Posted on Tuesday 1 July 2008

Tonight, on the news, I saw this story. Having been a caretaker for someone with terminal cancer, it is inconceivable that anyone would deliberately withhold cancer chemotherapy drugs from someone diagnosed with an 85–90% chance of survival.

However, Kristen Anne LaBrie, a 36-year-old Beverly mother did just that—deliberately withholding cancer chemotherapy drugs from her autistic son, Jeremy Fraser.  After undergoing the start of a five-phase chemotherapy plan, the boy’s non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma was in remission, and doctors had predicted his chances of survival at 85-90%.

Since being denied the chemotherapy drugs, his cancer has returned and the doctors now predict that the boy’s chances of survival are less than 10%. The boy had been doing quite well before his mother failed to fill his prescriptions and interfered with his medical care by canceling at least a dozen chemotherapy appointments.

The boy’s father has decided to discontinue the chemotherapy and focus on quality of life for his son due to the changed prognosis. Unfortunately, the mother is only going to be charged with reckless child endangerment. In my opinion, she should be charged with manslaughter at a minimum, since her actions will directly result in the boy’s death.

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