Sleepy Eye family in chemo controversy awaits judge's ruling

The Sleepy Eye family awaiting word on whether a judge will let their 13-year-old son refuse chemotherapy treatment for cancer said they're a normal family who just want their beliefs respected. Full Story
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John T

Saint Paul, MN

#22 May 14, 2009
Patient Advocate wrote:
<quoted text>
Allowing a family to make a decision that results in their child's death is criminal. there is a difference betweena parent's right to choose and a child's right to live (and the courts have judged that if the parents cannot or will not act in the child's best interest, than the state (guardian ad litem) will.)
And I agree, no one WITH THE CAPACITY OT MAKE AN INFORMED DECISION should eb forced into a medical treatment they don't want. And no, despite how savvy a 13yo may be, they cannot make an informed decision on life and death.
It is NOT criminal. He has life-threatening disease whose costly treatment is more akin to torture and will only extend his life months, maybe years. It is criminal to force a treatment upon him that he does not want. Ever heard of DNR? We have the means to treat nearly every disease and sickness imaginable, but everyone eventually dies. As long as it is a natural death, I cannot fault the child or family for wanting to fight the cancer on their own without OUTSIDE INTERFERNCE.

We feel bad because they refuse our help, but it seems they want to fight it their own way, deal with it in their own way.
Patient Advocate

Minneapolis, MN

#23 May 14, 2009
let them be wrote:
<quoted text>
Why wouldn't you discuss it. Have you heard of the Gerson Institute 99% success rate of curing even late stages of cancer. People where sent there saying they would die and yes this live now cancer free
OK, sure, here you go, in re: Gerson "therapy":
There have been no well-controlled studies published in the available medical literature that show the Gerson therapy is effective in treating cancer.
In a recent review of the medical literature, researchers from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center identified 7 human studies of Gerson therapy that have been published or presented at medical conferences. None of them were randomized controlled studies. One study was a retrospective review conducted by the Gerson Research Organization. They reported that survival rates were higher than would normally be expected for patients with melanoma, colorectal cancer and ovarian cancer who were treated with surgery and Gerson therapy, but they did not provide statistics to support the results. Other studies have been small, had inconclusive results, or have been plagued by other problems (such as a large percentage of patients not completing the study), making it impossible to draw firm conclusions about the effectiveness of treatment.
Some ideas put forth as part of the Gerson regimen, such as eating large amounts of fruits and vegetables and limiting fat intake, can be part of a healthy diet if not taken to the extreme. Researchers are continuing to study the potential anti-cancer properties of different substances in fruits and vegetables, but their actual effects are not well understood at this time. Because of this, the best advice may be to eat a balanced diet that includes 5 or more servings a day of vegetables and fruit, choosing whole grains over processed and refined foods, and limiting red meats and animal fats. Choosing foods from a variety of fruits, vegetables and other plant sources such as nuts, seeds, whole grain cereals, and beans is likely to be healthier than consuming large amounts of one particular food. Based on currently available evidence, diet is likely to play a greater role in preventing cancer than in treating it.
There is very little scientific evidence to support the use of other components of the Gerson regimen, such as consuming only fresh, raw juices prepared in a certain way, eliminating salt from the diet, and “detoxifying” the liver through coffee enemas and injected liver extracts, have very little scientific evidence to support their use against cancer.
And now, complications?
These substances may have not been thoroughly tested to find out how they interact with medicines, foods, herbs, or supplements. Even though some reports of interactions and harmful effects may be published, full studies of interactions and effects are not often available. Because of these limitations, any information on ill effects and interactions below should be considered incomplete.
Use of the Gerson therapy can lead to a number of significant problems. Serious illness and death have occurred from some of the components of the treatment, such as the coffee enemas, which remove potassium from the body and can lead to electrolyte imbalances. Continued home use of enemas may cause the colon's normal function to weaken, worsening constipation problems and colitis. Some metabolic diets used in combination with enemas cause dehydration.
Serious infections may result from poorly administered liver extracts. Thyroid supplements may cause severe bleeding in patients who have cancer that has spread to the liver.
Gerson therapy may be especially hazardous to women who are pregnant or breast-feeding. Relying on this treatment alone and avoiding or delaying conventional medical care for cancer, may have serious health consequences.
Patient Advocate

Minneapolis, MN

#24 May 14, 2009
John T wrote:
<quoted text>
It is NOT criminal. He has life-threatening disease whose costly treatment is more akin to torture and will only extend his life months, maybe years. It is criminal to force a treatment upon him that he does not want. Ever heard of DNR? We have the means to treat nearly every disease and sickness imaginable, but everyone eventually dies. As long as it is a natural death, I cannot fault the child or family for wanting to fight the cancer on their own without OUTSIDE INTERFERNCE.
We feel bad because they refuse our help, but it seems they want to fight it their own way, deal with it in their own way.
I actually agree with you in some respects... DNR is a right, and an appropriate one, especially if a therapy has no meaningful chance of recovery. That's not what we're talking about here. We're talking >80% CURE. Not remission, not "a couple months", but CURE. As in, all better. Yes, you can CURE some cancers, childhood lymphomas and leukemias among the highest of them.
Were this child, for example, suffering from relapsed AML, now on their third boine marrow transplant, with another relapse, and the doctors wanted to fo a fourth bone marrow transplant, and the family said, "no", that would be entirely appropriate. this, however, is not that case, as detailed earlier.
AND, the mitigating factor in this argument is that a CHILD is at the center. As a society, we protect thsoe who cannot protect themselves. You may not agree with that, and if so, please run for local or state office and start legislating to the contrary. Until then, you haven't convinced me that the only ethical, medically responsible and legally just decision is to give this CHILD the therapy that has a >80% chance of SAVING HIS LIFE.
Chebama

Minneapolis, MN

#25 May 14, 2009
ad hoc wrote:
just one less jesus freak in the population if you ask me.
You are a terrible excuse for a human being. This kid is caught in the middle and you're cheering his death because he's a "Jesus freak". What it says about you is telling.
ad hoc

Saint Paul, MN

#26 May 14, 2009
Chebama wrote:
<quoted text>
You are a terrible excuse for a human being. This kid is caught in the middle and you're cheering his death because he's a "Jesus freak". What it says about you is telling.
please enlighten me...what does it tell about me??
Chebama

Minneapolis, MN

#27 May 14, 2009
ad hoc wrote:
<quoted text>
please enlighten me...what does it tell about me??
I think it's pretty obvious. If you don't know I can't help you.
Doobie Brother

Saint Paul, MN

#28 May 14, 2009
PARENTS!!! Please save your child. God gave man the intellect to make medicines via plants or other means. Please wake up and watch your child grow.
Runner

Minneapolis, MN

#29 May 14, 2009
let them be wrote:
<quoted text>
Why wouldn't you discuss it. It is the main point right? Chemo is "the only answer". Can you honestly say that there is "no other effective cancer treatment" besides chemotherapy? Have you heard of the Gerson Institute 99% success rate of curing even late stages of cancer. People where sent there saying they would die and yes this live now cancer free
Here's some information about clinical studies concerning the Gerson Institute. Note the last sentence: "No conclusions about the effectiveness of the Gerson therapy, either as an adjuvant to other cancer therapies or as a cure, can be drawn from any of the studies reported above."

http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/cam/ge...
Shelley

Butler, MD

#31 May 20, 2009
There are many people suffering from cancer who choose not to have chemo. I've seen two family members die of cancer and chemo didn't save either one of them. If fact the chemo made them extremely sick and their quality of life diminished. And in the end they died anyway. Seeing this makes me believe every person and family has the right to decide how they will spend their last days. Although I'm aware that their is a high percentage of chance of survival with Hodgkin's lymphoma with chemo treatments, I don't believe the government should be telling its citizens that it demands someone should have to go through chemo treatments if they don't want to.
hmmm

El Dorado, AR

#32 May 20, 2009
let them be wrote:
This is insane that this is even an issue. With Chemotherapy statistically, you will die. It may prolong your life but statistically you will die. I happen to know of lots of alternative treatments including that of treating cancer that have a 99% success rate. Two time Nobel Prize winner Linus Pualing says, "You can trace every sickness, every disease and every ailment to a mineral deficiency". Therefore, if you replenish the body naturally you can combat it. But the FDA is only allowed to make any claims. Claims that state that only FDA approved drugs can cure anything. I hope the judge is smart and let's them be. If not, I would pack my family up and leave the country...fast. Shame on our country.
You are insane for even writing that paragraph. I vote you go ahead and leave the country now, because apparently you are as crazy as this kids mom. I think my favorite part is "With Chemotherapy statistically, you will die. It may prolong your life but statistically you will die."
Yeah, everyone dies whether it's now or later. That is horrible that they are not even giving him a chance to live. And the poor boy probably doesn't even know any better b/c he is just listening to his dumb mom. She will be charged if he dies. So what are the statistics for one living if they leave cancer untreated?
Becky

Minneapolis, MN

#33 May 21, 2009
It's not the government's job to get involved in the family's choice of treatment for their son! If this case is really a form of child abuse, why don't the courts help the family find other treatment options that comply with their religous beliefs, such as a Rife Machine.

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