21 December 2012

Was the mother right to refuse treatment?

 Supports Chapters One and Two?

Everyone (in the UK at least) must know of Neon, the seven-year-old boy who has a brain tumour, medulloblastoma, and of Neon's mother, Sally Roberts, who is fighting for her son not to have radiotherapy and chemotherapy because of the danger, she says, of adverse side effects which could damage his brain and destroy his quality of life. 

The Daily Mail, today, put it this way:

Cancer boy Neon WILL have radiotherapy against his mother's wishes after High Court ruling.

  •     Mr Justice Bodey said he was worried Sally Roberts judgement had 'gone awry'
  •     Mrs Roberts had tried to claim her son should have alternative treatment to radiotherapy
  •     Experts brand her alternatives 'completely unethical'
  •     She conceded that her argument is 'weak' under questioning

I don't intend to take sides on this issue (although you can probably guess which side I might be on). But if you are wondering if Mrs Roberts has a case, here is the abstract from a 2003 study about the long-term effects on survivors of exactly the treatment a judge has decided her son must have:

Macedoni-Luksic M, Jereb B, Todorovski L. Long-term sequelae in children treated for brain tumors: impairments, disability, and handicap. Pediatr Hematol Oncol. 2003; 20: 89-101.


Sixty-one long-term survivors, treated for brain tumors in childhood, were evaluated in term of neurological impairments, disability, and handicap.

Thirty-eight patients (pts) (62%) had at least one impairment.

Visual impairment was detected in 14 pts (24%), associated with recurrence (p = .012).

34r pts (56%) had motor impairment, associated with sex (female) in irradiated patients;

13 (21%) had epilepsy, associated with supratentorial tumor site (p = .001).

The same number of patients had brain atrophy; risk factors were hydrocephalus at diagnosis and perioperative complications.

16 pts (30%) had IQ score < 80, associated with young age at first treatment (p = .006) and recurrence (p = .043).

27 out of 61 of our patients (44%) were disabled: 12 mildly, 14 moderately, and 1 severely.

Epilepsy was the most important risk factor for disability.

Cognitive impairment, motor impairment, and epilepsy were associated with employment (43%);

Cognitive impairment was also associated with education.

 So is Mrs Roberts right to be worried about her son's having conventional treatment? Has her judgement 'gone awry'? You decide.



Anonymous said...

tibetan medicine can cure cancer if it is diagnosed to be in early stages.

Barry Groves said...


There are many cancer treatments which are better - even in stage 4 patients: Coley's toxins and Artemisinin, for example.

I mention just these two because they both have evidential backing in mainstream medical journals, so the medical establishment can hardly dismiss them - but they do! Why? Because they aren't patentable and Big-Pharma can't make money out of them, seems to be the answer!


Anonymous said...

I have recently been reading up on Dr Ryke Geert Hamer's German New Medicine and although I'm finding it difficult to rationalise a 'non germ' theory of disease in common complaints such as colds and flu, it does make fascinating and provocative reading. The point I'm making with regards to your article is that even within my own loving family I am looked on as a little bit of an oddity for even contemplating that such heresy could be valid in any way. We are really losing the right to question and make our own informed decisions on subjects that concern us. To merely question orthodox medicine these days is seen as an aberration such is the Medical Mafia's might and patronising ridicule. The day we stop questioning and challenging , we roll over and die. Literally in some cases. Thanks to you Barry and others like you who are not intimidated and bullied and continue to give impartial and well documented medical and nutritional perspectives.

Barry Groves said...

How right you are about questioning orthodoxy.

If your family is in doubt about the corruption within the 'health industry' and the misinformation we 'plebs' are routinely fed by that same industry and our industry-led government, perhaps I could recommend a good book on the subject for them as a Christmas present. It's called Trick & Treat: How 'healthy eating' is making us ill. :-)

Have a great Christmas and a happy, healthy and prosperous 2013


Anonymous said...

Those who survive alleged chemo and radiation therapies do so in spite of these treatments. There is an absence of supporting medical literature justifying these remedys.

Anonymous said...

My heart went out to Sally Roberts following her attempt to seek alternative treatment options. It is a sad day in a “democracy” when caring parents have to resort to expensive court procedures to enable their rights to “freedom of choice” and then lose that fight.

To rule as he did, the Judge could not have had the opportunity to listen to the testimony of Sergeant Rick Schiff, from the San Francisco Police department, introducing the movie: Burzynski: Cancer Is Serious Business, now widely available on YouTube?

Listening to that testimony, made under oath, should be sufficient evidence to listen to the whole movie. Another movie that should be produced in evidence to support Sally Robert’s case is “Cancer the Forbidden Cures”.

These examples, along with your examples of Coley's Toxins and Artemisinin, illustrate just why it is challenging to find long term studies published in peer reviewed publications.

If that judge was a parent with the opportunity to view those movies and read the abstract you presented Barry, then if an honest man, he could not have ruled in the manner he did.

If Big Pharma cannot make money from non-patentable cures, can we assume they would be unable to support political parties? If government money was invested in supporting non-patentable treatments – how much would it improve the NHS budget’s ability to continue to afford “free treatment for all”.

Barry Groves said...

I couldn't agree more.


Anonymous said...

A physician in Hayward, California, USA permanently branded my medical record with a FALSE diagnosis of an anxiety disorder and eating disorder.

All I simply told her was that I refuse to eat certain foods because they are bad for the body. Mainly processed foods with chemicals as a part of the ingredients.

My concern was legitimate. It should be considered an anxiety disorder not to worry about what you eat since the environment that the human industrial revolution has created toxic foods within several feet of reach for most people.