Should a teen be forced to undergo chemo therapy? We need to be pay close attention to cases that pit "medical necessity against the explicit wishes of a competent (albeit in this case, a minor) patient." When I read Mr. Cherrix's quote "I can choose what is best for my body....If I don't have the right to do that, I don't have any rights at all" I could not help but consider the implications for reproductive choice including forced caesareans and abortion. Ethical considerations include not just what we "ought" to do but also "who decides”.
Here'e the full article:
NewsTarget.com printable article, Originally published July 25 2006
In health freedom fight, Abraham Cherrix to refuse court-ordered chemotherapy sentence
(NewsTarget) Abraham Cherrix -- the Virginia teen who has been court-ordered to undergo chemotherapy for his Hodgkin's Disease after opting to treat his condition with an herbal diet -- says he will defy the court's order and refuse chemotherapy.
Cherrix says he refuses to subject himself to chemotherapy, which he tried after his initial diagnosis. The chemo made him feel sick, though his cancer briefly went into remission before returning earlier this year. If Cherrix were to submit to the court order, the radiation level for his chemo would be increased.
"I think it's my body. I can choose what's best for my body," says Cherrix. "If I don't have the right to do that, then I don't have any rights at all anyway." Cherrix has been seeing American doctors based in Mexico for five months for guidance with his herbal diet, with the blessing of his parents. Cherrix says, "I feel good. I believe that in my heart, the treatment will cure me."
The Cherrix family's attorneys have filed a motion to stay and are fighting for a new trial in the Circuit Court.
Last Friday, a judge for the Accomack County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court ruled that Cherrix must resume chemotherapy, and also found his parents guilty of child neglect. If the Circuit Court upholds the lower court's decision, Cherrix's father says he is prepared to face possible jail time. "I'm not going to be an obstacle to my son. If a judge wants to throw me in jail, then he's going to have to do that."
Critics of conventional medicine say Cherrix's situation could bring about an end to health freedom and the ability of every U.S. citizen to choose their own method of healing. Cherrix says his ongoing legal battle to keep his right to naturally treat his cancer is distracting him from healing: "I should be concentrating on my recovery. This case is taking me away from that."
"With this stand against the tyranny of modern medicine, Cherrix has squarely positioned himself as a champion of health freedom," said Mike Adams, health freedom supporter and critic of conventional cancer treatments. "Cherrix's move is brilliant. By refusing to comply with the court order, the court must either back down and recognize his right to refuse chemotherapy, or it must stick a gun in his face, handcuff him and force deadly chemicals into his veins in a Guantanamo-style torture scene.
Either way, Cherrix wins. He either regains his freedom or single-handedly exposes the true tyranny and destructive intentions of conventional medicine. The public backlash against such images would be unprecedented." Adams also added, "My advice to Cherrix and his family is that they document everything. Record audio, take pictures and film whatever happens. Faced with the prospect of daylight, these cancer industry evildoers will be forced to back down. The Judge who ordered the chemotherapy, by the way, should be charged with attempted murder."