Live Free! You Might Die Anyway

CherrixSince I quit my 9-5, I am able to go to the gym during news hours. I go to one of those upscale “country club” for poor people places which have large flat screens everywhere, and it was one of those flat screens that nearly stopped my climb to the upstairs Hell of cardio and weight machines.

The Today Show (video link) ran a story on Abraham Cherrix, a sixteen year old cancer patient who has opted out of another round of chemo in favor of an alternative treatment. The young man has decided that he wishes to pursue a quality life rather than a life measured by year markers. As I watched the interview unfold, my admiration for this boy’s courage turned into horror. It seems that a social worker in this young man’s state decided that his parents were neglectful. His parents supported his alternative treatment, treatment that has not been proven efficacious, and were dragged into court to defend themselves as parents. The state was awarded a sort of joint custody. A custody which mandates the young man to submit to tests not of his choosing. To the government monster, it doesn’t matter if the kid feels better on his organic diet. It doesn’t matter that his parents support his decision. The talons have dug in, and this kid will submit to any testing which may give him unpleasant news — if only to be sure that he can continue on his alternative path.

I do not have to tell the readers here what shit this is. This young man has chosen to not merely exist — he has chosen to live. That his path is different than the Cancer Society’s “yellow brick road” should not be an issue. Not an issue for the courts, for damn sure. Sadly, government agencies continue to put themselves over free will and responsibility.

Positive news alert! I know that the tide is turning. I was not the only woman in the locker room glued to the TV. Several others, from obviously different political camps, were in lockstep. This is a private family decision. Government not needed.

Libertarians constantly look for ways to convince others that freedom works. Perhaps the Republicrats are already convincing them.

  1. hits close to home for me. I wonder if my doctors would “turn me in” if I refused treatment for some reason they did not think was suitable. My cancer is my business nd no one elses. I’ll accept treatment, or not, according to my wishes, not theirs.

  2. I wonder how the insurance companies are going to take this. If a person refuses help from a doctor, does the person also give up help from an insurance company? Insurance companies will want proof that their pay out will end sometime which means a doctor will be involved.

    How free can you be if you accept help from others?

  3. It it is not even a particularly thin edge of the wedge, hey? Nope, the USA had the wedge inserted sometime ago. Now I wait for a ‘No Child Left Alive…oops, I mean behind” policy of compulsory psych testing and obesity/fitness testing in schools. Then Nanny State will have the power to drug your child or arrange diet and exersize regimes, coz parents are just dumb fucks and only a beaurocrat knows best! Natch that some felons…oops I mean ‘parents’ will resist and be shot, in the interest of the child’s welfare, of course.

  4. Just had another thought on this! If one projects Govt. incursions on Liberty it seems almost geometric in progression. Imagine if it were a crime to criticize the Govt. or teach your kids such political dynamite as Libertarianism. Vis a vis ‘A Scanner, Darkly’ the new animated movie on the work of Phillip K Dick. WHEN (not if) Biometrics can literally read your mind, what happens to you when you sneer at a cop and are unknowingly profiled and goons come to take you so you can be re-educated. Oh, Brave New World!

  5. Tim,

    If you don’t mind sharing, are you or have you considered alternative treatments, in addition to or instead of the established medical practices?

    I totally support the right of people to choose whatever treatment they feel is best, or the right to not be treated.

    Mike R

  6. I have not for myself, no. But I think anyone should be able to decide their treatment without penalty. For me, the chemo was not horrible….bad, but livable.

    I have already decided that if I require a second operation, I’ll weigh the time gained – if I only get months as a result I’m not going to do it. My quality of life would decrease too much for me to consider the trade off worth it.

  7. This hits home for me as well, I spent the last 4 years of a dear friends life helping him deal with the cancer that was eating him away. If there had been any alternatives at that time, I’m sure it would have been better than the butcher shop (“The City of Hope” my ass) that was ‘treating’ him.

  8. This hits close to home for me, too. I have a chronic medical condition and would like to pursue alternative treatment–and on occassion, have used alternative meds when my prescription meds fail. My reward? To be threatened three times with a court order to force me to be compliant.

    Oh, and did I mention I’ve gained 35 pounds on this junk, I sometimes twitch, may be destroying my liver, and may develop heart trouble?

  9. There are alternative treatments. The more famous ones can be quite effective. In fact, the one the boy in the article wants to try was even DECLARED EFFECTIVE BY THE SUPREME COURT decades ago, before the American Medical Association gained such a hammerlock on our medical system.
    Our “traditional” medical system is, in many ways, not to be trusted. They will only approve “treatments” that make money for doctors and pharma companies. You’re online–research this stuff for yourself. It may even save your life.
    I’ve been involved in an effort to legalize the practice of midwifery in my state. Homebirth with a skilled midwife has been proven to be as safe as OR SAFER than hospital birth. Yet I have seen obstetricians stand up in legislative hearings and lie about the safety of midwife-assisted birth so blatantly that even the committee in question (which was NOT on our side) told them to back up their statements. Why? The OB’s don’t want the competition.

  10. As a survivor of Hodgkin’s lymphoma myself, I know first hand what Abraham had to deal with during his chemo. What is being left out of the story is the fact that he, with his parents consent, stopped the chemo treatments after only 3 months because it started to get difficult for him. Yes, chemo is difficult, but Hodgkin’s is one of the most curable forms of cancer due directly to the changes in treatments that have come after years of research. There is an overall survivor rate of 85% after treatment with Hodgkin’s, one of the highest survivability rates for all forms of cancer. I was diagnosed last August, did 6 months of ABVD chemo, (most probably the same chemo regimen Abraham was on) and am now cancer free. While I do agree that everyone should make their own decisions regarding their health care treatment, those decisions should be based on all the available information. Quitting a life saving treatment when things get tough, may not be the best choice.