We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

The Ashya King story: am I missing something here?

This seems like a very odd story. Some parents remove their child from a UK hospital after they determine the NHS will not provide what they conclude is the most appropriate treatment for a brain tumour. They then go overseas where they hope to find somewhere such treatment is available. And this triggers a Europe-wide manhunt?

Is there more to this than meets the eye? Because if not, what possible justification is there for state involvement at all, let alone hunting the parents down in Spain.

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on TumblrShare on RedditShare on Google+Share on VKEmail this to someone

60 comments to The Ashya King story: am I missing something here?

  • Cannabis For Infant’s Brain Tumor, Doctor Calls Child “A Miracle Baby”

    =======================================

    The State is under the impression that it owns you. And especially your childrem

  • Incunabulum

    Of course it justifies a continent-wide manhunt.

    Not only are these people not being ‘equal’ (by seeking out treatment that others may not be able to afford) but they are not only robbing the NHS of a ‘customer’ *and* they need to ensure they can pay back the costs of the treatment the child has already received before they go seeking to ‘top off’.

  • Libertarian

    There seems to be an increasing number of news stories where I stop in ask myself, “what am I missing? This CAN’T be the whole story, can it?”

  • Tom

    I understand they showed up in Spain and admitted the boy to a hospital there. They have been arrested under a European arrest warrant for – in effect – seeking out a therapy that the NHS is gearing up to provide but doesn’t yet. They are exercising their EU right of free movement and the arrest is as wrongful as an arrest can be. Even though their damages will be paid by you and me – and not by the state thugs who ought to pay out of their own pockets (from their jail cells) – I hope they sue and win. The most depressing part is the reaction in comments threads on newspapers etc around the ‘web from infantilised losers who think the British State – an organisation behind as much harm to children (North Wales children’s homes, Islington, Rotherham, BBC children’s TV audience abuse, endless paedo scares that have frightened parents into keeping their children in obesity-inducing captivity, social services snatching children for forced adoption, closing down Catholic adoption agencies for ideological reasons, denying adoptive care to ethnic minority kids ditto, indoctrination (“education”, they call it) by unionised leftist cretins etc ad infinitum) is justified in overriding the parents’ wisdom “for the sake of the children”. Here are some responsible, caring parents facing the worst fate known to any human – losing a child – and doing their damnedest to save him. And here is a nation of sheep bleating for them to be bitten by the state’s dogs. And here is a state that has deprived their in-danger-of-dying child (and their other children) of their company and care. I could cry – if I had the sort of moronic, afternoon TV mentality of the vicious idiots calling for these “witches” to burn.

  • Mr Ed

    Tom says it all about the reaction. The issue seems to me to be that the parents wised up that their child was being given sub-optimal treatment by the NHS and decided that they had to go to Spain for proper treatment. I am guessing that they thought that if they forewarned the NHS, then their child would have been made a Ward of Court (i.e. The High Court of Justice of England and Wales) would on the doctors’ application decide on what to do with the child and rubber-stamp decisions on the child’s future (which would turn out to be death by NHS). To forestall that, the parents simply decided to go to Spain with their child, perfectly legally, thereby provoking the NHS to react and the police to act in a similar fashion. I have heard no mention of a port alert used when a child subject to a court order is taken by someone and may be removed from the jurisdiction of the UK’s courts.

  • Paul Marks

    Neither the state or the parents should “own” children.

    As for this specific case – as I do not know the details further comment would be foolish.

  • Ockham's Spoon

    Neither the state or the parents should “own” children.

    Right then, lets just leave the little lad to sort his own affairs out then, who needs parents!

    As for this specific case – as I do not know the details further comment would be foolish

    I’m guessing that#s why the OP asked “am I missing something here?” and “is there more than meats the eye?”

    Because if not, this is a great example of what Tom is suggesting.

  • William O. B'Livion

    Mr. Spoon:

    There is a difference between “owning” something and being responsible for it. Parents shouldn’t “own” their child, they should be “parents” to their child. It’s a different sort of relationship. After all, your car never goes on to be an autonomous agent (well, until Google gets to it, but I think you get my drift), and your firearm doesn’t go making decisions for itself.

    Parents, OTOH need to be responsible for their children, both for the proper raising (which IMO means “raise them however the hell you want such that they pay their own freight and don’t engage in criminal behavior[1]”.

    And *any* law that prohibits me from seeking medical care for a medical condition that the current facility/regime is incapable of providing (or incapable of providing current cutting edge care) is immoral and not only needs to be violated but the buffoons who put it in place need to spend some time in the stocks.

    [1] There are some things we can agree are “criminal” right? I mean there’s some fuzzy edges, and some stuff that’s illegal but not criminal, but in the words of the Murphy from the Boondock Saints “Do not kill. Do not rape. Do not steal. These are principles which every man of every faith can embrace.”

  • A couple thought they knew better than the medical wing of the State, so the police wing of the State hunted them down in order to dish out some punishment. It’s very simple, really.

  • Jaded Voluntaryist

    Paraphrased from one of my comments on the “Authoritarian Naming” thread from a while ago. It seems apposite:

    The family is the natural unit of power. They occur spontaneously, contain a natural hierarchy and barring major deviancy tend to be fiercely loyal to one another. The state has always perceived the family as a rival and will do anything it can to undermine it.

    My wife and I conceived our children together. They are made from us. We feed them, clothe them, educate them, play with them. I tell them what to do. If they disobey me, I punish them. When they are good, I reward them. If anyone ever tries to harm them, I will kill to protect them. For all intents and purposes they are mine, but I do not own them the way a plantation owner owned a slave. My children are entrusted to me, and I make decisions on their behalf until they can make them for themselves. A major part of my responsibility as a parent is to bring them to the place that they will make good choices once the choices are theirs to make.

    This is the reality of family life – the fact that it makes people of a particular political persuasion uncomfortable both fascinates and terrifies me.

    The argument that without a government bod looking over my shoulder I might do it wrong really doesn’t hold water for me. Having a government bod looking over my shoulder is the best way to ensure I do it wrong, since such oversight would force adopting the government’s double-plus approved method of parenting – and I can guarantee you that is most definitely the wrong way to raise children.

  • mickc

    It certainly looks as if we aren’t getting the full facts.

    The phrase “without consent” originally used by the MSM seems to suggest that there was possibly a potential court application to vest parental rights in a third party.

    The parents may have got wind of it and sought to prevent it by removing themselves and their child from the jurisdiction. I certainly would.

    With the current quality of the judiciary it is not beyond the bounds of possibilty that the known views of Jehovahs Witnesses would persuade a judge to grant such an order.

    Btw, good to see you back in action, Tom.

  • Mr Ed
    August 31, 2014 at 5:13 pm

    They got sub optimal treatment in Spain. Let me quote from my link up thread:

    this child, because of that[cannabis treatment], is not going to have the long-term side effects that would come from a very high dose of chemotherapy or radiation…

    Proton beams are radiation – despite the ignorance of the parents. So maybe proton beams are better than X-rays or what ever they use these days, but it is still much worse than cannabidiol.

  • Proton beams are indeed radiation. But they are very different from x-rays. Protons travel a limited distance in flesh, and deposit most of their energy near the endpoint of their travel. Further, they can be aimed more precisely than x-rays can.

    This means that with careful measurement, positioning, and choice of proton energy, almost all of the beam energy will be spent in the targeted area. It’s a lot easier on the rest of the body, so more energy can be focused on the tumor with fewer bad side effects on the patient.

  • Tedd

    JV:

    I substantially agree with what you said. And if I take the anarchist position that the state has no legitimate existence to begin with then it’s self-evident that the state has no authority to intervene in the parent-child relationship. But if I take more of a minarchist postion, that the state’s legitimacy depends on it operating to protect liberty, then the state is obligated to try to protect the child’s liberty if the parent is not actually acting in the child’s interest. The hard part is determining where to draw the line.

    Having said that, I agree that this case, as it’s presented, seems pretty clearly not to be one where the state should have intervened.

  • Ellen
    August 31, 2014 at 8:13 pm

    Well yes. Proton beams are better controlled than other forms of radiation. But what about as compared to no radiation? Given the choice between low risk treatment and no risk treatment for equal or better outcomes which is to be morally preferred? Isn’t the rule of medicine supposed to be (when possible) – “First, do no harm.” ?

    The very idea of prohibition opens the door to the rest of the evil. “We can prohibit….”

    I’m having the same discussion here:

    http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2014/08/31/14617/#comment-190708

    What amazes me is that many libertarians don’t see Prohibition as the root of all evil. Because in fact – although it only affects a small % of the population – the very idea is the root of all the other bad ideas. Once you breach the limits of government there are no limits – as long as you intend to do good.

    If we don’t protect the Rastas, none of us is safe.

  • Mr Ed

    Proton beams are radiation

    No they are not radiation. Radiation comes from an atomic nucleus, α, β οr γ, or is X rays, from inner electron orbits. Proton beams are H+ i.e. Hydrogen nuclei, with a positive charge, and penetrate better than α particles with less collateral damage. They can be targeted to specific loci, travelling through a minimal mount of tissue. The NHS does not provide proton treatment for the child’s condition.

  • Isn’t the rule of medicine supposed to be (when possible) – “First, do no harm.” ?

    Well there are no harm-free ways to deal with a brain tumour as far as I know, so it seems based on the available information available to me at present that the parents decided a radioactive rifle was a better solution than a radioactive shotgun. Seems an extremely sensible decision to me.

    But I am unsure what you mean by…

    What amazes me is that many libertarians don’t see Prohibition as the root of all evil.

    … in this context.

  • The NHS does not provide proton treatment for the child’s condition.

    Yes and unless there is more to this than has been reported so far (always possible), as the NHS only do that for eye treatments, whereas other countries do indeed do indeed offer it for brain tumours, they decamped.

  • Fraser Orr

    My initial reaction is that this is the usual over reaction by the state. But let me try to offer a different perspective. As Paul said above neither the parents nor the state own the child. The libertarian theory here is essentially that since children are not competent to make their own decisions about their body and life, then that decision making power is delegated to someone else, namely the parents, or other gardian. However, that delegation comes with the obligation to make reasonable decisions on the child’s behalf, it comes with a duty of care. So for example, parents do not have the power to decide to prostitute their children, or starve them or beat them (or perhaps “beat them excessively”, depending on your point of view.)

    What level of obligation the parents have in exchange for their being in control of their children’s bodies and lives, which is to say, where we draw the line, is always a difficult situation, and in the area of medical care it is particularly difficult.

    If the young boy had been bleeding to death and his only hope was a blood transfusion, a Jehovah’s witness parent might prefer the child die than violate their religious principles. They might cover the brutal reality with fairy tales about godly intervention, or taking their baby to be with Jesus. If they did so, and allowed child to die then I would say they have indeed violated the duty of care that they accept in exchange for control over the child’s life. Similarly if Steve Jobs’ child had pancreatic cancer and Jobs’ decided to treat the child “naturapathically” as he did for himself rather than with the medicine that could have cured him, then there is a good argument that he would have violated his duty of care to that child. There is a difference here. Jobs has a right to injure himself if he wants to, he does not have the same rights over his children.

    I am not a doctor, however it is not uncommon for parents to read about some crazy ass idea on the internet and think their their child’s hopeless situation will be alleviated by that. Will proton therapy help this kid? The doctors apparently say no.

    Of course I am not naive enough to think that the doctors might mean “possibly it’ll help, but it is too expensive to try”, and that is an entirely different matter. However, if we stipulate that the doctors are being truthful and that this treatment will not benefit the boy, how does that change the perception? Taking the child to Spain might have robbed him of the palliative care that might have given him some extra months or years of quality life.

    Should the cops go chasing all over Europe to force that palliative care on the kid? Again I think it is a fine line as to whether the parents are fulfilling their duty of care to the child. Even if they think they are doing what is best, if their belief is unreasonable then the welfare of the child has to take precedence.

    So the police’s actions were probably dumb, and probably motivated by the whole “how dare they question the judgement of the state”. However, the situation is a little different when it comes to parents. “Society”, whatever that means, does demand that parents fulfill a basic duty of care to their children in exchange for the right to exercise the rights of the child which the child himself is not competent to do. This is entirely consistent with the force or fraud principle. We conditionally give parents the right of force over a child in exchange for a duty that they will use it in the child’s best interest. And the courts and the police (in the absence of private alternatives) are indeed the right venue to both delegate the rights, and enforce the duty.

    I have dealt with the DCFS. They are scary people, perhaps the scariest of all government departments. But I also know that some parents are horribly abusive or act in extremely inappropriate manners to their children, so some method of protecting these children is necessary. I doubt it applies to these parents who seem like decent people seeking the best for their child, but the truth in this and similar cases is in the specifics and particulars of the case.

  • Michael Jennings

    My sister fell seriously ill when holidaying in Spain. It was very serious – she went into septic shock after a staphylococcus infection that she picked up somewhere – and she spent a week in intensive care and a month in hospital. I am very glad she went into hospital in Spain rather than here, because she got much better care than she would have received in a British hospital. If this couple took their child to Spain beause they expected better care there, I really don’t blame them.

  • Will proton therapy help this kid? The doctors apparently say no.

    According to several articles, the NHS already has plans to introduce it for things other than eyes, so I think the parents are almost certainly making the correct decision as their child clearly cannot wait. But…

    I think that is actually not the point.

    I have personally had doctors make bad decisions about the health of my relatives and had second opinions from doctors whose reaction to the first opinion was essentially WTF? Absent other factors, it should be a choice for the parents by default. It is not about ‘ownership’ of children, that is a canard, it is about ‘guardianship’. One of the few good things about the NHS is parents are rarely motivated by money in such cases, as it is not their money being spent (at least not directly). Indeed in this case they said they were looking to raise money to get better treatment than the NHS was offering. Unless other facts comes to light that change my view of them, so far I am seeing these parents as nothing less than praiseworthy exemplars of the whole ‘responsible parenting’ thing.

    Unless they are making what is clearly a lunatic decision or are being manifestly neglectful, why is the state pre-empting people who are clearly very involved parents?

  • Fraser Orr

    @Perry de Havilland
    > Unless they are making what is clearly a lunatic decision or are being manifestly neglectful, why is the state pre-empting people who are clearly very involved parents?

    I am not qualified to judge whether their decision is lunacy or not. One man’s lunacy is another man’s conspiracy-to-keep-us-from-the-truth. From what I read in the BBC article (which I am SURE is 100% trustworthy) they were offered the opportunity of a second medical opinion, which they seem to have declined. Moreover, although, as you say, they seem intent on introducing this into other areas it was not at all manifest that it was a suitable treatment for THIS particular malady.

    But again, I’m not a doctor, neither do I have all the facts, so I am not in a position to judge the lunacy or sensibleness of the parents’ judgement. What I do know that it is not at all uncommon for exemplary parents who, in the dreadful situation that these parents find themselves, to clutch at the most ridiculous of straws. It is why I gave the real world example of Steve Jobs. A fabulously smart man made stupid decisions which (from what I hear) killed him, and if he had done the same to his children I would certainly say that the facts that I know would have supported a conclusion of neglect.

    The Internet is brimming over with utter nonsense when it comes to medical care. Just recently I read on my FB page someone telling me that lemon juice is more powerful that chemotherapy. I’m sure the big bad drug companies don’t want us to know about that one… Just because it is a legitimate medical procedure “proton therapy” does not mean it is applicable in their case. But, as I say, I’m not qualified to judge the lunacy or sensibleness of their decision.

    Again, I don’t know enough of the facts in this particular case, which I why I was talking generally about the duty of care parents have to their children, and how, should they be negligent in that duty, it is perfectly in line with libertarian principles for “someone” to intervene on behalf of the child. In the present situation that someone would be the judicial system. Herein is one of the places I am a minarchist rather than an anarchist.

    I am not defending the police’s action here. I just don’t think it is as simple as meets the eye.

  • But if I take more of a minarchist position, that the state’s legitimacy depends on it operating to protect liberty, then the state is obligated to try to protect the child’s liberty if the parent is not actually acting in the child’s interest.

    Tedd, I don’t see why the leap – children may well be left out of the equation (for better or worse). I.e. the level of minarchism may vary widely.

  • Mr Ed
    August 31, 2014 at 8:55 pm

    Proton beams are radiation

    No they are not radiation. Radiation comes from an atomic nucleus, α, β οr γ, or is X rays, from inner electron orbits. Proton beams are H+ i.e. Hydrogen nuclei, with a positive charge, and penetrate better than α particles with less collateral damage. They can be targeted to specific loci, travelling through a minimal mount of tissue. The NHS does not provide proton treatment for the child’s condition.

    Alpha rays are helium nuclei. They travel only small distances in the body, and dump most of their energy near the nucleus that went *sproing* and emitted them.

    Beta rays are electrons or positrons emitted by atoms, commonly accompanied by antineutrinos or neutrinos (which we can ignore). Usually this involves the nucleus in some way.

    Gamma rays are high-energy photons. They are commonly emitted by nuclei dropping from an excited state to a lower state. This often follows the emission of an alpha or a beta particle.

    X-rays are lower-energy photons, often emitted by electrons moving from one orbital to another.

    They are all radiation. Some nuclei will indeed decay by emitting a proton — though such nuclei are way out of the valley of stability, and only exist for a very short time under extreme conditions. Decay by emission of an alpha or a beta is much more likely.

    If you have an electrostatic accelerator, you can produce beams of all these particles: alpha, beta, gamma, proton, or x-rays. You can also produce beams of deuterons, helium-3, carbon-12 or -14. But absent external forces, these will all proceed away from their source in a straight line. If you have a point source, and draw the particle paths away from it, the result will be a bunch of lines, departing in different directions from a point — radii, in fact, whence comes the word “radiation”.

    The most useful radiations in medicine, so far, are the x-ray, the proton, and the alpha. (Note, however, that Finsen was given a Nobel prize in medicine for the invention of the sun lamp, which emits ultraviolet radiation.)

    I hope nobody takes offense at a long, pedantic, and rather snappish comment. I am currently recovering from radiation burns myself, so the subject is much on my mind. Fortunately, they were minor ill effects of doctors performing a long operation on me while using a fluoroscope. Definitely useful, medically, and they helped the operation go well.

    If anybody wishes to discuss this further, perhaps they should go to my web site (just click my name) and on The Lab you’ll find my contact e-mail. No reason everybody else should be subjected to more of this.

  • Sorry Fraser, but I am not buying the duty-of-care principle, simply because taken to its logically consistent application it would do much more harm than good. I’d rather – regretfully – have the few crazy parents out there kill their children, than have the state intervene in the family affairs of normal parents (who, being normal, are a great majority). Plus, the number of children killed or otherwise severely damaged would be even further minimized if communities were allowed to form and flourish, resulting in peer pressure and voluntary forms of intervention. As things stand now, with the state being involved in everything, there is no room left for such natural developments.

  • I am not qualified to judge whether their decision is lunacy or not.

    Of course you are. The parent in question did a bit of research and made an informed decision. A few minutes of google is all it takes to figure out enough to know if it is a lunatic decision or not. Of course it takes more than a few minutes on google to know if it is the right decision, but it clearly ain’t a lunatic one.

    Just because it is a legitimate medical procedure “proton therapy” does not mean it is applicable in their case. But, as I say, I’m not qualified to judge the lunacy or sensibleness of their decision.

    Sure but… so what? Doctors also make mistakes (I have seen it happen), and thus in the absence of manifest lunacy or manifest neglect, the minarchist position has to be “it is up to the legitimate guardians… the parents”.

    The Internet is brimming over with utter nonsense when it comes to medical care

    Indeed, but I recently discovered some very interesting things about the pathology of spurious calcification from a molecular biologist I know in the USA. I ran this past my doctor, a senior bloke at Chelsea and Westminster hospital, suggesting it might explain the pathology of a problem I have as he had said “this just happens and we do not know why”. He was fascinated and asked me to provide more info, which my chum duly provided, along with various links to sources. I knew some things of medical relevance the expert did not. And to his credit he did not dismiss it out of hand as the ravings of a ‘civilian’. So what is my point? Experts make mistakes. So do parents. Everyone makes mistakes. So the smart move, the rational move, the liberty maximising move is to default decisions to the genuine stakeholders rather than the hired help, when there is a disagreement, unless there is a manifest reason not to in some given case.

  • Nick (Natural Genius) Gray

    The parents are Jehovah’s witnesses! No more need be said! Jail them for life, and put the kid into state care, with Dawkins as his religious teacher. Next case….

  • Tedd

    Alisa:

    I don’t think I understand your question. But perhaps I can clarify my point by saying that I wasn’t trying to describe the only, or even the best, minarchist position. I’m merely pointing out that if we accept the idea that the justification for government is the defence of our liberty as individuals then that justification applies as well for children as for adults.

  • Mr Ed
    August 31, 2014 at 8:55 pm

    So let me see. Alpha particles (helium nuclei) are radiation, neutrons are radiation, but hydrogen nuclei are not radiation because – in 1900 or there abouts there was no name for such an animal. But wait. Neutrons can’t be radiation by that criteria. I’m confused.

    Well not really. I’m a former naval nuke. Proton beams are radiation.

    In any case they can cause mutations which lead to cancer. Hmmm. A cancer treatment that can provoke cancer. Next thing you will be telling me is that they use cancer causing chemicals to treat cancer. Exocannabinoids would seem to be a LOT safer.

  • Perry de Havilland (London)
    August 31, 2014 at 8:55 pm

    Well there are no harm-free ways to deal with a brain tumour as far as I know….

    Actually I presented one instance of that in the link above. There have been a number of others. Try “cannabis brain tumor”. In fact the American NIH has pages of animal studies on the subject. Dr. Maria Sanchez of Madrid is doing work in the area. Dr. Raphael Mechoulam of Israel. And quite a few others. Cannabis cures cancer. Look up biochemist Dennis Hill who explains how it causes cancer cell apoptosis. Prevents metastasis.

    Or look at the articles provided here for a start:

    http://rockford-for-safe-access.blogspot.com/search/label/Cancer

    I thought everyone knew this. In America all the “heads” know this stuff. Not in the detail and to the scientific level I do. But generally. The lawyer who was writing the medical cannabis rules for Illinois knew this. And she isn’t even a “head”. And here I thought America was way behind. It appears we are ahead (cough) of some places.

  • Here is another child with a different cancer treated with cannabis.

    http://www.collective-evolution.com/2014/06/23/lymphoblastic-leukaemia-survivor-has-a-very-important-message-for-the-world-help-her-share-it/

    You can look up “teen brain tumor cannabis” for another.

  • Gareth

    Fraser Orr said:

    If the young boy had been bleeding to death and his only hope was a blood transfusion, a Jehovah’s witness parent might prefer the child die than violate their religious principles. They might cover the brutal reality with fairy tales about godly intervention, or taking their baby to be with Jesus.

    There was an unseemly haste with which the authorities made the public aware of the religion of the parents, imo to provoke thoughts similar to that above.

    As more detail has been reported it appears religion played no part in the matter. The parents sought a valid treatment for their child that the NHS does not offer. The NHS offers financial support for proton beam therapy abroad in a limited number of cases and is working up to providing it for up to 1500 patients a year by 2018.

    I guess in this instance the NHS declined to provide funding for foreign treatment, perhaps the ill boy is deemed to be beyond help. Yet the parents seeking private treatment of the kind the NHS is well aware of should not bring the state into conflict with the parents. It is as if the hospital has assumed the parents would be incapable of caring for their son while they arrange proton beam therapy privately.

    The European Arrest Warrant has been vocally opposed in the UK with the focus of that opposition being foreign police forces obtaining EAWs on specious grounds. It looks like those we should be sceptical of are much closer to home. A brief google about EAW suggests they can only be issued in relation to a prosecution (not merely an investigation) or in enforcing a custodial sentence. This is at odds with the police statements such as those published by The Guardian:

    Speaking outside Hampshire Constabulary’s headquarters, Assistant Chief Constable Chris Shead said: “I can confirm we have obtained a European arrest warrant. What that will do is, when we find Ashya and his family, it will allow us to talk to his parents about what happened. Clearly we need to find out what their motive is in taking Ashya.”

    Shead said the European arrest warrant was based around “neglect”, but added: “That does not necessarily mean they would be charged with that offence. It purely gives us the power to arrest, and then we’ll be able to speak to them.”

  • Gareth
    September 1, 2014 at 2:06 am

    Think of the huge destruction that will be “imposed” on the cancer industry if exocannabinoids became the standard treatment. Think of the huge savings to everyone else. In America it would amount to about 10% of the medical industry.

    In fact if cannabis was used everywhere indicated the medical industry might be cut by as much as 3/4s. And you wonder why you haven’t heard of it. Follow the money.

  • Chris

    The parents should have said that they were muslim, and the authorities would have looked the other way so fast they would get whiplash.

  • Fraser Orr

    @Alisa
    > but I am not buying the duty-of-care principle

    Q for you Alisa. Imagine I were in my 80s, suffering from serious dementia, and I was in a nursing home. This nursing home let me sit in my diapers unchanged, didn’t feed me properly, kept me locked in my room, failed to provide me with my medication, and treated me harshly. Do you think that the nursing home has a duty of care to me? Do you think they have a legal obligation to fulfill that particular contract? If I have no children or friends to advocate for me, should someone else be able to do so and demand that the nursing home fulfill their duty to me?

    Should children expect any less?

    > who [parents], being normal, are a great majority

    Probably, but most families don’t have dealings with the DCFS. On the other hand, I think it would be a mistake to dismiss the gigantic amount of neglect, and somewhat lesser amount of abuse that children suffer. You are surely correct in recognizing that any way you go here there are going to be some kids that are damaged either by abusive parents or abusive government agents. However, the few cases where decent parents are abused are high profile and loudly touted in the news. What we do not hear about are the hundreds of thousands of American children who each year suffer chronic abuse or gross neglect. We don’t hear about them anyway until they grow up into psychopathic thugs.

    The DCFS are a nightmare, they are dangerous, and need to be caged. But the military are all those things too, but militaries are an unpleasant necessity too. Both might be a slippery slope, but government as a whole is slippery slope. It is up to advocates of freedom to continue the good fight and to demand that the slope is not slipped on. There is no Utopian, everlasting solution. All we have is the everlasting requirement that we continue to argue in favor of freedom.

  • Fraser Orr

    @Perry de Havilland
    > Of course you are. The parent in question did a bit of research and made an informed decision.

    They did a bit of research, where? On the Internet? Were I to rely on that source as my reference point for knowledge I’d never let my kids near a syringe, since apparently even being close to one will immediately send my kids into an autistic nightmare, or perhaps death.

    I don’t know much about the facts of this case, perhaps the parents are qualified to research and judge this question. I know that I am certainly not qualified to judge if their contention is lunacy or not.

    > Sure but… so what? Doctors also make mistakes

    Yes, but parents with google as their only source of information make several magnitudes more mistakes that doctors. There is absolutely nothing wrong with doing your research, getting second and third opinions, talking to your molecular biologist friend who had useful information for your doctor and so forth. The mistake is thinking that a few minutes searching somehow qualifies you to make informed decisions. It does not. Qualified professionals are the only ones who can inform you sufficiently to make informed decisions, especially so when it comes to things like the mystical workings of the human body.

    Google and scientific friends are great sources of information to challenge and question your doctor. They are not good sources of information for making medical decisions yourself.

    BTW, I am new to this blog, and I find it very fun. Amongst most of the people I am acquainted with I am practically considered a black flag waving anarchist. But here? I think I sometimes feel somewhere to the left of Tony Benn. It is a lot of fun to be challenged from the other side of the aisle.

  • Fraser Orr

    @Gareth
    > There was an unseemly haste with which the authorities made the public aware of the religion of the parents

    Just to be clear, I had no idea the parents were JWs. My example was just the standard perfunctory example trotted out to illustrate the case of parents’ views bringing dangerous consequences, that most people will assert were damaging enough to warrant external intervention.

  • Nick (Natural Genius) Gray

    Fraser, old-school anarchists believe in communes, and group decisions in everything.
    This site has new-school Anarcho-capitalists, who believe in individuals and private property rights, and even want the roads to be privatised! I think they should call themselves Free Anarchists- the name is shorter, and the ‘free’ part links to Free Enterprize.

  • Mr Ed

    Well not really. I’m a former naval nuke. Proton beams are radiation.

    A former naval nuke you may be, that is called an appeal to (baseless) authority, it does not assist. you are ignorant in this area and you attempt to argue by fallacy.

    The radiations that I referred to radiate, that is why they are so called. All bar X rays radiate from atomic nuclei, X rays are, in the main, produced by electrons changing energy states, and they radiate from their source. An electron beam, such as in a cathode ray tube, might also be termed a radiation, as it radiates from a source, an electron gun.

    Whereas a proton beam is a beam of protons, i.e. positively ionised Hydrogen atoms, it is the element itself. The beam can be focused and accelerated by a particle accelerator, (hence the cost) but it does not some from a radioactive source. The fact that it may be loosely referred to as part of ‘radiation therapy’ is neither here nor there. Proton emission radiation is not a viable source of protons for proton therapy.

    The mechanism by which these treatments work is the same, ionisation and cellular damage leading to cell death. However, a proton beam is charged and can be focused with extreme precision to cause maximum damage to malignant cells. Cancer treatment is all about selective destruction of cells within the same organism, which is why it is so difficult to achieve.

    Cannabis treatment for a brain tumour is available in cafés in Amsterdam, so why didn’t they go there? Perhaps they might like to have an understandable mechanism at work.

  • The Internet is brimming over with utter nonsense when it comes to medical care. Just recently I read on my FB page someone telling me that lemon juice is more powerful that chemotherapy. I’m sure the big bad drug companies don’t want us to know about that one…

    There’s a lot of truth in that. Good buddy of mine recently got diagnosed with cancer, and the doctors told him to expect every Tom, Dick, and Harry to be downloading reams of shit off the internet advising him to eat such-and-such which has been *proven* to cure cancer, but the doctors don’t really want to cure it. Fortunately he followed the doctor’s advice and did chemotherapy.

    Fraser Orr has made some compelling comments, but a good portion of me is inclined to believe this:

    A couple thought they knew better than the medical wing of the State, so the police wing of the State hunted them down in order to dish out some punishment.

    Another buddy of mine smashed his hip up falling off a mountain in Romania. To cut a long story short, he found the British medical establishment didn’t have the skills to perform an operation which would have enabled him to carry on an active life, and were insisting he undergo an operation which would have left him with a pronounced limp. By chance he happened to bump into an Austrian doctor on the street who told him that much more advanced operations were carried out as a matter of course in Austria and Germany, and so after shopping around on the continent he took himself there and got operated on. His British doctors were livid, and had fully intended to deny him the opportunity of a proper fix in order to protect their own egos.

  • Plod:

    Shead said the European arrest warrant was based around “neglect”, but added: “That does not necessarily mean they would be charged with that offence. It purely gives us the power to arrest, and then we’ll be able to speak to them.”

    So we obtain a warrant on a trumped-up charge, and then when we get hold of them we’ll decide what they’ve really done wrong? These fuckers aren’t even pretending any more, are they?

  • In fact if cannabis was used everywhere indicated the medical industry might be cut by as much as 3/4s. And you wonder why you haven’t heard of it. Follow the money.

    This is bollocks on stilts. If cancer could be cured by cannabis, I am pretty sure a well-connected and wealthy hedge fund would have set up their own pharmaceutical company by now and be making hay hand over fist. The idea that the entire medical profession, including would-be new entrants, are deliberately suppressing cancer cures is horseshit.

    It reminds me of when I first joined a major oil company and I asked to see all the cars that ran on solar power, sea water, etc. that they had been buying up and shelving in order to protect their petrol profits. Alas, I was told they didn’t exist, and despite years of rummaging through the basements of head offices I have yet to find where they store them. They *must* be around somewhere…

  • So if I beam neutrons they are no longer radiation? Fine by me. If I beam electrons they are no longer radiation?

    BTW you might want to look up “Proton Radiation Therapy”.

    Or this on the proton emission form of radioactive decay:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proton_emission

    Evidently I stayed awake during nuke school.

    ============================

    In any case you are stuck on semantics when my point is that a non-cancer causing treatment (cannabinoids) is available. I think there is quite a bit of difference between not much and none. Ask your insurance agent. And then there is the cost of treatment. A proton generator is not cheap. Compare that with plants (say hot house tomatoes). A few hundred dollars worth of plants (at hot house tomato prices) can cure cancer. I know of no other treatment modality that even comes close. It would cut 5% to 10% off the cost of NHS. And that does not count all the other things it can treat. You should study it.

  • This is bollocks on stilts. If cancer could be cured by cannabis, I am pretty sure a well-connected and wealthy hedge fund would have set up their own pharmaceutical company by now and be making hay hand over fist. The idea that the entire medical profession, including would-be new entrants, are deliberately suppressing cancer cures is horseshit.

    Ordinarily you would think so. Not in this case. It is more a form of prejudice than actual malice on everyone’s part. But there is enough malice. BTW what hedge fund is going to go against law and a lack of patentability?

    Now I claim you have not done due diligence on my claims. Just dismissed them out of hand.

    So I’m going to provide you with a series of links. (my apologies for clogging the thread) I will deal only with cancer but you might wish to give the endocannabinoid system some study. It is rather amazing and despite that the ignorance level is astounding.

    Watch the videos at the link. About 5 to 15 minutes each. Science. So you may have to get out your dictionary:

    http://www.cureyourowncancer.org/dennis-hills-story-beating-prostate-cancer-with-cannabis-oil.html

    BTW his cancer was stage 4 when he started the cure – it had spread through his whole body.

  • Nice technical paper here. There are hundreds more if you do a site search:

    Cannabinoids reduce ErbB2-driven breast cancer progression through Akt inhibition
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2917429/

  • BTW what hedge fund is going to go against law and a lack of patentability?

    Are you telling me that this is the main objection to not one person, even a wealthy philanthropist such as Bill Gates, from setting up a research laboratory (abroad if required) and confirming that cancer can be cured easily and cheaply? Or is Bill in on the conspiracy too?

    Now I claim you have not done due diligence on my claims. Just dismissed them out of hand.

    In that respect, you are quite correct.

  • Dr. Raphael Mechoulam – after the lurid introduction the good stuff starts at 1 minute in.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pExKUatH4Xo

  • Tim Newman
    September 1, 2014 at 8:48 am

    Well OK. You are proud of your ignorance. There is a lot of that going around. Science has no cure for it either. Pity.

    There are more endocannabinoid receptors in the body than any other receptor type and you know nothing and refuse to find out? Well obviously no conspiracy is required.

    You attitude (as I understand it) “I know nothing, refuse to learn, so it can’t be true.”

    The left has the same attitude towards its favorites. So it is not you. It is the human condition.

    “Truth never triumphs — its opponents just die out. Thus, Science advances one funeral at a time” Max Planck

    In America there have been enough funerals to put legalization on firm ground. To the squeals of pain from outraged “conservatives”. Music to my ears.

    =================

    http://www.ucsfhealth.org/donald.abrams

    Dr. Donald I. Abrams is a cancer and integrative medicine specialist at the UCSF Osher Center for Integrative Medicine at Mount Zion. Abrams provides integrative medicine consultations for cancer patients and has completed research in complementary and alternative therapies including mind-body treatments, botanical therapies, medical use of marijuana and traditional Chinese medicine herbal therapies.

    ==========================

    He has quite a few videos up on you tube about cannabis and cancer.

  • http://forum.grasscity.com/marijuana-news-usa/1282038-dr-raphael-mechoulam-calling-clinical-trials-cannabis-cancer.html

    Hello all! I am imploring everyone to read and share this press release with a statement from Dr. Raphael Mechoulam calling for clinical trials into cannabis and cancer. This is in light of overwhelming evidence that cannabis extracts can eliminate cancer in humans, including a November 2013 Case Reports in Oncology study which proved it definitively. The press release also describes other key aspects of the evidence surrounding this.

    ===================================================

    More links at the link.

  • Well OK. You are proud of your ignorance. There is a lot of that going around. Science has no cure for it either. Pity.

    Did you get that from How to be a Crank on the Internet in 12 Easy Steps? I’ve heard it’s good.

    You attitude (as I understand it) “I know nothing, refuse to learn, so it can’t be true.”

    No, my attitude is:

    1. Miracle cures do not exist, except on incredibly rare occasions when somebody stumbles upon something and it quickly becomes adopted by other people.
    2. If somebody is claiming knowledge of some scientific discovery that could change the world, I am skeptical. If somebody is on the internet claiming a scientific discovery can change the world but is being suppressed by a murky cabal of corporations and politicians, I simply laugh. as I said, I heard all this before with the oil companies buying the patents of cars that run on fresh air, seawater, etc.

  • They did a bit of research, where? On the Internet? Were I to rely on that source as my reference point for knowledge I’d never let my kids near a syringe, since apparently even being close to one will immediately send my kids into an autistic nightmare, or perhaps death.

    Nope. I think you may be falling into what I suppose could be called an ‘Oracle Fallacy’. The internet is a perfectly good place to do more than enough research on almost anything to develop an informed opinion, but the internet is just a way of reaching oracles. And some oracles are false oracles. Indeed the same applies to doctors. Some are bad doctors or maybe not bad so much as having-a-bad-day on the day you need them to be good doctors. The key is to apply critical thinking when listening to what the oracles say and then make your mind up on that basis. Experts are essential, I would not want to try and do my own shoulder operation, but I am perfectly capable of using the internet to see if there might be better kinds of shoulder operations and then applying some critical thinking to see if the assorted oracles suggesting things my meatspace doctor oracle has not suggested or does not approve of are credible or not.

    And as you seem to have the ability to engage in critical reasoning, yes, of course you are qualified to develop your own informed opinions of this or that medical treatment. And that appears to be true also in the Ashya King case. They discovered that the treatment in question is actually done for brain tumours elsewhere and felt it was better for their child. Are they correct? Dunno, but it is clearly an informed opinion. THAT is why the the state has no business superseding the legitimate guardians just because they made the perfectly rational decision to disregard one set of oracles opinions in favour other oracles with perfectly reasonable opinions.

    In the example of M. Simon advocating cannabis as a cancer cure, I am very much with Tim Newman on this for exactly the same reasons. However it is also clear M. Simon takes the views he does on a perfectly rational basis, and so I would argue the state has no business stopping the likes of M. Simon treating their cancers or the cancers of their children that way, even though I am deeply dubious. Although I find it hard to believe (i.e. I don’t), it is not a lunatic notion, so I can see no reason not to butt out and leave that kind of decision to the interested parties, even if they came to different conclusions than me.

  • Gareth

    Fraser Orr said:

    Just to be clear, I had no idea the parents were JWs. My example was just the standard perfunctory example trotted out to illustrate the case of parents’ views bringing dangerous consequences, that most people will assert were damaging enough to warrant external intervention.

    It is a useful coincedence. Jehovah’s Witness objections to certain medical procedures is the stereotype I think the authorities were relying on in being immediately up front about the religion of the parents.

    A pretty grotty affair but one that I suppose might have come about if the hospital went to the police and laid it on thick the parents would be denying their child treatment rather than what appears to be happening – the parents are trying to get their child a recognised treatment the NHS doesn’t currently offer.

  • Mr Ed

    So if I beam neutrons they are no longer radiation?

    Well for starters neutrons aren’t beamed like protons as they are neutral, and cannot be steered and accelerated in the way that protons can, because, unlike electrons and protons, they have no net charge. Neutrons can be generated as primary radiation, nuclear bombardment or fission products, they start the nuclear fission of Uranium and Plutonium bombs. Neutrons radiate from their source, and a bombarded element that emits neutrons can be used as a source, but the beam is really a filtered stream of neutrons rather than a directed beam.

    The mechanism for proton or neutron or other ‘radio’ therapy is well-known, and it is the (often relatively) selective killing of malignant cells.

    We simply don’t know enough about what the parents in this case knew or were told to judge the merits of their decision. Just because there are quack remedies out there does not mean that the parents have not found a treatment, any more than going into a medical library and finding a book called, say, ‘Principlef of Phyfik’ from 1734 means that the library is full of nonsense.

  • Andrew Duffin

    “They have been arrested under a European arrest warrant…”

    That’s, you know, one of those things we were told would only be used in serious cases like organised crime, terrorism etc etc”

    Can you spell “mission creep”?

    Is anyone even slightly surprised? If so, I’m sorry to say it but you are alarmingly naive.

  • Mr. Ed,

    Ah. So you are now agreeing that protons are radiation. Just like neutrons, alphas (Helium nuclei) and betas (electrons). So we can put that one to rest I guess.

    BTW cannabinoids selectively kill cancer cell with no chance of inducing cancer. I have left quite a bit of explanation of that up thread.

    Here is a search of the US NIH with a list of documents

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/gquery/?term=cannabinoid

    It really is not fringe science. Just unknown science. I made it my mission a year ago to make the science better known in order to pressure government. It is working so well that we now have 31 US States plus DC with some kind of medical cannabis law. It is wildly popular in the US with between 60% to 90% support depending on the State. In Florida among the voting age public the support is reputed to be 88%. Among likely voters for this fall’s referendum support is running between 66% and 70%. 60% is required to pass.

    Anti-cancer tests on humans are supposedly going on in Spain with some starting up in Colorado. We have considerable numbers of animal tests that show promise and more than a few anecdotes. In fact it was the low THC strain “Charlotte’s Web” and its effect on children with seizure disorders that prompted the last wave of medical cannabis laws in the US (8 States including Alabama IIRC). Some of the laws are quite restrictive. That will not last.

    My lobbyist friend Howard Wooldridge says the biggest problem he has is with Republican politicians. Their staffs are mostly on board when it comes to ending Prohibition. When the Feds get out of the way the flood gates will open.

    US politicians are under tremendous pressure on this issue. They WILL break.

  • Perry de Havilland (London)
    September 1, 2014 at 9:33 am

    You might want to look at how your body normally prevents the proliferation of cancer cells. It has to have such a mechanism or background radiation would have us all dead of cancer before we can reproduce.

    I’ll give you the short version. You can do your own research for a more detailed explanation.

    Cancer cells have cannabinoid receptors. When a cannabinoid (endo or exo) binds to this receptor the cancer cell self destructs (apoptosis). I’ll give you one more link to get you started.

    Cannabinoids, endocannabinoids, and cancer
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22038019

  • Dude, enough. You have made your point, as have the people who disagree on this not particularly relevant point. Ditto what is and is not radiation. This is not really the topic. The discussion is actually about civil liberties… so I am going to lock this thread.

  • Mr Ed

    Dear M Simon

    That link at 11.21 above, from the article

    Several different types of cancer have abnormal regulation of the endocannabinoid system that contributes to cancer progression and correlates to clinical outcomes.

    So some cells that are cancerous may have a defect that causes them to die in the event of a cannaboid molecule binding to it. However, it should be noted that not all cancer cells will have that characteristic. Nor does it suggest that a safe delivery system exists for such treatments.

    It goes on to say:

    the endocannabinoid system is a promising new target for the development of novel chemotherapeutics to treat cancer

    So it’s one small piece of good news for some people who have, or more likely, are going to have susceptible cancers.

    And I fail to see where I said that proton beams are radiation, apart from writing ‘radio’ around – radiotherapy – to qualify it as that is what the treatments are often referred to as.

    There are systems in eukaryotic cells to repair DNA damage. They are not always effective.