Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Disconnected Rants and Links

Ordinary Time

CNN: Teen Battles State Over Cancer Treatment. Jesse put this one across my desk over the weekend; apparently, a 16 year old in Virginia could be forced by the government to go through a second round of chemotherapy after the first failed. Starchild Abraham Cherrix (huh?) has Hodgkins Disease, and while the normal survival rate is 80%, it's far less - between 33 and 50% over 5 years - when the initial round of chemotherapy is unsuccessful. He wants to try some herbalist treatment or another and take his chances rather than go through another, stronger round of chemo that doctors can't even say would probably work. Arthur "Caplan, [a] University of Pennsylvania bioethicist, said it seems likely the judge will order Abraham back to the hospital for chemotherapy and radiation, but said "the reality-check question" is whether a tall 16-year-old can be made to cooperate. "Are they going to shackle him? There is a physical reality that has to be grappled with here."

I've never been a cancer patient, but I've been hospitalized before, and had to consider "long term prospects." I'd have to side with the kid in this: even if it's a matter of "giving up" (and it's not quite that), should he be allowed to do so? Will they take him into custody at a juvenile facility? Will they administer chemotherapy in the medical ward there? What would it look like to force a young adult to take cancer treatment?

Any other perspectives? The family's back in court on this today...

Josh is getting snarky about church signs.

And at Ben Myer's Faith and Theology blog, we have "Theology for Beginners":
1. Faith
2. Theology
3. Gospel

Mike Aquilina recommends "8 Books on Ancient Christian Art" and an online tour of the Egyptian Coptic Church.

J. Patrick Briscoe suggests how we might help the terrorists win.

Rob the Cuban's talking about the historical Jesus, so of course I'm all over that.

Make sure you scroll down and read Katie's essay.

Okay, time's up, gotta get work done.


Tom Mohan said...

Well you see these signs are helpful. That AOG sign you posted sends a message that that church (not the AOG as a whole)has a messed up theology of the incarnation. The reality is it is probably the person who does the signs, unless that's the pastor, who is confused.

J Hearne said...

I appreciate the link, Kyle. There will be more snarkiness directed towards Church signs.

Kyle said...

hee hee

Stephen (aka Q) said...

You've passed over the legal issue, which is whether the parents can withhold medical treatment from their son, who is still a minor. If he was eighteen, he would have the right to refuse treatment.

Perhaps the court should appoint a knowledgeable third party to discuss the issue privately with Starchild. I would want to ascertain to what extent he's making this choice under the influence of his family.

The media account makes it sound like he knows exactly what he's doing. If that's so, I would be inclined to let him make the decision.

But I also think he is making a foolish decision: (a) the first round of chemotherapy caused the tumors to shrink; (b) the chance of success with a second round of chemotherapy is one-third to one-half.

Those are good odds when your life is at stake. Starchild's reaction, "I think a second round would kill me" is understandable but rather shortsighted.

It's a good question for people going into pastoral work, by the way. You're likely to be in this position, supporting families as they make difficult medical decisions.

Rob the Cuban said...

Excellent thoughts, Q.

Tony Myles said...

Personally, I think the Mel Gibson movie SIGNS should have been about church signs.

Kyle said...

Good points, Q, thanks. Hiya, Tony!