As details continue to emerge about the sad death of John Travolta and Kelly Preston’s son Jett a few days ago, I’m finding myself flip-flopping around in my head.
On one hand, I am deeply suspicious of Scientology, particularly the part that eschews any psychological treatment of any disorders or disabilities and also forbids many medications.
While Kawasaki Syndrome has widely been reported as a factor in Jett’s condition and possibly his death, this information is not new and John and Kelly have spoken about it many times – along with the way they used a Scientology ‘detox’ program to help treat him.
Now, clearly, there was something not right about Jett – this was apparent in photos of him that have very occasionally appeared over the past few years – he has been kept almost entirely out of the spotlight, apart from late last year when he was photographed leaving a restaurant with his parents and sister.
Perhaps the Kawasaki syndrome from which he apparently suffered as a toddler after (according to his parents) exposure to carpet cleaning chemicals in the family home, led to further life-long complications. Or perhaps he did suffer from some kind of autism as has been widely claimed (and which his parents have denied).
If he suffered from something treatable with therapy or medication which was withheld from him due to his parents’ beliefs as devout Scientologists, surely that is a sad and terrible thing. But the other quite separate issue here is whether his parents were ever obligated while Jett was alive – or are obligated now – to discuss details of his condition and treatment. Does he – and they – not have a right to privacy?
I have been appalled to see that the first paramedic on the scene who attempted to revive Jett and helped transport him to hospital has sold his interview. You would think there would be some kind of law prohibiting people from making a buck and violating a family’s privacy in that way. You would be wrong.