Saturday, March 7, 2015

Jessica Ainscough's Stolen Choice

In the nearly two weeks since Jessica Ainscough died, I have seen numerous comments and posts from her supporters who claim that Jessica Ainscough made the choice to live out her remaining years with both arms intact instead of amputating her arm.  There is a myth floating around out there that Jessica Ainscough believed she was faced with two equally horrifying options: she could either amputate her arm and have a chance at a normal or greatly extended lifespan, or she could refuse the surgery and live out her remaining years with both arms intact.  Supporters of Ainscough claim that the amputation option was not really all that great of a choice anyway, because it offered no guarantee and the cancer could still come back and get her in the end.  They will argue that Jessica made the better choice by keeping her arm, in that she was able to live as a "whole" person before she died of cancer.  But the truth is that Jessica Ainscough never had the opportunity to make this choice because her choice was stolen from her by the purveyors of fantasy-based medicine.

The flingers of woo do this all the time; they steal a cancer sufferer's choice from them, and that is exactly what happened to Jessica.  There was a moment a few years ago or so when Jessica heard a bit of terrible news from her oncologist: her cancer had returned and her only real treatment option was to get an amputation.  The amputation would not be able to guarantee a successful outcome; it could only offer a reasonable chance of extending her life.  Her only other option was to die from untreated epithelioid sarcoma. But then, something truly horrible happened to Jessica.  She did her own "research".  This is generally when the thievery starts in earnest.  You see, Jessica Ainscough was made to believe that she had a third option.  This "option" was by far the best option she had.  With this "option" Jessica could keep her arm, she would not have to undergo chemo or radiation, she could heal her cancer naturally and painlessly, and best of all, she would survive cancer and go on to live a full life.  Who would not choose this over death or amputation?

But it was all a lie.

This third option was a complete and total fantasy with no basis in reality.  Thus, it was of course no option at all.  However, the Gerson Therapy promoters lied to Jessica and convinced her that it was.  At that moment, Jessica Ainscough had lost her right to make a choice regarding her cancer.  To anyone out there who says that Jessica chose to die with both arms intact, you are completely wrong.  Jessica Ainscough "chose" to live a cancer-free, full life with both arms intact.  Naturally and inevitably that choice resulted in Jessica dying with both arms intact and within the expected amount of time.  But make no mistake, Jessica never made that choice.  That choice was made for her by the people who sold her fantasy-based medicine.  They usurped what should have been her choice and in the process guaranteed her death from cancer before she was thirty.  So for those of you who insist that it was "Jessica's choice" to do what she did, understand that a person enslaved by another's lie no longer has the liberty to make their own decisions.

Reality-based medicine left Jessica free to make a choice; fantasy-based medicine stole what should have been her choice and left her to die.

8 comments:

  1. The process whereby this women was led down the wrong path however began when she was very young. Like most in the West, she was not given the basic grounding in both the sciences, and critical thinking that would have helped her see this nonsense for what it is, and in that God help us, she is not alone.

    We are beginning to reap the whirlwind of decades of neglect in education and Ainscough is just as much a poster-child for that as anything else

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  2. Your scare quotes on the word "research" above are quite justified. True research presupposes an education in sources and methods and analysis, understanding of the state of the art, access to a serious collection of relevant materials, and a substantial commitment of time and effort into grappling with serious matters. What people fluff off as "research" these days is more accurately "poking about on the internet, hoovering up the notions that I want to be believe."

    As you so rightly point out, this practice kills people.

    Read up on the illnesses you have, to be sure, but don't start thinking you know better than every one else.

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    1. Yes the problem with the word "research" is that it seems to imply that
      poking about on the internet" is somehow academic in nature. As DV8 points out, people are not generally educated to the level of being able to understand what is and is not good information. There once was a time where the average person understood this about himself. He would have turned the decision on how to treat cancer over to a qualified oncologist. But this day and age has managed to produce people will striking level of self-confidence regarding a subject that they do not have even a basic understanding of. This, coupled with the allure of being able to "cure cancer naturally" has resulted in sad cases like Jessica Ainscough's.

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  3. Jess' inspiration was Ian Gawler. I suspect (but not 100% sure) she chose the Gerson therapy because he claimed to have healed secondary bone cancer through diet and meditation. As it just so happens, it has been reported that he never had a biopsy for this secondary cancer - rather it was tuberculosis, which is curable. I wonder how many others have looked at Ian Gawler as inspiration? He's certainly sold thousands of books and make a packet from his cancer retreats. I know he's retired but he's still a household name. Most cancer people seem to know of him. Who publishes Ian Gawler's books? Have they thought to substantiate his healing cancer claims? The publishers are all making money from these stories.

    This is interesting, coming from Ian Gawler's ex wife who helped him with the Gerson therapy:

    http://gracegawlermedia.com/2015/03/10/if-ian-gawler-did-it-then-i-can-do-it-too-the-painful-unraveling-of-false-cancer-cure-claims/

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  4. I wonder at what point did Jessica and her loved ones realise things were truly dire?

    Her best friend sent out an email honoring her "...My best friend, soul sister, hero and biggest inspiration found her wings and decided it was time to fly. This, however, wasn’t the plan. We were meant to go on a holiday to Hawaii this year and I was meant to be a bridesmaid at her wedding in September. .."

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  5. As much as I appreciate your opinion, I think it's a pretty bold statement to suggest that Jessica had her choice stolen from her in regards to treatment options, or that she was lied to, especially given that she is no longer here to defend herself. I can understand making that statement, if you knew Jess personally and she spoke to you about how much of a mistake she had made in terms of her treatment options and wishes she could go back in time - but really your opinion seems to be based on your own biases of "fantasy based medicine".

    Although I have not suffered from cancer myself, I'm sure that when any life threatening disease makes itself known, you would be left in a place of desperation, clinging to any treatment option, modern medicine or not.

    Before Jess was well known, we have no idea if she had exhausted all modern medicine treatments or not.

    I agree that there is no scientific evidence to suggest that eating whole is what will cure cancer and more rigorous research needs to be conducted before people choose that, as a sole treatment option.

    But

    I also believe that you, myself and all of Jess's followers had no concrete knowledge of what actually was going on for her, and why she decided to make that choice.

    We can't assume that her choices were stolen, based on a few articles that surfaced about her condition after she had passed away.

    I think this post is demeaning to Jess's character - Your post suggests that she was a victim to her circumstance but Jess was in fact the exact opposite, she worked with what she had, for the time she had left.

    Obviously, no one wants to die and no doubt she wanted to live, but maybe she knew this wasn't possible for her and lived her remaining years inspiring people to take care of themselves, cancer or not. But again we don't know the full extent of her story and I believe that is something that needs to be taken into consideration before you claim that her choice was stolen.

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    1. Actually we can assume a lot of things, because Jessica Ainscough herself told us about them. Her deleted online life doesn't fool me, and, unless she was lying, we did have a lot of concrete knowledge as to what was going on with her. I get that in the end she was reluctant to discuss her health issues, but before that, she set forth a very clear narrative of everything that went down.

      I do not need to know Jessica Ainscough to know that her choice was stolen from her. If she did Gerson Therapy, a completely bogus "treatment" for cancer, then yes, her choice was stolen from her. My post was not about how she did or did not inspire people, and my post was not to disparage Jessica's character; it was to point out that fantasy-based medicine offers cancer sufferers no choice at all, and if someone (sadly) buys into their pitch, then their choice to get real medical care or none at all is stolen from them.

      In case you did not get it, it was a sympathetic look at her story. I believe that cancer-sufferers deserve to know the truth, and the truth is that fantasy-based medicine does not work and it always produces poor outcomes, and often times that outcome is death. It's a travesty.

      I completely and totally believe all of Jessica Ainscough's friends and family that she was a great person. I really wish that the flingers of woo had not taken it upon themselves to decide that she would die from untreated epithelioid sarcoma. It's incredibly sad to me that people's lives are messed with to this extent.

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  6. She had two years of her life stolen by the Gerson protocol - two years of juicing, enemas, hardly leaving the house, according to her.
    She also looks like she lost the use of the arm well before she died - with a bleeding, oozing wound. The Gerson myth cost her a lot.

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