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Complementary and alternative medicine Medicine Quackery

Update on Starchild Abraham Cherrix

Compared to the usual topics discussed during the week, I normally like to try to keep the weekend fare on the ol’ blog relatively light and fluffy (mainly because traffic usually falls around 50% and I like to post my serious material on skepticism and science on days when I tend to have the most readers), but to me this can’t wait until Monday. As you may recall, a couple of days ago, I wrote about Abraham Starchild Cherrix, a 15-year old who, with his father, has rejected conventional therapy for his Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. It now looks as though he will get to go to Mexico:

ACCOMAC, Va. (AP) – A judge agreed to let a 15-year-old cancer patient return to a Mexican clinic to continue an alternative medical treatment, as long as he has a diagnostic X-ray first.

Abraham Cherrix, who has Hodgkin’s disease, also was ordered to return to court June 29 for a hearing to determine whether he can make his own medical decisions.

The case landed in court in March after the Chincoteague teenager, whose disease remained active despite three months of chemotherapy last year, refused to go forward with a doctor’s plan for more chemotherapy and radiation.

Last week, Judge Jesse E. Demps filed a temporary order finding parents Jay and Rose Cherrix neglectful and requiring them and the county social services department to share custody of Abraham.

The judge also forbid the family to leave the state and ordered Abraham to undergo any diagnostic testing deemed necessary by doctors at Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters in Norfolk.


Last Friday (before Memorial Day), as you may recall, Cherrix showed up at a hospital to have imaging studies done to assess the status of his disease but refused to undergo them. I just hope that the “single X-ray” that he’s been ordered to undergo is a CT scan of the neck, chest, abdomen, and pelvis, as that’s the only test that will fully stage his disease. Of course, my question to the judge would be: What on earth makes you think that Abraham, once safely across the border in Mexico, will come back to Virginia any time soon or will show up for that June 29 hearing?

In any case, unless he and his father come to their senses, it looks as though Abraham Cherrix, like Katie Wernecke before him, is doomed.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

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