'a Small Tumour, a Giant Timebomb' Critical Response

Published: 2021-09-12 22:30:11
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Ms. Jill Anzarut - a 35-year-old woman living in Ontario, Canada, and a mother of two children - was recently diagnosed with breast cancer, as a small, early-stage tumour appeared in her breast. As a result, she was recommended by her doctor to get treatment with Herceptin that would cost her up to $40,000 annually. Yet she was denied the treatment, and thus, now she has to undergo chemotherapy. Using this story as an example, “A small tumour, a giant time bomb” written by Margaret Wente emphasizes on the necessity to reform the current and, as she states, “callous”, health-care system. Yet there are certain points that need to be considered upon her arguments.  Logicality and lack of evidence are the first issues that arise in Wente’s article. The first point to be discussed is when Ms. Anzarut was denied to be treated with Herceptin, as “In Ontario, Ms. Anzarut’s tumour is too small to qualify.” (Wente, 2011, para 1). Wente, upon stating this fact, should be aware how big a tumour can be to qualify the treatment with Herceptin. Health-care policies and regulations do not exist based on nothing. They exist based on results of practical researches and experiments, and act as guidelines for doctors, therapists, and caregivers in providing treatment to patients. If Ms. Anzarut’s tumour was considered too small to receive treatment with Herceptin, the denial given to her was probably for her sake, as treatment with that drug could become dangerous if conditions/requirements were not matched. Therefore, using this point as a contributor to address the health-care system as “callous” is not convincing, as this displays Wente’s lack of logicality. One more point: “Other provinces cover Herceptin in cases such as hers.” How can Wente be so sure? Obviously she should look into this policy in other regions in Canada so as to have a more complete picture of it and have concrete evidences, before taking aggressive actions against Ontario’s health-care system.

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