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Thread: Arrest ordered for mom of boy, 13, resisting chemo

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    Re: Arrest ordered for mom of boy, 13, resisting chemo

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    If he was 16, I would be inclined to agree that he can decide for himself. But at 13 (especially when he doesn't even know how to read), I would say no.
    Yesterday, I referred to Weithorn and Campbell's The Competency of Children and Adolescents to Make Informed Treatment Decisions.

    This study was a test for developmental differences in competency to make informed treatment decisions. 96 subjects, 24 (12 males and 12 females) at each of 4 age levels (9, 14, 18, and 21), were administered a measure developed to assess competency according to 4 legal standards. The measure included 4 hypothetical treatment dilemmas and a structured interview protocol. Overall, 14-year-olds did not differ from adults. 9-year-olds appeared less competent than adults with respect to their ability to reason about and understand the treatment information provided in the dilemmas. However, they did not differ from older subjects in their expression of reasonable preferences regarding treatment. It is concluded that the findings do not support the denial of the right of self-determination to adolescents in health-care situations on the basis of a presumption of incapacity. Further, children as young as 9 appear able to participate meaningfully in personal health-care decision making.
    I'm inclined to believe that such empirical literature is suitable for general policy analysis, but not for evaluating specific cases such as this, obviously. It's true that he's been brainwashed, but IMO, all variety of religious fanatics are brainwashed to some extent. The most preferable course of action to prevent situations like this is to permit individuals of all ages to freely access the information that they wish to access, regardless of parental consent.

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    Re: Arrest ordered for mom of boy, 13, resisting chemo

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    Parents can't starve their kids to death just because Jesus told them to do it. This isn't any different.



    If he was 16, I would be inclined to agree that he can decide for himself. But at 13 (especially when he doesn't even know how to read), I would say no.
    When he can't attest in an interview that he understands the ramifications of his decision and his statistical outcome then he's not mentally sound enough to make the decision regardless of age.

    It's one thing to have religious conviction. But if that religious conviction has you denying reality and unwilling to digest the ramifications of your situation then you're mentally unsound.

    This child is not choosing to die for his religion. He does not believe that he will die. He is mentally unsound.

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    Re: Arrest ordered for mom of boy, 13, resisting chemo

    Quote Originally Posted by talloulou View Post
    When he can't attest in an interview that he understands the ramifications of his decision and his statistical outcome then he's not mentally sound enough to make the decision regardless of age.

    It's one thing to have religious conviction. But if that religious conviction has you denying reality and unwilling to digest the ramifications of your situation then you're mentally unsound.

    This child is not choosing to die for his religion. He does not believe that he will die. He is mentally unsound.
    That doesn't seem a matter of actual mental unsoundness so much as a lack of information. He doesn't lack the capacity to understand and rationally analyze the information. He's simply not been provided the opportunity to do so.

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    Re: Arrest ordered for mom of boy, 13, resisting chemo

    Quote Originally Posted by Agnapostate View Post
    Yesterday, I referred to Weithorn and Campbell's The Competency of Children and Adolescents to Make Informed Treatment Decisions.



    I'm inclined to believe that such empirical literature is suitable for general policy analysis, but not for evaluating specific cases such as this, obviously. It's true that he's been brainwashed, but IMO, all variety of religious fanatics are brainwashed to some extent. The most preferable course of action to prevent situations like this is to permit individuals of all ages to freely access the information that they wish to access, regardless of parental consent.
    The child is not choosing to disregard medical advice despite the consequences. The child does not believe the consequences exist. Even if he was an adult he'd be mentally unsound in my opinion.

    There's a big difference between, "If I die, I die. I accept that."

    vs.

    "The drs. are lying. I'm not sick. I'm not going to die."

    The one patient is making a choice, right or wrong. The other patient is delusional.

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    Re: Arrest ordered for mom of boy, 13, resisting chemo

    Quote Originally Posted by Agnapostate View Post
    That doesn't seem a matter of actual mental unsoundness so much as a lack of information. He doesn't lack the capacity to understand and rationally analyze the information. He's simply not been provided the opportunity to do so.
    Doesn't matter. What matters is for whatever reason he doesn't understand and is deluded about his circumstances. He did not tell the courts he accepts he may die without treatment and that is his choice. He told them he doesn't believe he's as sick as the drs. say, he doesn't believe he needs treatment, and he doesn't believe he may die.

    If he were an older man, my father, I'd have him declared mentally unsound. I don't much care why he can't grip reality, it's only important to note that he hasn't. If he had a hold on reality, a grasp of the weight of his circumstances, and then made the choice that would be a bit different.

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    Re: Arrest ordered for mom of boy, 13, resisting chemo

    Quote Originally Posted by talloulou View Post
    The child is not choosing to disregard medical advice despite the consequences. The child does not believe the consequences exist. Even if he was an adult he'd be mentally unsound in my opinion.

    There's a big difference between, "If I die, I die. I accept that."

    vs.

    "The drs. are lying. I'm not sick. I'm not going to die."

    The one patient is making a choice, right or wrong. The other patient is delusional.
    That's not in conflict with my statement. He doesn't believe that the treatment is necessary because he's simply been indoctrinated with that irrationality. If he had the opportunity to access to every variety of information, I'd expect that he'd be capable of making an informed decision about the matter.

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    Re: Arrest ordered for mom of boy, 13, resisting chemo

    If both he and his parents have decided to reject medical treatment IMO that's their choice
    That he may die or live do to that choice is meaningless.

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    Re: Arrest ordered for mom of boy, 13, resisting chemo

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    Parents can't starve their kids to death just because Jesus told them to do it. This isn't any different.
    This is not the same thing. This is rejecting a course of medical treatment because you feel there is a better way. The fact that the lady is clearly stupid in no way changes my belief that the government should not involve itself in medical decisions.

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    Re: Arrest ordered for mom of boy, 13, resisting chemo

    Quote Originally Posted by Triad View Post
    If both he and his parents have decided to reject medical treatment IMO that's their choice
    That he may die or live do to that choice is meaningless.
    I think whether the choice is being made by someone of a sound mind is pertinent regardless of age.

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    Re: Arrest ordered for mom of boy, 13, resisting chemo

    Quote Originally Posted by talloulou View Post
    I think whether the choice is being made by someone of a sound mind is pertinent regardless of age.
    Being intelligent is not a legal requirement to make medical decisions.

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