Conventional chemotherapy implies taking one or several medications at a time, which is accompanied by other cancer treatment measures, such as radiation therapy and surgery. It significantly increases the chances to cure a disease and continue to live healthily. However, the consequences of conventional chemotherapy may also be damaging to the general health state. For this reason, some patients are willing to refuse it and adhere to alternative options. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to overview the cases of Abraham Cherrix and Daniel Hauser, cover the positions of all the sides, and present personal reflections in this regard.
Both of the stories mentioned above regard almost the same issue. As for the first one, Abraham Cherrix is a fifteen-year-old boy who has Hodgkin’s disease (The Abraham Cherrix story, n. d.). The boy completed a course of conventional chemotherapy in 2005, as it was prescribed by health care providers, though a year later, he revealed that the treatment did not cure his disease (The Abraham Cherrix story, n. d.). Parents were willing to refuse the suggestions of doctors to undergo conventional chemotherapy with a higher dosage due to its negative impact on the general health state of their son (The Abraham Cherrix story, n. d.). Their response and total resentment of the treatment caused a legal battle (The Abraham Cherrix story, n. d.). This situation is similar to the case of a 13-year-old boy Daniel Hauser (Jake, 2009). His mother refused to complete a course of conventional chemotherapy due to her religious beliefs, which also led to contradictions with the court.
As for the position of the state in this issue, it is evident that, from its perspective, conventional chemotherapy appears to be a beneficial solution for a cancer patient. The reason for that is a higher likelihood of recovery comparing to alternative options. This approach has been proved during years of medical practice, and the number of positive outcomes ensures the effectiveness of this method. In addition, they may suspect parents in insufficient care of their children, which may be their motive for refusal from the treatment.
However, conventional chemotherapy is not appropriate for each of the patients and may lead to negative consequences. For instance, in the case of Abraham Cherrix, the report mentions that “the first round nearly killed him, leaving him so frail and weak that he couldn’t walk” (The Abraham Cherrix story, n. d., para. 9). In order to describe the individuals’ position in this regard, the following phrase of Abraham Cherrix may be mentioned:
“This is my body that I’m supposed to take care of. I should have the right to tell someone what I want to do with this body. I studied. I did research. I came to this conclusion that the chemotherapy was not the route I wanted to take” (para. 1).
From my own perspective, I can agree with the aforementioned opinion. I strongly believe that patients should be offered a range of options, as conventional chemotherapy may lead to the aggravation of the situation. In addition, teenagers should have the possibility to make a decision together with their parents. Thus, they should also be provided with comprehensive information on conventional chemotherapy and its alternatives so that they can make a choice, which is the most appropriate for them.
The Abraham Cherrix story. (n. d.). Web.
Jake. (2009). Daniel Hauser – Warrant out for mom who refuses chemo for her son. Web.