Tags: girl | dies | parents | refuse | medical | treatment | canada

Girl's Death Sparks Row Over Parental Rights, Medical Treatment

By    |   Thursday, 22 January 2015 07:10 PM

Makayla Sault, an 11-year-old Canadian Mississauga tribe member, died Monday, a victim of her acute lymphoblastic leukemia and, one vocal critic says, of political correctness and "unwarranted respect for faith."

"Political correctness can kill," Dr. Jerry A. Coyne, PhD, professor of ecology and evolution at the University of Chicago, tells Newsmax.

Makayla, Coyne writes in an opinion piece published by the New Republic, had a 75 percent chance of recovering completely from her leukemia, but after she said she had a vision of Jesus, the government did not order her to remain in treatment and her parents took her out of the hospital, placing her at the Hippocrates Health Institute in West Palm Beach, Florida, where her cancer was treated with vitamins, cold laser and raw foods, "none of which have been shown to have the slightest effect on leukemia."

The situation also exists in the U.S. where, according to the National District Attorneys Association, "37 states, the District of Columbia and Guam have laws providing that parents or caretakers who fail to provide medical assistance to a child because of their religious beliefs are not criminally liable for harm to the child."

In Makayla's case, by allowing her parents to stop medical treatment, Coyne says, the Canadian government became "complicit" in her death.

"There's a lot of political correctness going around, and sometimes that's good," Coyne told Newsmax. "You don't want to insult ethnic minorities, but when you're letting children die, that's wrong."

"It’s political correctness of the worst stripe: a form that can be fatal. It is kowtowing to false beliefs for fear of offending an ethnic minority," Coyne wrote in the New Republic.

Drs. Lisa Richardson and Mathew B. Stanbrook wrote in the Canadian Medical Association Journal that traditional Canadian Indian medical beliefs "create expectations that Aboriginal patients bring to their health care encounters; these must be respected. Doing so is not political correctness — it is patient-centered care.

"For the state to remove a child from her parents and enforce medical treatment would pose serious, possibly lifelong, repercussions for any family, but such action holds a unique horror for Aboriginal people given the legacy of residential schools."

In a second case, an 11-year-old female cancer patient named J.J. was allowed by court order to be removed from the hospital and has been sent to Hippocrates, to "respect First Nations culture" under the Child and Family Services Act, according to Brant Children's Aid Society executive director Andrew Koster, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) reports.

Koster told the CBC, "Makayla was a wonderful, loving child who eloquently exercised her indigenous rights as a First Nations person and those legal rights provided to her under Ontario's Health Care Consent Act.

"The parents are a caring couple who loved their daughter deeply."

Makayla's parents blamed damage caused by chemotherapy for her death and said in a statement, "Makayla was on her way to wellness, bravely fighting toward holistic well-being after the harsh side-effects that 12 weeks of chemotherapy inflicted on her body.

"Chemotherapy did irreversible damage to her heart and major organs. This was the cause of the stroke," the CBC reported the parents claimed.

Coyne would have none of it, seeing the lack of conventional medical treatment as the direct cause of the child's death.

"I would suspect that well over 1,000 children have died from this kind of negligence in the last half century," Coyne told Newsmax.

"To any reasonable person, the lives of children trump faith, religious or otherwise," Coyne wrote in the New Republic.

"It’s time to eliminate these exemptions to medical care, and to place the blame for these children’s deaths where it belongs: not just on the disease, but on the faith that seduces parents into abjuring scientific medicine and that also cows governments and doctors from insisting on proper medical treatment, for fear of giving offense."

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Makayla Sault, an 11-year-old Canadian Mississauga tribe member, died Monday, a victim of her acute lymphoblastic leukemia and, medical professionals and other critics say, of political correctness and "unwarranted respect for faith."
girl, dies, parents, refuse, medical, treatment, canada
Thursday, 22 January 2015 07:10 PM
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