honestly representing your recollection of the doctors’ prognosis if you didn’t get surgery, but the fact is doctors rarely represent a prognosis as 100% likely — is it possible that, for example, they said you had a 95% chance of a negative outcome, in which case you could be the 5% that got something different? Most people don’t think to bring a voice recorder to that conversation, but maybe you had a friend there, for support, who you could chech this with.

    Also, please set our minds at ease and tell us that you’re not telling the children or their parents about your “miraculous healing” as a result of refusing treatment. If you’re offering general encouragement and not in any way discouraging them from getting science-based treatment, I think you’re a nice person who has maybe jumped to conclusions but most of us jump to conclusions about something now and then. If you’re telling kids or their parents things that could lead to the kids stopping treatment to wait for a miracle, I can talk about Jesus too…”better that there be a millstone around [your] neck” would seem applicable, in that case.

  417. #418 AdamG
    January 7, 2014

    I cannot explain it and I will not try.

    But you did explain it. You said

    Jesus did not give me the cancer, my fast lifestyle and the way I was living at time caused me to go through that trial. Thank God he did not allow me to die in the car accident or of the brain cancer

    What evidence do you have that God intervened in your car accident or “cancer?”

    Do you believe that anything can happen just by chance? Does Jesus/God/whatever intervene in every coin flip, deciding if it’s heads or tails?

  418. #419 ebrillblaiddes
    January 7, 2014

    @AdamG: My female parental unit thinks that God arranges for her to get good parking spots at the grocery store. At least, she had that belief last time I heard one way or the other about it; I haven’t asked lately because I don’t want to set myself up to cry inside.

  419. #420 ebrillblaiddes
    January 7, 2014

    Whoops premature post. Anyway what I was getting at was, plenty of people do think that God does that level of micromanagey stuff, routinely.

  420. #421 lilady
    January 7, 2014

    Have I missed something from Mykaayah’s testimonial about her miraculous brain cancer cure?

    Did Mykaayah provide proof that she ever had brain cancer…or that her brain cancer was cured by G-d?

  421. #422 TBruce
    January 7, 2014

    I worked beside the World Trade Center and would enter into my job through the concourse in the mornings. I would have been on my way to work and through that concourse at 9:00 a.m., on 911. I really believe that if I had not obeyed and left my job and New York, I would have been in that building on that day.

    3000 people died on that morning. I’m sure that many of them were devout Christians. What about them?

  422. #423 Mykaayah
    January 7, 2014

    My testimony is good enough. I decided to share this with you all only because of what this family is going through to show that miracles do happen. And no, I do not tell parents not to allow their children treatments, but I will tell them that I will be praying with them. And yes, I am definitely sure that Jesus did heal me and allowed me to witness to all of you about his goodness. Some would say she’s crazy for leaving her good job, her condo and all her material goods, but the only answer I have for them, is that the diagnosis came forth and without surgery I am here, call it what you will, those things are not important to me anymore. When I said fast lifestyle, I meant the way I was when the car accident occurred. In 1984, I accepted Jesus as my Savior and have been living for him every since. I was raised up in the Mountains of West Va, and my Mom and Dad instilled in me some pretty good morales; and even though I strayed away from the teachings, thank God I came back and now devoted totally to his work. Everyone that knows me, knows about my miracle, I have made no secret about it. To answer the question, how do you know God intervene in the car accident or the cancer, is that nothing just happens. He is in charge of everything. Oh, I am not worried about the millstone, especially not in that area. I love my children, irregardless of race, color or gender. They are very precious to me. Right now, I am assisting with 17 children, none biological,who are from famiies of abusive relationships. I am grandma to all of them and I treat them like they are my own children. I tried to answer all of your questions, guess i’ll go to sleep. Goodnite.

  423. #424 Calli Arcale
    January 7, 2014

    Mykaayah:

    People that do not believe in God is so stupid.

    I’m a believer. So if folks will excuse me for a moment, I’d like to talk to Mykaayah as a believer. Full disclosure: I am an ELCA Lutheran. This is a relatively liberal Protestant denomination, but one which is still conservative enough that when we get really rowdy in services, we nod our heads a bit in time to the music. :-D

    Paul had an interesting thing to say on that subject: I can’t find the verse right now (it’s late…) but he wrote that if Christ was not raised, than all who follow him are fools. Of course, he believed Christ *was* raised; he was the last person to see the risen Christ during the forty days after the crucifixion. But he had a good point. If we Christians are wrong about the whole resurrection then, then our belief is pretty stupid. (I’m not a big fan of Pascal’s Wager, you might guess — that’s the bit about “well, it can’t hurt to believe in God if you’re wrong, and if you’re right, it saves you from Hell”. It’s ridiculously simplistic and ignores a lot of possibilities.)

    I believe in God. I also believe we are not supposed to test God, and that God brings rain to both the wicked and the righteous — and also that we don’t get to know who is righteous and who is not. We must assume that all are saved, because it is not our place to judge: judging is the root of all sin. (That’s what the garden of Eden story is telling us, anyway. That little allegory says that we were all happy and fine until we started thinking we knew enough to declare things good or evil. Of course, the Bard was much more succinct on that point: “There is nothing good or bad but thinking makes it so.”)

    I do not believe that God performs miraculous healings of the faithful. To believe that is to believe that He chooses not to heal most of the time, and that is not the God that Jesus taught about. Jesus did not preach about a God who is capricious or cruel. He preached about His Father, who loves us all, even the worst among us, who asks nothing from us but that we accept His invitation. Oh sure, many times in the Bible it talks about how to live, but that’s if you want to try and go it *without* God’s grace. How to be righteous on your own merits. Good luck with that; the Bible also teaches the futility of this approach and the necessity of grace. So obviously God doesn’t favor some people over others, regardless of what they’ve done, which makes it very difficult for me to believe he saves some people from misery but not most people. Plus, it really discredits the assistance you got from earthly sources. Emergency personnel who pulled you from the wreck and transported you to the hospital, surgeons who worked on you, nurses who cared for you, even your own body’s natural healing abilities. (I’ve never understood the problem with crediting your own body for some of the recovery. It really does have amazing healing properties. Nothing miraculous, sure, but if the body is a temple, why not give it a little credit every now and again? Sometimes people *do* recover from these things without outside intervention, and this isn’t a miracle — this is how awesome the human body is.)

    BTW, about the Word of God . . . the Bible is not the Word of God. The Bible is a book *about* the Word of God. This is a very common mistake that leads to great misfortune. Read the first chapter of John. The Word of God is not the Bible. The Word of God is not even the oldest part of the Bible (the Pentateuch). The Word of God is older than that. The Word of God is Jesus Christ himself. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning . . . The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.” Be very careful not to fall into the idolatrous trap of fundamentalism, the trap of worshipping the Bible (a work of men) rather than following Christ.

  424. #425 lilady
    January 7, 2014

    Still no proof that you were ever diagnosed with brain cancer…and still no proof that the “cancer” was cured by G-d.

  425. #426 Narad
    January 8, 2014

    I was doing a fifty day fast, eating one meal a day after six p.m., which was to stop in Easter Sunday.

    How did you arrive at this number? Trying to outdo the Savior? Let us venture back:

    I believe he left me here for a reason and I desire to go about healing all.

    This is quite literally sinful. The Holy Spirit is not in the business of satisfying your desires. One may not train or aspire to the grace of the charism of miraculous healing.

    You have already been informed of G-d’s purpose in granting this extraordinary grace, yet the name of he whom you follow remains carefully enshadowed.

    “There will be false Christs and false prophets who will rise up and shew signs and wonders, so that, if it were possible, even the elect would be deceived. But you must be on your guard; hereby, I have given you warning of it all.”

    Must we recall Simon Magus, the Father of Heresies? State the name of this mediate claimant to miracles of substance, that it be known whether he embodies the true purpose, manifestation of the glory of G-d, or whether he be a sorceror or, worse, a blind man leading seekers into a ditch.

  426. #427 Mykaayah
    January 8, 2014

    In all respect, I do not worship my bible. I am ever cognizant of the Word and I know who the Word is If you go back in the ancient of days, God allowed entire villages to be killed, women and children. Jesus went about healing and performing miracles and he promised us that we would do greater things. No disrespect to anybody or their faith, but my God has not changed, he is the same today as yesterday. We re the ones who changed, we lost faith in the Living God, who is Jesus. I stand firm that I was healed in the Name of Jesus. I have the evidence of it and I will not be swayed from my belief. I cannot say why he heals some and not others, but one thing I know is I am healed and it has been 26 years. Lilady where do you live, would you like to come to my church and meet me?

  427. #428 AdamG
    January 8, 2014

    Be very careful not to fall into the idolatrous trap of fundamentalism, the trap of worshipping the Bible (a work of men) rather than following Christ.

    Something tells me that ship has sailed.

  428. #429 Vicki
    January 8, 2014

    You worship a pretty weak or capricious deity, who nudged you to leave New York, but couldn’t persuade the terrorists not to get on the planes, or warn everyone who worked in the World Trade Center to stay home that day. Three hundred and forty-three New York City firefighters died there, because either there is no god (my conclusion, and not from this alone) or because he didn’t see any reason to save them. And you want to invoke his intervention for why you weren’t even in the state that day, when you moved away long before?

    A friend of mine is alive today because there happened to be an election that day, and she’s one of the people who turn out to vote even for off-year primary elections. And she decided to vote on her way to work, rather than on her way home. It doesn’t make her a better person than the waiters at Windows on the World, who had to be at work earlier than my friend.

    An entity that picks and chooses who to save so capriciously is conceivable, certainly; what I cannot understand is why you consider such behavior to be deserving of praise.

  429. #430 Narad
    January 8, 2014

    I tried to answer all of your questions, guess i’ll go to sleep. Goodnite.

    Y’all’s choice: Joseph Spence or The Incredible String Band.

  430. #431 Mykaayah
    January 8, 2014

    Narad: we are the vessels of the Holy Spirit. It can do nothing without a vessel or a body to dwell in. Yes, I will be a vessel of the Holy Spirit and it is my greatest desire to be used by Jesus Christ. What an honor that would be to be further used by him, it brings a great fulfillment to my life. The fifty days were counted as the fulfillment days before the Day of Pentecost. The Holy Spirit does satisfy your desires. In the Word, God says that if you obey my Word, I will give you the desires of your heart. You all have seemed to have forgotten the reason for this blog, it is to either approve or disapprove the position of this family, not to persecute me. How could anyone not believe that there is a greater power beyond what he can see or fathom. This did not just happen and it cannot be explained away. I believe in Jesus, his birth, death and resurrection. I believe that he is coming back again and every eye shall see him and every knee shall bow and every voice shall confess that he is King of Kings and Lord of Lords, and he is my Yahshua HaMashiach, Ruach Hakodesh. I am very familiar with the Pentateuch and the Torah.

  431. #432 Lawrence
    January 8, 2014

    It would be good if you could pray for the ability to type in complete sentences and paragraphs…how about that? Can your Lord give you the power to write in plain English?

  432. #433 Narad
    January 8, 2014

    Of course, the Bard was much more succinct on that point: “There is nothing good or bad but thinking makes it so.”

    So were Volkswagens full of Tantrists who, unsurprisingly, probably weren’t hip to this. The “Thelemites” I won’t even bother with.

  433. #434 lilady
    January 8, 2014

    No Mykaayah, I definitely do not want to meet you or accompany you to your church.

    Where’s the proof that you were ever diagnosed with brain cancer?

    Where’s the proof that G-d cured your brain cancer?

    Why should we believe any claims made by a random poster who is besotted by her religious beliefs, and who is clueless about Sarah’s cancer treatment?

    (hint) If I were you, I’d be careful about bragging that Jesus saved you from certain death in the towers on 9-11. That topic has already be discussed on this blog and there are posters here who lost family, friends and colleagues on September 11, 2001.

    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2011/05/02/osama-bin-ladendead-finally/

  434. #435 herr doktor bimler
    January 8, 2014

    plenty of people do think that God does that level of micromanagey stuff, routinely.

    I read that as “micro-mangery stuff” and was imagining nativity scenes. I prefer my version.

  435. #436 Narad
    January 8, 2014

    Narad: we are the vessels of the Holy Spirit. It can do nothing without a vessel or a body to dwell in.

    You have been led grievously astray. Is not the Incarnation of the Word the doing of the person of the Holy Ghost?

    Yes, I will be a vessel of the Holy Spirit and it is my greatest desire to be used by Jesus Christ. What an honor that would be to be further used by him, it brings a great fulfillment to my life.

    You speak of nothing but possession and magical powers and are close to blaspheming the Holy Ghost, as though His Person were some sort of angel out of the television program “Supernatural.” This is the vice of presumption. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth, which lies within, yet you continue to hide the name of the one whom you follow.

  436. #437 Rich Scopie
    January 8, 2014

    I was doing a fifty day fast, eating one meal a day after six p.m.

    That’s not a fast, that’s a diet. Or maybe fifty small fasts. That’s like giving up smoking twenty times a day.

  437. #438 herr doktor bimler
    January 8, 2014

    eating one meal a day after six p.m.

    I would have thought that was normal, except for a hobbit.

  438. #439 Chris
    January 8, 2014

    Mykaayah: “My testimony is good enough.”

    Actually, no it is not. Especially if you encourage anyone to substitute worship over medical treatment just because you were lucky a few times.

  439. #440 Krebiozen
    January 8, 2014

    Mykaayah,

    My testimony is good enough.

    As Chris wrote, it really, really isn’t. The kind of science-based medicine that this blog supports is largely about the problems with anecdotal evidence of the sort you have given us here. I don’t doubt your sincerity, but I also believe the studies that tell us prayer is not an effective way of dealing with serious illness.

  440. #441 Krebiozen
    January 8, 2014

    HDB,

    “eating one meal a day after six p.m.”
    I would have thought that was normal, except for a hobbit.

    It’s a bit like Ramadan, when adherents consume marginally fewer calories (average of 1488 vs.1823 Kcal/d), but these tend to be in the form of fats, especially saturated fats, because of all the feasting they do when sunset arrives after a day’s fasting.

    I was in Morocco for Ramadan once, in a little seaside town that sounded a WW2 air-raid siren when the Muezzin declared it was sunset, and the deserted town square and surrounding streets would instantly fill with people selling all sorts of delicious foodstuffs, and even more people eating them. Which reminds me, I have a recipe for those little pastry gazelle horns stuffed with nuts and honey somewhere…

  441. #442 dingo199
    January 8, 2014

    I’m always bemused by the frequent media claims of proof of “God’s miraculous grace” when a baby survives a plane crash unscathed, but 136 other people burned to death including the baby’s family. Or the idea that God will “save” someone from harm because He was prayed to, yet He gazes down, smiling benignly as millions of innocent, starving, diseased children die each year on this wonderful planet He created.

    Dawkins nailed it:
    “….arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.”

  442. #443 JC
    January 8, 2014

    I wonder what people did about cancer before Chemotherapy…

    Your body has killer cells for a reason. You just need the tools to make them work correctly. and they need to be able to identify the cancer cells. If your body is full of the correct nutrients, your probably never going to get cancer in the first place. sure some blood born cancers aren’t exactly the same because in that case you actually have a immune difficiency problem and not a cancer problem. But to sit here and dispute that natural medicine cant cure cancer is completely assinine. In fact, i happen to believe medicine IS the problem …stop screwing with nature.

  443. #444 Chuff
    January 8, 2014

    Reminds me of the old joke about the drowning fisherman.

    After his boat sinks in a storm the devout fisherman prays for deliverance. At this point a rescue helicopter finds him but he refuses to take the rope saying ‘god will save me’. Half an hour later a lifeboat finds him but he refuses to climb the ladder to safety saying ‘god will save me’. Half an hour later he is dead and talking to god…..’why didn’t you save me Lord?’ he asked. God looks surprised and says ‘I sent you a helicopter and a boat……what more do you want?’.

    You could substitute cancer for drowning and chemo, surgery etc for the helicopter and boat.

  444. #445 janerella
    Oz
    January 8, 2014

    I like Sir David Attenborough’s take on it also :

    “I often get letters, quite frequently, from people who say how they like the programmes a lot, but I never give credit to the almighty power that created nature. To which I reply and say, “Well, it’s funny that the people, when they say that this is evidence of the Almighty, always quote beautiful things. They always quote orchids and hummingbirds and butterflies and roses.” But I always have to think too of a little boy sitting on the banks of a river in west Africa who has a worm boring through his eyeball, turning him blind before he’s five years old. And I reply and say, “Well, presumably the God you speak about created the worm as well,” and now, I find that baffling to credit a merciful God with that action. “

  445. #446 TBruce
    January 8, 2014

    I wonder what people did about cancer before Chemotherapy…

    I know! I know! They died!

    Your body has killer cells for a reason. You just need the tools to make them work correctly. and they need to be able to identify the cancer cells. If your body is full of the correct nutrients, your probably never going to get cancer in the first place.

    And if you do, no doubt it’s because you had lunch at McDonald’s 5 years ago. Shouldn’t have done that, eh?

    sure some blood born cancers aren’t exactly the same because in that case you actually have a immune difficiency problem and not a cancer problem.

    Take it from me (a hematopathologist), it is a cancer problem. In short, a mutation that causes uncontrolled growth.

    But to sit here and dispute that natural medicine cant cure cancer is completely assinine.

    I WANT to believe, but I like evidence. You and your buddies keep letting me down.

    In fact, i happen to believe medicine IS the problem …stop screwing with nature.

    Sure – when it stops screwing with me.

  446. #447 Calli Arcale
    January 8, 2014

    In the Word, God says that if you obey my Word, I will give you the desires of your heart.

    See, you say that right after agreeing that the Word is not the Bible, the Word is Jesus. You *do* regard the Bible as the Word of God. It isn’t. It is *about* him. And it was written by humans. It’s very important to remember that. It’s a witnessing. It’s very, very important, but it is not a prescription for how to live your life or how to get God to do great things for you.

    Do you seriously follow Christ only so that the desires of your heart may be satisfied? If so, don’t be too ashamed; this is how most people approach religion. Follow the rules so you can get good stuff. But go ahead and read the New Testament. See what great and marvellous things happened to Christ’s followers. All the disciples were killed; Judas by his own hand, the others by the hands of others, in various horrible ways — beheading, dragging behind a horse, crucifixion, upside-down crucifixion, etc. I mean, really, really, really horrible things happened to these people who were absolutely passionate in their faith. Don’t follow Christ so that good things happen to you. That’s selfish, and clearly isn’t how it works. Follow Christ so that through you good things can be done. Follow Christ so that the desires of your heart change from getting what you want to helping others. It isn’t about you, it’s about your neighbors, and your neighbors are everybody.

    If you believe healing is a reward for righteousness, then logically those who are not healed must be unrighteous. This was a very popular view among the Jews two thousand years ago, and remains very popular among almost everybody on Earth today, but it’s wrong and Christ preached against it.

    janerella:
    That’s a very nice bit from Attenborough. It’s true: if God created us, then He created parasites too. And they have their own sort of horrible beauty, if we can be for a moment dispassionate enough to see it. (Hard to be dispassionate about something so visceral, though; this is where being human gets in the way, I suppose.) We are no greater than the worm that robs a boy of his sight.

  447. #448 Politicalguineapig
    January 8, 2014

    Calli Arcale: We must assume that all are saved, because it is not our place to judge: judging is the root of all sin. Jesus did not preach about a God who is capricious or cruel. He preached about His Father, who loves us all, even the worst among us, who asks nothing from us but that we accept His invitation.
    So obviously God doesn’t favor some people over others, regardless of what they’ve done, which makes it very difficult for me to believe he saves some people from misery but not most people.

    First of all, pardon for snipping the post, but I couldn’t repost the whole darn thing. Secondly, what the heck? That’s the exact opposite of any religion I’ve ever heard of, especially Christianity.
    The whole point of religion is to create an in-group and an outside group, so that the in-group can be all finger-waggy and judgey of the rest. (See ‘God is a no-fun zone,’ above.) If there’s no judgement, there’s no religion.

  448. #449 Helianthus
    January 8, 2014

    @ JC #443

    I wonder what people did about cancer before Chemotherapy…

    Heavy doses of opium, or a thick cushion on the head of the patient, depending on the patience and wealth of the relatives.
    Or, if there is a daring barber-surgeon nearby, a quick slash with a lancet, without the benefit of painkillers (except maybe strong alcohols or opiates). Anne d’Autriche (the mom of Louis XIV) had one try this on her breast cancer.

    Your body has killer cells for a reason. You just need the tools to make them work correctly. and they need to be able to identify the cancer cells.

    Got it in one, genius. How to get our immune cells to attack cancer cells is a major line of research.
    The trick is, of course, to get our immune system to attack some of our own cells.

    If your body is full of the correct nutrients, your probably never going to get cancer in the first place.

    Citation sorely needed.

    sure some blood born cancers aren’t exactly the same because in that case you actually have a immune difficiency problem and not a cancer problem.

    If you talk about lymphoma and the like, sorry, these are cancer cells. Specialized ones, but cancerous.
    If you talk about autoimmune diseases: one’s immune system is over-reacting, seeing foes where there is just one’s self, and you call it “immune deficiency”?

    But to sit here and dispute that natural medicine cant cure cancer is completely assinine. In fact, i happen to believe medicine IS the problem

    Yes, you “happen to believe”. Citations?

    stop screwing with nature.

    Say the person behind a computer, wearing clothes (I guess), sleeping under some artificial shelter (I hope), eating cooked food (maybe) and generally benefiting from the use of complex tools and materials – most of them “unnatural”.

  449. #450 JGC
    January 8, 2014

    My testimony is good enough.

    I’m sorry, but really it’s not: No degree of faith–however sincere-is sufficient to demonstrate what one belives to be treu actually is true–otherwise every religious article of faith on the planet, no matter how mutually contradictory, must be accepted as proven true by the personal testimony of their adherents.

    What’s absolutely needed in addition to testimony is credible evidence what you testify represents truth actually is true.

    So–got any?

    A question for you: if faith in god is enough to ‘cure’ a cancer victim, why isn’t it also enough to cure amputation? Surely at least some amputees believe as deeply in and have prayed as fervently to your preferred candidate for godhood that they’d have been given relief from their disability. Instead it seems like god can only ‘miraculously’ cure diseases and injuries which are either self-limiting, episodic, or known to exhibit a low but non-zero incidence of spontaneous remission.

    Why do you think that is?

    How could anyone not believe that there is a greater power beyond what he can see or fathom. This did not just happen and it cannot be explained away.

    The problem is that writing it all off to “A greater power must exist and is responsible” doesn’t explain anything at allit simply avoids the necessity of finding an explanation by writing what isn’t understood off as “It all happened by magic, at the direction of my invisibile friend. You know–the one with all the neat superpowers”.

    And if you’re going to go that route, any wholly specualtive spernatural entity will fit the bill. “God did it” offers identical explanatory power tas do “Pixies did it” or “Leprechauns did it” (i.e., none whatsoever).

  450. #451 Shay
    January 8, 2014

    PGP, there are several Christians on this board who have told you more or less politely that your concept of religion is narrow and mis-applied. The fact that you cling to your repellant bigotry is puzzling.

    People like Mykayaa (what do you bet she started out life as Micaela?) are in the minority, thankfully. Otherwise how many hospitals in the US (the ones that are owned and operated by FBO’s) would have a reason to be in business?

  451. #452 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    January 8, 2014

    But to sit here and dispute that natural medicine cant cure cancer is completely assinine.

    I’m trying to parse that.

    If I were to dispute that natural medicine can cure cancer, it would mean that I’d be saying it can’t. However, if I were to dispute that I cant (sic) cure cancer, then I’d be saying it could.

    So I have to agree with the statement as written – to date, arguing that natural medicine can cure cancer is asinine – because all the evidence says it can’t.

    If some day someone finds a natural remedy that is shown to cure cancer, I will revise my opinion.

  452. #453 Calli Arcale
    January 8, 2014

    PGP:

    Secondly, what the heck? That’s the exact opposite of any religion I’ve ever heard of, especially Christianity.

    That’s precisely why Christ was so revolutionary, and why the Pharisees perceived him as a threat. He was upsetting the whole social order by suggesting that people who have bad things happen to them aren’t actually unrighteous and should not be ignored, by dining with despised social groups, by treating women as equals, and so forth. It’s a very hard message, that everybody is truly equal before God and so you must treat them accordingly. And it should be no surprise that the majority of modern Christians still struggle with it.

    Christ’s message is *still* quite revolutionary. The enormous popularity of having an in-group that can be finger-waggy to the out-group (a lovely turn of phrase, BTW) means that it will probably remain revolutionary for a long time. Christians themselves tend to be pretty bad at it, finding all sorts of ways to creatively justify rejecting people we deem unworthy. I guess it’s a human nature thing, but I’d hope more of us could strive to be better than that — regardless of whether Christ actually was the Son of God. I believe he was, but I think living like that really would make the world a better place if we could all do it. Respect one another. A tall order, unfortunately.

  453. #454 dingo199
    January 8, 2014

    @JGC

    A question for you: if faith in god is enough to ‘cure’ a cancer victim, why isn’t it also enough to cure amputation? Surely at least some amputees believe as deeply in and have prayed as fervently to your preferred candidate for godhood that they’d have been given relief from their disability. Instead it seems like god can only ‘miraculously’ cure diseases and injuries which are either self-limiting, episodic, or known to exhibit a low but non-zero incidence of spontaneous remission.

    Indeed. I am reminded of the tale of the skeptic who was told about the miracles taking place at Lourdes, and how they had a store for all the crutches that had been abandoned there by the “healed” faithful, to which he replied: “So where are all the false legs, and glass eyes?”

  454. #455 Politicalguineapig
    January 8, 2014

    Calli Arcale: I see where I got confused, you were talking about Christ as opposed to Christians. I agree with that; I actually rather like Jesus. Christians on the other- well, I just don’t see the point in joining a church unless I plan to run for political office. (Thank you for the compliment on the phrase.)

    Shay: It’s not bigotry if I’m accurately describing things that continually crop up in American Christianity. If say, Fred Phelps got struck by lightning, I might soften my stance. (Or if Maryville Missouri or Stuebensville Ohio got hit by tornados..)
    For that matter, could someone explain to me what we’d have left if we took judgement out of religion? A twelve-step group without the steps, probably. Or a sleep-away camp without the ‘sleep’ and for adults, which would be it’s own special kind of hell.

  455. #456 Mrs Woo
    January 8, 2014

    It is only fair that I, too, admit to being Christian. Having dealt with more than one failed faith healing where I have been blamed for the outcome, though, I get a little defensive when they are brought up.

    One way to keep your faith in the contradiction of unanswered prayers and promises is Hebrews chapter 11, where it discusses the heroes of the faith. Most did not receive the promises of God within their lifetimes, but the promises of God were kept.

    The inexplicable happens. Science explains it as regression to the mean, etc. It is rare. A danger in expecting it to be commonplace, or counseling others to do so is that you might put them in harm’s way. It is like the joke with the man waiting on his roof in a flood, repeatedly turning away rescuers with, “God will save me.” When he arrived at the Pearly Gates he asked why God didn’t save him and God pointed out he had sent rescuers and even a helicopter.

    We deny tools God has placed for our benefit at our own peril: we weren’t given brains and our creative abilities to just pray and hope for whatever happens next.

  456. #457 Mrs Woo
    January 8, 2014

    Sorry Chuff – wouldn’t have repeated if I scanned through all. Christians who insist on waiting for the miraculous worry me, always. It is hard to admit being Christian in some circles. Also, personal experience has led me to believe that the biggest creator of atheists is other Christians.

    I am at a point where I try to emulate the good part of the teachings. I refuse to contemplate or choose in the doctrinal, religious, etc., stuff. Strictly non-denominational. Love that Christ, kinda cringe at a lot of Christians.

  457. #458 ebrillblaiddes
    January 8, 2014

    I can, just barely, see how a generally benevolent being with root admin access to the universe might not just Miraculously Heal everyone of everything. If this being was trying to get the universe to play out a certain way with the minimum amount of intervention, it’s conceivable that people would be “chosen” or not based on how they fit into that plan — and not necessarily anything to do with their abilities or character, but possibly something as trivial as that if they live they’ll toss an apple core somewhere later on and a tree will sprout from it and smash someone’s house, which will lead to … you get the idea. Too many variables to keep up with even if we had access to future data.

    If that’s the case, while miraculous healing would be possible, expecting it would be foolish and telling anyone to expect it would be criminal.

  458. #459 JGC
    January 8, 2014

    That miraculous healing would also be superflous, as they could instead have simply refrained from making the person intended to would throw the apple sick in the first place.

    For that matter, why not simply have created the universe already existing in the end state they’re now laboring to achieve by sprinkling miracles about non-randomly from day one?

  459. #460 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    January 8, 2014

    For that matter, why not simply have created the universe already existing in the end state they’re now laboring to achieve by sprinkling miracles about non-randomly from day one?

    Where’s the fun in that?

  460. #461 Denice Walter
    January 8, 2014

    I have tried to reconcile the gap between believers and unbelievers for myself:
    perhaps everyone wants to inject predictability and meaning into a universe that is cold, harsh and sometimes appears arbitrary- not a lovely place to live. Buzzing,blooming chaos, it can be.

    Believers try to paint a human( like) face on the blackness and unbelievers, as scientists, may attempt to find laws and rules that explain a bit of the abyss or tame its wildness. One doesn’t preclude the other. Artists try to transform the inhospitability into more recognisable,comforting features or conversely, may admire and elaborate the very thrown-ness that they experience into an art form of its own. Then we have philosophers.

    Humans are programmed on a certain level to see faces in everything: babies smile at figures that resemble a face only if certain features are arrayed in a particular way; an electrical outlet can be seen as having two eyes and a nose. Clouds can resemble animals or darting aethereal sylphs. So why not put a face or name on randomness or try to understand how it works? We tend to remember based on what we already know: it’s hard to recognise abstract shapes that you’ve already seen unless you can relate them to learned figures (e.g. pathologists see cells)

    Freud imagined religion as a means to explain how the universe works, to function as a moral code and as a substitute for the protective parent one loses as one ages. It’s also a way to self-identify, to say that- ‘Yes, I agree’- with the viewpoints or ideals inherent in that creed. One person might prefer the gifts of Jesus to those of Frey or Krshna.
    Religion also codifies modes of emotional expression that channel how people navigate life events.

    ….Oooops! I have to leave.

  461. #462 Calli Arcale
    January 8, 2014

    I think the fundamental problem isn’t in trying to reconcile the existence of evil with a benevolent god. It’s in assuming we’re the best judges of what’s good and what’s evil and how the universe should be ordered.

    Look at evolution. The amazing, spectacular diversity of life that we have today would not be possible without death, pain, suffering, and strife. None of these things are pleasant, but they do seem to be a feature, not a bug, of the Universe. For whatever reason, we live in a universe that is changing itself all the time, rather than a static one that does no growing or exploring or developing. I can’t pretend to know why God picked the evolving universe rather than a static one, but to me it seems like the evolving one is probably a whole lot more interesting.

    PGP:

    Calli Arcale: I see where I got confused, you were talking about Christ as opposed to Christians. I agree with that; I actually rather like Jesus. Christians on the other- well, I just don’t see the point in joining a church unless I plan to run for political office.

    Bingo. But actually, I’d love to vote for somebody who doesn’t belong to a church. It would make a nice change. ;-) Belong to a church and following Christ are not mutually exclusive, but they’re actually two very different things…. Following Christ requires no formal religion. I see church as being like a Christ appreciation society. Sort of a fanclub. ;-) It can be nice, and it can be very useful, but it’s not the point.

    You’d probably enjoy the pastor at my church. ;-) Alas, he’s retiring at the end of the month. :-(

  462. #463 ebrillblaiddes
    January 8, 2014

    Maybe it’s like SimCity. Fixing a slum is more interesting than bulldozing the whole thing and starting over.

    Taking the assumption that the universe is a system like that, I don’t think we’d be any more capable of understanding the details than an otherwise healthy cell is of understanding why it had to take one for the team to get clean margins around a tumor. An upper limit on what can be claimed about miracles, then, is that it’s nice when, or if, the plan works out in your favor. Accepting the possibility wouldn’t imply taking it as the default assumption or even a trashcan explanation for things we haven’t figured out yet; the probability of any particular incident being a miracle would still be vanishingly small, compared to coincidence.

  463. #464 JGC
    January 8, 2014

    Where’s the fun in that?

    If we’re going to conclude that the creator’s goal is to be entertained, even if that requires wholly avoidable pain and suffering on the part of his creation, god’s inherent ‘goodness’ is that of an adult happily cheering on the dog he’s thrown into the pit at an illegal dog fight.

  464. #465 Dangerous Bacon
    January 8, 2014

    “My testimony is good enough.”

    I think Hulda Clark has this engraved on her tombstone.

  465. #466 ebrillblaiddes
    January 8, 2014

    Also, it just occurred to me that, if eating one meal a day in the evening counts as fasting, then, uhh…I accidentally fast a lot. So I must be, like, really super spiritual, if I do holy things by accident. So if God would hurry up and heal this sore throat and congestion with sinus-infection-like tendencies, which I’ve had for close to three weeks now (it gets better for a couple days, then worse again), that would be great.

  466. #467 Mykaayah
    January 11, 2014

    Do you go 18 hours without eating and drinking each day for fifty days, and eat one meal after 6 p.m., that is fasting. 6,000 people in the church at that time was on that fast, not just me. You are so silly; be careful Jesus hears and sees everything and he knows the intentions behind every conversation.

  467. #468 Narad
    January 11, 2014

    Do you go 18 hours without eating and drinking each day for fifty days, and eat one meal after 6 p.m., that is fasting.

    Do you get up at midnight?

  468. #469 Chuff
    January 11, 2014

    Well, Mykaayah. Given that I personally think that a God and/or Jesus are completely irrelevant to any functioning of the universe. Given that I have said this many times and have yet to see any sign of supernatural disapproval. My personal life experiment says he doesn’t exist OR isn’t getting involved. Personally I don’t believe but I find it sad that you, who does believe in a loving, compassionate supreme being, seem to be scared of him. After all, given his superpowers, he knows our very being. Without having to eavesdrop.

  469. #470 Lawrence
    January 11, 2014

    @Mykaayah – I think you are actually thinking of either Santa Claus or the NSA….

  470. #471 LW
    January 11, 2014

    PGP, there are several Christians on this board who have told you more or less politely that your concept of religion is narrow and mis-applied. The fact that you cling to your repellant bigotry is puzzling.

    Nonbelievers have told her that too. It appears to me that she clings to her repellant bigotry because Christians and other believers form an out-group, so she as a member of the in-group can be all finger-waggy and judgey of the rest.

  471. #472 Chemmomo
    Maybe not the NSA...
    January 11, 2014

    Lawrence @470
    He knows when you are eating, he knows when you’re awake, he knows if you’ve been bad or good so don’t eat for goodness sake!

    You beat me to it.

  472. #473 Shay
    January 11, 2014

    @Lawrence:

    Rimshot..

  473. #474 Mykaayah
    January 11, 2014

    Well time will tell whose right about God and Jesus. I will just bid my time. I would only be afraid if I were in your shoes calling my beliefs bigotry. I do not care what you do or how you believe. I am not changing my mind, I am not judging anybody or wagging my fingers at anyone. So, just have a good day and good bye Jesus said not to feed his words to _________. Oh well, if the shoe fits then wear it. I do not care about the Christians on board, they are the ones that crucified Jesus. I am not a Christian, I am a believer. I will not label myself as a Christian with all their pagan beliefs, Christmas, Easter, Halloween, Thanksgiving and so forth and so forth.

  474. #475 Lawrence
    January 11, 2014

    Ahhh…a Seventh Day Adventist, it looks like. And yes, the early Christian Church based the majority of its beliefs and holidays around convenient pagan traditions of the time….

    Makaayah – you are certainly no Christian….

  475. #476 lilady
    January 11, 2014

    @ pgp: Knock it off…I’m a Christian and in the minority here. You are the only one of the RI Regulars who has ever insulted me and other Christians.

    I guess I’ve been chosen by G-d, because G-d only gives special needs children to very special parents.

    Mykaayah’s church that she invited me to attend, has 6,000 members? Thanks again for the invitation, but no thanks…6,000 fasting/starving Christians would definitely not be a spiritual experience for me.

  476. #477 Scared Momma
    January 11, 2014

    Thanksgiving is a pagan holiday?

  477. #478 Scared Momma
    January 11, 2014

    If more Christians were like you lilady, the world would be a very different place.

  478. #479 Lawrence
    January 11, 2014

    Thanksgiving is more of a government holiday – given that Presidents’ would declare a public day of Thanksgiving for winning big battles, for example.

  479. #480 ebrillblaiddes
    January 11, 2014

    I thought Thanksgiving was our culture’s interpretation of the “hey, we probably won’t have to starve to death this year” day that all cultures that know about agriculture have. (Possibly some preagricultural ssocieties had a similar “hey, the berries are ripe” or “the deer are about as fat as they’re gonna get” day, but I couldn’t reach them for comment.)

  480. #481 Sarah A
    January 11, 2014

    @Lawrence #475

    Not necessarily – I was raised Pentacostal and while the church doesn’t have an official doctrine concerning “pagan” holidays (except Halloween, naturally) a lot of individual “Bible believing ” types don’t celebrate them, or try to strip them of their pagan trappings.

    I find it amusing, but sadly typical, that Mykaayah wants to take the moral high ground (“I don’t care what you do or how you believe” and “I’m not judging or wagging fingers”) but just can’t resist the urge to make thinly veiled references to our inevitable damnation (“Time will tell” and “I would only be afraid if I were in your shoes” etc.)

  481. #482 TBruce
    January 11, 2014

    I do not care about the Christians on board, they are the ones that crucified Jesus.

    Whoa, so the “Christians on board” travelled 2000 years back in time to crucify the Son of God? I guess they had to make damn sure that the basis for their religion really happened. Don’t know how they managed the resurrection thing, though. Drugs and a defibrillator, maybe?

  482. #483 TBruce
    January 11, 2014

    Well time will tell whose right about God and Jesus. I will just bid my time. I would only be afraid if I were in your shoes calling my beliefs bigotry.

    As I get older, I have come to realize that, as an atheist, I anticipate death as an eternal dreamless sleep. This is a comfort to me. I have also seen several atheist members of my family face death quite calmly when it loomed.
    On the other hand, a Christian family member was terrified as she was dying. I believe she sincerely was afraid of the possibility of the Last Judgement and Hell.

  483. #484 Narad
    January 11, 2014

    Ahhh…a Seventh Day Adventist, it looks like.

    How do you figure? The only unorthodox thing going with the Adventists regarding the crucifixion that I’m aware of is an insistance in certain quarters that it was in 31 C.E. on a Wednesday or something, not that Christians “are the ones that crucified Jesus.” Faith healing would likely also be a schismatic view.

    Mykaayah has basically endorsed prosperity theology: “The Holy Spirit does satisfy your desires. In the Word, God says that if you obey my Word, I will give you the desires of your heart.” And she’s stated that she’s in West Virginia, which is convenient for faith healers, since parents can’t be prosecuted for letting their kids die. (Snake handlers are on firm legal ground, as well.)

    My money’s on some form of charismatic Apostolic routine. In short, a Corinthian.

  484. #485 Mykaayah
    January 11, 2014

    No not a 7th Day Adventist, but I am a Sabbath believer because it was a commandment not a request. And to scared Mama yes, Thanksgiving is Pagan. Why would we even want to celebrate a day signifying the genocide of the inhabitants of a land the Europeans stole. Thanks but no thanks. I can give thanks to Jesus everyday, I do not need to bake a turkey and all the dressings to say thank you. Yes, Yes, Christianity is full of pagan worship. There is no place in the Torah where it speaks of christmas, easter and all these so-called hoiidays that are practiced in the christian churches. Come on you want to forewarn me, let me inform you. Funny, I am not a snake handler and I no longer live in W.Va, but it is still a beautiful place, I love the mountains.

  485. #486 Narad
    January 11, 2014

    I will not label myself as a Christian with all their pagan beliefs, Christmas, Easter, Halloween, Thanksgiving and so forth and so forth.

    Of course, as this statement illustrates, one problem with bothering to figure out what she thinks is going on in religious terms is that she’s prone to complete incoherence. Easter is a “pagan belief” now? Hey, who am I?

    I wanted to go to church. I was doing a fifty day fast, eating one meal a day after six p.m., which was to stop in Easter Sunday.

    Mykaayah further clearly doesn’t understand that fasting points straight back to Demeter. So, the question becomes why she was “fasting.”

  486. #487 Mykaayah
    January 11, 2014

    They were celebrating Easter. That was 27 years ago. I have come into knowledge and know the truth now. At that time I did not understand and was not being told the truth. Yes, I went on the 50 day fast because we were told to. I am glad I did it because I went on it with a sincere heart and I left that church.

  487. #488 Narad
    January 11, 2014

    Funny, I am not a snake handler and I no longer live in W.Va

    So were you just visiting, or were you lying?

    Thanksgiving is Pagan. Why would we even want to celebrate a day signifying the genocide of the inhabitants of a land the Europeans stole.

    Aside from the fact that these two utterances have no apparent connection whatever, the only thing you’ve done here is demonstrate that you don’t have the slightest grasp of Paganism, either genuine or in its sad reincarnation.

    There is no place in the Torah [sic] where it speaks of christmas, easter and all these so-called hoiidays that are practiced in the christian churches.

    And we have a winner! You know what else the Torah doesn’t mention, Peaches? What you think “the Holy Spirit” means. BTW, you meant “Tanakh.”

    Want to play kashrut?

  488. #489 Mykaayah
    January 11, 2014

    In ancient Greek religion and myth, Demeter (/diˈmiːtər/; Attic Δημήτηρ Dēmētēr. Doric Δαμάτηρ Dāmātēr) is the goddess of the harvest, who presided over grains and the fertility of the earth. Her cult titles include Sito (σίτος: wheat) as the giver of food or corn/grain[1] and Thesmophoros (θεσμός, thesmos: divine order, unwritten law) as a mark of the civilized existence of agricultural society.[2] NOPE, do not believe in Greek Mythology. They are the ones who messed up the bible with their translations. Jesus said in a parable that as long as the bridegroom was with you there would be no need to fast but the time would come when we would have to fast and pray and those times are now. Not only for spiritual reasons but for health reasons also.

  489. #490 Mykaayah
    January 11, 2014

    This will be my last post. You all seem to be pretty nice people who just like to poke fun. I wish you all the best life has to offer. To the Amish girl and her family, I hope she lives a long healthy llfe whichever decision her family makes. As for me, I am 63 years old, in my second year of college. I am trying to get my Bachelors Degree in ECE and Associates of Art Degree. So, it is back to a lot of homework and studies. I had business vocational training which helped me to get employment in New York, but I never had the opportunity to go to college and now that the opportunity is here, I want to take advantage of it. Upon graduation, I want to go back to West Va and teach in the poor areas where they cannot get teachers to come. So whomever you pray to, send up a prayer for me.

  490. #491 Mykaayah
    January 11, 2014

    I am familiar with the dietary jewish laws

  491. #492 Narad
    January 12, 2014

    You’re cutting and pasting from W—pedia as a response? What did Demeter do when Persephone was lost?

    Jesus said in a parable that as long as the bridegroom was with you there would be no need to fast but the time would come when we would have to fast and pray and those times are now.

    In that case, it’s probably the wrong time to be yammering about “the Torah.”

    You’ll have to excuse me if Jews for Jesus–style aspirations to chasidut shel shtut get on my nerves.

  492. #493 Narad
    January 12, 2014

    I am familiar with the dietary jewish laws

    Not familiar enough for posturing to succeed, I’d wager.

    I had business vocational training which helped me to get employment in New York

    Paying $123,100 per year in inflation-adjusted dollars? Sure thing.

  493. #494 Narad
    January 12, 2014

    In other West Wirginia faith-healing news, at least there’s specialty care.

  494. #495 Gray Falcon
    January 12, 2014

    I should note that Paul wrote his letter to the church in Galatia upon learning that they were attempting to become Jewish so they could be better Christians. Unique among his letters, he declares his astonishment at them at how quickly they abandoned their faith.

  495. #496 Scared Momma
    January 12, 2014

    @Narad, how, how, how does a story like that exist in this day and age?

    I only read the first paragraph ‘and they turned to gold’. Oh.my.gawd.

  496. #497 lilady
    January 12, 2014

    Narad nailed it. Some sort of Jews for Jesus group.

    From Narad’s link with have Boruch Ellison….a genuine AIDS denialist:

    http://www.noahide.com/aboutus.htm

    Boruch (Bryan) Ellison grew up in an activist, anti-Communist household and has himself been an activist, writer, and scholar for various right-wing and/or Jewish causes since his days in high school. His unwavering commitment to the struggle against Communism has endlessly generated controversy even in conservative and Jewish circles, inspiring passionate support from some people while infuriating others.

    He graduated from the University of California, Irvine, with a B.S. in biology. While working on his Ph.D. in molecular and cell biology at the University of California, Berkeley (and while continuing his writing and involvement in anti-Communist issues), he became involved in research by leading scientists that showed that the AIDS epidemic was not caused by the HIV virus — a conclusion furiously opposed by the politicized AIDS establishment. He wrote a book, Why We Will Never Win the War on AIDS, documenting the scientific controversy and exposing the AIDS agenda of the Marxist Public Health movement.

  497. #498 Militant Agnostic
    January 12, 2014

    @Narad & Lililady

    I wasn’t paying attention. Did Obama cancel the 2012 elections?

  498. #499 Mykaayah
    January 12, 2014

    I said that was my last post, but I could not resist. I am not posturing to be Jewish, those Kzars in Israel are. Abraham was Hebrew, Isaac and Jacob, were his seed; all Hebrew Israelite. So if God renamed Jacob Israel, how did they all of a sudden turn white, when Jacob was black. How did they come out black but go back in European white jews, no way? Really there is no such race as Jews it came from Judah. I am a Yehudite if you must know and I am proud of my heritage. Explain that to me smarty.

  499. #500 Mykaayah
    January 12, 2014

    Israel is not a country but the name of Jacob. Wen he was talking about the House of Israel, he was not speaking of the country named Israel or those who are posturing there, he was talking about the seed of Jacob; that is the House of Israel. Okay.

  500. #501 Renate
    January 12, 2014

    Why should one be proud on being something one hasn’t had any influence on?

  501. #502 Chris,
    January 12, 2014

    “So if God renamed Jacob Israel, how did they all of a sudden turn white, when Jacob was black.”

    Which why we know it is all a fiction. This is why we use all of the science and knowledge accumulated over the past few thousand years to solve problems, like cancer… instead of relying of mythologies told around cooking fires.

    In fact, it is much easier to keep the science sorted out than various versions of those mythologies. Plus it is much much more interesting as new data comes literally to light. Like the oldest human genome:

    The end result was a near-complete mitochondrial genome – the DNA found inside the organelles that power cells. By comparing it with that of modern humans, chimpanzees and bonobos, plus Neanderthals and Denisovans, Meyer estimated its age at 400,000 years, twice as old as our own species and far older than any hominin genome previously sequenced (Nature, DOI: 10.1038/nature12788). The Neanderthal and Denisovan genomes sequenced in recent years are each around 40,000 years old.

  502. #503 Narad
    January 12, 2014

    I should note that Paul wrote his letter to the church in Galatia upon learning that they were attempting to become Jewish so they could be better Christians.

    Oh, the “Torah Keepers” have answers for this one. Given that Mykaayah has already copped to thinking the Greeks “messed up the bible with their translations,” it’s pretty clear what her choice is likely to be: Just rewrite it so it says the opposite.

    (If you don’t want to read the whole thing, I will point out Stern’s “translation” of Luke 10:4: “Don’t carry a money-belt or a pack, and don’t stop to shmoose with people on the road.” That’s right, it took two millennia to correct the KJV “mistranslation” to include Yiddish. One Paul Clayton Gibbs goes so far as to aver that this “best translates the full meaning of the greek ‘melena aspasesthe,’” i.e., he can’t even successfully transliterate μηδένα and is iffy on ἀσπάσησθε but is quite comfortable in tossing Greek entry 782 from Strong’s Concordance out the window. It’s unbridled comedy.)

  503. #504 Narad
    January 12, 2014

    it took two millennia to correct the KJV “mistranslation”

    Oh, you know what I mean.

  504. #505 Mrs Woo
    January 12, 2014

    I am almost beginning to wonder of Mykaayah goes to a branch of Mr Woo’s church, except that there is more debate about the original ancestry of the chosen people (usually landing on olive-skinned Mediterranean peoples as an answer). Fascinatingly, one person tracing our ancestry told my father they traced our family lineage back to the 4th century, when we were Jews living in Greece.

    There is a movement in many denominations to abandon contemporary Christian holidays and Sunday Sabbath. It isn’t necessarily limited to just one.

  505. #506 Narad
    January 12, 2014

    I am a Yehudite if you must know and I am proud of my heritage. Explain that to me smarty.

    Given that it’s extremely unlikely that you have any particular knowledge of the what most people are discussing when they say “Yehudite,” which isn’t a religion but the residents of Yehud, especially around the time of the construction of the Second Temple, I’m going with your being incredibly dense.

    (The underlying assertion is that 95%+ of modern Jews are actually “Edomites” or “Khazars”; Paul was a “Benjimite,” not a “Jew,” etc. In other words, Mykaayah is claiming superiority to Jews.)

  506. #507 Mrs Woo
    January 12, 2014

    Wow. Faith healing dentist turns fillings to gold? Is it wrong for me to wonder what’s the point? I can see wanting a damaged tooth healed, but gee, go to a dental school… :-(

  507. #508 Narad
    January 12, 2014

    Oh, and given the “my heritage” part, I would be remiss in failing to point to Haile Selassie. This bowl of word salad gives the general flavor.

  508. #509 The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge
    January 12, 2014

    [2] NOPE, do not believe in Greek Mythology. They are the ones who messed up the bible with their translations.

    You mean the story about the 72 scholars independently producing exactly the same translation, word-for-word, thus proving they were divinely inspired, was a crock? My surprise, let me show you it!

  509. #510 Narad
    January 12, 2014

    One other thing:

    I have come into knowledge and know the truth now. At that time I did not understand and was not being told the truth. Yes, I went on the 50 day fast because we were told to. I am glad I did it because I went on it with a sincere heart and I left that church.

    Yet,

    My Pastor still prays for the sick and they are still getting healed, HIV/Aids, cancer, Highblood problems, limbs straightened out and healing blindness on the eyes and so many other things.

    However,

    I went to an old fashion revival about five days after the diagnosis and the preacher anointed his hands with oil, placed his hands on my head and prayer a prayer of faith over me.

    So which is it? Are the pastor and the preacher the same, or was the miraculous healing outside of the church that you left? Why not stick with whoever has been granted the miraculous powers by G-d? If he wasn’t telling you “the truth,” why did he have these powers?

  510. #511 AdamG
    January 12, 2014

    The underlying assertion is that 95%+ of modern Jews are actually “Edomites” or “Khazars”

    Although she doesn’t know it, Mykaayah’s actually stumbled onto what has been an interesting debate in population genetics over the past 10-15 years: Where did the Ashkenazi come from? Coincidentally, there’s been quite a bit of movement on this issue in the past year, and these 2 recent papers put the issue largely to rest:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24104924
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24346185

  511. #512 Narad
    January 12, 2014

    Israel is not a country but the name of Jacob.

    BTW, this naturally goes hand-in-hand with New World Order anti-Semitism.

  512. #513 Calli Arcale
    January 12, 2014

    TBruce:

    Whoa, so the “Christians on board” travelled 2000 years back in time to crucify the Son of God? I guess they had to make damn sure that the basis for their religion really happened. Don’t know how they managed the resurrection thing, though. Drugs and a defibrillator, maybe?

    Mykaayah is calling folks like lilady and me Pharisees, basically. It’s a popular insult among the *particularly* holy-roller types. Which, given her references to following the Commandments and subsequent talk about being a *real* Jew (not like those posers who actually practice Judaism), seems a wee bit hypocritical.

    I also am amused at how she didn’t even blink at my pointing out how fast she put the lie to her assertion that she knows what the Word really is (Jesus, not the Bible), and that she never responded to me calling her out on that.

    BTW, Mykaanah, you mentioned the genocide of Indians by Europeans. It’s interesting you either are unaware of or excuse the contribution of black people. Perhaps you feel they get a free pass because most of their ancestors came to the Americas by force, but personally I don’t think that’s much of an excuse for perpetuating the violence. Black divisions of the US Army were very involved with the subjugation of the West. There aren’t a lot of saints involved in the whole mess. We’re all humans, and if you are really following Christ, you would know that.

    Only by grace, and all that.

  513. #514 Mykaayah
    January 14, 2014

    I need to answer this question, since I am taking a break from classes. My healing was outside that 6,000 member church. It was in a smaller church with a smaller congregation in Hollis Queens, N.Y.. The Pastor of that church was not the one that prayed for me it was the one in the smaller church, that and other reasons are why I left. In the beginning was the Word and the Word was God and the Word was with God and the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us and we knew it not. That is why I believe the Word was Jesus and it will be that Word that will judge the world not the bible, it has been tampered with and mistranslated

  514. #515 Calli Arcale
    January 14, 2014

    And yet you twice have used the Word of God to refer to the Bible in this thread (e.g. in your first post, “This is what Jesus said in the Word of God”). You seem to have some consistency issues.

    I am glad you understand that it is a work of men. I hope you also understand this is true of the original editions of each book, not just the modern compilations and translations. Matthew, Mark, Luke and John were not taking dictation; they were writing their own witnessing of Christ, in their own words. This does not make it less valuable, of course.

    Incidentally, you decried the Greeks for mistranslating the Bible. Did you know that most of the original books of the New Testament were originally written in Greek? Not translated, actually written in the language. Greek was sort of a lingua franca at the time, the language of scholars, particularly in the Eastern Mediterranean and Egypt; the region of Alexander the Great’s influence, basically. It provided a common language for people struggling through the huge range of languages and dialects spoken in the area even before the Romans arrived and brought Latin along with them.

  515. #516 JGC
    January 15, 2014

    Matthew, Mark, Luke and John were not taking dictation; they were writing their own witnessing of Christ, in their own words.

    Actuallym, the authors– who were not eyewitnesses and are themselves not identified in the text–collated accounts from various oral traditions and written sources, considerably after the fact. Assigning their authorship to named disciples is a tradition that dates to the second century AD.

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