Could not have said it better myself, "One might wonder what is motivating Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital to pursue a case that only involves one patient. Yes, the $60,000 per month for Jacob’s treatment is a reality, but perhaps the bigger threat is the precedent that is set for all vulnerable parents of children with life-threatening diseases.
Perhaps these parents, many of whom have been bullied and threatened by their doctors that their child may be removed from them if they fail to continue with “standard of care” treatment, might feel empowered by this case to choose to make their own decisions. Maybe they would realize that there are alternatives to our “standard of care”, and even supplemental therapies, which the Stielers have implemented with their son Jacob.
Maybe they would come to realize that they TRULY are the experts when it comes to their own child, and are very capable of making informed decisions for the one whose care has been entrusted to them by God. What happened to “liberty and justice for all”? And since when does MD stand for “Medical Diety”?
And by what authority does a physician, hospital, or the state of Michigan intrude upon the sanctity of the family, and force decisions upon informed, knowledgeable parents who love their son far more than any physician or hospital or state DHS ever could?
And what will be the next level of interference by the DHS into the arena of parental rights? Once it starts, where does it stop?
This case is about the liberty of ALL parents to make medical choices for their child. Just as any adult may decline any treatment offered by a physician, so may the parents of any minor, or so we have assumed.
Apparently the local DHS was quite ready to dismiss this case months ago, finding no evidence of “medical neglect”, and therefore recommending to DHS headquarters in Lansing dismissal of this case. But apparently Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital threatened the state DHS with a lawsuit if they dropped the case. Hmmmm…..must be alot at stake for them.
I hope Judge Solka reads the deposition taken with Jacob’s attending physician very carefully, as he will surely see the extreme arrogance of this doctor in stating that SHE surely should be the one to make this risky decision for the Stieler family, that she is the one who knows best. Wow!
This is SO about a physician whose ego was wounded by a courageous young mother who dared to challenge her question of, “Don’t you trust me to know what is best for your son?” by answering “No, I do not trust that you know what is best for our son.” This was said after the first clear PET scan in July. And this was the cause of the charges of “medical neglect”.
There is no definitive way to prove that Jacob still has cancer cells in his body, but then we do know that most of us have some cancer cells in our body that our immune system is continuously destroying. The best test is the PET scan, and by that test Jacob is showing no evidence of cancer.
Building up his immune system, strengthening his body, and NOT exposing him to additional stress by continuing chemotherapy treatments which were extremely traumatic to him both physically and emotionally, would indeed seem to be the best way to keep this beautiful young boy free of cancer. And this is exactly what Ken and Erin Stieler are doing.
What amazing, responsible, and courageous parents, to dare to stand up and say “No! you will not have your way with our son!” May we all stand with them, and voice our outrage, because one day we could be the ones to be so challenged."
From what I've read, Ewing's sarcoma is fairly well-studied and there's a clear standard of treatment. The five-year survival rate with that treatment, according to studied in peer-reviewed journals, is 70%. The five year survival rate without is close to zero. When parents are making medical decisions that seem likely to cause the death of a child who otherwise has a good shot at survival, I call that neglect.
Radiation and chemo suck. They're awful. Chemo is poison, yes. Watching someone you love go through these treatments is excruciatingly difficult. But parenting is tough sometimes, and this is one of them.
Single mom to Rain (1/93) , grad student, and world traveler
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