Judge rules family can't refuse chemo for boy - page 6

MINNEAPOLIS – A Minnesota judge ruled Friday that a 13-year-old cancer patient must be evaluated by a doctor to determine if the boy would benefit from restarting chemotherapy over his parents'... Read More

  1. by   mercyteapot
    Quote from Vito Andolini
    There is always a compelling reason to give up our liberties, our Bill of Rights. Be it for this boy's life or for public safety, we are seeing and have seen and will, sadly, continue to see our rights stripped away.

    did you know that Aryan citizens of Germany could be strip-searched by Nazi soldiers on trains, in bus stations, etc.? never mind, it was only for the greater good of the Reich. There has to be a point at which you put your foot down and say, "This far and no furtherl
    Oh, I'll put my foot down when the time comes, but the time won't come till well after trying to protect a 12 year old's ability to reach the point that he is competent to choose his right to refuse treatment over the pursuit of continued life through it.
  2. by   PICNICRN
    Quote from Vito Andolini
    There is always a compelling reason to give up our liberties, our Bill of Rights. Be it for this boy's life or for public safety, we are seeing and have seen and will, sadly, continue to see our rights stripped away.

    did you know that Aryan citizens of Germany could be strip-searched by Nazi soldiers on trains, in bus stations, etc.? never mind, it was only for the greater good of the Reich. There has to be a point at which you put your foot down and say, "This far and no furtherl
    Vito- If YOU wanted to deny treatment for your lymphoma that would be just fine with everyone-there would be no denying you your wish- no court order. No court would take away that right from you as a responsible adult to deny ANY treatment.
    However, you cannot make that decision for your child! Here is why.... the child cannot stand up and say that this is his religious belief, maybe he will decide to be Catholic or Hindu or Atheist or whatever when he grows older and can make his own decisions. Maybe that child would say... "yes I want the chemo or transfusion" or whatever as an adult. Many people grow up and do not follow the faith or beliefs of their parents. But they must be given the chance to grow up!
    That being said, I do agree with you that our rights as citizens are being stripped away little by little. However I think this is apples to oranges.
  3. by   cursedandblessed
    as a nursing student i find this case both troubling, confusing, and ethically complex.

    1. as hodgkin's is succesfully treatable in most cases to refuse the treatment for a child who is not able to read (which in my mind means he can not really get a good understanding of the pros and cons of treatment) seems unreasonable, whatever your beliefs.

    2. i don't really like the idea of government getting involved in people's business. but this is a kid who's parents seem irresponsible.

    3. we were taught in school that by the hospital going and getting the court order for treatment, took the responsibility off of the parents (therefore, getting the parents off the hook with their church leaders) and most parents complied. (i see that is not so in this case.)

    4. after reading the posts here, (before reading them,i hadn't thought of the ethical quandry for the chemo nurses and doctors), i can see that it would be difficult for the chemo nurses to comply with the judges order if the child were kicking, screaming, and biting, brought in by police. would the judge order chemical restraint, too?

    has anyone sought to find out why, after one chemo treatment the family is against further treatment? was it the side effects? that's something i haven't seen addressed in the reports i've read.
  4. by   vashtee
    Quote from Vito Andolini
    There is always a compelling reason to give up our liberties, our Bill of Rights. Be it for this boy's life or for public safety, we are seeing and have seen and will, sadly, continue to see our rights stripped away.

    did you know that Aryan citizens of Germany could be strip-searched by Nazi soldiers on trains, in bus stations, etc.? never mind, it was only for the greater good of the Reich. There has to be a point at which you put your foot down and say, "This far and no furtherl
    LOL! Yes, I suppose by forcing Aryans to strip naked, the Nazis stepped over the line.

    I'm not worried about this particular right being taken away. To me, it's a matter of common sense.
  5. by   regnurse1995
    Is a chemo candidate pleased with the offer of a few extra months that will
    probably include unnecessary misery, a damaged immune system, and
    physical ravages? Would it not be better to gamble on almost
    anything else that is obtainable and affordable? I am not convinced that we kill more with chemo than help! I don't blame the parents!
  6. by   rn/writer
    Quote from regnurse1995
    Is a chemo candidate pleased with the offer of a few extra months that will
    probably include unnecessary misery, a damaged immune system, and
    physical ravages? Would it not be better to gamble on almost
    anything else that is obtainable and affordable? I am not convinced that we kill more with chemo than help! I don't blame the parents!
    Chemo is highly effective for the type of cancer this child has. The cure/remission rate for those whose disease is caught at an early stage (his was) is better than 90%.

    Let's be clear. Chemo is harsh treatment meant to kill cancer cells, and it often wreaks havoc on the body of the person receiving it. But just because it isn't "nice," that shouldn't mean we opt for things that are less invasive and more affordable if they aren't as effective.

    For cancers that are less receptive to chemo treatment or those that aren't found until a later stage, there has to be a cold hard look at the risks vs. the benefits. Some will not want to trade the misery for a few extra months. But in this case, the cancer was caught early and the treatment is highly effective. The odds are in the boy's favor that he will live to tell about this experience if he undergoes the chemotherapy his doctors prescribed.
  7. by   regnurse1995
    What about the parents that have to take their kids to get chemo and the chemo kills the cancer, but the child dies from heart problems or other side effects? This happened to a person I've been speaking to on a cancer forum. The chemo took her childs life even when the child was "cancer free" What can we tell her that is comforting? Where is the freedom for the parent/child to choose the more evil?

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