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Thu Jun 12, 2014, 11:57 AM

Court Forces Family To Give Teen Chemotherapy Against Rabbi's Advice

he family court in Tiberias has forced a 14-year-old boy suffering from lymphatic leukemia to undergo chemotherapy even though he and his parents have refused to allow him to undergo additional cancer treatment at a hospital in Haifa. The court stated that the boy had not been received from his parents accurate information on his chances for recovery if he underwent chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

The success rate for blood cancers in children and teenagers is very high, and the boy’s blood cancer receded. But the parents refused continuing treatment to keep the cancer in remission, saying that their family rabbi instructed them not to allow him to have the treatments because he would recover without them.

The parents told the court they were afraid their son would die from the therapy and that if the police came after them, they would take him to a hiding place. The boy said his previous treatments were very painful and that he preferred to “go home and die.”

http://www.vosizneias.com/167243/2014/06/11/family-court-in-tiberias-forces-teen-to-undergo-cancer-treatment-jpost-israel-news/


Religious ignorance, alive and well. I hope this boy beats his cancer and recovers (from cancer AND the religious ignorance forced upon him)

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Reply Court Forces Family To Give Teen Chemotherapy Against Rabbi's Advice (Original post)
cleanhippie Jun 2014 OP
trotsky Jun 2014 #1
unblock Jun 2014 #2
Iggo Jun 2014 #11
rug Jun 2014 #3
cleanhippie Jun 2014 #4
rug Jun 2014 #5
cleanhippie Jun 2014 #10
Donald Ian Rankin Jun 2014 #6
rug Jun 2014 #7
Donald Ian Rankin Jun 2014 #8
edhopper Jun 2014 #15
rug Jun 2014 #16
cleanhippie Jun 2014 #19
rug Jun 2014 #20
cleanhippie Jun 2014 #21
rug Jun 2014 #22
cleanhippie Jun 2014 #23
rug Jun 2014 #25
cleanhippie Jun 2014 #26
rug Jun 2014 #28
cleanhippie Jun 2014 #29
edhopper Jun 2014 #24
rug Jun 2014 #17
okasha Jun 2014 #9
cleanhippie Jun 2014 #12
trotsky Jun 2014 #14
Warpy Jun 2014 #27
cleanhippie Jun 2014 #30
Warpy Jun 2014 #31
cleanhippie Jun 2014 #33
Act_of_Reparation Jun 2014 #18
okasha Jun 2014 #32
Humanist_Activist Jun 2014 #13

Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Thu Jun 12, 2014, 12:04 PM

1. Thank Koresh there was a system in place to get the boy the care he needed. n/t

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Thu Jun 12, 2014, 12:06 PM

2. sounds more like practicing medicine without a license than religious ignorance.

i'm not aware of any jewish restriction on chemo, nor on medicine in general.

in fact, health comes first. jews can take insulin even if it's derived from pigs, for instance.

moreover, the rabbi didn't cite a religious objection, he cited a medical one -- that he deemed further chemo medically unnecessary.

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Response to unblock (Reply #2)

Thu Jun 12, 2014, 01:22 PM

11. Sounds like both.

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Thu Jun 12, 2014, 12:10 PM

3. "The boy said his previous treatments were very painful and that he preferred to 'go home and die'”

 

Do you respect that choice?

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Response to rug (Reply #3)

Thu Jun 12, 2014, 12:13 PM

4. "The court stated that the boy had not been received from his parents accurate information..."

"The court stated that the boy had not been received from his parents accurate information on his chances for recovery if he underwent chemotherapy and radiation therapy."

One needs all the information to make an informed choice.

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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #4)

Thu Jun 12, 2014, 12:16 PM

5. He had information on the pain of the treatment.

 

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Response to rug (Reply #5)

Thu Jun 12, 2014, 01:14 PM

10. But not on the efficacy.

Who knows, had he been given accurate medical advice and not improperly influenced by religious ideology, he may have felt otherwise.

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Response to rug (Reply #3)

Thu Jun 12, 2014, 12:26 PM

6. No, absolutely not, but if he were four years older, I would do so.


At 14, he is not old or mature enough to make decisions about life-saving medical treatment for himself.

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Response to Donald Ian Rankin (Reply #6)

Thu Jun 12, 2014, 12:32 PM

7. Do you know what age prevails in Israel to make personal medical decisions?

 

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Response to rug (Reply #7)

Thu Jun 12, 2014, 12:53 PM

8. I don't have a clue, but if it's as young as 14, it shouldn't be. N.T.

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Response to rug (Reply #3)

Thu Jun 12, 2014, 02:43 PM

15. Oh definitely

I see that 14 year old boys make rational decisions all the time. He obviously wasn't influenced by his family and religious leader.
Dying would have been much better.

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Response to edhopper (Reply #15)

Thu Jun 12, 2014, 02:58 PM

16. Sometimes it's better than the treatment.

 

Do you actually think he's incapable of making this decision?

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Response to rug (Reply #16)

Thu Jun 12, 2014, 03:38 PM

19. The boy didn't HAVE all the info to make that decision.

It was intentionally kept from him.

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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #19)

Thu Jun 12, 2014, 03:50 PM

20. That wasn't the question. You can be 80 and not have the info.

 

Do you think he at 14 is capable of making this decision?

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Response to rug (Reply #20)

Thu Jun 12, 2014, 03:58 PM

21. No one can make an informed decision if they have info intentionally withheld.

Their age is irrelevant at this point.

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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #21)

Thu Jun 12, 2014, 04:00 PM

22. So, if he were 7 it would be irrelevant?

 

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Response to rug (Reply #22)

Thu Jun 12, 2014, 04:01 PM

23. He's not 7, so your question is also irrelevant.

Do you think he is capable of making his own decisions? You intitial response above indicate you do, or tht it should be "respected". That being the case, did he make an informed decision? Do you respect his right to make an informed decision?

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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #23)

Thu Jun 12, 2014, 04:11 PM

25. No, he's 14. Now you can answer the question.

 

Is a 14 year old able to consent to this treatment?

My opinion is that in a serious mater like this, yes. With complete information on the risks and benefits.

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Response to rug (Reply #25)

Thu Jun 12, 2014, 04:24 PM

26. Your question is irrelevant. He didn't have all the info in order to make one.

The question is, can one make an informed decision when information has been intentionally hidden?


You stated up thread that his "decision" should be respected. Did he make an informed decision?

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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #26)

Thu Jun 12, 2014, 04:25 PM

28. Deflect, duck, weasel, rinse, repeat.

 

It's a very simple question.

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Response to rug (Reply #28)

Thu Jun 12, 2014, 04:29 PM

29. Great self-evaluation.



I'll agree with you, his decision, his informed decision, should be respected.

Unfortunately he didn't make an informed decision because his rabbi and parents kept him ignorant because of religious belief. And that's the real tragedy here.

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Response to rug (Reply #16)

Thu Jun 12, 2014, 04:09 PM

24. In this instance

with what the article says, it doesn't appear he could.

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Response to edhopper (Reply #15)

Thu Jun 12, 2014, 03:09 PM

17. Here's the Israeli statute on consent.

 

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Thu Jun 12, 2014, 01:00 PM

9. a friend of mine is a cancer survivor.

Even though the tumor was in an extremely difficult location, his doctors got it out cleanly and without complications. He came out of the surgery in good shspe.

Then they did radiation, and came close to killing him. He wound up in the hospital again with open, running burns at the radiation site, dehydration, malnutrition and the first stages of kidney failure.
He'd have died without treatment--for the treatment.

He's doing better, but it's been a year now, and he's still not back to full strength.

Patients need to have full information about the consequences of their treatment--including the dangers and possible negative results.

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Response to okasha (Reply #9)

Thu Jun 12, 2014, 01:43 PM

12. So you agree that as a patient, he was intentionally uninformed?

That the rabbi and his parents did him a disservice by withholding medical advice and replacing it with religious ideology?

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Response to okasha (Reply #9)

Thu Jun 12, 2014, 02:29 PM

14. Do you think the family should have listened to the rabbi, and stopped treatment? n/t

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Response to trotsky (Reply #14)

Thu Jun 12, 2014, 04:24 PM

27. I think they should have listened to their son

and had a very frank discussion with the doctors with the kid included about what another round of chemo could and could not do.

The good Rebbe was talking through his yarmulke.

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Response to Warpy (Reply #27)

Thu Jun 12, 2014, 10:06 PM

30. But that's the problem, they didn't want to listen to him. They wanted him to do what they believed

their god would want, and the rabbi was his spokesman. He convinced them that the right course of action was to go home and let their god's will be done on their child.


Because they believe it to be true.


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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #30)

Thu Jun 12, 2014, 10:34 PM

31. " The boy said his previous treatments were very painful and that he preferred to “go home and die.”

I doubt they'd have paid much attention to the Rebbe if their son had wanted to keep fighting with another round of chemo.

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Response to Warpy (Reply #31)

Fri Jun 13, 2014, 10:12 AM

33. "The court stated that the boy had not been received from his parents accurate information..."

"The court stated that the boy had not been received from his parents accurate information on his chances for recovery if he underwent chemotherapy and radiation therapy."

One needs all the information to make an informed choice.

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Response to okasha (Reply #9)

Thu Jun 12, 2014, 03:29 PM

18. Cancer is a cellular condition

Cancerous cells tend to clump together into tumors, which are easy to see and can be removed surgically from the body. But individual cells are easy to miss, and if left alone will only ensure the emergence of new tumors. Though treatment varies across conditions, for many types of cancers radiation, chemo, and surgery are used in tandem to ensure every afflicted cell has either been excised or eliminated.

There is the possibility your friend might not have required radiation... and then there's possibility the surgeons missed a single cell buried deep between folds of otherwise healthy-looking tissue. Radiation is the smart choice given these circumstances.

As for the side effects, there are many. Some are worse than others, some are more common than others. It is difficult to predict how people will react to the treatment, or how the side-effects will manifest across various systems. The best doctors can do is inform patients of those side-effects which have been found to be directly linked to their treatment.

Undoubtedly, there are some doctors who are pretty shitty where full disclosure is concerned, but that's no reason to take medical advice from not-a-doctor.

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Response to Act_of_Reparation (Reply #18)

Thu Jun 12, 2014, 11:32 PM

32. My friend was fully informed of his options

and chose follow-up. And his friends and family are glad that he did.

But here's the problem. The doctor who did the radiation therapy--not the excellent surgeon--cleared him to go back to work five days after finishing up said radiation therapy. He received no treatment for the oozing burn the radiation left on the exterior of his neck or the blister it left in his throat. He was not told that there was a risk of dehydration or malnutrition, even though he couldn't swallow properly or without pain. He wasn't offered the option of a feeding tb ube. He met his first day of the semester classes on Monday and Tuesday. I did his demos for him Wednesday and Thursday because he could barely stand up. His other apprentice drove him home Thursday after class, and he collapsed about an hour after he got there.

If the young patient in the OP was treated as cavalierly as my friend, I can understand why he reacted as he did. And while the rabbi should have kept his yap shut, it seems to me that the blame is ultimately more likely to lie with a doctor who didn't fully address his patient's concerns.

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Thu Jun 12, 2014, 01:48 PM

13. That Rabbi was practicing medicine without a license, he belongs in jail.

 

But I will say that the boy should be informed of his full options, full consequences and benefits of treatment, and given a choice about treatment. He has a right to choose when to die, and how, if he so chooses but he needs accurate knowledge about it first.

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