Mourn for Katie Wernecke...
After I wrote about this unfortunate child yesterday, I was informed that parents have won full custody, and plan on taking her to Kansas as soon as possible for Vitamin C "therapy":
CORPUS CHRISTI — Parents who have been fighting state officials over their 13-year-old daughter's cancer care can make all her medical decisions, a judge ruled today, officially ending a long and widely watched battle.
State District Judge Jack Hunter dismissed the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services from Katie Wernecke's case Monday. But until today he had yet to sign an official order and clarify what treatment at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston would be completed before the family could pursue an alternative treatment they prefer.
Hunter's ruling said Katie must complete her current round of chemotherapy and be stable to travel, which could happen by the end of the week.
Children's Protective Services spokesman Aaron Reed said the state would respect the judge's ruling.
"I think we all understand that this has been a very emotionally charged case," he said. "We just have different opinions as to what is best for her."
CPS took custody of Katie in June after a doctor told social workers her parents were risking her life by refusing treatment. She has been living with a foster family and attending school at the hospital.
Katie's father, Edward Wernecke, said he wants to take his daughter to the Bright Spot for Health clinic in Wichita, Kan., which offers intravenous vitamin C. Wernecke hopes the vitamin will kill the cancer and strengthen her immune system.
"We'll get her as soon as the doctors say it's OK, hopefully Friday or Saturday," he said. "We're going right to Kansas."
The parents were preventing Katie from receiving life-saving therapy for her cancer! If that's not "serious neglect," I don't know what is. It doesn't matter that they think they're doing the best thing for their daughter. The end result is the same.Peter Johnston of the Texas Center for Family Rights said he was elated by the decision.
"The most intimate decisions are best made by the parents except in cases of serious neglect, where they're not doing anything," Johnston said.
Katie's only hope is that the chemotherapy she has received thus far is adequate to save her. However, without high dose chemotherapy and stem cell transplantation, her odds have dropped even more, because intravenous vitamin C is useless for treating cancer. Multiple studies from the 1970's and 1980's show that it does no better than placebo, and there is certainly no evidence that it will kill the cancer or "strengthen her immune system" (an all-purpose altie claim that means nothing). And check out the website for this Bright Spot for Health clinic. It's a veritable cornucopia of altie nonsense:
They also seem to be big on "orthomolecular medicine," the concept that Nobel Prize winner Linus Pauling sullied his legacy by associating himself with it in his later years. The vast majority of the "scientific" articles cited on the website come from the Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine, and the rest do not address the question of whether vitamin C actually does anything to treat cancer in actual living human beings. They do, however, sure look impressive to a non-scientist or non-physician.At The Center, we are specialists in certain alternative approaches. These include, but are not limited to, nutritional medicine, ear and body acupuncture, detecting and removing excessive amounts of heavy metals from the body, detecting adverse food reactions and hidden parasites, therapeutic massage, and techniques of mental medicine which positively impact psychoneuroimmunology.
As was pointed out in the comments yesterday and as I pointed out very early in this blog's history and then multiple times after, if alties survive cancer (or any other horrible disease) after taking conventional treatments and then alternative medicine, they will almost always credit the alternative medicine and not the previous conventional treatment. If by some miracle Katie beats the odds (which have just gotten a whole lot longer) and survives her cancer recurrence, you can bet that she and her parents won't attribute her survival to the conventional therapy that she has received thus far. They will attribute it to the vitamin C and prayer, not to mention her parent's "courageous battle" against the state to allow them to give her intravenous vitamin C. She will become a testimonial.
For her sake, I hope she does become a testimonial.
Unfortunately for this unlucky child, it is far more likely that she will soon become a cancer mortality statistic.