Categories
Bioethics Cancer Complementary and alternative medicine Quackery

The family of the Amish girl with cancer who needs chemotherapy flee the country and claim natural healing has “cured” her

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.

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]

516 replies on “The family of the Amish girl with cancer who needs chemotherapy flee the country and claim natural healing has “cured” her”

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.

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.)

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?

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.

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.

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 …. !

@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.

” 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?

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.

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/

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)

@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.

“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.

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?

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.

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?

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.

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.

@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.

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.

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!!!

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?

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

Somebody is apparently unfamiliar with gender roles in Amish society.

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”

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

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

[email protected]

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.

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.

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.

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*

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….

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).

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.

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.

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).

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.

@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.

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.

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

@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.

@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.

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.”

@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.

@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.

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.

@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.

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.”

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.

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!

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?

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.

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.

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

Why?

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.

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.

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!

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.

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?

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.

“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.

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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?

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.

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?

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

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

ad homynym

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

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

Nick

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!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

@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).

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.

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. . .

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/

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

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?

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!

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.

@nina

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

@jp

[citation needed]

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.

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

Edith is clearly a paid shill

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

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.

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

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.

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

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

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

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.

@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.

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!

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.

@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.

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

Oh, pot. Meet kettle.

#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.

#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.

(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.

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.

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

“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.

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?

@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?

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.

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.

@ 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

@ Ma chère Denice,

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

Ton minion, Alain

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.

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.

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.

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.

@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.

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.

#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.

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.

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!

@George de free:

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

@ 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.

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.

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.

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?

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.

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.

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.

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.”

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.

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.

#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.”

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

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*

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

@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).

“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.

@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.

#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.

@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.

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.

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!

@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.

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.

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.

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.

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?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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?

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.

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.

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.

@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.

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?

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?

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.

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.

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?

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.

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.

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.

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).

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.

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?

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.

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.

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.

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?

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.

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.

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

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*.

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.

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

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

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.

@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.)

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.

@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.

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.

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

“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.

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://respectfulinsolence.com/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.

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.

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

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

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

“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.

@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?

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.

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”.

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.

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/

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?

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.

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.)

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.

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!

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.

@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….

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?

@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.

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#

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.

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.

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?

“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://respectfulinsolence.com/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?

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.

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.

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!!

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.

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.

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!

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.

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.

@ 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.

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.

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.

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!

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]

Obama rewarded them with tort reform

Please explain what changes Obama has made to tort law.

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.

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!

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?”

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”. 

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!

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.

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?

“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?

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.

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.

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

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

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.

@The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge,

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

Alain

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.

@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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.
.

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.

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.

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.

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?

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.

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.

@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…..

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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

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.

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?

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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!

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.

“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?

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?

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?

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.

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.

“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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

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.

“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.

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!

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.

@ 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!

@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?

@ 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

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.

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).

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?

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?

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.

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.

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.

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.

^ (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.)

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.

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.”

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.

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.

@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?

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.

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.

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…

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.

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.

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.

“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.

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.

@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.

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

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]

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.

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.

“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.

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.

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.

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.

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?

No, just a preference for reality-based medicine. The kind that
saved my brother’s life, Mark.