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should chemotherapy be mandatory for children with cancer?

Five years ago, I wrote editorials that appeared in Utah papers about my  reaction when Parker Jensen, diagnosed by Primary Children’s Hospital with “probably Ewing’s sarcoma” (a rare soft tissue cancer) was being forced into chemotherapy by the sate of Utah against his parents’ objections.   The incestuous group of doctors, social workers, guardians ad litem, and attorneys general immediately (without any due diligence) and in concert attacked the family, whose concern about Parker’s diagnosis and massively aggressive cutting/burning/poisoning treatment was legitimate and well grounded.

I ended up getting to know Parker’s parents, writing for them, even going to court (though the judge wouldn’t let me in).   Then I met other families who  other states forced into chemotherapy / radiation treatments, and wrote and advocated for them.   I met with Utah attorney general Mark Shurtleff regarding one family I worked with.   (It took me 17 phone calls to get the appointment.   The Salt Lake Tribune reporter I took along was summarily thrown out of our meeting.)   Although  Mr. Shurtleff  went on the  lecture circuit to attack the Jensen family, he had never even bothered to meet them!   In my advocacy experience, I learned some sad lessons about how government works, and how men  given a little power are often not in tune with the needs of individuals and families.

Last I spoke with the Jensens, they were still in the middle of their lawsuit against the state of Utah.    Parker thankfully did not undergo chemotherapy because of his father’s tenacious fight in the public eye–it was the #3 news story in Utah that year.    Parker is healthy and never has been ill to this day, five years later, with cancer or anything else.   But  Parker’s family’s battle against the state was  devastatingly costly.   When you are attacked by the state in this situation, you have fewer rights than an accused murderer.   Ask the family of Parker Jensen, Katie Wernecke (google her), and quite a few others if I’m wrong about that.

That’s the tiniest nutshell of a very long story.   But today I read of yet another one, Daniel Hauser of Minnesota:

Someone took one of the editorials on the Parker Jensen case I wrote and made it an online petition.   Here it is:

Do you believe that nutritional and alternatives to chemo and radiation can be effective?   Do you believe that parents should have the right to choose treatments?   I realize that this may possibly be the most controversial subject I have ever written about.   But while parents may make mistakes, let me state unequivocally  they are better equipped (in general) to make decisions for their children than government is.   Yes, occasionally bad parents abuse their children and must be stopped.   But lots of other parents get caught up in the net when we give those with the nets unlimited power.   It’s a tricky balance to achieve, but not choosing chemotherapy is not abuse.

Let’s stay out of this quagmire altogether for our children through PREVENTATIVE medicine.   That is, buck the larger culture and say  NO to its diet.   Go back to how we were meant to live, on whole foods.   Cultures that eat whole foods don’t die of cancer.   Cultures that eat processed food and lots of animal protein die of cancer.

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