Without evidence of benefit, an intervention should not be presumed to be beneficial or safe.

- Rogue Medic

I helped a Naturopath kill my son, because I believe in Quackery

tamara-ryan-lovett1

 
Would you kill this kid?

Like clapping for Tinkerbell, killing children for superstition is part of keeping reality at bay.

Am I too harsh?

7 year old Ryan Lovett died of strep, meningitis, and pneumonia. His slow death, over 10 days, is reported to have been extremely painful. His death was also preventable with real medicine, so I am not even remotely harsh.

Ryan Lovett’s mother is a true believer in magic. Defending her irrational beliefs means avoiding everything that has valid evidence of benefit. Oddly, she did call 911, after her son started seizing. Ryan Lovett could not be resuscitated by EMS.

Ryan Lovett’s mother took him to a Naturopathic clinic for an echinacea mixture. Meanwhile, her neighbor, not trained in the deadly art of Naturopathy, was trying to convince Ryan Lovett’s mother to take Ryan to a real hospital.
 

La Pointe (Barbara La Pointe, a former friend of Lovett’s who used to take Ryan to her home on weekends) testified she visited Ryan and his mother the day before he died. She described Ryan as being “in a state of supreme suffering” and offered to take the mother and son to a hospital or doctor, but Lovett refused.[1]

 

Naturopaths claim that they will tell patients to go to a real doctor if the patient has a serious illness, which requires real medicine, not the usual self-limiting illness that patients recover from in spite of the Naturopath’s prescriptions.

Ryan Lovett will tell you that doesn’t work. No, Ryan Lovett can’t tell you, because nobody at Naturopathic clinic did what Naturopaths claim their extensive training in quackery prepares them to do – send the patient to a real doctor.

The neighbor was much smarter than everyone at the Naturopathic clinic, since she does not appear to have been indoctrinated in the death before medicine quackery of Naturopathy.
 

Ryan did not have a birth certificate and had never seen a doctor because his mother “did not believe in conventional medicine,”[1]

 

Evil conventional medicine? Pediatricians use evidence based medicine on their own kids and on themselves. They will even give you copies of research articles that show that their treatments do work. Medicine works even when the manufacturer is not able to influence the results of the research.
 


 

“The court specifically found that Tamara Lovett actually knew how sick he was and simply refused to do something and therefore gambled with his life,” he (Prosecutor Jonathan Hak) told reporters.[1]

 

That is a misunderstanding of medicine and gambling. Medicine is probabilistic. No treatment is 100% successful, so it depends on being prescribed for the right condition, in the right dose, having the fewest side effects, or having side effects that are least likely to make the patient worse, . . . , in order to make it more likely that the patient has a good outcome. That is gambling (putting the odds in the favor of the patient). Medical education is what helps the doctor, PA, NP, nurse, paramedic, EMT to assess the patient in a way that identifies the actual medical condition, to understand the risks and benefits of the available treatments, and to decide what is best for that individual patient.

Evidence-based medical education is better at putting the odds in favor of a good outcome than anything else.

Ryan Lovett’s mother wasn’t gambling, she was praying that her superstition had real magic powers. Maybe Ryan Lovett’s mother was praying that Ryan had a self-limiting illness, which would get better as long as the Naturopathic chemicals did not poison Ryan. Why take Ryan to the Naturopathic clinic at all, if the Naturopathic clinic just sells chemicals that are merely supposed to distract people and make the Naturopath money?
 

Doctors testified the infection would have been treatable had the boy, who also had meningitis and pneumonia, been taken to a doctor and given antibiotics.[1]

 

But this is just one rare case, so it is not fair to criticize Naturopaths for scamming the gullible. The Quack didn’t know the kid would die.
 

Canadians across the country have kept a close eye on the case. It is one of several in southern Alberta involving parents who were charged criminally after their children died of conditions that could have been treated with conventional medicine.[1]

 

Some people just can’t deal with reality.

Reality will eventually kill us, regardless of what we do. In the mean time, we can increase the odds of living a long healthy life by avoiding unnecessary treatment and limiting the treatments we do use to stuff that has valid evidence that it really works.

Footnotes:

[1] Tamara Lovett found guilty of negligence, failure to provide necessaries of life in death of 7-year-old son
By Meghan Grant, Drew Anderson,
CBC News
Posted: Jan 23, 2017 5:00 AM MT
Last Updated: Jan 23, 2017 5:33 PM MT
Article

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Comments

  1. All I can say is [beep beeping beepity beep beeping beep]
    Hope the department has a good CISD.

  2. I discovered stupid people by about Grade 6, and by stupid I mean people who couldn’t absorb reason, not that they couldn’t do general schoolwork properly.

    So far as I’m concerned, stupid people can operate that way just so long as their stupidness doesn’t affect other people in a negative way. Here’s a prime example where it all goes wrong, where a completely stupid mother killed her son, just because she felt like being stupid as a way of life and not giving the slightest credence to mainstream medicine. That is criminal and she deserves what she gets by way of retribution from society for being criminally stupid. However, I’m sure that she is so stupid she cannot even understand or realize that she is stupid, and regards being found guilty of criminal negligence a complete mystery, because “she loved her son so much”. That of course is the very definition of being utterly stupid.

    I was born right after WW2, when kids still died of all sorts of diseases. My father almost croaked from whooping cough complications just 15 years earlier – no antibiotics then. I had chicken pox, measles, rubella, mumps but missed out on TB and diphtheria thank goodness. Polio was endemic in the 1950s, and it was best to avoid public drinking fountains.

    Modern medicine had basically “conquered” all the usual diseases, and so by the late 1960s there was no childhood drama such as I had witnessed just 20 years before. This allowed stupid people with no ability to read, think or correlate to forget that most diseases ever existed. No wonder they could sit there and think chewing dried oak leaves recommended by a naturopathic quack was all the medicine they needed for the “flu”. Belief in magic replaced logic.

    I’d say with the current state of society, there’s going to be major readjustments in population due to war, disease and famine, so the stupid people have won, dragging the rest of us down to the belief in astrology, nutbar old wives’ tales and total ignorance. Thank you all so much for being stupid. Go to any “drugstore” and there they sit, shelves and shelves full of BS remedies claiming much and delivering eff all. The capitalist ethic appears to drown the the very reason for the pharmacists behind the counter dispensing real drugs with clinical trials for efficacy behind them, and they happily sell pie-in-the-sky-dreams “natural” remedies to make bucks alongside real medicine. Ethics? There are none.

    H L Mencken a century ago had figured out quacks of all types, and his books are wonderful. Too bad stupid people paid no attention – the staff in my Mum’s old folks home refused flu shots, and my complaints to management fell on deaf ears. Now that, to me, is criminal negligence if nursing staff cannot even get it right. There is no hope.

    I could go on, but my point is made.

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