I read this headline this morning when I checked in on the Drudge Report. I find this immensely troubling.
Bill and I have a solid agreement that we will make individual decisions should we ever become ill with cancer. We have agreed not to force chemotherapy or radiation on the other. I have decided I will never have chemotherapy and he says, for now, that he will honor my wishes.
I think this 16 year old boy is mature enough to decide for himself what treatment he must endure. I guess, ideally, his parents have explained his options to him and he would rather go with alternative treatment. I think it should be his decision.
I've seen success with both types of treatments; but more often, I've seen people waste valuable time fighting cancer with chemotherapy and spending their dying days unable to function in any way. They are not able to enjoy the last days with their family because of the treatment, not the disease. They do not die with dignity.
One man I know was diagnosed with colon cancer and opted not to have chemo or radiation in order to buy time. He died so peacefully. He lost weight, but never got as sick as another friend, who did try radiation to prolong his time. Both these men were going to die from cancer, but the one who had treatment died a more horrible death.
What scares me with the state's forcing this boy into treatment is my fear that I will be forced to have treatment I don't want in order to prolong my life. I don't think the state has any right to interfere here.