Makayla Sault, an 11-year-old Canadian aboriginal girl had leukemia. Oncologists wanted to give her chemotherapy. They predicted an 80% chance of success. Her parents were Christian pastors who distrusted western medicine. They insisted on only prayer, diet and vitamin C, all treatments known to be useless in treating leukemia. The Children’s Aid Society sued to take her away from her parents. The courts ruled that because Makayla was aboriginal and Christian, her parents had the right to withhold therapy even if it killed her. Of course, she soon died.
The Court’s Excuse
Normally such a child would be taken from her flaky parents. In this case, because the child was aboriginal and Christian and because of all the fuss over children who had been taken from their parents en masse in the 50s and 60s to beat the Indian out of them in residential schools, it is politically difficult to take a child from aboriginal parents no matter how badly the parents abuse the child.
The Family Excuse
The parents believed that prayer, vitamin C and diet would cure the advanced cancer. A fraudulent Florida clinic charging exorbitant fees assured them they could cure with woo. I consider lying like that murder.
After the child died, the relatives defended their actions saying white oncologists knew nothing about curing cancer in native people. Her aunt claimed natives responded only to prayer and traditional medicine. IV vitamin C in her view was similar to traditional medicine. This woman got to babble on and on and on about her superior knowledge of medicine on CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) radio spreading her idiotic woo without being challenged by anyone for fear of sounding racist.
How The Law Should Work
~ Roedy (born: 1948-02-04 age: 67) source, source, source
- If you refuse to provide your child medical care using treatments with clinical evidence they work, you are effectively refusing your child medical care. That should be a criminal offence. Being Christian or aboriginal should not be considered a legal excuse. This is not alternative medicine; it is bogus medicine; it is medical care denied. The right of the child to live must trump all other considerations.
- On the other hand, I supported Makayla’s right refuse painful chemotherapy. She may have considered 80% insufficient inducement to go through the ordeal. That is not what happened here. She believed lies about the effectiveness of bogus therapies.
- What I absolutely want stopped is governments funding alternative therapies without evidence they are effective.
- I also want to stop people from taking money for woo treatments without evidence they work for (terminal) diseases and making claims they work. They should be charged with murder or attempted murder.
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In BC the cost of medical care is going up. Why? Technology usually reduces costs. I can see three reasons:
- You spend the half your lifetime medical budget in the last year of life. We have have found ways to keep people barely alive indefinitely, but very expensively.
- Doctors use expensive equipment routinely even when it is not necessary.
- Patent law allows drug companies to keep upping the price of drugs.
So what should be do about it?
~ Roedy (born: 1948-02-04 age: 67)
- We should stop putting roadblocks to people wanting to avoid that last year of life, its expense, its discomfort.
- We should put a nominal user fee on expensive procedures like CAT (Computerised Axial Tomography) scans to discourage frivolous use.
- We should not allow drug companies to patent a drug that is merely a trivial variation on an existing drug. It must be truly novel.
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