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:

Critics Already Jumping Like Vultures on Jett's Death

It is inevitable that debate would be open on Scientology influence in Travolta's decision throughout this tragedy, but can't critics at least wait a bit rather than jump in the middle of mourning comments?

At least some of them had the minimum decency to first offer their sympathy before launching in their tirade, but others just jumped in with heartless, insensitive, and cruel comments right in the middle of people offering their sympathy for this terrible tragedy.

Here is a couple of examples, among several others:
Posted by: sweetsarah | January 02, 2009 at 02:57 PM
Where's Xenu when you need him?

Posted by: Maryanne | January 02, 2009 at 03:45 PM
My sympathy only goes so far for parents that belong to a religious cult that preached that brain disorders and mental health care is a hoax.
And of course Anonymous, who saw fit to post its "we do not forget" and other unsavory statements right at the top of the mourning comments.

Needless to say, normal human beings do not take such a display of sickening fanaticism and hatred lightly, and it's hardly going to improve the image of Anonymous and other so-called critic:
tbailey said at 5:05pm Jan 02, 2009
It's a sad day when any child dies, even sadder when people like commonsense spew their hatred and stupidity where it is not welcome. My condolences to Jett's' family and to commonsense's family, your parents must truly be proud of such a fine person.

Zman said at 5:05pm Jan 02, 2009
Where is the heart and compassion for the loss of a human being, a child at that, with an illlness at that. because of someones beliefs we have become loss in world of religions, forgeting that when someone passes, it tuly is a loss to their loved ones, and much needed compassion needs to be promoted. I am so sorry John for your loss of such a young soul. I remember when Jett was born and the proud pappa you were. God bless you and your family. Screw the insesitive indivuiduals, where only Karma will prevail in the end.

by ipym Jan 02 2009 7:09 PM
To use this death as a platform to attack anyone's beliefs or lifestyle is just sad.
Related blog entries:

Why Was He Called Jett?

John Travolta has a passion for airplanes. His 6,400 square foot mansion is designed to resemble an airport terminal. The house is at the end of a 1.4 mile runway from which Travolta can take off in his fleet of private jets.

Travolta is a qualified pilot and has flown for the Australian airline Qantas when not fulfilling his Hollywood commitments

Such is his enthusiasm for aviation that he persuaded his wife to name their son Jett.

Of course, he also called one of his five aircrafts "Jett Clipper Ella", and his Florida estate "Jett-Bleu", in honour of the 16-year-old lad and his daughter Ella Bleu, eight.

Just two years ago John survived an air drama aboard his personal plane when he was forced to make an emergency landing on a flight from Germany to New York. His Boeing 707 (photo above) suffered engine problems and he had to divert to Ireland's Shannon Airport. Cool Travolta grounded his 34-seater and continued his flight home on a commercial airline.

Jett Travolta Dies at 16

(Culled from various sources)

John Travolta's 16-year-old son, Jett, was found unconscious in the bathtub of the family's vacation home in the Bahamas on Friday Jan. 2 at 10 am.

He was rushed to Freeport's Rand Memorial Hospital on Grand Bahama Island but was declared dead on arrival.

The exact cause of death is unknown at this stage. Apparently he fell and fatally hit his head.

The teenager, however, had a history of seizures which the Travolta family attributed to the sequel of the Kawasaki disease (click here to hear Travolta speak about his son's rare syndromes).

Kawasaki disease is a condition that causes inflammation in the walls of small- and medium-sized arteries throughout the body, including the coronary arteries. It mostly affects children from ages 2 to 5. Identified by a Japanese doctor, Tomisaku Kawasaki in 1967, Kawasaki disease can cause serious complications of the heart and the blood vessels that supply the heart.

However, rumors that Jett really suffered from autism rather than the Kawasaki decease have long swirled in Hollywood. Travolta and wife Kelly Preston have never publicly admitted that Jett had ever been diagnosed with the condition.

Anti-Scientologists and Anonymous have been quick to jump on the news, since Travolta and Preston are both prominent member of the Church of Scientology, and within minutes of the death announcement were already busy filling news comments with insensitive accusations and bigoted myths, while the family only started mourning their own and was at the height of an unimaginable pain.

Police said they are planning an autopsy on Monday to determine the cause of death. After the autopsy the body will be buried or cremated in Ocala, Florida, close to where the family lives. Dr. Mark Smith, the Travolta family doctor, plans to give a statement after the autopsy.

The family arrived in the Bahamas on a private plane Tuesday Dec. 30 and had been vacationing at their home in the Old Bahama Bay resort community.

"The Travolta family has become like family to us at Old Bahama Bay and we extend our deepest sympathies to them," said Robert Gidel, president of Ginn Resorts, the property's owner.

The family is of course devastated. John had in the past emphatically expressed how much his son meant to him. quoted John Travolta as speaking affectionately about his son during an interview with the Australian media several years ago. "He's my first, and he's my heart. And he's a very special boy," John Travolta said. "He's Daddy's boy."

In 1994 the actor told People how much he loved fatherhood. "I can't imagine what life would be like without Jett," he said.

Our deepest condolences go to John and his family. Losing a child is parents' worst fear, something for which there can be no words.

Related blog entries: