“Why did Steve Jobs choose to not effectively treat his cancer?” It’s a loaded question, but one that a Quora user decided to respond to. The result is a thread that is as informational as it is controversial.
When Steve Jobs died, the world erupted with thoughts and prayers for a man many consider to be a genius. However, his cause of death was not immediately released. When his death certificate was released by the Santa Clara County Public Health Department, it stated that Mr. Jobs had a metastatic pancreas neuroendocrine tumor. It further stated that an autopsy would not be performed.
A week later on Quora, a user asked “Why did Steve Jobs choose to not effectively treat his cancer?” If that isn’t a loaded question, it is hard to say what is, but Dr Ramzi Amri chose to answer it anyways. Dr Amri begins his post by disclaiming that he doesn’t know anything about Jobs’ case specifically and is merely speculating based on the information which has been released in the media. He further states his qualifications which include his status as a medical researcher at Harvard Medical School as well as a year and a half of research on the type of tumor that effected Jobs.
Amri states his main argument early in the lengthy post, saying: “Let me cut to the chase: Mr. Jobs allegedly chose to undergo all sorts of alternative treatment options before opting for conventional medicine. This was, of course, a freedom he had all the rights to take, but given the circumstances it seems sound to assume that Mr. Jobs’ choice for alternative medicine could have led to an unnecessarily early death.”
Dr. Amri proceeds to outline Jobs’ treatment and cancer history as reported in the media. He supports his work with tables and stats, and all the evidence points to the following: “This illustrates also why leaving even the most innocent malign tumour to grow is just a foolish thing to do — a ticking time bomb. Jobs was a hippie back in the day, and a conventional medicine skeptic now. His reaction to the disease gave the disease time to spread. Many mainstream media, including CNN, stated that Mr. Jobs might have spent as long as two years without proper (conventional) treatment. While Mr. Jobs was trying all sorts of alternative mumbo-jumbo I won’t even bother to go through as their failure is now sadly irrefutably proven, his tumour grew, and grew, and grew…”
While Dr. Amri certainly doesn’t mince words, he does make his stance clear. He ends his post with the following: “It’s always an ethical puzzle if a patient chooses alternative treatment that we know from fact will not work. Yet, as long as the person is mentally sane, we cannot force them to choose a working treatment, even if it means their death. Sadly, even for one of the greatest personalities of the last 100 years, there will be no exception, and badly treated cancer is just as deadly for him as for anyone else…”
Whether you agree with Dr Amri or not, the post – and the thread below – is worth checking out. While the post centrals on Jobs, it raises questions about cancer, treatment, and the choices people make when it comes to their health.