GUILTY MA - Kristen LaBrie accused of denying son chemo, Salem, 2009

Discussion in 'Recently Sentenced and Beyond' started by Blue_Dolphin308, Jul 6, 2009.

  1. Blue_Dolphin308

    Blue_Dolphin308 We can't help everyone, But everyone can help some

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    A woman accused of withholding cancer treatment from her autistic son has been charged with attempted murder.

    Kristen LaBrie is scheduled to appear in Salem Superior Court on Monday on charges of attempted murder, child endangerment and permitting bodily injury to a disabled person.


    http://cbs3.com/topstories/kristen.labrie.cancer.2.1072775.html
     
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  3. Otise

    Otise New Member

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    Mother accused in cancer case defends role

    Criticizes ex-husband's move stopping son's chemotherapy




    By Franci R. Ellement
    Globe Correspondent

    July 4, 2008


    The Beverly mother accused of withholding cancer treatment from her young autistic son broke her silence yesterday, saying she has been devoted to the child since his birth and lashing out at her former husband for his decision to stop chemotherapy and not try a bone-marrow transplant.

    "That child has been my world," said Kristen A. LaBrie in an hourlong phone interview yesterday. Instead of giving Jeremy Fraser's father custody, she said, she would have preferred that the boy be placed "in a medical foster home, because at this time there is still a chance that my son's life can be saved. . . . Without [chemotherapy and a bone-marrow transplant], there is a zero percent survival rate. With those things, there is a 15 percent survival rate. And to me, 15 is higher than zero, and that is my baby."

    She would not comment on why she allegedly interrupted her son's treatment under the advice, she said, of her lawyer, Kevin James of Danvers. James did not return a call yesterday.


    More at link.

    http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2008/07/04/mother_accused_in_cancer_case_defends_role/
     
  4. Hermione

    Hermione New Member

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    Bumping this post...just wondering if someone can help sleuth some details about this Kristen LaBrie, because I knew someone by this name in 1998 and am trying to figure out if it's the same person. Is there any way to find out if she has lived in another state, or what colleges she has attended etc? I am looking for any way to link her to the girl I knew...I can't tell from the pics because time has gone by, and this person looks older than their age and the hair is bleached....it could be the one I know, maybe not- how can I find out?

    Can anyone help? The only things I would recognize is 1- who she used to live with and date (anyone by the initials JL??) and 2- when and where she went to college. 3- Has she ever lived in a certain city at a certain time- 1998 specifically.

    This story is sad. I hope this is not the one I know. Or used to know, briefly..
     
  5. Hermione

    Hermione New Member

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    This is bugging me because same name, from about the same place AFAIK, and she is about the right age to be the girl I used to know in college. *frown* I want to know how to find out if this is her.
     
  6. Hermione

    Hermione New Member

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    Ok sorry for all these posts. It's not her---a lot of Googling and I finally hit some terms that let me know it. Sorry for the confusion, which you probably didn't have because you read this post right after the first 2.

    I am glad it's not her.
     
  7. peeples

    peeples New Member

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  8. southcitymom

    southcitymom New Member

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    God bless Kristen LaBrie. Attempted murder? Please. It is heartbreaking that she is on trial and the people who led her there should be ashamed of themselves.
     
  9. oceanblueeyes

    oceanblueeyes Well-Known Member

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    But why would she withhold chemo for five months when she knew his cancer was curable?

    5 months is a long time.

    IMO
     
  10. Donjeta

    Donjeta Adji Desir, missing from Florida

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    http://www.salemnews.com/local/x1075333460/LaBrie-Son-had-just-had-it

    It sounds like a lot of excuses and contradictions to me.
    She apparently contends that she made a conscious decision to stop the treatment because she was afraid that the drugs were harmful to his health.

    But somehow his lawyer interprets it as an unconscious decision to stop the treatment.

    Is the lawyer saying she was too tired of taking care of him so she unconsciously made a decision that would help him to die sooner and relieve her of the burden of his care?

    Then...
    This is nonsense IMO. If you have got a child with a history of cancer and you have stopped his treatment and know that his doctors think he needs it which is why you have to lie about giving him medicines, you know that he is not cured yet according to his doctors, and if he gets similar symptoms back, IMO you are extremely unlikely to think that his cancer is gone. Why would it be gone? She was never told by the medical team that it was gone when he was being given his medicines and then she had stopped treatment so why would it magically be gone? Any normal mother of a child with a history of cancer would be extremely concerned IMO.

    I am not sure what the point about her myspace page is but it sounds like she is talking out of both sides of her mouth there as well, first implying that it was not her who wrote what was on there and saying she does not even really remember having a myspace page and then saying it was a private journal for her. If she remembers thinking it was a private journal she remembers having the Myspace page. It sounds like throwing spaghetti around hoping that one excuse or another would stick to the wall.

    I understand the tragedy and the stress of having to take care of a handicapped child with a dangerous disease and battling financial difficulties and trouble with exes at the same time but at the moment I do not trust her, based on this article.

    http://www.salemnews.com/local/x1075333460/LaBrie-Son-had-just-had-it
     
  11. Linda7NJ

    Linda7NJ Active Member

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    This seems to say there was only a 15% chance the chemo would work. Is that true?
     
  12. BuzzieCat

    BuzzieCat New Member

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    Ooh, one of those articles says her older child was "removed from her custody" years ago. It doesn't say the reason for that, but that doesn't sound too good. If I am understanding that correctly.

    http://www.bostonherald.com/news/regional/view.bg?articleid=1328628

    "Massachusetts General Hospital doctors had given the boy an 85 to 90 percent chance of surviving the non-Hodgkins lymphoma he was diagnosed with in 2006 if he followed a two-year treatment plan, prosecutors said. But those chances diminished to just 25 to 30 percent with a bone marrow transplant after Dr. Alison Friedmann discovered in 2008 that his disease had developed into leukemia."

    BBM

    Doc thinks that the failure to complete treatment could have contributed to the cancer developing into leukemia but can't say that for sure.
     
  13. Donjeta

    Donjeta Adji Desir, missing from Florida

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    I have no idea but I think that his chances of survival might have decreased during the five months that his doctors mistakenly thought he was receiving the treatment he had been prescribed. The odds in cancer are often better the sooner the patient is diagnosed and starts the treatment and a delay of several months in getting treatment may sometimes mean that the disease spreads and the odds of survival go down. Maybe it was not the case with him and he would have died anyway but I surely would not like to have to wonder if he could have lived if it was my child and me who stopped the treatment.

    Edit
    Oh, Buzzie's post explains it.
     
  14. southcitymom

    southcitymom New Member

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    Nobody knew whether or not his cancer could be cured, imho.

    I'm very against anyone being forced to poison themselves (or their child) just because Western medicine tells us it's the thing to do.

    I do understand that the legal issues are less clear when it is a parent making this decision for child than they are when it's an adult making this decision for themselves.
     
  15. Donjeta

    Donjeta Adji Desir, missing from Florida

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    So, why not try the things that were available that could possibly cure it

    She or her lawyer could perhaps have made a reasonable case of saying that the chemo had very bad side effects and that she had understood that his chances of survival were very low anyway so there was no point torturing the poor boy with the chemo because he would likely die anyway, but she blew that out of the park saying she thought his cancer was gone.
     
  16. southcitymom

    southcitymom New Member

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    UBM

    One reason not to try chemo is that it is poison that can make what could be the last months of a person's life miserable and not worth living.

    I'm not necessarily following the rest of your post - in one of the articles, her and her lawyer did seem to be making the argument that she thought the child was going to die anyway and felt like the chemo was just torture.

    I understand that she has made some conflicting statements. I agree with those who say some of her "why she did this" statements are all over the board, but I figure if I had walked a mile in her shoes, my feelings about it might be all over the board too.

    In any event, nothing I've read leads me to believe she was attempting to murder her child.
     
  17. Linda7NJ

    Linda7NJ Active Member

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    If you have ever been close to and witnessed a child undergoing chemo....you might be able to understand it. Chemo is no joke and often times it's as deadly than the cancer itself.
    A very close friend of mine with a four year old with a very rare cancer underwent 16 months of chemo ( less than the recommended treatement) and actually fled the state with her daughter as soon as she went into remission to avoid legal difficulties. Pediatric cancer wards are hell. Parents make friends with other parents and watch many children they've prayed for, got to know and cared about, die. Sometimes, imo it's better to forgo chemo and enjoy whatever time is left.

    If I was given the choice between chemo and certain death and the odds were only 15 % chance of surviving, I think ......I may want my child made as comfortable as possible and let him enjoy his final days.
     
  18. Donjeta

    Donjeta Adji Desir, missing from Florida

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    That is not the choice she was faced with, according to this article
    http://www.bostonherald.com/news/regional/view.bg?articleid=1328628
    Apparently she was told that her son had an 85 to 90 percent chance of surviving with treatment which means he had 15 to 10 percent chance of dying if he got the treatment, not 15 % chance of surviving. I expect the chances of dying without the treatment are higher regardless of the side effects of the chemotherapy because medicines are not likely to get approved if they do not improve the patient recovery rates.

    The 25 to 30 % chance of surviving was after she had stopped giving him the medicines and after the doctor discovered that the cancer had got worse.


     
  19. Linda7NJ

    Linda7NJ Active Member

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    Oh. In that case, I dunno.
     
  20. Donjeta

    Donjeta Adji Desir, missing from Florida

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    Yes but why would she think her child was going to die anyway if she also thought that his cancer was gone and the symptoms of his recurring cancer were not of any concern.

    I am not necessarily saying that she attempted to murder her child, just that her statements cannot all be true at the same time.

    In any case, IMO this sort of a potentially deadly decision should be made following a discussion with the other parent, and preferably an agreement.

    If she thought that her child was going to die anyway while given 85 to 90 % odds of survival and it was not worthwhile trying it out then this remark is a bit inconsistent as well. Quoted from an earlier post

    85 to 90 % survival rate is also higher than zero.
     
  21. southcitymom

    southcitymom New Member

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    It's not totally clear to me, Donjeta - the odds thing - based on the articles I have read. The doctor said he thought that her not giving the meds could have led to the leukemia he eventually got which had a lesser survival rate, but "thought/could" and "definitely/did" are two different things in a court of law.

    Truth is - no one can say with certainty what course the cancer would have taken regardless of whether or not she gave him chemo.

    I respect your position, and it sounds like she has said some different things. But, frankly, I can't even imagine the distress and confusion she has undergone and is still undergoing.

    For me - and I am often in the minority with these types of cases - the choice as to how to address cancer in a young child should rest, finally, with the child's parents/caretakers.

    For me - the facts that I know about this case do not say attempted murder.
     

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