I remember as a teenager, one friend who was a little more reckless in appearance than the rest of us. He was the first with a mohawk haircut, multiple piercings, crazy punk clothes. His mother always had this great attitude – no problem as long as he isn’t hurting anyone.
I hear people take that attitude toward various forms of woo within alternative medicine. As long as it isn’t hurting anyone, what’s the big deal? Magnets: so what…who’s gonna get hurt. Foot baths? You’re soaking in it, Madge, but you’re not hurting anyone, right? Homeopathy? With dilutions so infinitesimal, who’s it going to hurt? Nobody, right? Wait up a sec, sport. I think we’ve got a little problem…
Reporting from Australia, Sky News tells of a couple who have gone on trial charged with manslaughter after their nine-month-old baby died of septicaemia and malnutrition. Thomas Sam, 42, and his 36-year-old wife Manju apparently avoided conventional treatment for their daughter’s severe eczema in favor of homeopathic remedies.
According to the court, Baby Gloria’s life would have been saved if her parents had sought conventional medical treatment for her even days before her death.
Thomas Sam, a college lecturer in homeopathy, apparently continued to consult homeopaths and natural medicine practitioners as his daughter lost 20% of her body weight. She weighed just 11 pounds and 11 ounces when she died.
The parents rarely consulted conventional doctors and never contacted a skin specialist after a nurse noticed their previously healthy baby had developed severe eczema at age four, the prosecutor said.
The court also heard Manju Sam, a computer professional, disregarded a doctor’s advice not to take the child to India to visit relatives in the final three months of her life. Gloria became malnourished battling against frequent infections that invaded her bloodstream through skin broken by her severe rashes.
The trial continues.
The moral of this one is of course that in the process of having an open mind, don’t keep it so opened that your brains fall out. To permit a child to die from a truly non-fatal disease simply because of dogmatic stubbornness is unfathomable.
Yes, ignorance hurts people. Ask any child killed by parental neglect.