15 March 2009

Willie's Story

Willie had a treatable form of Hodgkin's lymphoma. Never once did his mom or dad bring him to the doctor for his painful neck lump. Willie's aunt begged his mom to bring him for a checkup. She refused and cut contact with the aunt. Social services got involved, but somehow the child wasn't seen by a physician until it was too late.

Willie died.

Stories like this, where undeserving parents spend more on their dog's flea treatments than their childrens' medical care, really burn me. This boy was precious. He deserved a chance.

I wouldn't want the pendulum to swing way the other way, where doctors and social workers get to decide every aspect of a child's care. You know the doctors would examine and medicate every little thing.

(Can you believe they wanted to give Emperor ADHD medication? As if he needed it. Can you believe they wanted to give my Elf some Paxil so he could cope better in school? Um, guess what? Now that he isn't being LOCKED IN A CLOSET on a regular basis, he functions just fine, thankyouverymuch. Please let's not fool ourselves that these doctors don't get bonuses from drug companies and/or insurance companies and that it could never bias them in determining "proper care" even a teensy little bit.)

Still, for Willie, overtreatment would not be so harmful. Poor guy. There are five remaining children in this family. I don't wish evil on the family or hope that they are all taken away, but I do think that they need some serious help.

7 comments:

  1. Oh my gosh this is sad. I hope he wasn't in horrible pain. Sad so sad.

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  2. It broke my heart to read, too, KC's mom. I keep coming back to the idea that the mom in this case MUST NOT have understood that this could be serious. Because I can't wrap my mind around the idea that she thought her dogs were more important.

    MIND YOU, 95% survival rate... we will NEVER KNOW if he would have made it. But you can say "likely" with a bit of medical help, we wouldn't be reading this. Which makes me wonder how often this sort of thing happens and we never hear about it. :[ !!

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  3. Children should not, ever die of treatable diseases.

    From another article:

    "Only after Willie died did investigators learn they weren't attending school and had not received medical or dental care for the previous three years."

    I don't know where to draw the line either. But, when I read this, the first thing that came into my mind is, "Great, another hit for home schoolers."

    I have decided not to attend our state's homeschooling convention this year. I may attend the secular one in September. But the Christian one features Michael Farris talking about the Parental Rights Amendment, a series of lecture about living the agrarian (read outside of culture/city/evil influences) lifestyle, and a hyperpatriarchal class on how to raise your daughters to live at home with their dad until he finds her a mate. I think strongly identifying ourselves with a culture so different than the rest of society will prove a costly mistake to the rights of home schoolers. So, even if I know that my lack of participation will not make a difference in our state's home school leaders selling a continual withdrawal from a post-Christian culture, I am not spending my money on it.

    Because, if those of us who are freedom loving, libertarian leaning, home schoolers, can see that some parents really, truly don't get what they signed up for, they don't get the obligations that they have to their children, the rest of society (the ones who think the government really should parent everyone's child), do too. We really will be seen as a threat to societies progress.

    So, do we accept some oversight of what we are doing in our home? Or do we continue the fight?

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  4. I'd say we continue the fight, because we already have SO MUCH OVERSIGHT already. It just failed Willie.

    BTW, I'm an HSLDA member and totally against this "Rights of the Child" UN treaty. That being said, some of the comments from pro-homeschooling people are... zany? Is that the word I'm looking for?

    But when I *DO* go to the doctor, I want to be able to trust that the fellow is not going to hotline me for every little thing. Right now, we have one we trust. But he's about that retiring age, and I shudder to think of what it will be like when he goes. I don't want to have to have my kids be patients in a mega-practice that allows for no religious opt-outs of this or that, or a place where my children are routinely asked about their social lives as they were at the last place we were treated. :]

    PS Didn't know Willie was homeschooled. I really do think homeschooling is kinda like breastfeeding in that it's the best, most natural thing you can do with your child but there ARE some people who should not do it.

    OK let the flak begin for that comment o' mine LOL!

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  5. Ok, back from reading the link, Julie. IF they were homeschooling in Ohio, paperwork would have had to have been filed. That notation was strangely absent in the article you cited.

    I'm thinking they were plain old "truant," not even the claim of "homeschooling" came up. It doesn't even sound like the parents are trying to use it as an excuse. Sounds like they are going through drug treatment and other family members are claiming they are still in denial about what happened and the idea that it most probably could have been prevented.

    How to give people like that a clue??

    I do also wonder what the social worker saw and why they weren't immediately referred to the doctor or accompanied to the ER. Couple hours of the social worker's time... maybe even close the case if there were nothing amiss.

    Sigh.

    But hindsight is always 20/20 or even better. :[

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  6. That poor, sweet boy! What an awful thing to have to live with for those parents if they ever come to their senses. I hope the other children will be well taken care of. I have to admit that I wonder how much better off they will be in the hands of the State.

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  7. I hope they DO come to their senses for the sake of the other children!! But while there are some great foster families out there, I really would prefer families be able to stay together.

    Hearing news like this makes me appreciate what tough jobs judges have sometimes!!

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