Honor Thy Daughter raises the bar for cancer care

In a recent article in CommonHealth, Carey Goldberg, former Boston bureau chief of The New York Times, wondered if Honor Thy Daughter had “raised the bar” for what we can do for our dying loved ones.

In recent years, support for the medicinal use of marijuana has spread widely, to the point that it’s now legal in 16 states. The stories that tended to circulate a few years ago, of loving relatives who scored pot to bake magic brownies for their otherwise straight-as-an-arrow elders with cancer-related nausea, now seem almost quaint.

Is it such a leap to Ecstasy? When I spoke to Marilyn Howell, I complained to her that she had raised the bar for people who love dying patients. Now that I’ve read her book and skimmed some research, if a dear one of mine were suffering in the terminal stages of cancer or some other illness, I don’t think I’d feel able to stop at marijuana.

What do you think? Please leave a comment.

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Marilyn Howell appears on RadioBoston’s CommonHealth

On June 7, Honor Thy Daughter author Marilyn Howell appeared on RadioBoston’s CommonHealth to discuss why she turned to psychedelic therapy to ease the pain and anxiety of her dying daughter. This article explains how Howell’s story fits into the larger history of psychedelic medicine.

Listen to Howell’s interview streaming or download it here.

RadioBoston also published a second short article about Howell’s decision to explore psychedelic therapy.

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Marilyn Howell Interviewed on Channel Five Boston

WCBV Boston recently aired a stirring 3-minute segment about why Marilyn Howell chose to seek out psychedelic therapy for her daughter with terminal cancer. It also shows how mainstream medical practitioners are beginning to recognize the potential value of such treatments for patients at the end of their life, emphasizing the need for more research into the safety and effectiveness of MDMA and other psychedelics.

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Marilyn Howell describes her daughter’s final moments on WGBH Boston

In Marilyn Howell’s second appearance on WGBH’s “Greater Boston” with Emily Rooney, she shares what it was like to be with her daughter as she underwent MDMA-assisted therapy during her final moments.

Typically, when a person is in the end stages, you have a choice: do you want to be asleep, or do you want to be in pain? MDMA gave her the…possibility to be alert, and aware, and back to herself for a few hours…She died with a sense of peace and joy.

Click here to watch the interview. The episode aired on Thursday, May 26, 2011.

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Marilyn Howell interviewed with Rick Doblin, Ph.D., on Boston television

“Greater Boston” host Emily Rooney interviews Honor Thy Daughter author Marilyn Howell, Ed.D. (educator and author of Honor Thy Daughter) and Rick Doblin, Ph.D. (Founder and Executive Director of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies) about the potential of psychedelic-assisted therapy to help treat anxiety associated with terminal illness. Howell discusses how psychedelics (including MDMA, the main ingredient in the street drug Ecstasy) combined with therapy helped her adult daughter come to terms with her illness and reestablish her lost connection with her family. Doblin describes what scientists are learning about the therapeutic potential of psychedelics and how they might help patients overcome trauma and anxiety.

This episode aired on November 22, 2010, on WGBH Boston.

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Now available

Honor Thy Daughter is an intimate true story by Marilyn Howell, Ed.D., about her family’s search for physical, emotional, and spiritual healing as her daughter struggles with terminal cancer.

The family’s journey takes them through the darkest corners of corporate medicine, the jungles of Brazil, the pallid hallways of countless hospitals, and ultimately into the hands of an anonymous therapist who offers the family hope and healing through MDMA-assisted psychotherapy.

The story was originally featured in a 2006 Boston Globe article in which Howell’s identity was concealed. With psychedelic medicine increasingly a part of the mainstream vocabulary, in Honor Thy Daughter Howell comes out of the closet and shares with us how psychedelic therapy helped heal the bonds ripped apart by illness.

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