Saturday, March 29, 2008

Painting with a wide brush

Just like everyone else, I read the article with a heavy heart. How on earth could parents allow their beautiful little girl to languish for thirty days with nausea, vomiting, excessive thirst, loss of appetite and weakness due to diabetic ketoacidosis, and all they would do for her is pray? What’s more tragic and unbelievable is that the parents felt their daughter’s death was attributable to the fact that she “didn’t have enough faith.” It’s the zenith of idiocy on crack. I didn’t feel compelled to comment on it until I received an email that pointed a quasi-accusatory finger in my direction because of my advocacy for integrative medicine. This has nothing to do with integrative medicine, and I bristle at being painted with such a broad brush.

Just to be clear, here are the first three definitions for Integrate:

  1. To bring together or incorporate (parts) into a whole.
  2. To make up, combine, or complete to produce a whole or a larger unit, as parts do.
  3. To unite or combine.

There is nothing integrative about what these parents did. What they should have done is rushed their daughter to the doctor and prayed. Their inaction and misplaced faith was their replacement for medical care. They killed their little girl, something that gives me chills because their blind stupidity closely relates to the emotional opening of my book. Sometimes truth and fiction have unclear margins.

So, to the kind soul who felt obliged to email me, let me reiterate; I’m nothing like these folks. Integrative medicine is nothing like these folks, so please put the blame where it belongs.

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