Saturday, January 3, 2009

Medical Care and Jett Travolta

(See also my other blog entry: "Scientology Treatment of Medical Conditions" that deals more specifically with Scientology stances on medical treatment)

The tragic death of Jett Travolta will no doubt see a resurgence of various myths.
  1. Jett died from an untreated autism condition

    You can't die from autism. On the other hand, it can't be cured. There is no medication for it.

    So if he had it, the family wasn't endangering his life by not seeking treatment.

  2. The problem with untreated autism is seizure

    Autism does not equal seizure. Even though it is indeed not uncommon for individuals with autism to experience seizures, it is an occasional co-morbid conditions and not part of the syndrome. Autism itself does not cause seizures.

    The family may have been in denial about autism, but they did acknowledge that Jett had a history of seizure. This is the important point. What they did about it, I don't know, but it certainly was taken into account.

  3. Even if not lethal, he should have received treatment for autism

    There is no treatment for autism that would cure it. What exist may at best alleviate the condition. Whether the family acknowledged he was autistic or not, it is quite obvious seeing how he was cared for by his family that he received all the love and care a child could ever want in this respect.

    The important point at this juncture, however, is not this. It is that even admitting the failure to recognize the autism condition, it is not a death sentence for the child.

  4. Jett did not have autism, because you can see he's smiling, cuddling and being very engaged with people.

    It is a myth to think that all autistic kids do not smile, laugh, make eye contact. It just depends on where they lie on the spectrum of autism.

    On the other hand, the fact that autism is a neurologically based condition does not necessarily mean that all neurologically based conditions are autism.

    It seems relatively obvious from the Paris video that was shown on the Today Show that Jett suffered some kind of neurologically based condition, but it does not necessarily mean it was autism.

    The important point here are the seizures, and these were taken into account by the family, who, also cared for him as much as they possibly could. Even on that Paris video this can clearly be seen.

  5. Did Jett Speak?

    Sorry, I don't know the answer to this question. If he did not speak, then it may indeed be a further indication that he may have had autism.

  6. Kawasaki typically affects children below 5, not 16 years old teenagers.

    The claim being made is not that he still had Kawasaki at age 16, but that he had it as a young kid, and that this could possibly have create complications of the heart and the blood vessels that supply the heart.

  7. If Jett really had Kawasaki syndrome he would have been rushed to the hospital because you can't ignore those symptoms.

    See answer to 6 above.

  8. Preston ran Jett through the Scientology Detoxification program after he was diagnosed with Kawasaki disease and declared him cured.

    She did not declare him cured, she only credited the program with helping to improve Jett's health.

  9. Preston and Travolta mistreated Jett

    All concrete evidences suggest that this was not the case, and that quite on the contrary they deeply loved their children, and still do.

    You will find on the Internet third hand malicious gossips, such as this page (written by a notorious anti-Scientologist), but to me what is written there, such as Jett being given junk food while the rest of the family eats selected goodies, and other similar tittle-tattles, is not credible, because it is completely at odd with what we know otherwise about the couple and what we can observe for ourselves through the media.

    Personally, I find this kind of telltales libelous.

  10. Scientology practice medicine without a license

    This myth has been dealt with already on my Medical Claims page. The mere fact that Scientology claims its own brand of psychotherapy can cure physical ailment does not constitute medical fraud by itself. See the page referenced above.

  11. Scientology prevents you from following normal medical treatment

    Scientology does not prevent you from following normal medical treatment in the least. Medical treatment is required where necessary. This does not prevent the person to be helped through auditing, which is a psychotherapeutic technique, not a medical practice.

  12. Scientology does not believe in taking medical drugs

    Scientology does not believe in taking psychotropic drugs, not medical drugs

  13. Scientology does not believe in taking psychotropic drugs


  14. Scientology pretends to be able to treat psychiatric case and therefore prevents them from receiving proper treatment.

    Scientology does not even accept as member or as customer psychiatric cases. They therefore in no way substitute themselves to psychiatric treatment.

  15. Scientology is opposed to psychiatry


  16. Scientology killed Lisa McPherson already.

    Lisa McPherson

  17. Scientology Kills

    Scientology Kills

  18. What is the belief of Scientology regarding the after-life?

    Scientology beliefs regarding the after-life is very similar to Buddhism. After a while, the individual re-incarnates, until he reaches enlightenment. There is no heaven, there is no hell. Scientology does not pronounces itself as to whether there is a God or not. This is for the individual to decide for themselves (Scientology is not faith-based).

    However, Scientology do claim that individuals who have not been freed by Scientology psychotherapy can still fall victim of "implant stations", where false ideas would be "implanted" on their mind. A bit like what they accuse psychiatrist and other "Suppressive persons" of doing here down on earth.

    See my Scientology Tenets page for more details.
Related blog entries:


Only Love Can Do That said...

Don't they also consider seizure medication brain medication, though? I don't think anyone's saying that he died of autism. My impression was that medications for seizure diseases were also discouraged in Scientology. Tory Magoo for instance says that she was discouraged from taking medication for her seizure condition.

Bernie said...

Actually, that's something I would like to know, which is why I did not write anything about it yet. At first sight it seems that since seizure and autism is not considered a mental illness but a medical condition, a neurological condition, it would theoretically (I said theoretically) be allowed. Am just not quite 100% sure at this stage.

News Review said...

Our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Jett Travolta.. the death shouldn't be blamed to anyone as some commenters do because definitely, they never wanted such thing to happen. Let us just pray for the soul of Jett that he may rest in peace..

Anonymous said...

Just one thing:
"# Scientology pretends to be able to treat psychiatric case and therefore prevents them from receiving proper treatment.

Scientology does not even accept as member or as customer psychiatric cases. They therefore in no way substitute themselves to psychiatric treatment.

Are you sure about this?
I once got into an argument with a Scientologist about psychiatry and told him, that my brother takes psychatric medication to treat his psychosis (with success).
The Scientologist told me, that these drugs would only provide a temporary patch and don't really "cure" his condition and he explicitly told me, that Dianetics would do that.

So, i could imagine that there are actually quite a lot of Scientologists, who promote Scientology as an alternative treatment for mental disorders and that the church would accept customers with mental disorders.

Bernie said...

Yes, I am quite sure. This is part of some routine sec check procedure. One question is something like whether your have a psychiatric history or something along this line. If you do, you won't be allowed to receive Scientology processing.

I don't have the details at hand right now but I guess some fair-minded critics may give them to you. Or some open-minded Scientologists.

Now this does not prevent some Scientologists to try and promote Scientology on this basis. Maybe they are not aware of that policy, or maybe they don't consider the psychiatric condition serious enough to prevent them from receiving auditing.

I myself am not sure off hand what is the degree of acceptance or not and what is exactly meant by "psychiatry history", but, from what I recall, if the case is serious, they would be barred from receiving auditing.

Anonymous said...

Did Jett recieve treatment for siezures.

Bernie said...

"Did Jett receive treatment for seizures?"

One thing we know for sure is that the family was not in denial regarding the seizure. They did acknowledge that he had a history of seizure. Knowing their love for him, they certainly sought to give him the best treatment possible.

Now we know little as to what they did and did not do, but they claimed recently that Jett took Depokate for "several years". That it eventually lost its effectiveness and began to cause serious physical damage, including damage to Jett's liver. So Travolta and Preston, after consulting neurosurgeons, stopped administering the drug.