Friday, March 19, 2010

Epilepsy Myth led to killing of boy.

Man ate boy's brain to cure epilepsy.

Friday, March 19, 2010
Man killed boy, ate brain to cure epilepsy

A Chinese man has been arrested after he allegedly killed a boy and ate part of his brain in a failed attempt to cure his epilepsy. Wang Choaxu, 29, allegedly believed a myth that eating a child's brain can cure people of fits, the Sun reported.

Li Xuetang, 11, disappeared from his village late at night before being found several hours later in a grain field 5km away. According to reports the top of the boy's head had been peeled back with a part of his brain missing. Choaxu allegedly told police he believed he could cure his epilepsy if he ate the brain with earthworms and ants. He is also accused of killing a three-year-old girl who was found dead on the same day in a public toilet with a knife cut to her head.

This is by and far the most harrowing epilepsy myth I have come to know about. Chills numb my spine and anguish goes to the loved ones of the killed innocent children. As I type away, my fingers are trembling because of imaginative gruesome photographic shots of the killed children flashing in and out of my mind.

How can a man be so monstrous to commit such a heinous and repulsive act just for the sake of curing himself of epilepsy? Good grief. Where is the killer's conscience at the time of killing? I have heard of an old belief that drinking a herbal concoction consisting of earthworm, rat testis and herbs can permanently treat epilepsy. Eating goat's brain is believed to permanently cure people of epilepsy since many believed epilepsy is developed because of consumption of goat meat.

Myths have existed for as long as human beings have lived for centuries. It is impossible to wipe out myths from society. If people can begin to learn and accept what are myths and what are truths and realities then our society will be friendlier and safer to live in. This also means advocacy, empowerment and awareness of good causes can be done and achieved with less obstacles.



  1. This is so horrible and wrong on so many levels; I began to cry while reading. There are many misconceptions about what Epilepsy is, even today. In Mideivel times people were killed even for having Epilepsy. The disease was believed to be demonic posession. In Bible times this was also the case. I am a strong believer in God. I think that what happened then was very different. I even read once that people would have their heads drilled to "let the demons leak out"... It's just sick. Even here in America Epileptics used to be automatically sent to mental hospitals and treated like Monkeys against their own will. People should not believe in these old foolish ways. This is exactly why you and I do what we do; to show the world the truth. People need to open their eyes. Thanks for this great entry.

  2. Hi Amanda,

    It is also quite the same over here in Malaysia. Patients are being wrongly diagnosed as mentally ill and sent to mental hospitals instead of having their epilepsy being diagnosed and treated with appropriate anti epileptic drugs.

    You and I, together with many other active PWE (People with epilepsy) advocates will have to continually strive to educate and empower more and more people with the right knowledge of epilepsy.

  3. I agree. It saddens me thinking about what happens to misunderstood PWE's (I'm going to have to use this now!). Even I have been wrongfully diagnosed. About half a year ago, a psychologist labeled me crazy because I described to my neurologist that I was having an audio seizure. She put down on my medical record that I am insane and hospitalized me for almost a week. They didn't even tell me the real reason I was being hospitalized. My doctor simply said they wanted to monitor my seizures again while changing my medications, when really they were monitoring my behavior. I saw psychologist after psychologist, from all over the city. They were rude and didn't care for my feelings, and the questions that they asked me were unbelievable.
    I hope that one day people will learn that PWE's are not crazy. Some respect would be nice as well.


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