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Justice served in case of Abraham Cherrix

Sanity Prevails in Abraham Cherrix Case

Sanity prevailed in a Virginia courtroom last week when Judge Glen Tyler announced that 16-year-old Abraham Cherrix would not be taken from his parents and forced to receive chemotherapy.

Abraham agreed to be treated by an oncologist, on the stipulation that he won’t be asked to undergo further chemotherapy. And state authorities agreed to allow Abraham to continue taking herbal treatments, provided he consent to be treated with radiation if his oncologist feels it’s necessary.

Most importantly, Abraham considered this a victory. His right to choose his course of health care was modified, but upheld.

As I see it, the only loser in this case is Arthur Caplan, Ph.D., who is the director of the Center for Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania. I’m sure Dr. Caplan doesn’t consider himself a loser, but then he’s probably not aware that he embarrassed himself on national television.

On the NBC Nightly News last Wednesday, Dr. Caplan offered his expert opinion about the Cherrix decision. He was pleased with the agreement, but couldn’t resist getting in a dig, referring to Abraham’s alternative regimen as a “magic potion.”

Earlier in the day, MSNBC released a commentary by Dr. Caplan in which he took several cheap shots, calling Abraham’s herbal treatments a “screwball regimen” and “nothing short of quackery.”

As a bio-ethicist and a man of science, Dr. Caplan is surely aware that the accurate assessment of this regimen is that it has not yet been proven effective in double blind, placebo-controlled clinical studies.

Dr. Caplan’s insensitive and condescending comments are not based on any scientific proof whatsoever. And given the ordeal Abraham and his family are going through, his comments are simply rude.