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Tuesday, August 20, 2019

"Medical kidnapping?"

Is this necessary and ethical?

An Oregon court is ordering that a 13-year-old girl with a rare liver cancer have surgery and receive other medical treatment despite the objections of her mother.
The battle over Kylee Dixon's treatment began after her mother, Christina Dixon, halted a doctor-prescribed regimen to instead pursue alternative medicine such as CBD oil and vitamins, NBC affiliate KGW8 in Portland reported.
Dixon has said that after Kylee went through six months of chemotherapy, she could no longer watch her daughter suffer...

As the permanently heartbroken father of two girls lost to cancer, this story grabs me pretty acutely.

What do you think?

I assume the governing case law is pretty clear most everywhere. A minor is not the parents' "property," and has no independent legal "free will" to grant or withhold "informed consent." Broadly, it is uncontroversial that the state can intervene to prevent or mitigate "child neglect / abuse." Where that authority extends to mandating major surgery or other acute tx measures is something regarding which many people will disagree.

Tough situation, this one.


Carbon ion therapy. Like traditional radiation, carbon ion therapy damages the DNA of fast-growing cancer cells, ultimately destroying them. But unlike older forms of radiation, this technique causes minimal harm to normal tissue. It also works against tumors that are resistant to X-ray treatment, and studies suggest it triggers an immune response against cancer.

Globally, carbon ion therapy is viewed as the next horizon of cancer care. About 22,000 patients have received the treatment at 13 centers in Germany, Austria, Italy, Japan, and China. More locations are under development in South Korea, Taiwan, and France.

Yet the therapy has followed an odd trajectory in the US. Although it was developed in California in 1975 and early research pointed to its advantages, not a single carbon ion facility, not even a research-oriented one, exists in the US. Other countries invested public money in the technology, but so far, American proponents of carbon ions have been unable to garner federal construction money or sufficient private backing…
From WIRED. Good article.

ERRATUM: My latest read.

Totally fine. Just finished. Yes, "living" entities emerged from inert matter (albeit "CHNOPS" organic elements at root), and, while based in physics, organic life is evolving stochastically beyond it, in increasing complexity (to include "cultural evolution").
We cannot mathematize the specific evolution of the biosphere. We can, at best, seek statistical laws about distributions of aspects of this evolution. In short, I will claim that no law at all entails the becoming of the biosphere; and that therefore, we cannot reduce biology to physics. The world is not a machine.

Kauffman, Stuart A.. A World Beyond Physics (p. 112). Oxford University Press. Kindle Edition.

Are we trapped? Got onto the Robson book via a Science Magazine review, and the forthcoming Markovits book through an Atlantic article. These two will be of interest to me in regard to any additional light they might shed on my episodic riffs on cognition and "scientific thinking."

More to come...

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