The Doctors: Life-Saving Treatment For Son Refused
It’s hard to imagine being a parent with a child who’s in a difficult situation. Two parents are currently fighting for what they believe is best for their son. Cancer kills more than 8 million people a year worldwide. One mom is refusing chemotherapy and radiation for her 6-year-old dying son because she “doesn’t understand it and how it can actually save lives.”
In an interview, the mom stated “they’re treating cancer with two carcinogens. It doesn’t make sense to me.” The boy’s parents decided against treatment after their son was diagnosed with a large brain tumor, further adding “I don’t want my son’s brain fried.”
When told that a treatment that involves radiation and chemotherapy has been proven to save lives 80% of the time, the mom responded with “I find it really difficult to see that that’s called a treatment.” She’s then told “yet it has been proven to be a successful treatment,” to which she shot back “In some cases.”
An Australian court said the boy will die within months without treatment.
The Doctors: Were Parents Right To Refuse Treatment For Son With Cancer?
Dr Lawrence Piro, an oncologist, explained that the boy’s kind of brain tumor is the most common kind of brain tumor that occurs in kids. It happens in the posterior area of the brain responsible for balance. He pointed out that while listening to the mom’s interview, you would think she was given the choice between a terrible, toxic treatment and the opportunity to have wonderful time with her son. The reality is that her son has no “wonderful” time left because the tumor is only going to continue to grow, taking away more neurological functions.
He believes it’s important for the child to be treated because the rate of development of new treatments is so dramatic that if the child can live 3-5 more years, he’ll likely live to see treatments we don’t yet have today. His parents could potentially be cutting him off from a lot more than just a few years of survival.
What Dr Jennifer Ashton had the biggest problem with was the fact that the mom admitted she didn’t understand it, which is why she refused it. Perhaps the doctors need to do a better job at explaining the case, or the parents need to simply have more trust in the doctors to know what treatment is best for their child. Doctors even offered to only give the child chemotherapy without the radiation to limit his exposure to potentially harmful treatments, but the parents still refused.