Lawrence Hughes: My daughter could have lived... (Youtube)?????????

by Fisherman 11 Replies latest jw friends

  • Fisherman

    Can anyone document allegations made on this video. Since JWS are not allowed to give medical advice, the accusations made regarding arsenic treatment are not credible.

  • Black Sheep
    Black Sheep
    Since JWS are not allowed to give medical advice......

    What is the purpose of the Hospital Liason Committee if it not to give medical advice?

    The video can be found at

    I think it would be difficult to document advice given by any HLC to an individual or family as it would always be verbal.



  • Black Sheep
    Black Sheep

    Awake! 22 August 2000, Pg 20-21.



    THE 1944 classic movie ArsenicandOldLace depicted the rapid death of several elderly men after drinking elderberry wine spiked with arsenic. The movie epitomizes the common perception that arsenic is always a fast-acting, lethal poison. In fact, the sudden deaths portrayed in the movie were due, not to the arsenic, but to the strychnine and the cyanide that were also added to the wine cocktail.

    "The manifestations of arsenic poisoning are typically not acute," writes Dr. Robert E. Gallagher in TheNewEnglandJournalofMedicine. He does add, however, that "arsenic poisoning due to contaminated drinking water and industrial pollutants is a serious public health problem in many parts of the world, where it predisposes people to a variety of diseases, including skin, bladder, lung, and liver cancers."

    Given the above information, it is understandable that health-care providers would not normally consider prescribing arsenic as a form of treatment. But follow this experience from Canada carefully. Notice how when blood transfusion and then arsenic were proposed as treatments, a clash of conscience developed between a patient named Darlene and her doctors, nurses, and the pharmacist involved. Darlene tells her story this way.

    "In May 1996, I had some problems with severe bruising, hemorrhaging, and unusual bleeding of the gums. My hematologist, Dr. John Matthews, in Kingston, Ontario, diagnosed the problem as a rare type of cancer called acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL). After a series of tests, including a bone-marrow diagnostic, Dr. Matthews in a very kind manner explained what APL is and how the problem is treated. The normal treatment protocol included a blood exchange along with chemotherapy, but my Bible-trained conscience would not allow me to accept blood transfusions.

    "Rather than lose precious time by trying to change my mind, wisely the doctors made a search for another medical treatment. The modified treatment involved the use of a vitamin-A derivative, in combination with moderately intensive chemotherapy. My leukemia went into remission for three months, only to return with a vengeance. The pains in my head, caused by the swelling of the brain, were unbearable. Furthermore, I had built up a resistance to the treatment. It was then that the doctor informed us that without blood transfusions there was no treatment for me. We were told that I had less than two weeks to live.

    "The next few days were frantic, with more blood tests, visits to the lawyer about my will, and funeral arrangements. During this interval Dr. Matthews told us of an unusual medical therapy used successfully by medical doctors in China for APL, which had been reported on in respected scientific journals such as Blood and ProceedingsoftheNationalAcademyofSciences. While doing research, the doctor and a colleague had read in a medical journal that ‘it will probably come as a surprise to many that arsenic trioxide has been used successfully in intravenous form, with limited toxicity, for the treatment of acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL).’

    "Now there were two options—either violate my conscience and accept a blood transfusion or take this little-known treatment with arsenic. I chose the arsenic treatment. Little did I realize the turmoil of conscience that would touch doctors, nurses, the pharmacist, and even hospital officials.

    "The hospital subsequently checked with regulatory authorities to confirm that arsenic trioxide could be administered. Only then could they permit such treatment to proceed. Initially the pharmacist was reluctant to cooperate, since in good conscience he questioned its safety. My attending physicians, Dr. Matthews and Dr. Galbraith, had to make convincing and positive presentations on this treatment. Eventually, being presented with sufficient medical evidence about the treatment, the hospital authorities and the pharmacist felt that they could cooperate.

    "The pharmacist agreed to prepare the arsenic product and sterilize it for immediate infusion. But now the collective conscience of the nurses would not allow them to hang the intravenous bag of the controversial substance. They stood by as the doctors hung several units of the solution themselves. The nurses pleaded with me to take blood. They were convinced that I would die, so I appealed to their professionalism, asking them to respect my conscientious refusal of blood. I expressed my gratitude, put my arm around them, and asked them to put their personal feelings aside. We maintained a good relationship. The arsenic trioxide treatments continued for six months, and I recuperated well. The doctors then agreed that I could have the balance of the treatments at home.

    "Arrangements for home visits were made with the Victoria Order of Nurses, who administer home-care services. Again the matter of conscience came into the picture. They too were reluctant to administer the solution. Meetings, letters, and medical articles from respected medical journals turned things around. The nurses subsequently consented to cooperate. In September 1997, my treatments were completed.

    "Oh, yes, my kind of cancer can come back. The doctor says that it is like living on a time bomb. But I have learned to find joy with each passing day, never forsaking my place of worship and keeping busy sharing the Bible-based hope of a time when ‘no resident will say: "I am sick."’"—Isaiah 33:24.

    Medical professionals have a weighty responsibility in providing quality health care. They generally take this seriously and conscientiously proceed with treatment within the bounds of their expertise and current knowledge. As this experience bears out, doctors, nurses, and other health-care professionals can accomplish much by remaining flexible and sensitive to the convictions and conscience of the informed adult patient.


    While reporting the experience, Awake! does not endorse any particular form of medicine or treatment.



    Darlene Sheppard

  • jgnat

    Bethany Hughes had a fast acting leukemia. When Bethany's leukemia progressed to a point where it was most likely fatal, and the doctors testified that she could be considered a "mature minor" who realized the full import of her choices, they allowed her to supervise her own treatement. It is apparent she stopped all blood transfusions. She may have been treated with a controversial quack treatment, laetrile. Laetrile is made from ground up apricot pits or bitter almonds. Apricot pits have been known to contain small amounts of arsenic or cyanide. I would say she likely died sooner than she would have due to severe anemia (not laetrile/arsenic/cyanide poisoning). She simply did not have enough blood to sustain life.

    I have my doubts, as Lawrence Hughes does, about the quality of the advice she was given in her dying days. Because Lawrence Hughes was disfellowshipped shortly after her diagnosis, he was not there to support her and advise her. Her mother was extremely adverse to blood, tearing at the transfusion lines at one point and calling it "spiritual rape". Before her mother expressed her horror, Bethany seemed content to receive the transfusions as a passive protester.

    Bethany herself was ready to martyr herself at least at some point in her sad journey. She wrote a long poem about it. As far as I know she has never been featured in an Awake article, though a portion of her poem was read to the congregation in Edmonton a couple years after her death.

    Lawrence Hughes has not been able to retain a lawyer on a pro bono basis. He has ignored good advice from this board to set up a properly supervised charitable account, so that donors are assured that the funds are used for the purpose intended.

    I think Lawrence Hughes is an irreconcilable father, shunned even to the day of Bethany's death. If the Watchtower society would have shown enough compassion to allow him some comfort on his daughter's dying day, perhaps he could have set aside this campaign.

  • jgnat
  • Mary

    Why was Bethany not given a bone marrow transplant? I did a bit of research and it says:

    For some patients, a bone marrow or cord blood transplant may offer the best chance for a long-term remission. A transplant is a strong treatment with risks of serious side effects, so it is not used for all patients with AML. A transplant is used when chemotherapy alone is unlikely to provide a long-term remission.

    Another treatment might have been autologous transplants but I doubt the WTS would have authorized this. However, if it came down to a choice between using your own blood and them forcing blood transfusions on her, they probably would have opted for the former.

    Figures 1 and 2 below show results of autologous transplants (or autotransplants), which use the patient's own blood-forming cells. Figures 3-8 below show results of allogeneic transplants, which use blood-forming cells from a family member or unrelated donor or cord blood unit.

  • laneh

    Lawrence Hughes wrote early on that the donated money was put into a trust and he also told its purpose. You may be saying you want to see how much went to this or that attorney that has helped him, how much to which photocopying service for documents etc. Although I don't have a trust account myself, I know someone else who does and they write out checks that allow for public scrutiny upon request, and law enforcement, tax authorities etc can look into accounts anytime with cause. His honesty has been 100 percent all along; rather fault the Watchtower.

    Watchtower gets up to a billion dollars a year and yet refuses to open its books to anybody for detailed inspection and auditing, and so far the law doesn't make it open those books. Some U.S. Senators have proposed religous organizations including Watchtower start opening the books for all to see, and so that would be a lot more just. Lawrence is already transparent, voluntarily so; now let Watchtower be forced by law to be transparent and quit whining that it's the great persecution/Tribulation.

    As to ex-JWs like Bill Bowen, Lawrence Hughes and Brenda Lee asking friends to consider supporting efforts to help adult and child victims of rape by pedophile and also wrong deaths from bleeding, fed useful low-level arsenic leading to death etc, let's note that Watchtower not only asks for and gets $1 billion a year but keeps begging for more, some of which it uses to defend and pay for the actions of its pedophiles who have mostly been among the Bodies Of Elders.

  • rebel8
  • rebel8

    Most importantly, what happened to Lawrence's daughter was reprehensible. The HLC's actions were evil as was the mother's act of violating a court order to take her out of town. The doctors should not have used a treatment *for a different disease* on this girl. The pain this org put Lawrence through is evil. His mother and the org as a whole ostracizing him when his daughter was dying? Sick.

    What was also very sad is the way things were handled when Lawrence wanted to sue the wts. The lawsuit seemed to have promise.

    "Lawrence Hughes wrote early on that the donated money was put into a trust and he also told its purpose."

    I don't remember it that way at all. It has been a few years now so maybe I'm forgetting something. I'd be interested to see which posts you're referring to in which Lawrence said the money went into a legally established trust.

    What I do remember is Lawrence's posts consisting 99% of pleas for cash, yes cash, in Canadian currency because it was too hard for him to change foreign money. I wondered if it even was the real Lawrence Hughes or just some con artist pretending to be him. There was no way to know.

    I posted about a trust and Paypal. He did do the Paypal after I asked. I know someone who I consider trustworthy also tried to get him to set up a legal trust. Lawrence responded with promises he would use it for legal fees.

    Then we wouldn't hear from him for a long time until suddenly he'd start a new thread in all caps making a plea for more cash, in an emotionally-charged manner consistent with many scam emails you see (Nigerian scam, etc.). (keep reading to see what I mean) Sometimes the tone of these threads was critical of the forum members for not contributing more, almost accusatory.

    At this point I inquired of him as to the status of setting up the fund legally and suggested he may want to contribute posts to the forum beyond pleas for money. He said he was too busy with work to do that. Then I was lambasted by posters here for even suggesting that maybe we would want to know a little more about him other than just posts on a forum asking for cash. I am not saying he was a scammer; I am saying the way he communicated did not add to his credibility. Granted, the jw lifestyle does not always afford development of communication savvy, but he chose to do so even after the concerns were pointed out.

    At the time I had a website with a Paypal button for people who wanted to give Lawrence money. One day I accidentally came across a post of his--actually via a general Google search--where Lawrence said he found out it was illegal for him to ask for cash in this manner. He hadn't even bothered to contact me directly to let me know my web site had allegedly been violating the law.

    I still wonder if the person posting on here was the real Lawrence Hughes.

  • Galileo

    Anyone have a working Youtube link? edit: Apparently it's not just this video. I can't get embedded youtube videos to play on any website, in any browser. Weird. Anyone have a direct link?

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