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Article on Cancer B

Christie Blatchford: Is a treatment decision what Makayla Sault really needs?

May 22, 2014 9:55 PM ET

If Makayla Sault, the gravely ill child who is refusing chemotherapy, is not “a child in need of protection” as a children’s aid society has recently determined, is she nonetheless a youngster in need of a treatment decision?

Barbara Kay: Save Makayla from cultural correctness

Religion, medical science and the best interests of children can make a hot-potato stew. What do you do, for example, when scientifically ignorant parents believe prayers will be more efficacious than a proven medical intervention to save a critically ill child?s best hope for survival.The Supreme Court of Canada ultimately ruled that this state intervention was a legitimate limitation on religious freedom.

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That is the agonizingly difficult question that remains unanswered.never had a crack at the case.s Services, as by law under the Child and Family Services Act they were obligated to do.A team at the Brant agency, led by executive-director Andy Koster, investigated and quickly decided they would not intervene.When Mr. Koster spoke to Postmedia earlier this week, he said out of compassion and humanity for the child and her loving parents, the agency decided to back seek permission to have sick or dying children receive treatment, where they or their parents refuse it.Meanwhile, officials at the hospital said that they were legally obliged to report the matter to Brant CFS, as doctors believed she needed medical care.


  • Christie Blatchford: Humane decision to let girl treat cancer with native medicine puts her future in doubt
  • Girl, 11, with cancer is free to refuse chemotherapy, Children’s Aid officials rule
  • Children’s aid steps in after 11-year-old trades chemo for native remedies

In fact, seven years ago, a doctor from McMaster went to the CCB in the case of an eight-month-old infant who was in a vegetative state, but whose religious parents believed that God would eventually heal him and that he thus should have been kept alive until the miracle happened. But Makayla may well have been deemed by her doctors to be perfectly capable of making her own decision; the presumption is always that people, even young ones, have the right to make their own decisions about their care if they are capable of doing so.The hospital, bound by patient confidentiality rules, would be unable to say if this was the situation here.Google Street Views Hospital, where Makayla Sault was receiving chemotherapy.s case.”time members number among them dozens and dozens of lawyers and psychiatrists, some with specialties in ethics, as well as laymen with experience in everything from aboriginal matters to health care.the board is legislated to start the hearing within seven days of receiving a case and decisions must be rendered within a day after a hearing ends, even on weekends.s aid.”such cases cause.

The presumption is always that people, even young ones, have the right to make their own decisions about their care if they are capable of doing so

s treatment team likely would have been in agony over her situation, knowing they could probably save her.which affects only three to five per cent of those stricken with the most common childhood cancer. Until recently, the prognosis for these children was grim, but the advent of a new, smart bullet-type drug, in conjunction with aggressive chemo, has resulted in good outcomes for 70% of those with the variant.s aid: Wanting to keep the child alive, knowing her wishes and assuming she has the capacity to know the consequences, what should they do?s getting from a healer at Six Nations, a reserve near her own.Details of the treatment are considered protected knowledge, and no research on any of the practices has ever been done.have gone unanswered and unacknowledged.”

National Post

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