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I was wondering...

On the news today, I saw the story about a mom that ran with her son to California and maybe to Mexico. The boy is 11 and has cancer. After one treatment of chemo, the mom doesn't want the boy go through it again. The police are looking for her and are going to press charges and the boy will end up in foster care. What is your opinion on this? I have mixed feelings on this issue


Asked by Cindy18 at 6:34 PM on May. 21, 2009 in Politics & Current Events

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This question is closed.
Answers (5)
  • Hodgkin's lymphoma is considered highly curable with chemotherapy and radiation. However, doctors can't predict the future. I've seen people die from an altered immune system due to the chemo. I believe this is a parent's choice. The parents want to try alternative treatments. I think that's their right. This mom is very involved and not neglecting her parental responsiblities. She feel so strong about her beliefs that she has taken the child. The government should NOT be interferring.

    Answer by Grandmarga at 6:13 AM on May. 22, 2009

  • The kid is 13 and he can't even read because of delays. The family is into some kind of Indian religion that believes in alternative healing. This child can have the chemo and a 95% chance to be cured or he can have a 95% chance of dying without it. What do you think should be done. This amounts to the parents killing him and he has no way to express his feelings because he isn't mentally capable of knowing what should be done. I think the courts are right to have an arrest warrent out on the mom. Not giving her child a chance to live because you believe in some silly religion (ok so they don't think it is silly but it won't cure him)is abuse and neglect and those parents do not deserve to have him period, The Judge is right on this one.

    Answer by itsmesteph11 at 7:31 PM on May. 21, 2009

  • Parents have a right to choose what is best for their children.

    Chemotherapy is radiation. Radiation cannot only be directed at the cancerous cells. Radiation affects all your cells. It kills them. Chemotherapy causes nausea, lack of appetite, hair loss, vomiting, and who knows what else. It sounds like torture to me. There are other forms of treatment that are less harmful. If a family chooses to try alternate methods of treatment that will give their child less agony and more happiness with the chance of a cure, they are entitled to it.

    And even if you can't agree with that, consider this: Would you want a judge or the government telling you how to raise your children? Would you like to be court ordered to do something that you believed not in your child's best interest?

    Answer by Anonymous at 8:05 PM on May. 21, 2009

  • Thanks, itsmesteph11, for giving some more details. I looked on line for some more info but didn't find much. See, that's where my mixed feeling comes in. I agree with both answers. I don't want to courts telling me what they think is best for my kid. But why wouldn't you do everything you could to save your child. To me this is one of the most confusing moral issues, I've seen in a long time.


    Answer by Cindy18 at 8:38 PM on May. 21, 2009

  • I would venture to guess that in this particular circumstance the doctors think that there is a good chance that medical treatments can work well for this child and therefore palliative measures are not what is warrented. We do not have the clinical records making judgement difficult. There are times where it would absoultely be abuse to not seek treatment. Depending on the type of cancer and prognosis, disease trajectory, and available known treatments....perhaps the mother is correct in stoping interventions. In these cases it would be better to go through a court system than to take a sick child and run. Clinicians would have to prove that there is a solid chance that standard medical treatment would signficantly benefit the child and overwhelmingly increase odds of survival. I can say from personal experience that doctors who don't believe that will usually refer to hospice and pallitive services.

    Answer by frogdawg at 9:17 PM on May. 21, 2009