We're Ashya Kings parents right?

by The Rebel 38 Replies latest jw friends

  • krejames

    Surely anyone judging the parents actions is just being judgemental. None of us were in their shoes so we are in no position to give our arm chair judgments. We do not have all of the information that they had at the time they acted the way they did.

    I don't know whether I could have done what they did. I hope that if I felt so strongly about something I would act in accordance with my head and my heart despite the judgements of other people.

    Personally I do believe they thought they were acting in their child's interests. And I admire them for it. This is not a religious issue and our negative opinion of the Jehovah's Witness religion shouldn't have ANY bearing on this case. As the OP stated, they were probably acting independently of any JW advice as well as medical.

    I'm with SlimBoyFat on this. I distinctly remember quality of life being the main issue - not survival in itself.

  • Mr Negative
    Mr Negative

    I can empathise with the emotional state of the parents, as the whole thing must have been a really traumatic experience, but I do not appreciate their holding the NHS to ransom. That the NHS gave in to their demands is a shame, as, incorrectly reported, it makes it look like the NHS were wrong, which destroys faith and trust in it. However, the fact that the NHS did shows that they had the best interests of the child in mind, and that they were no longer prepared to argue over treatment when, at the end of the day, some treatment was better than none.
    I imagine that the parents thought they also had the child's best interests in mind, but they were misguided, something that comes all too easily to JWs, who are taught that they have special knowledge and know better than everybody else, those who are controlled by Satan and only out to get them.
    I know that the blood issue was raised originally, but I don't think this case had anything to do with that, as, apparently, the father suggested he would allow blood if necessary. However, I do believe other JW psychological factors played a role in their poor decision-making.

    I WOULD not, and personally COULD not, have done something similar, as I trust those who know better than I do, and I weigh all of the evidence first, not assume there is some big conspiracy by the NHS to boost or protect egos rather than care for patients. The NHS has its issues, I'll admit, but they are there to their damnedest to protect lives, even of those who maybe don't deserve it (though that is a completely different debate), so this boy's treatment would not have been decided on a whim.

  • Mr Negative
    Mr Negative
    However, The Rebel, if you rather mean, given the assumption that the NHS was wrong and the parents' way was the only way to get the requisite treatment, COULD I have done similar, then yes, I could have done what they did.
    But those are some pretty big assumptions.
  • krejames
    Mr Negative - are you suggesting that the NHS is always correct 100% of the time? Is there any possibility that another health service in another country might have given just as valid medical opinion that did not agree with the NHS advice? Are any of us qualified to make a judgement on which medical advice the family should have followed at the time?
  • Mr Negative
    Mr Negative
    No, krejames, I'm not suggesting that the NHS is correct 100% of the time...but how can you ever know they're wrong? (Until, possibly, after the event.) How could you be certain that another country was "more right," enough to risk putting a life in danger just in case? And why expect the NHS to go against its own decision, and then get put out when it doesn't?

    Anyway, I'm probably coming across as more callous than I really am. It was a horrible situation for the parents, the child and the rest of the family. I wish all of them well, and I hope I am never in that situation. But the OP question was, were the parents right to do what they did? The evidence suggests the simple answer is no. But this is the sort of situation when people are unfortunately ruled by emotion and prejudice, rather than logic, so errors in judgement will be made. Treatment was delayed or withheld, when having that treatment would have improved chances of recovery, and the boy now has a reduced chance of a favourable outcome, as Cofty has already detailed.
  • OrphanCrow

    The Kings may have made a public statement saying that they would accept blood for their little boy, however, their intial decision to pursue proton beam therapy could very well have been influenced by their noblood beliefs.


    This form of therapy is called "bloodless surgery" because it leaves vital organs and healthy tissue near the tumor unaffected.

    Note that the birthplace of proton beam therapy is the same as where 'bloodless' surgery first got its start in the States (stomping grounds of Lapin et al):

    Back in 1990, when Loma Linda University Medical Center first began treating patients with proton therapy, it was called the future of cancer treatment.

    And, proton beam therapy, according to that article, carries the exact same label as has been applied to bloodless medicine and now, to blood management..."the golden standard":

    ...and is looked upon as the "gold standard" of treatment

    I think there is more going on to the story than we are told in the media. I think that the King's decision was affected by the WT's preferred medical procedures and was pushed to them by their HLC as the avenue to pursue.

  • slimboyfat

    Orphan I don't know if you are in the UK but it's all over the media here that proton therapy is effective and better than old treatments. I suspect that's what prompted the thread. Nothing to do with JWs promoting the treatment. It's a bit of a "parents knew best after all, NHS was wrong" story. Right wing media have their own agenda of course which complicates matters. On the other side you've got some people who want to uphold the right of scientists and experts to dictate to patients because their worldview crumbles if there's any suggestion other points of view are in any way valid.


  • Mr Negative
    Mr Negative
    slimboyfat, on what do you base your opinion that the "NHS was wrong?"
  • slimboyfat

    I am not saying the NHS was wrong I'm saying that's the way the story seems to be framed at the moment. At the time the parents took the child the therapy was described as experimental and uncertain, whereas now it is called revolutionary and effective. The shift in language is striking.

    In general I think the viewpoint of patients should be given greater respect in health care. This is regardless of which treatment turns out to be "right" or "wrong". There are so many more factors to be considered than can be neatly summed up in a collection of officially produced and sanctioned statistics.

  • azor

    Chemotherapy knocks down blood counts. Children undergoing a long term protocol with multiple years of treatment require blood transfusions on occasion. My son just needed one a couple of months ago and this is his third year of treatment. He is in the 90 percentile due to sticking to his protocol.

    Part of the Kings mistrust of the doctors likely come from their being jws.

    Cofty - my wife and I followed this closely when it broke and we bought it. We were waking up around this time. Had no idea of the other side. Can you point me to where I can find the NHS side.

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