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Tayler Incorrectly Treated
January 6, 2007 permalink
Today the Brantford Expositor reports on the girl Tayler Diamond, subject to involuntary treatment, now said by the doctor to be the wrong medicine.
Girl's chemo treatment goes awry: mom; Naturopaths support Diamond's legal fight against court order
Saturday, January 06, 2007 - 01:00
Local News - The mother of the nine-year-old Brantford girl ordered into chemotherapy treatment in October says the last three months have been traumatizing and negative.
Lisa Diamond said this week that, while daughter Tayler has been tolerating the treatment fairly well, she just learned that doctors have been incorrectly administering Tayler's drugs.
"They said they've been giving her the right drugs but in the wrong order. They want to correct that and increase the dosages. Both will make her sicker."
Tayler has been going to chemotherapy three times a week since October. The child was ordered into treatment by the Brantford Children's Aid Society after Diamond told doctors at McMaster Hospital that she preferred to pursue a natural medicine approach.
Tayler was diagnosed with ALL leukemia more than a year ago. Aggressive chemotherapy had to be stopped when the child went into septic shock after a lumbar puncture and almost died.
After a year of remission, Diamond decided the treatment was too harmful for her daughter after she researched natural foods and supplements that could keep her healthy. She has Tayler on a diet high in organic fruits and vegetables with some vitamins and supplements.
"Nothing high dose," Diamond said. "The most she gets is four grams of vitamin C a day and the worst you can get from that is diarrhea." The doctors called the CAS and reported Diamond's decision and the CAS issued a chemotherapy treatment order.
Now Diamond has also approached the CAS to ask about her rights to protect her child and whether, should an error in Tayler's protocol be confirmed, the CAS will take responsibility for ordering the therapy.
McMaster's pediatric cancer specialist, Dr. Ronald Barr, said it's extremely unusual for a family to decline treatment for a child.
Adults sometimes make that call. And families sometimes refuse chemotherapy and radiation if a child's prognosis is grim. The hospital then works to ensure the patient is kept comfortable.
"I can't remember the last time a family declined the therapy offered. Usually if they're provided the evidence, almost all families say it's a no-brainer."
Sometimes families want to include a dietary intervention. Barr said the doctors are open to that as long as there's no evidence it will do any harm.
But Diamond said she is regularly harassed about her natural approach by the doctors who rotate into Tayler's case.
"The doctors have been literally screaming and hollering at me. Each has to express their view on the natural approach and it leaves Tayler in tears."
"There have been constant contradictions, like they'll say they can't combine two drugs and then they do. I want to put my trust in them but it's hard to because of the contradictions and the fact they've gone halfway through this treatment and haven't done it right."
Barr said he couldn't discuss whether the hospital had made a mistake in Tayler's therapy or whether doctors have yelled at Diamond unless he had written permission to discuss Tayler's case.
Diamond signed that permission and it was faxed to the hospital on Thursday. On Friday, a media spokesperson said the medical team decided to meet with Diamond next week to try and sort out the problems.
Late Friday, Diamond said she hadn't been informed of any such meeting.
Meanwhile, a local nutritional consultant said she's ready to help raise funds for Diamond to mount a legal defence against the order that has put Tayler into chemotherapy.
Sharon Edwards said Friday there are many people in the alternative medicine business who want to ensure people have the freedom to choose their own - and their child's - treatments.
"I would never tell somebody not to do chemo, but you should have options. We want to fight for the freedom of choice for parents."
Edwards contacted Diamond after seeing her story in The Expositor. She said there are massage therapists, chiropractors and others involved in naturopathic medicine who would like to see more openness when it comes to choosing - or adding - natural medicine to the traditional medical approaches to cancer.
Those interested in contributing to a legal fund can contact Edwards at D'vine Living, 519-750-0440.
Source: Brantford Expositor
Addendum: (January 8, 2007) The mother in this case, Lisa Diamond, has been invited to a meeting at the hospital to discuss her case. The others invited are: two oncologists, a social worker, a children's mental health specialist and an adult mental health specialist. It only takes one mentalist to suggest a disorder to the social worker, and Tayler will be separated from her mom, ridding the hospital of an annoyance.