View Poll Results: So, should parents be allowed to refuse life saving treatment for their children?

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  • Yes, parents should be allowed

    31 21.83%
  • No, parents should not be allowed

    97 68.31%
  • I don't know

    14 9.86%
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Thread: Should parents be allowed to refuse life saving treatment for their children?

  1. #51
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    Re: Should parents be allowed to refuse life saving treatment for their children?

    Quote Originally Posted by UtahBill View Post
    patently false? how so?

    The last 3 weeks several doctors and some parents I am very close to have been playing the odds, successfully, with my 10 year old granddaughter. About 6 months ago they stopped giving her chemo for the inoperable tumor on her brain stem, thinking that she didn't need it anymore, then they discovered a tumor higher in the brain that grew from very small to golf ball size in a few months, but this one was operable.

    We prayed, but praying is meant to be done in conjunction with real medical treatment provided by doctors with training that God allowed them to learn.

    She should come home tomorrow, after 18 days in the hospital.
    First off, I am glad to hear she is coming home.

    Back on topic, the statement is false because it is categorical. "All scientific data" does not show chemotherapy to be universally and categorically effective. Chemotherapy does work in some cases, and does not work in other cases. "All scientific data" shows chemotherapy is likely effective under certain conditions, and that is all.

  2. #52
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    Re: Should parents be allowed to refuse life saving treatment for their children?

    I know of 2 instances in the last 30 years or so where one doctor went against conventional wisdom, faced ridicule from his peers, but ended up being right. One doctor in the USA decided that stomach ulcers could be treated with antibiotics, the other somewhere in South America developed heart surgery for enlarged hearts that involved removing part of the heart, which is often preferred to an actual heart transplant.
    Unconventional treatment in the absence of known effective treatment is one thing, expecting prayer to do the trick is another.
    Ever hear the old joke about someone refusing help several times in the aftermath of floods? He sat on his roof and refused 2 boats and a helicopter saying "God will save me", and then the floods swept him away and he drowned. At the pearly gates he says to God, "why didn't you save me?"
    God says, "I sent 2 boats and a helicopter, what more did you want from me?"
    God is providing doctors for us and some of us are insisting on God doing the cure himself.
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  3. #53
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    Re: Should parents be allowed to refuse life saving treatment for their children?

    Quote Originally Posted by UtahBill View Post
    God is providing doctors for us and some of us are insisting on God doing the cure himself.
    And since only God himself knows which one he's going to do, I stop short of questioning those who bet either way.

    I've been fortunate with my boys....never had to make a medical decision more complex than having a broken finger fixed. Have never had to deal with anything remotely like cancer, and I won't pretend to be qualified to second guess what parents do in those cases. As long as the parents are sane and sincere, I'm not going to challenge them.

  4. #54
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    Re: Should parents be allowed to refuse life saving treatment for their children?

    Quote Originally Posted by celticlord View Post
    First off, I am glad to hear she is coming home.

    Back on topic, the statement is false because it is categorical. "All scientific data" does not show chemotherapy to be universally and categorically effective. Chemotherapy does work in some cases, and does not work in other cases. "All scientific data" shows chemotherapy is likely effective under certain conditions, and that is all.
    When quoting someone, you should not add or remove any part of their post that distorts their meaning.

    What he said was "All scientific data indicates that chemotherapy is an effective treatment ".
    That is true. It has been worked in enough cases to be called effective. The word effective does not imply that any and all types of chemo will always work on every kind of cancer.
    Our granddaughter started off with a chemo treatment that might have killed her faster than the original tumor. It was terrible what it did to her, and it didn't stop the tumor's growth. The second type was easier on her body, and did appear to stop the growth.
    I have read or heard many testimonials claiming prayer cured someone, but it is an extremely rare case when there is actual proof of the illness beforehand.
    I posted scriptures quoting Christ, not Paul or some other Johnny come lately, and if the words of Christ are not enough for these parents and others like them, then there is little hope for their children who are unfortunate enough to get a serious illness.
    IMO, God will settle with them later...
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  5. #55
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    Re: Should parents be allowed to refuse life saving treatment for their children?

    In this situation, what should occur would be a court ruling on whether parental rights should be terminated. A court would review the situation and see whether the child is being neglected, abused, abandoned, whether their is severe mental illness/substance abuse by the parent, and whether the child's long term needs are being met. Health and life would constitute long term needs. Religious beliefs, or beliefs of the parents are trumped when the safety of the child is in jeopardy.

    In this specific situation, the courts would make the determination whether the parents have violated statutes. For example, in NJ, where I reside, the health and safety of the child is of paramount concern (N.J. Stat. Ann. 30:4C-11.1(a)). I believe that if this case were held in my state, the parental rights would be terminated, considering the health and safety of the child as being primary. Other states vary in how they handle this.

    One additional thing to consider is the wishes of the child. Several states consider this in the evaluation. The NJ statute is vauge on this, allowing for interpretation. Other states have more specific statutes, some allowing a child as young as 12 to have his/her wishes be an important determinant. Since, in the case of the OP, the child seems to want to adhere to his parents' wishes, this could be an important factor.
    Last edited by CaptainCourtesy; 05-16-09 at 02:43 AM.
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  6. #56
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    Re: Should parents be allowed to refuse life saving treatment for their children?

    Has anybody else read up on the Nemenhah Band that this family belongs to?
    Cloud Pilers, talking feathers, stone carriers, etc.? The religious sect was formed in Utah by a man who has had previous issues with the law (in Idaho) related to fraud.
    The family claims the boy is an elder and healer for the sect, but also say he is unable to read.
    Sounds like a whole lot of issues at hand here.
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  7. #57
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    Re: Should parents be allowed to refuse life saving treatment for their children?

    Quote Originally Posted by celticlord View Post
    In Texas, at least, the law does not agree with you.

    153.074 of the Family Code grants a parent the right to, among other things:
    Well, Texas is... Texas.

    Check out a few law cases: Evidence in Child Abuse and Neglect ... - Google Book Search

    See: ARIZONA ATHEIST: Richard Dawkins and "Child Abuse" Part 2
    It's the middle of the night. Your baby suddenly spikes a high fever. For a while, he cries hysterically, and then suddenly he's eerily calm, whimpering every once in a while. His temperature is still climbing. What do you do?

    For most parents, the only response would be to call the pediatrician and rush the baby to a hospital. But for parents whose religious beliefs eschew medical care in favor of prayer, there is another, equally indubitable choice: Do nothing but pray.

    It's a practice that ignites fierce controversy every time another child dies from a lack of medical care. And in Colorado, three deaths in the past 24 months have propelled the issue back into the spotlight.

    At the center of controversy are Congregants of Church of Christ, Scientist, along with members of other, smaller sects, including the Followers of Christ Church and the General Assembly and Church of the First Born. All are staunchly opposed to medical intervention in the case of illness, preferring instead to depend upon prayer to do the healing. Their devotion to what they call "God's will" has, according to their critics, led to the deaths of more than 172 children between 1975 and 1995 all because their parents refused to seek medical treatment for their children's illnesses. According to autopsy reports, many if not most of the children could have been saved easily with simple antibiotics.
    For its part, the U.S. Supreme Court has weighed in twice on the topic; first in 1944, when it ruled that while parents "may be free to become martyrs themselves, it does not follow they are free, in identical circumstances, to make martyrs of their children." The Court ruled similarly in a 1990 case.

    And while the SCOTUS opinion did little to clarify the various rights and responsibilities of parents and prosecutors, it did identify one crux of the argument: Actively refusing available medical treatment for yourself is one thing, but presuming to impose your beliefs on another person especially if that person is a child who may not have formed any religious beliefs at all is something altogether different.
    Parents' rights in the care of their children is not absolute. And if someone believes that "praying" will heal their child they are, in my opinion, ignorant and stupid. And if their religion advocates the same, it is also stupid!

    People rail against abortion. But, once the child is born then "you" say they have the right to not be responsible for their health.

    Are you serious?
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    Re: Should parents be allowed to refuse life saving treatment for their children?

    Quote Originally Posted by ADK_Forever View Post
    Well, Texas is... Texas.

    Check out a few law cases: Evidence in Child Abuse and Neglect ... - Google Book Search

    See: ARIZONA ATHEIST: Richard Dawkins and "Child Abuse" Part 2

    Parents' rights in the care of their children is not absolute. And if someone believes that "praying" will heal their child they are, in my opinion, ignorant and stupid. And if their religion advocates the same, it is also stupid!

    People rail against abortion. But, once the child is born then "you" say they have the right to not be responsible for their health.

    Are you serious?
    I think only certain medical standards should be required. I would wonder if a family should be force to keep a child on artificial means of life support? How many Chemo treatments would be required to see if this would work.

    It is a slippery slope we get on when we start to tell people what sufficient care is. I would suppose that if a child had a badly broken leg and the parents were not going to have it set but as suggested pray over the leg I would see that as abuse.
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    Re: Should parents be allowed to refuse life saving treatment for their children?

    Absolutely not. Stupid, uneducated parents should never be allowed to override legitimate medical treatment for any reason. The life of the child is much, much, much more important than any moral, religious or whatever reason the parents might give for letting their kid die.

    In fact, I'd be more than happy to support legislation where parents who purposely neglect their child's health conditions can be held criminally accountable if the child dies or suffers serious, long-term debilitation due to parental stupidity.
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    Re: Should parents be allowed to refuse life saving treatment for their children?

    Quote Originally Posted by obvious Child View Post
    While there are a multitude of incidents over the past couple years, here is a recent one about parents are refusing to allow chemotherapy on their kid and the kid appears to be ignorant of the situation.

    Judge rules family can't refuse chemo for boy

    The kid is pretty much a goner without the treatment.

    So, should parents be allowed to refuse life saving treatment for their children?

    [EDIT] Based on Etheral's insightful marks, assume at least for the discussion that the medical live saving treatment is medically sound and likely to save the child's life [/EDIT]
    Yes, parent's should be allowed to refuse life saving treatement such as the continuation of gestation for their unborn children.

    ***
    Seriously though, I'm voting 'yes' not because I suport parent's killing their children for reasons I may disagree with, but only because I don't want the governement involved in activly making decisions like this.

    If someone can demonstrate how the state has a compelling interest to impose an undue burdon on a parent's right in the 'care controle and custodey' of their children (see Troxil), I'm open to such an argument.

    And before you start: Personal objection to religious beliefs do not constitute any such compelling interest.

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