Here’s my own answer to Emily’s question, what would I do if my child had cancer. (She implies this: I wouldn’t want the recommended treatment.)
I would research and find case law to support me (such as Abraham Cherrix, whose case did not exist when Parker Jensen’s family was attacked). I would study PubMed and other sources, to gather all the information possible about the actual efficacy of the chemo they would be requiring, and the risks and side effects.
I would hire the best lawyer experienced in these kinds of cases immediately. I would refuse the chemo and demand true 2nd opinions, and I would go to my holistic-healing doctors for that 2nd opinion. (The Jensens demanded a second opinion and got a rubber stamp of the first diagnosis from LDS, a sister hospital to Primary Children’s, instead of a true evaluation and “blinded” second opinion.)
I would go to the media so that clandestine actions on the part of DCFS, GAL, and AG would be have the “light of day” shined on them, with the public watching, right up front. I would do detailed interviews with any media who would listen, so they would get the story right.
And I would fight like the mother bear I am. I would demand that the state give me a written guarantee that my child will be healthy and whole, and that the cancer wouldn’t come back, after chemotherapy.
(Of course the State would refuse to give me that. And within my power, I would refuse to give them my child.)
I would submit my own detailed treatment plan from the doctors I chose. I wouldn’t run, because that’s inviting “kidnapping” charges, such as faced by the Werneckes and Jensens. But I would employ the tactic “the best defense is a good offense.” I would stall and delay and utilize the media and write in my public forum and demand guarantees and show my own proactivity.
I went to Daren Jensen for his answer to Emily’s question. I asked him, do you believe Parker even had cancer? He said, “Honestly, I don’t know. In the sense they thought he did? [Life-threatening, urgent, rare Ewing’s Sarcoma.] No, absolutely not. A lot of personnel at Primary Children’s told us there was a lot of pressure to put a diagnosis on Parker to get him into a clinical trial.”
A clinical trial was headed by Parker’s pediatric oncologist, Lars Wagner, with a Huntsman Cancer Institute doc. (Daren received an anonymous phone call telling him to check out Dr. Wagner’s credentials—he was not board certified—and to follow the money to the clinical trial. The Jensens’ lawyers uncovered the details in the discovery phase of their legal process.)
One way drug trials are manipulated is to recruit healthy people into the study–thus artificially inflating “success” rates when that person (in this case a child) survives chemo and, ostensibly, the “cancer.”
Daren has met with, or talked to, hundreds of families who asked the same question Emily is asking, many of them with children who have cancer. A few people like the Jensens will go the distance to fight for their right to choose treatment. Others will passively do what they’re told, leaving it in the hands of the doctor.
Both Daren Jensen and I feel reticent to give anyone advice about what to do in the event of a childhood cancer diagnosis. Do you trust the diagnosis? What stage is the cancer and what type is it? Is it a rare cancer, and is the treatment experimental, and is the treatment extremely grueling and high-risk? All of these factors would influence what a parent might do.
Daren told me, “I would never, ever recommend chemotherapy for any type of cancer. The likelihood of [secondary] cancer resulting from the treatment is so high. I’m not at all convinced that it works. Get the inserts for the drugs, which no one reads—we got them and did read them. No wonder they never let patients read them! They are so scary. They talk about the percentage of people who will die, sustain organ damage, or be sterilized. Always get the drug inserts and read them!”
Daren says not to talk to a medical doctor about anything “alternative” you might be interested in. Anything outside drugs and surgery, many docs (not all) will likely label “quack” treatment and report you. The Parker Jensen bill here in Utah ensured your right to not choose a pediatric oncologist for treatment.
The oncologist who started the nightmare for the Jensens, Lars Wagner of Primary Children’s, needed children for his clinical trial. One of his colleagues testified in court, because Dr. Wagner had left for a new job in Cincinnatti, that there was a 100% chance Parker would be full of metastasized cancer within a few months, without chemo. (Clearly doctors are not always right.)
Daren Jensen recommends Dr. Marietta Bergdorf at the Modern Health Clinic in Bountiful. They treat cancer every day, but holistically. (My mom got a letter from Dr. Bergdorf to opt out of mammography and get thermography instead, so she could go on a mission, which was very helpful to her.)
Incidentally, Daren’s father-in-law was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer while on a church mission. He was treated with spot radiation at LDS Hospital, which did not work. He refused chemo and went to Modern Health Clinic. They treated him with alternatives, supplements, and nutrition, and was clear of cancer 4 months later. He lived another 8 years before dying 2 months ago (some in his family feel his death was due to the effects of radiation years before).