MOBILE USERS: m.isthmus.com
Connect with Isthmus on Twitter · Facebook · Flickr · Newsletters 
Friday, July 11, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 75.0° F  Mostly Cloudy
Collapse Photo Bar

A very disturbing story

If it's news, but not politics, then it goes here.

Re: A very disturbing story

Postby Chuck_Schick » Thu May 28, 2009 3:19 pm

Ned Flounders wrote:I also disagree strongly with snoqueen's final statement in the excerpt above. What is "hideous" or "shocking" about premodern medical care is not that it was gory or relied on the use of toxic metals; it's that it was gory and ineffective.

Exactly. Thank you.

Not only were the treatments Snoqueen describes ineffective, they were, in most cases, founded in superstition rather than scientific observation. To my knowledge, there is no reliable account claiming that arsenic treatments, blood-letting, and the like ever did anything beneficial for the patient. Comparatively, we have reams of data to show that chemotherapy can effectively treat many kinds of cancer (depending on a host of variables). In many other cases it's a craps shoot. But you don't have to look very far to find instances of folks who were diagnosed as terminal who beat the odds. Ask one of them or their families if they think chemotherapy is just junk science.

In a handful of decades you'll have med students aghast that we ever cut people open to do any sort of thoracic or abdominal surgery. So fucking what? Does that invalidate today's method of open heart surgery which, while not pretty (I don't want to sit in on one, let alone have one), saves hundreds of lives every day?

I'd probably feel differently about this case if the kid's doctors had written him off or if it seemed they were interested in him merely as a guinea pig, but that doesn't appear to be the case in this instance.

I'm giving the judge the benefit of the doubt that he considered both the relevant medical literature and expert witness testimony as well as the kid's medical record (to which none of us is privy, mind you) before ultimately making the decision he felt was in the best interest of the child. I think to doubt that decision is to presume one knows a whole lot more about this case than the little bit that has trickled out of the courtroom and into the mainstream media ... which to me seems unlikely.
Chuck_Schick
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 10385
Joined: Fri Nov 16, 2001 4:41 pm
Location: back atcha

Re: A very disturbing story

Postby Peanutbutter » Thu May 28, 2009 4:09 pm

Chuck,

You said that abortion is not a life and death choice. I provided examples that show it is a dangerous procedure. Reading your profanity-laced response, it was hard to tell if you were saying that no one has ever died from an abortion or if you were saying you don't want to confuse the issue with anything silly like "facts".

Then again, looking at your other responses it is obvious you simply don't give a crap either way. As usual, you are just looking for an outlet to show everyone that you have 99 different ways to say "fuck off!".

I'm not saying that in a bad way. That is a great talent and I'm glad to see you're not wasting your thesaurus-like skills. This troll/flamewar behavior of yours is what this forum has been lacking for quite a while and I'm glad you're doing your part.
Peanutbutter
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 953
Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2005 11:54 am

Re: A very disturbing story

Postby Henry Vilas » Thu May 28, 2009 4:26 pm

Yes, these numbers are a few years old, but...
The U.S. maternal mortality rate rose to 13 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2004, according to statistics released this week by the National Center for Health Statistics.

The rate was 12 per 100,000 live births in 2003 — the first time the maternal death rate rose above 10 since 1977.

Link

In 1998 and 1999, as in previous years, deaths related to legal induced abortions occurred rarely (<1 death per 100,000 abortions).

Link
Henry Vilas
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 19522
Joined: Wed Sep 04, 2002 8:57 pm
Location: Name sez it all

Re: A very disturbing story

Postby Marvell » Thu May 28, 2009 4:35 pm

Oh, those silly 'facts.'
Marvell
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 6974
Joined: Thu Nov 08, 2001 11:28 pm
Location: At one with time and space

Re: A very disturbing story

Postby Ned Flounders » Thu May 28, 2009 4:38 pm

Peanutbutter wrote:You said that abortion is not a life and death choice. I provided examples that show it is a dangerous procedure. Reading your profanity-laced response, it was hard to tell if you were saying that no one has ever died from an abortion or if you were saying you don't want to confuse the issue with anything silly like "facts".


I can't speak for Chuck, but my guess is that he was pointing out that your link consisted of anecdotes rather than statistics. Both, of course, are "facts", but the latter are a lot more useful in determining whether a medical procedure is safe and effective.

In the case that we're discussing here, roughly 90% of people undergoing treatment for Hodgkins lymphoma will survive, while 90% (or more) of those who don't get treatment will die.

Your attempt to analogize that to abortion had at least three major problems:
    * It was based on anecdotes, rather than statistics.

    * As Chuck pointed out, it's a mishmash of stories from the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries, of legal abortions performed in clinics and dangerous self-induced abortions in back alleys. In other words, it conflates cases that are justification for supporting legalized abortion (the back-alley ones) with cases that are justifications for opposing legalized abortion.

    * It doesn't tell us anything about whether a woman is more likely, equally likely, or less likely to die from a legal abortion than she is to die from pregnancy and childbirth.

I don't think this case is a really good analogue to the debate over abortion.
Ned Flounders
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 707
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2008 3:32 pm

Re: A very disturbing story

Postby Peanutbutter » Thu May 28, 2009 4:46 pm

All right, you guys have convinced me.

Since abortion is completly safe and harmless, any child should be able to receive one with no more hassles than buying a pack of gum. But for any other medical procedure, they are not mentally devolped enough to make their own choices so their parents have to do it for them. Except for when it comes to chemo; in that situation we can ignore the parents and have the State make that choice for the child instead.

Seems logical to me.
Peanutbutter
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 953
Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2005 11:54 am

Re: A very disturbing story

Postby Ned Flounders » Thu May 28, 2009 4:47 pm

As a postscript, I think the abortion-vs-childbirth comparison for maternal mortality may be a bit more complicated than just comparing what Henry cites above.

But the general picture is pretty clear. If your teenager has Hodgkins lymphoma and doesn't get treatment, her odds of dying are very, very high (close to 100%). If your teenager gets pregnant and has an abortion, her odds of dying are something on the order of 0.001%.

Not a very good analogy, Peanutbutter.
Ned Flounders
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 707
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2008 3:32 pm

Re: A very disturbing story

Postby Ned Flounders » Thu May 28, 2009 4:50 pm

Peanutbutter wrote:Since abortion is completly safe and harmless, any child should be able to receive one with no more hassles than buying a pack of gum.


Like Goddog, you've got a serious case of reductio-ad-absurdam-itis. I'd get that looked at, if I were you.
Ned Flounders
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 707
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2008 3:32 pm

Re: A very disturbing story

Postby snoqueen » Thu May 28, 2009 6:23 pm

Now that this family is back together and has evidently decided voluntarily to submit their son for treatment, I think we can say a favorable outcome has been obtained in several regards.

No law was invoked against the family. It's not clear what happened, but fair persuasion seems to have been used. In my opinion this is close to ideal. Apparently the people talked the whole thing out on their own.

For every situation under the sun there is not a legal remedy, nor should there be. No law here was stretched to force an outcome, no new law has been drafted to cover similar situations in the future. Still the kid has been brought in for treatment, which as noted has some statistical chance of success (though nobody knows what, given all the variables, and to pretend otherwise is to falsify the facts).

Instead of a legal precedent for forced medical treatment, a decent example for compassionate human behavior has been established. The lurking libertarian in me is pleased from a legal standpoint while the my much larger humanitarian side is happy nobody had to be forced, coerced, or muscled around in the process. This way, however things turn out for the kid, there won't be lifelong anger and resentment about how things went down.

And the next unfortunate family in the same situation is still free to reach the conclusion that's right for them, whatever it is. So far.
snoqueen
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 11268
Joined: Fri Feb 14, 2003 11:42 pm

Re: A very disturbing story

Postby white_rabbit » Thu May 28, 2009 7:41 pm

I wouldn't want to be the one to force a parent to have their child undergo chemotherapy against their wishes, but when a treatment protocol has been proven to return a high rate of efficacy and the parents are refusing that treatment I believe it becomes necessary for the community (the legal system, child protective services) to become involved. There are no certainties, but if the available knowledge would suggest that there is a greater chance of the child dying without treatment than with treatment without serious longterm side-effects, then I would believe that crosses the line into the territory of neglect. From a quick google search of "five year survival rate of Hodgkins" the few articles I clicked present a 5 year survival rate of between 78-90%. The kid may side with his wacky religion parents now, but I'm betting he wouldn't mind being around to see 18.
white_rabbit
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 7487
Joined: Wed Feb 05, 2003 11:44 pm

Re: A very disturbing story

Postby bitcharista » Thu May 28, 2009 7:53 pm

white_rabbit wrote:From a quick google search of "five year survival rate of Hodgkins" the few articles I clicked present a 5 year survival rate of between 78-90%. The kid may side with his wacky religion parents now, but I'm betting he wouldn't mind being around to see 18.


Those odds are pretty good.
bitcharista
Forum Addict
 
Posts: 204
Joined: Thu Apr 09, 2009 10:13 am

Re: A very disturbing story

Postby white_rabbit » Thu May 28, 2009 8:09 pm

bitcharista wrote:
white_rabbit wrote:From a quick google search of "five year survival rate of Hodgkins" the few articles I clicked present a 5 year survival rate of between 78-90%. The kid may side with his wacky religion parents now, but I'm betting he wouldn't mind being around to see 18.


Those odds are pretty good.


If it were a disease with a much less chance of long term survival then I would agree that the parents resistance to treatment would have a much greater weight of decision on the option to chemo or not. If the 5 year survival rate was low and the treatment would greatly diminish the quality of life remaining then of course they have a right to decline treatment. But that doesn't seem to be the scenario in this case. I was happy to hear they decided against fighting treatment.

By the way, where is the legal system when sick people who desire treatment are being told by the health care industry they can't have it because they can't afford it? If the courts can be used to tell people who don't want the services of the medical care industry they have to get it, can the courts be used to tell the medical care industry to offer their services to those who they don't want?
white_rabbit
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 7487
Joined: Wed Feb 05, 2003 11:44 pm

Re: A very disturbing story

Postby bleurose » Tue Jun 02, 2009 12:54 pm

Sorry, all, my bad. I did not see that it had already been identified as a Hodgkin's lymphoma. Other posters are quite correct - this type of lymphoma is very often successfully treated with the chemo regimens we currently have. So Hodgkin's (thankfully) does not follow the usual sarcoma game plan of being difficult to treat. Did not mean to confuse or mislead, mea culpa.

There are other lymphomas though for which we do not seem to have found successful treatments. T-cell lymphomas, in general, seem to do whatever they want no matter what gets thrown at them. They actually act more biologically aggressive when treatments are tried in many instances and oncologists are studying that reaction in hopes of finding the weak spot and potential treatments.

i am relieved that the family has decided to resume treatment. Fingers crossed that the interruption will not adversely affect the outcome.
bleurose
Forum Addict
 
Posts: 445
Joined: Thu Oct 16, 2003 12:46 pm

Re: A very disturbing story

Postby Ned Flounders » Tue Jun 02, 2009 1:11 pm

snoqueen wrote:Now that this family is back together and has evidently decided voluntarily to submit their son for treatment, I think we can say a favorable outcome has been obtained in several regards. [...] In my opinion this is close to ideal. Apparently the people talked the whole thing out on their own.


I think everybody here agrees with that. Nobody wants to see a court stepping in and ordering a family to give their child life-saving medical care. But some think the latter is a less-bad outcome than letting a child die needlessly. Others think that family autonomy in medical decisionmaking should be absolute.

It seems likely to me that we'll continue to muddle through on this, with different cases going different ways in the future, not necessarily consistently.
Ned Flounders
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 707
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2008 3:32 pm

Re: A very disturbing story

Postby Henry Vilas » Fri Jun 29, 2012 7:50 am

Update: Supreme Court to hear prayer death appeal

On an aside, Tonnette Walker believes in healing through prayer.
Henry Vilas
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 19522
Joined: Wed Sep 04, 2002 8:57 pm
Location: Name sez it all

PreviousNext

Return to Headlines

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests

moviesmusiceats
Select a Movie
Select a Theater


FacebookcommentsViewedForum
  ISTHMUS FLICKR

Promotions Contact us Privacy Policy Jobs Newsletters RSS
Collapse Photo Bar