My book Save the Child was became available at Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com as of yesterday. I found out that the author can then go in and add information that has not been made available previously on Amazon through a program called Author Central. I was able to upload a photo, biographical information, a description of the book and “notes from the author.” This was an interesting exercise and I thought I’d share the note I wrote for Amazon here.
While I was traveling to work one day the news broadcast a story about a mother who was refusing chemotherapy treatment for her son. Because I am a nurse I asked myself why a mother would decide against the best that medicine could offer for her offspring. The story unfolded over the next few weeks. The doctors insisted the boy had a virulent cancer that needed immediate attention. Even when threatened with jail and loss of custody the parents were unrelenting in their premise that they felt their child did not have cancer, and they did not want him to receive chemotherapy. After they were charged with kidnapping their own child because they crossed state lines a judge listened to the parents and halted the medical community and government forces. What the parents wanted was an independent, out-of-state medical work-up for their son. The judge allowed them to seek this consultation. The result was that the child was discovered to be free of cancer. I sighed with relief.
The judge had saved this boy from the horrible side-effects of chemotherapy which include nausea, pain, sores, compromised immune systems, sterility, major organ damage, secondary cancers, and even death. One of the most important roles of a nurse is to be a patient advocate. During my thirty four year career I have observed more than one situation where a patient and or their family are not listened to. This can cause grave problems and errors, not the least of which being patients and families enduring procedures they do not understand pr agree with. It is my hope that the medical community and the law can expeditiously come together to serve the best interest for the child and family.
In the United States parents do not have the right to make medical decisions for their children from the time they are born until they reach the age of majority. Doctors and hospitals need to respect the different backgrounds, cultures, religious beliefs, and preferences approaches to healthcare that individuals and families have. In Save the Child I have explored a few of these options. Thank you.