A mother in Ireland won’t allow doctors to treat her daughter – who has type 1 diabetes – with insulin. She doesn’t want her to become dependent on it.

In this case, we can’t even blame a lack of education. The girl’s mother knows all about type 1 diabetes; it runs in her family. But, rather than give her life-saving injections, she hopes her diabetes will resolve itself. In her words:

“I would rather want that my daughter dies at home than to give her insulin.”

We try not to judge, but this is pretty shocking stuff.

Unsurprisingly, a pediatrician has described the girl’s blood glucose levels as “extremely high.”

The story has a happy ending – sort of. The courts have ordered that the girl be treated with insulin, and they’ve assigned the girl a guardian to take care of her and ensure that she’s given regular insulin injections.

Stories like this are heartbreaking in light of the potentially devastating impact of undiagnosed diabetes. There’s the story of Kycie Jai Terry, who died at the age of five from undiagnosed type 1. Then there’s seven-year-old Aiden Fenton, who died after his parents enrolled him in a totally unscientific “slapping therapy” course.

A petition launched in August aims to address the lack of education surrounding type 1 diabetes by including the symptoms in the “red book” given to new parents. You can sign it here. When it reaches 10,000 signatures, it will be discussed in parliament.

Clearly, the world doesn’t quite appreciate how serious a condition diabetes is. If the girl’s mother had been left to continue, her daughter would not have survived. No ifs, buts, or alternative treatments – if you have type 1 diabetes, you’re insulin dependent.

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