Essay Preview: Starchild
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While agonizing over what to write this journal about my mother kept flashing newspaper headlines in front of me, hoping that one might spark my interest, and one did, but I was not interested about what the headline actually said but what it reminded me of. In yesterdays edition of The Idaho Statesman, front page was a story about how many Idahoans do not have health care and the fact that that number is steadily rising. This made me remember an article I had read while sitting in the dentists office last week, it talked about 16 year old Starchild Abraham Cherrix, a teenager living in Chincoteague, Virginia who was diagnosed with Hodgkins disease last August. After going through chemotherapy, he found out in February that it was not gone. He, along with the full support of his family, decided to decline conventional chemotherapy and instead go with an alternative sugar-free, organic diet and herbal supplements from a clinic in Mexico. They chose this for more reason that being fed up with chemotherapy, they believed that if Abraham went through the higher dosage of chemo than last time he would not survive. The state of Virginia then ensued a legal battle demanding that Abraham take chemotherapy and charged his parents with medical neglect. The County department of social services took legal and medical custody of Abraham and minutes before the therapy was to be started his parents obtained a stay from the court and regained custody. Then in middle August Abraham regained the ability to pursue his alternative treatment.
At sixteen years old a person should be responsible enough and able to decide whether or not they wish to pump many harmful chemicals into their body. I know that if I were diagnosed with cancer or any other terminal disease I would choose to refuse treatment and enjoy the rest of my life in as normal of way as possible, instead of using the time I have left to go through expensive treatments that are painful, unpleasant, and are not totally effective. Even if I were to survive cancer I would have to live with the side effects and with a much higher chance of other diseases, many of which are caused by the treatment for cancer. But whether or not I choose to undergo treatment is my choice, I may be advised by parents, or doctors but in the end it is me who will be sick and affected not them, so the final decision should come from me. This interference by our government should not be a part of our American culture, but clearly it is. The sad thing is that this is not the first time that a state has attempted