Alternative Cancer Treatment: The Controversy in Virginia

What do you suppose the first thought a person just diagnosed with cancer has? Do they think about death? Do they think about chemotherapy and other medical treatments? What would you think of first if you found out you had cancer?

For me, I’ve already decided that if I ever do get cancer, I will not seek out the conventional medical cancer interventions and treatments that are the society standard today. I’ve decided I will seek a natural route, one that does not involve chemotherapy and the destruction of my healthy cells as well as cancer cells. I’ve decided I will seek a treatment that does not weaken me physically, but rather helps to empower and strengthen my body.

This decision has come to me over my lifetime, and personally seeing relatives suffer through this type of treatment, only to quickly deteriorate, and in my opinion, die a faster, more painful death than if they’d had not treatment at all. Dramatic statement, I know, but nonetheless, this is my opinion.

I do not know what natural therapy or lifestyle changes I would actually choose if I were in that position, but I do know this is how I would choose to fight my battle, and I would hope that with some prompted research, the natural choice would make itself apparent. This is my personal choice, and no one could change my mind.

Now, consider this. What if I were only 16 years old, and I had come to this same conclusion, with the added caveat that I had actually had chemotherapy and been severely debilitated by it once already? Does the government or a judge have the right to intervene and order medical treatment, which I do not believe in, and in fact, which I believe will actually kill me, if not dramatically jeopardize my quality of life?

That’s exactly what is transpiring right now for a 16 year old Virginia man (I say man, because this particular teen carries himself like an adult), with 2nd stage Hodgkins disease, a form of cancer that is very treatable the first time around, but upon recurrence, is less treatable and more deadly, requiring more drastic traditional chemotherapy and radiation.

Initially, the teen did undergo chemotherapy when the cancer was first discovered. He was weakened so badly, and in so much pain, that when his oncologist ordered a second round of more aggressive chemo and radiation when the cancer returned, he refused and sought out an alternative cancer treatment called the Hoxsy method.

It is important to note that this natural, herbal method of cancer treatment, which is paired with a sugar free diet, has been banned by the FDA in the US, and he had to travel to Mexico in order to receive the daily herbs he had to take as well as intructions on how the treatment worked.

His parents advised the teen’s oncologist of their intentions for further alternative treatment, but said they’d like his continued medical monitoring. The oncologist felt this was neglect, and reported his parents to the authorities for investigation of medical neglect.

The case is now in court, and so far the judge has ordered the teen to undergo the chemotherapy treatments that he has so adamantly refused. I ask, how can you force someone who is obviously so against a certain medical treatment, to receive that treatment, regardless whether they are an “adult” as defined by today’s standards?

I can guarantee this teen has been forced to become much more mature than his biological years already through this ordeal, and is more than capable of making his own choices in his method of cancer treatment. Is this morally and ethically right? Or is it morally and ethically right to give him chemo, which many believe may actually save him while the alternative methods cannot possibly work?

I suppose it depends on your point of view, whether you are a believer in the pharmaceutical and medical industry or not. I for one have lost a lot of faith in the medical industry, and I believe that this choice should be left to the person it affects most. And that is, the one who has the cancer, the one who’s life has been so dramatically changed and nearly ruined by chemotherapy. Is it not up to the individual, or is this just a case of “the establishment” having their way?

Copyright 2006 Danna Schneider

by Danna Schneider

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