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

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

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    Should parents be allowed to refuse life saving treatment for their children?

    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]
    Last edited by obvious Child; 05-15-09 at 08:10 PM.
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    Re: Should parents be allowed to refuse life saving treatment for their children?

    No they shouldn't. What if the parents are abusive and totally hate the kid, and use their power of refusing live-saving treatment in a bad way? Kids should always be given every chance to live.

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

    It depends on the situation. Sometimes MDs will have good faith disagreements over the best course of treatment, so the "life-saving treatment" that a patient requires is not always so clear-cut. However, when several MDs reach a consensus the parents better have an air-tight, medically sound argument if they wish to refuse treatment. Should they refuse treatment on any grounds besides valid medical considerations they should be summarily ignored.

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

    While I would never advocate what could be parental neglect, I am equally uncomfortable second guessing parental decisions.

    Parents have the right to decide what is and is not in their child's best interests. They have the right to decide what adds or detracts from their child's quality of life. They have the right to decide what constitutes appropriate care.

    Society should respect that right.

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

    Possibly the most difficult question I've seen posted on DP. I just don't know. I lean towards no, but without the actual circumstances of each case I can't necessarily make that call universally.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by celticlord View Post
    While I would never advocate what could be parental neglect, I am equally uncomfortable second guessing parental decisions.

    Parents have the right to decide what is and is not in their child's best interests. They have the right to decide what adds or detracts from their child's quality of life. They have the right to decide what constitutes appropriate care.

    Society should respect that right.
    While that is all good and well and I do lean that way, it seem seriously wrong to let children die because their parents refuse medical treatment. That stance is letting parents kill their own kids. Is that a parental right?

    In some ways, refusing to let your child have medical life savings treatment could be seen as negligent homicide in some cases.
    "If your opponent is of choleric temperament, seek to irritate him." - Sun Tzu

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

    Parents are "responsible" for their children.
    They do not "own" them.

    nuff said.
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    Re: Should parents be allowed to refuse life saving treatment for their children?

    I really really really want to say that no, parents should not be allowed to refuse life saving medical treatment for their children. I just cannot do it. I say that for a number of reasons, but for the most practical reason is that it would be nearly impossible to tailor a law that would be workable without infringing on personal freedom.

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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 that is all good and well and I do lean that way, it seem seriously wrong to let children die because their parents refuse medical treatment. That stance is letting parents kill their own kids. Is that a parental right?
    It is not a universal right. However, especially when there are religious and spiritual dimensions to the dilemma, I will not second guess a parental decision.

    There needs to be more evidence of neglect and/or abuse than merely a decision not to pursue the course of treatment recommended by a physician.

    Quote Originally Posted by obvious Child View Post
    In some ways, refusing to let your child have medical life savings treatment could be seen as negligent homicide in some cases.
    Again, it depends on the rationale. Superseding religious belief even for the preservation of human life is a dangerous realm for courts to venture into. That is a line I will not cross. I would object strenuously should any cross that line against me, I will not cross it against someone else.

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

    Parents dont own their children they are responsible for them.Childrens decisions on medical issues are made by the state not their parents.
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