From Portland, Oregon, USA:
I have received the following e-mail from my sister and would appreciate your reaction. Please note that I am the parent of a 26 year old son who has had Type 1 for 15 years. The letter follows.
Would you please do me a huge favor? I have a dear friend who has an 11-year old daughter with diabetes. Helen has taken her to naturalists, scientologists, reflexologists ... whatever rest she can who promise her they can "shock" her body into being normal. She keeps "weaning" her off the medication, if she uses it at all. I am so afraid that she is going to kill her. Helen tells me how "sluggish and sleepy" her gets during these "shock" treatments. Helen insists that with a special diet her can be normal again. Please write her a letter and I'll give it to her. She is really into health food and is convinced that the scriptures tell her she can heal her daughter.
I would like your reaction to this horrible situation. What are the legal ramifications of not providing medical care for a child with diabetes? I assume she is fairly newly diagnosed.
I empathize with you. We both know that none of these "treatments" will restore beta cell function. However, I don't think that our sending her this message will change anything. I'm sure that her diabetes team has tried. I know this sounds radical, but about the only thing you can do is to suggest to your sister to report her friend to the local authorities if she feels strongly that her friend's daughter is in danger.
[Editor's comment: Perhaps your sister could talk to the local JDF or ADA chapter, or call their national offices (800-JDF-CURE and 800-DIABETE) and see if they have any information about the legalities of what can be done. WWQ]
Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:08:56
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