Skip to comments.A teen's Y chromosome problem (Abraham Cherrix case)
Posted on 07/24/2006 9:33:39 PM PDT by freespirited
A 16-year-old Virginia boy who suffers from Hodgkin's disease has been told by a state judge he must report to a hospital this week and accept treatment deemed necessary by his doctors. The boy and his parents have chosen to pursue alternative treatment. It consists of a sugar-free, organic diet and herbal supplements supervised by a clinic in Mexico.
On July 21, juvenile court Judge Jesse E. Demps ruled that the boy's parents, Jay and Rose Cherrix of Chincoteague, were neglectful and that they must continue to share custody of their son, Starchild Abraham Cherrix, with the Accomack County Department of Social Services.
I have heard Cherrix interviewed on the radio and he sounds intelligent, articulate, reasonable and capable of making such a major decision. Cherrix says three months of chemotherapy left him nauseas and weak and he prefers not to repeat that type of treatment. That a court would deny Cherrix and his parents such a choice prompted the family attorney, John Stepanovich, to say: "I want to caution all parents of Virginia: Look out, because Social Services may be pounding on your door next when they disagree with the decision you've made about the health care of your child."
In an age when we continue to debate "a woman's right to choose" when it comes to a girl aborting her baby and we are told that it is the girl's body and no one else should make decisions affecting it, a boy has no such rights. A girl can be given birth control by the school nurse and even abortion information without her parents knowledge or consent, but a boy can be prohibited from making decisions that affect his life and body. At least the courts are consistent. They forbid parental involvement in either case. In some states, though, parents are held responsible for their kids' illegal and anti-social behavior. Why is it that parents supposedly have power to keep their kids from committing crimes, but can be denied power when it comes to their child's health and welfare?
If a young child (say 10, or younger) is unduly influenced by parents who are members of a religion that teaches that faith alone can heal, or prohibits blood transfusions, then the state has an interest in stepping in to protect the child until he, or she, is old enough to make an informed choice. But in this case, the informed one appears to be Cherrix, who says he has studied his options, experienced the treatment given by his doctors and doesn't want anymore of it. He prefers "alternative medicine." That should be his and his parents' right to determine, not a social worker and a court.
The attitude of the state and culture toward the value of human life is in constant flux. Like the Dow Jones Industrial Averages, it is up one day and down the next. Some want to use embryonic stem cells for research into all sorts of afflictions and diseases, though no clinical tests have proved they are effective and stem cells from placentas and other sources, which cause no harm to human life, are available. Life in the womb - indeed life emerging from the womb - may be destroyed at any time and for any reason. There is pressure at the other end of life to euthanize the elderly and handicapped when they become "burdensome" to family members or "too costly" to the state.
Attorney Stepanovich says Cherrix's parents will appeal the ruling this week. Absent any additional information that has not been made public, which might prove neglectfulness and bad parenting, Cherrix and his parents should decide what is best for them and not the state of Virginia.
The name "Starchild" explains it all. [Segue to SWINGIN' BLUE JEANS' version of "Hippy Hippy Shake"]
It's one thing to opt out of any treatment, but to place faith in something stupid should certify one as nuts and therefore forcefully treatable.
It's a Catch-22!
I think he would be better off searching the internet for alternative treatments, rather than using a Mexican clinic which always seem to do nothing more than relieve people of their money as they face a certain death. I saw Abraham on TV, and he said he'd rather die than go through chemo again. A lot of people talk that way until they are actually near death.
Personally I question the mental competence of a hippie to make such decisions at any age...
So the alias AntiGuv thinks the Guv should make medical decisions for hippies?
I saw he and his parents on TV also. He was much better spoken than his parents and was emphatic about not having more chemo but like you say, when the end is near he might feel differently.
Have a relative in Eastern OR that knew a non resident ranch owner who was a Dr and she had one of those clinics in Mexico. Had this relative convinced it was the answer for cancer treatment. She died a little over two years ago of cancer. Guess it only worked for her patients.
A brother of mine named one of his kids Loam (no, not Loma, dirt). He named another one Yarrow Moon (loco weed). I now have a grand niece named Raven (euphemism for crow or black bird).
No, only for neglected or abused child hippies.
Not sure if you want this one; it's a pretty clear article and makes good comparisons.
So what if his name is weird. Just because people are "funny" doesn't mean they should have their rights taken away from them.
Plus, as it is noted on the thread, he doesn't use that name. I know people who used to be weirdos and gave their children strange names but have changed.
And should people with strange names have no say in the medical treatment of their kids?
On another thread about this I told about a friend (28 years old) who died of this same kind of cancer. Actually, she died of chemotherapy, not the cancer, and it was not a good way to die. I vowed at that time never, ever to go for chemo. Maybe surgery, maybe even radiation if it had a good track record, but never chemo. I had another friend who went through horrible times with chemo, but succumbed to cancer anyway.
I don't see why families can't make these kinds of decisions themselves. Talk about the nanny state.
The child is suprisingly bright, well informed, well read, articulate, and very gracious in the face of outrageous governmental abuse.
He has already experienced the side effects of chemo and therefore speaks from experience.
For you to dismiss his valued judgement base on his research and experience based solely on your disdain for the the name he was given by someone else is, frankly, mystifying.
Lost my mother to lung cancer. She took chemo and showed some improvement. Then the doctors recommended radiation and that did her in. She lasted 4 months after diagnosis and I believe to this day that she would have made it much longer and had a better life value without any treatment.
We lost a family member two years ago only 4 months after she was diagnosed. She went fast because she decided not to have treatment.
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