I believe in science and that belief is pretty firm and unshakeable. Science enables me to sit here in a robe and type away anywhere there is power, unhindered by any lack of ink, a quill pen and a supply of candles. Lots of early science was documented that way. Science allows us to call anybody, anywhere, anytime from a tiny, powerful thing you can carry around in your pants pocket. Scientists discovered that smoking will likely kill you and that if you wear a seat belt, you will come to less harm in an accident. At some point in this existence, science will play a part in saving or prolonging your life. It probably already has. Most people are quite happy that science is there to help. Some people don’t believe that for a second.
Makayla Sault decided to take an alternative route to try and heal herself. Sault was the eleven year old girl from a First Nation near Branford who chose to give up on the chemotherapy that would have given her an 90% chance of survival. Jesus Christ declared to Makayla in her hospital bed that “she was already healed” so she asked to be removed from treatment. The science based solution for her disease, acute lymphoblastic leukemia, is a multi year ordeal of chemotherapy to insure that it does not return. She decided not to do this and now she is gone. She is neither the first nor will she be the last. Jesus is always telling somebody everything is okay and they will believe Him and no amount of convincing will change their mind. Sad? In lots of ways. A crime? It’s not a crime to believe. The true criminals in this case are the quacks that seize upon people’s beliefs for personal gain on the hopes of those with faint hope.
I had a coworker who was dying of pancreatic cancer. He came back to see us one day, all of us well aware we wouldn’t see him alive again. He knew this too. It was not unlike when Jack Layton gave the press conference to say that his cancer has reoccured. You can almost sense when someone isn’t going to make it. My coworker was tightly holding a little glass vial in his hand and I asked him about it. It looked like a lucky charm of some sort, sand from a beach somewhere maybe. He told us he had a good feeling that The Dust was going to work soon. Dr. Internet told him that volcanic ash would cure his terminal pancreatic cancer. It didn’t. Of course none of us tried to talk him out of taking it. It gave him hope, even though science had determined there was none. It is one of the oldest shyster games on earth.
Some of the confusion in the Sault situation stems from trying to determine what constitutes traditional and alternative methods of treatment. Traditional Native Healing is a deep rooted ancient cultural practice and a primer can even be found on the Canadian Cancer Society’s website. The CCC is not against the use of this type of healing but they see it as complementary to any hospital based treatment you may receive. Jesus Christ is not mentioned in this method.
Most belief systems have a hardship option, usually involving prayer, and no one is going to tell you not to do that. Go right ahead and pray. But that has very little to do with the kind of “healing” promoted by the Hippocrates Health Institute in Florida where Makayla ended up for “treatment”. It is unclear why after Jesus’ declaration that Makayla was healed that she would need further procedures. The HHI specialize in providing high end folk remedies in a lovely resort like setting. The institute’s point man Brian Clement is not a doctor but insists on being called one which I will not do. One of the first things that comes up when you google the HHI is a Trip Advisor rating. If you google Guelph General Hospital this does not happen. Proper medical treatment is never a vacation. Then again, anyone who shells out thousands to get a wheatgrass shake shoved up their ass has a pretty warped sense of what a vacation, or medical treatment, is.
The coroner’s office is now investigating the Sault case but the results of this report will remain a secret. Odds are that nothing will change as there may be nothing that can be changed in this instance. What should be brought to the forefront in all of this is the general health of all First Nations people in Canada. If someone lives downstream from a tar sands development or in substandard housing or is lacking access to nutritious food due to price or locale or has a drinking water supply that is sub par or non existent, they are undoubtedly going to suffer from health problems. And if a slick salesman from Florida swoops in promising to make it all better, then some people are bound to listen to him instead of the usual suspects that have failed them over and over. Looks like there are several crimes that need investigating here.