A sad but expected ending to this story about a child who refused treatment for leukemia.
Makayla Sault, the 11-year-old girl who refused chemotherapy to pursue traditional indigenous medicine and other alternative treatments, has died.
She died Monday after suffering a stroke Sunday.
In an interview with CBC News, her mother said, “This was not a frivolous decision I made. Before I took her off chemo, I made sure that I had a comprehensive health-care plan that I was very confident that was going to achieve ridding cancer of her body before I left the hospital. This is not something I think may work, this is something I know will work.”
Wishful thinking doesn’t heal, sadly.
Thanks to Jamie, Alex and Aaron for the update.
Originally published November 14, 2014
The headline may be all people will read but the subtitle says it all: 1 child with leukemia has relapsed and is critically ill. The decision means children will die.
A Florida health resort licensed as a “massage establishment” is treating a young Ontario First Nations girl with leukemia using cold laser therapy, Vitamin C injections and a strict raw food diet, among other therapies.
The mother of the 11-year-old girl, who can not be identified because of a publication ban, says the resort’s director, Brian Clement, who goes by the title “Dr.,” told her leukemia is “not difficult to treat.”
Another First Nations girl, Makayla Sault, was also treated at Hippocrates Health Institute in West Palm Beach and is now critically ill after a relapse of her leukemia.
Clement, a naturopath, declined to provide info for the story.
The mother removed the unnamed 11-year-old girl from McMaster Children’s Hospital in Hamilton where she was getting chemotherapy. Doctors gave her a 90 to 95 per cent chance of survival. But the mom fell prey to the naturopathic quackery, saying she believes chemotherapy is “poison” (that’s what KILLS the cancer!) and instead chose “a combination of traditional indigenous medicine and alternative therapies”. That flips the odds from survival to mortality. The case went to a judge to rule if the child would be taken from the family for treatment. He dismissed the case.
“I cannot find that J.J. is a child in need of protection when her substitute decision-maker has chosen to exercise her constitutionally protected right to pursue their traditional medicine over the Applicant’s stated course of treatment of chemotherapy,” Edward said, as he read his ruling aloud.
Edward, citing the testimony of two McMaster Children’s Hospital doctors, agreed the child wasn’t capable of making her own medical decisions. But he found it was the mother’s aboriginal rights — which he called “integral” to the family’s way of life — allow her to choose traditional medicine for her daughter.
Is this decision deference to her status as “aboriginal”? Would the same decision have been made if it was a different religious basis? Regardless, the child’s life is at stake. Do such rights of the parents trump access to standard of care? This is a disturbing situation.
“This is monumental,” said Laforme. “It reaffirms our right to be Indian and to practise our medicines in the traditional way.”
And to ignore modern medicine. The doctors were unaware of anyone who survived this type of leukemia without treatment. Therefore, odds are, she will die.
Tip: Perry Bulwer