Alternative Medicine

How Dangerous is “Alternative” Medicine?

Consider if you will the following article about a young aboriginal girl, stricken with leukaemia, whose parents have decided to discontinue her potentially life saving chemo therapy treatments and instead treat her with “aboriginal remedies”.  You can read it here:

http://news.nationalpost.com/2014/10/16/judge-says-forcing-aboriginal-girl-to-stay-in-chemo-is-to-impose-our-world-view-on-first-nation-culture/?__federated=1

Children are not able to apply to apply logic and rational thinking to the decision making process because they haven’t completely developed those skills yet.  That’s the reason why the age of majority in most provinces in Canada is 19.  (There are some with an age of Majority of 18, but that’s the youngest age at which anyone can be considered an adult in the eyes of the law).  So in cases such as the one in the linked article, it falls to the parents to make informed decisions on the child’s behalf.  They are, in essence, the child’s last line of defence.  Let us closely examine what potential harm children can be exposed to when well intentioned, but ill-informed people buy into nonsense like “alternative medicine”

“There’s a fear of [aboriginal remedies] or denial of it. If things can’t be quantified or qualified, to them it’s irrelevant,” said Ms. Hill, as she shopped at Ancestral Voices Healing Centre Thursday. “Who are they [doctors] to say she will make it with their treatments. Just because they have a degree, that makes them more knowledgeable?”

How many errors in judgement can you spot in that one little paragraph?
1)  No, there isn’t a “fear” or “denial” of aboriginal remedies – there’s no such thing.  It’s not medicine nor is it science.  It’s pseudo-science.
2)  Yes, the doctors are in a much better position to determine what treatments will have the greatest chance of succeeding and what her chances of survival will be.  This is precisely because they have a degree in the relevant field (medicine).  Yes, it does make them more knowledgable.

I can assure that woman and anyone who reads this blog, that the “Ancestral Voices Healing Centre” is NOT going to have the cure for that girls leukaemia on their store shelves.

I am astounded that a judge decided that forcing a girl to continue potentially life saving chemo therapy is “imposing our view on First Nation culture”.  This has got nothing to do with culture.  This child’s skin colour, race, culture and religion are completely irrelevant.  What’s at stake here, is a child’s right to survive into adulthood.  Her parents have severely jeopardized that possibility.  A judge has allowed them to do so.  This is what happens when enough people buy into pseudo-medicinal “alternative” quackery.

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