Regular readers of this blog might remember the tragic story of Tamar Stitt, the 10 year old girl whose parents smuggled her out of Australia following a court order that she receive chemotherapy, to seek treatment for her rare liver cancer with alternative medicine.
Her story was featured on Channel 7s Sunday Night and I previously blogged about it here.
Well, today I was informed that tragically Tamar succumbed to her cancer on November 12th, 2009 in San Salvador where she was undergoing treatment with natural therapies, including hours of mud-wraps. There is little information on this at the time of going to press, except to say that my source tells me they contacted a journalist involved in the story, who confirmed this was the case and that Tamar passed in hospital. Google searches are also turning up very little, however I did find a comment from someone on a news site, dated December 31 st 2009, stating
“Tamar died a month or so ago in el Salvador. Towards the end the mother was taking her for chemo treatment but it was too late. Her death was reported on the news here two days ago – the hospital in el salvador has confirmed it.”
According to the 3news.co.nz story from October 12th 3009, doctors in Perth
“say a seven week course of chemotherapy will give Tamar a 50 to 60 percent chance of survival. Without it she will suffer a long and painful death.”
But her parents are devout Christians, and say God will decide her fate.
“I don’t want to lose my daughter, but it is God’s decision,” says Tamar’s father Trevor Stitt.
“Who am I to fight against it?”
Trevor also left a comment on the same website stating;
14 Oct 2009 8:17p.m.
Hello to all of you, yes I am Tamar’s Father.Channel 7 came into our lives to supposedly portray 2 sides of the story, sadly they’ve lied and left out half the truth that they filmed. They were supposed to interview people (Doctors)and natural healers who’ve cured people of cancer successfully, but “pulled the pin” on the interviews because it would topple their one-sided story.They also ommited to say that I trained at Guy’s Hospital, London and worked as an Operating Dept Practitioner in Anaesthesia in the UK for 10 years before coming to Oz in 1998,worked at Royal Marsden cancer hospital in London and so have quite good research engines at my disposal. I have seen “clay wraps” cure my Tamar of asthma at 2 yrs when PMH only offered steroidal inhalers, she’s never had an attack since.If 7 had’ve told the truth about what they saw without overdramatising the San Salvador situation and others for sensationalism, then maybe folks would know more of what we are doing for Tamar, who IS getting a little better each day.I have to say I don’t really know who you are Josie, you say you know us,do you have another name?
I guess the struggle is just beginning (and I don’t speak about Tamar’s condition here)those “orthodox”people will not be happy, google Roy Rife, see what happened to him.Remember Patch Adams? (a true story)didn’t fit in to orthodox practice, too happy,he had a proper bedside manner (taboo in today’s conventional medicine). “There are none so blind as those who will not see”- with the eye of faith you don’t only see, you begin to LIVE!Thanks to All who support us and also to those who don’t.
This is a terribly tragic case, especially if it is true that Tamar’s mother did eventually take her for chemotherapy, as suggested by the comment above. Even more so, because her father apparently has a medical background including working “…as an Operating Dept Practitioner in Anaesthesia in the UK for 10 years before coming to Oz in 1998,worked at Royal Marsden cancer hospital in London……so have quite good research engines at my disposal.” (see above). Despite this, Tamar’s parents still chose to seek out alternative remedies as oppose to those supported by evidence.
Cases such as these where religious beliefs and faith in alternative medicine result in (often) avoidable deaths are tragically, not uncommon. It is also important to consider the desperation and vulnerability of a person faced with the imminent death of their daughter, therefore one can sympathise that you might be inclined to try anything. Similar to my Mum’s friend who passed 6 months ago from cancer also, but in her final months fell victim to all kinds of useless therapies including hair analysis which I have previously blogged about here and here and vega testing.
It reminds me of a quote from an essay written by Michael Baum and Edzard Ernst in the book “Healing, Hype or Harm” about ethics in alternative medicine;
“Even treatments which by themselves are not harmful, will become life threatening if they are used as an alternative to effective treatments of serious diseases.”
Cancer Victoria produces a booklet warning cancer patients about “quack” therapies. You can read about it here.
Several sources have advised me that there will be a follow up story on Today Tonight this coming week.
Thanks to Tony for letting me know about this. Please see Tim Farley’s comprehensive website What’s the Harm? for more such cases.
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