Sunday, December 21, 2008

Sickest in 35 years

December 16, 2008

Article from: The Australian

A SICK girl suffered brain damage after her father refused to take her to hospital because he distrusted conventional medicine, a court has been told.

The 11-year-old had been suffering from a heart infection for two weeks before her parents finally took her to hospital, the Brisbane District Court was told on Tuesday.

She was gravely ill when she was admitted to Toowoomba Base Hospital in September 2006.

Her temperature was 42 degrees celsius, she had been hallucinating and was weak, pale and could no longer walk.

The court was told her mouth was peeling, black and clogged from the alternative medicine her 45-year-old father had been giving her in extremely high doses.

The doctor who finally examined the 11-year-old told the court the girl was as "sick as the sickest person I've ever seen in my 35 years as a doctor".

Prosecutor Belinda Merrin said it was the father's distrust of conventional medicine that had caused him to delay seeking treatment.

Instead, he had been relying on the glyconutrient dietary supplement Mannatech to cure his daughter.

The court was told the girl's mother asked him on a number of occasions to seek medical treatment, but had not pushed the issue for fear her estranged partner would deny her access to her children.

When the girl was admitted to hospital she underwent an emergency heart bypass and valve replacement.

She spent some time in a coma after surgery because of bleeding on the brain, and it was a year before she was eventually allowed to go home.

She now uses a wheelchair and has severe, ongoing cognitive and fine motor skills problems. The father has pleaded guilty to one count of grievous bodily harm.

The mother has pleaded guilty to a charge of child cruelty.

None of the family members can be identified.

Judge Tony Rafter will sentence the parents later on Tuesday.

Often the proponents of Spurious Complementary & Alternative Medicine claim that their products are safe and can do no harm. While they may not be able to do direct harm, the above is a sad example of how the use of SCAM can prevent real treatment from being sought and/or provided with devastating results.

Don't be fooled. If sick, get help from a doctor that practices evidence-based medicine. Natural does not mean effective, particularly when it's just sugar.

"The presence of belief, does not indicate the existence of truth."
"There is only one truth. How we interpret that truth is called belief."