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Should a court have the right to force you to put an older child through medical treatment they don't want?

Appeals Court Says Guardian For Medical Decisions of Amish Child Can Be Appointed Even If Parents Are Not Unfit


This isn't a case of faith healing parents denying treatment for their child. She's had over a year of chemo.  The second round made her so sick she begged them to stop it.  They agreed, in consultation with another doctor, and also said if she gets worse, they'll look at the options of resuming it, but that for right now, they're respecting her wishes.

You can no longer use the "crazy nutjob parents" defense, so is it still ok for a court to say they know better than parents how a child should be treated?

In reality, the family's religion has nothing to do with this decision, aside from the fact that they prayed in addition to talking to doctors before making it.  There is no reason to include it in the headlines at all, aside from sensationalism.

Answer Question

Asked by NotPanicking at 12:52 PM on Aug. 31, 2013 in Politics & Current Events

Level 51 (421,174 Credits)
Answers (11)
  • I'm leaning toward no. The parents and the child are making sound decisions in consultation with doctors; that should be acceptable. It's a slippery slope, setting precedents that start giving the courts power over rightfully parental decisions.

    Answer by Ballad at 12:59 PM on Aug. 31, 2013

  • What the hell? Religion has NOTHING to do with this one. They are concerned parents that got a second opinion, and a different option to try and treat their daughter.

    I think the courts got this one wrong.

    Answer by Rosehawk at 1:01 PM on Aug. 31, 2013

  • there is a five-year survival rate of 85 percent if she continues treatment.

    I went and read the ABC article. Explain this to me, please.
    85% of patients live for 5 years with treatment? And then the survival rates drop off?
    Doesn't that make it a quality vs quantity discussion?

    Answer by feralxat at 1:02 PM on Aug. 31, 2013

  • Doesn't that make it a quality vs quantity discussion?


    Comment by NotPanicking (original poster) at 1:17 PM on Aug. 31, 2013

  • IDK how I feel about this. I think it's too slippery of a slope. I feel something like that might be necessary when a family doesn't believe in medical intervention in cases of terminal illness, but as all things in government, you give them an inch and they take a mile.

    Answer by QuinnMae at 1:52 PM on Aug. 31, 2013

  • I don't think so. When my older son's doctor wanted to give him the HPV vaccine, my immediate reaction was no. But I also talked to my son, and explained my feelings and what I'd found about it. He'd been there to hear the doctor's information. I asked him what HE wanted (which was not to get it). If he had really wanted to do it, I would have been reluctant, but I would have let him. And at the same time, if I'd wanted him to get it and he didn't want it, I would have allowed him to skip it.

    When kids are really little, it is up to us to make all the decisions. But as they grow, they do need to have at least some say over their own bodies. I mean, no, they shouldn't be able to go get Rx drugs without our consent, or surgeries that aren't emergency, stuff like that. But to know that your treatment is making you sicker and you'd really rather stop it - that is something that the child should be allowed to do if they want.

    Answer by wendythewriter at 2:18 PM on Aug. 31, 2013

  • so regardless their child is going to die.. it just comes down to how she wants to spend her last years of life.. the treatment will give her some extra time but then she is spending that extra time really sick... ? sounds to me like this kid and the parents have thought it through and weighed options and got advice from different doctors.. i think the govt needs to step off.

    Answer by nnh_mama at 2:19 PM on Aug. 31, 2013

  • No they should not have the right to step in. This is clearly the hospital wanting another patient to bill as opposed to a family that chooses to change doctors and treatment.

    Answer by Dardenella at 2:21 PM on Aug. 31, 2013

  • having been through chemo as an adult I can say that I would dare anyone to tell me to make my child endure it after she had tried it and decided SHE did not want it. Chemo is a jail sentence for some, it makes you feel so bad you can not LIVE a normal or even close to normal life.

    NO they have absolutley no right sticking their damn noses in this families business, I would rather see this child be able to run and play and smile for th enext few years rather than see her hurt, puke and cry for them. The government is full of a bunch of asshats!!!

    Answer by luvmygrandgirl at 2:34 PM on Aug. 31, 2013

  • IMO, yes in the best interest of the child. Only adults should be able to use religion in cases of medical treatment.

    Answer by louise2 at 3:06 PM on Aug. 31, 2013

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