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Just like using Vitamin C to treat cancer...

Just like using Vitamin C to treat cancer…

“It’s a case that has Canadians and the legal community buzzing.

Earlier this month Ontario Judge Gethin Edward ruled in favour of a First Nations girl and her family, who stopped chemotherapy to treat her acute lymphoblastic leukemia, choosing traditional medicine instead.

The judge rejected an application from McMaster Children’s Hospital that would have required the Children’s Aid Society to intervene in the case.”

Buzzing indeed.  Let us be clear up front – evidenced based medicine works.  Anything else is just a fine grade mixture of bullshit and the placebo effect that happened to work in that specific case on that specific day.   We can safely assume that “Traditional Medicine” falls into the later category and most definitely not the former.

“Edward ruled that it was the mother’s aboriginal right — which he called “integral” to the family’s way of life — to allow her to choose traditional medicine for her daughter.

While many hailed the decision as a victory for aboriginal rights, others call it a failure in the protection of child welfare”

While others like myself would be calling this a death sentence for the child in question.  Treating cancer with magical mumbo-jumbo almost always ends in tragedy.

“I’ve never seen a judge recognize a broad right for a First Nation like the Mohawk Nation to have their medical practices — their traditional ways of life regarding health and healing — protected by the Constitution under Section 35,” said Larry Chartrand, professor at the faculty of law. 

    “Chartrand specializes in aboriginal governance and health, and while he states that this decision is positive in terms of aboriginal rights, “the unfortunate circumstance is that it revolved around a fact situation where a little girl’s life is potentially at stake. So that makes the decision very difficult to appreciate.”

The ‘decision very difficult to appreciate my ass’ – Leave it to lawyers to miss the point.   We have this thing called medical science, it is the justified, tested and reviewed methods of saving lives.  Denying a child access to life saving treatment is neglect.

“McMaster doctors said she has a 90 to 95 per cent chance of survival on chemotherapy, but that they didn’t know of anyone who had survived acute lymphoblastic leukemia without the treatment.”

Traditional methods of healing in this case means death for the child.

“I understand the mother’s decision. I have a 12-year-old son, and I’m not sure I would make that decision myself under the circumstances. But I understand why, because of the impact of colonization, the distrust of the mainstream system, and the need to protect Mohawk culture — sometimes at all costs.”

If protecting Mohawk culture means sacrificing your child to woo, it may be time to rethink that aspect of Mohawk culture.  If the child dies because of this fanciful foray into neglect the parents should be charged with child endangerment and neglect causing death.   Welcome to the other end of the legal system – the one where murdering children, even for cultural reasons is against the law.

“A Florida health resort licensed as a “massage establishment” is treating a young Ontario First Nations girl with leukemia using cold laser therapy, Vitamin C injections and a strict raw food diet, among other therapies.

The mother of the 11-year-old girl, who can not be identified because of a publication ban, says the resort’s director, Brian Clement, who goes by the title “Dr.,” told her leukemia is “not difficult to treat.”

Vitamin C?  Raw Food?…   To treat lymphoblastic leukemia?  *shakes head*  Using woo to treat cancer, this is going to end badly for everyone.

Orac over at Respectful Insolence says it best:

“My view is that what matters the most is the life of the child and making sure that child is given her best shot at life by being treated with the best science-based medicine has to offer. Everything else is secondary and, to me, important only inasmuch as it helps or hinders achieving the goal of saving the life of the child. I don’t care much about whether I offend by criticizing a religion that would allow a child to die. I don’t care much if it bothers anyone that I criticized a racial, ethnic, or cultural group that facilitates the medical neglect of children. And I don’t really care that much, in the context of this case, about the historical grievances native peoples have based on past transgressions of the Canadian government. That’s not to say I don’t recognize them as important; rather, it’s that I do not accept them as valid reasons to let a child die.”

[Source 1: –  Aboriginal right to refuse chemotherapy for child spurs debate.]

[Source 2: –‘Doctor’ treating First Nations girls says cancer patients can heal themselves.]



The FDA and Health Canada are deliberating on the safety of this procedure for women.  I was listening to CBC yesterday and heard this piece, and shuddered at the implications.  Here’s the blurb from the podcast.

“Health Canada warns surgery using a morcellator could spread undetected cancer, Amy Reed & her husband are fighting to stop the practice – Oct 15, 2014

Not long ago, only surgeons and patients would have heard of a morcellator. Gynecological surgeons say morcellation minimizes the risks of certain surgeries, but others see the procedure to be a cause of risk, especially for women with undetected cancer.”

Go listen to the podcast on :)

Lap Morc WSJ


Arb and I are now down to only one cat. This is how I’ll remember Lilith
Lilith upside-down in a sunbeam

Not long after her boneless lying in the sun picture, we started noticing Lilith was losing weight. And then her coat turned nasty like she wasn’t grooming herself properly, so it was vet time pronto. I assumed it was just worms again, since Lilith hunts and hunting cats tend to get whatever parasites infest their prey.

As it turns out, Lilith had lost a whole lot of weight, and it was only the last rapid bit we’d noticed. Read the rest of this entry »

Now it got Jack Layton.  He was a good man.  Someone in politics for what seemed to be the right reasons.  A politician who passed the “would I have a beer with him” test with flying colours – I did have a beer with him and we had a lovely time.  He was one of those people who could make you feel like the most important person in the world the way he listened to you.  And now just like that he’s gone.

I’ve really had a problem with the discourse (or really, lack thereof) that’s surrounded his fight with cancer.  The dogged optimism.  The refusal to come out and say, when you’ve had prostate cancer and it’s back, and on top of that you’ve now got another kind of cancer as well, you’re pretty much fucked.  And also, things like what Edmonton Strathcona MP Linda Duncan said on CBC this morning: “If anybody could beat cancer, it would be Jack.”  I understand the sentiment.  I really do.  If cancer was something that could be fought with the will, who better than Jack, the perpetual underdog who never gave up.  If cancer was something you could fight with hard work and determination, who better than Jack, who lead the NDP from near-demise to official opposition status.  Except that cancer doesn’t care how hard you fight.  If it did, we’d still have Jack.  And a whole lot of other people too.

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