In 14 words, the decision of a Brantford judge changed the life of an 11-year-old Six Nations girl with leukemia, and sparked a controversy about Aboriginal rights and the rights of children in Canada.
There have been well-publicized cases in recent years of Jehovah’s Witness children being taken into custody by child welfare officials so they could receive court-ordered, life-saving blood transfusions.
By refusing to order life-saving treatments for this child, Ontario Justice Gethin Edward has, according to doctors’ assessments of her acute lymphoblastic leukemia and its prognosis, effectively sentenced her to die, unlike those non-aboriginal children. That is discrimination.
The girl’s family wants to treat her with unspecified aboriginal remedies and alternative treatments at a holistic centre in Florida that is run by non-aboriginals and offers laser therapy, a raw food diet and injections of Vitamin C.
We suggest if any of these remedies, including the unspecified aboriginal ones, were valid treatments for leukemia, cancer researchers would have seized on them and validated their effectiveness in clinical trials long ago.