Last week, one mother was convicted of attempted murder - I repeat, attempted murder - for choosing not to give her cancer-stricken child chemo radiation in pill form.  This came on the heels of the arrest of a Detroit area mother who chose not to give her child anti-psychotic medication.  Both women had their strong reasoning for bucking the trend of the common treatments for their children's condition and they were prosecuted for it. 

I, quite frankly, am beyond appalled by this. 

The illogical thought processes that have led our country down the proverbial tubes when it comes to health and well-being have spread into the minds of the powers that be in the judicial system.  When a jury convicts a mother for choosing to do something different for her child than the prescribed route, what kid of message does that send to people that don't want to medicate their kids?  Or to those that don't even believe in pharmaceuticals as a means of combating illness?  It sends the WRONG message, is what it sends.  It sends a message that we are no longer allowed to choose how to care for ourselves and our kids. 

One of the aforementioned women was also charged with assault and battery for not giving her son cell-destroying chemo medication!  Attempted murder?  Assault and battery?  The mother's defense was that the medications had such severe side effects that she felt like he was going to die from taking the drugs.  So, she took him off them, unable to bear witness to the ravaging effect that the drugs were having on her son's body.  It sounds like she was trying to prevent him from becoming one of the (upwards of) 800,000 people that die of side effects of medication per year (250,000 more people than cancer takes from us).  Her son did pass away.  Heaped on top of the grief she experienced from that, now she's heading to jail for making a difficult choice...the unpopular choice. 

Her son's physician testified against her, citing that she had an 80+ % cure rate for the condition based on two years worth of chemo radiation treatments.  (Chemo doesn't cure cancer, by the way.  It knocks out the cancer cells that had developed to that point, but that's not a cure, no more than a cast is a cure for a broken arm).  The mother defended herself by stating that she felt her son just couldn't take any more and that he had been so weakened by the treatments that she felt he was near death anyway.  When you consider that there are over 200 side effect categories for chemotherapy, can you blame her? 

No matter what choices we make for ourselves and our families, they are our choices to make.  No judge or jury should be allowed to state otherwise.  It's a slippery slope when something like the above happens.  Ignorance can sometimes be bliss, but I hope that you really think about the situations I've described.  If we all remove our blinders, then we'll see the truth...

Thinking good things for you, as always,

-Dr. Chad