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Article on cancer D  NOVEMBER 20, 2014

Guest editorial: Court ruling discrimination, not victory for aboriginal rights


The court decision being heralded as a triumph of aboriginal rights and culture in the case of a girl with leukemia is nothing of the kind. Instead, it discriminates against the 11-year-old by preventing her from receiving chemotherapy that would give her a 90-per-cent chance of a cure.There have been well-publicized cases in recent years of Jehovah’s Witness children being taken into custody by child welfare officials so they could receive court-ordered, life-saving blood transfusions.By refusing to order life-saving treatments for this child, Ontario Justice Gethin Edward has, according to doctors’ assessments of her acute lymphoblastic leukemia and its prognosis, effectively sentenced her to die, unlike those non-aboriginal children. That is discrimination.The girl’s family wants to treat her with unspecified aboriginal remedies and alternative treatments at a holistic centre in Florida that is run by non-aboriginals and offers laser therapy, a raw food diet and injections of Vitamin C.We suggest if any of these remedies, including the unspecified aboriginal ones, were valid treatments for leukemia, cancer researchers would have seized on them and validated their effectiveness in clinical trials long ago.

Guest editorial from the Calgary Herald© Copyright (c) Postmedia Network Inc.

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