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If you believe parents who refuse medical treatment for religious reasons should be prosecuted

do you also believe the government should have the right to force you and your children to be sterilized or endure any sort of treatment a judge deems "necessary" whether you want it or not?

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Asked by Anonymous at 3:38 PM on Mar. 10, 2010 in Politics & Current Events

Answers (43)
  • I believe they should be prosecuted only when it's a matter of life and death for the child and a proven remedy exists. So no, I don't agree with your statement.

    Answer by deadheadjen at 3:45 PM on Mar. 10, 2010

  • Those are two totally different questions. I don't think anyone should be sterilized against their will. Except maybe rapists. And yes I do think if you let your child die of something easily cured you should be prosecuted. But then... if someone doesn't vaccinate and their child dies of measles should that count too? Where will we be drawing the line?


    Answer by BlooBird at 3:50 PM on Mar. 10, 2010

  • I do not see a difference in refusing medical treatment for your child via religious reasons and a DNR. I have seen people that could have been just fine if they did not have a DNR. Parents have DNRs on their children and to me I see no difference. The government shouldn't have a say in someones medical decisions. I may disagree with the persons decision but it is not my place nor the governments.

    Answer by Crissy1213 at 3:51 PM on Mar. 10, 2010

  • I do not think ppl should be prosecuted, but I do believe that the court should intervene and order known, non-experimental treatments within reason. For example, blood transfusions if needed. Why should minor children be prevented from obtaining known, non-experimental treatments, just because their PARENT does not believe n XYZ medical procedures? Let the parent decide for themself/their body, only. Let the court represent the child, if warranted.

     Why would a judge deem that my child or me needs to be sterilized? Are we serial rapists? Just can not imagine a situation where that treatment would be justified. Any competent adult should be able to make any decision necessary for their OWN body. Why would a court need to intervene? Very different when a minor is involved-


    Answer by Sisteract at 3:51 PM on Mar. 10, 2010

  • I don't know if refusing medical treatment should be prosecuted. It's horribly sad though that a child would die due to lack of treatment. The thing is, there have been cases where Dr's or hospitals have gone to court to force treatment the parents of a child didnt agree with. The Dr. or hospital (whichever the case was) won, forced the treatment and the child died. If we prosecute parents for refusing treatment and a child dies, we should also prosecute those who force treatment by going to court and the child dies. In the one case, the parents who do not seek treatment fully believe that they are doing what's right and in their child's best interests. In the other case, you have a medical professional doing what he/she feels is right and in the child's best interest. Either way, you've got a dead if you prosecute the one, you should also prosecute the other.

    Answer by meriana at 3:55 PM on Mar. 10, 2010

  • yes!

    Answer by lphill at 4:02 PM on Mar. 10, 2010

  • Crissy- you need to come and work in a pediatric and neonatal ICU. Very interesting decisions made by parents (and medical teams) I cared for a 10 m.o. last week who has been hospitalized since birth. He is in respiratory failure (<25% of func), trached, on a vent, extremely air hungry, agitated and a DNR, with the exception of airway maintenance and comfort/nutrition measures. Despite 5 doses of differing sedation, analgesics, anti-anxiety medications in 5 hours, I was needing to hand ventilate him several times every hour. So uncomfortable for him and his family to endure. It is highly unlikely that an adult suffering from a similar condition would be treated in this fashion. Hospice would be called, therapies dc/d and sedation and pain control would be the order and treatment plan established. FTR, yes this case has been to the Ethics Com.


    Answer by Sisteract at 4:02 PM on Mar. 10, 2010

  • I think that children have rights too. Seems inhumane to allow a parent to dictate whether or not a child remains alive in a curable situation. What if the Dr. is telling mom and dad that they MUST drain the fluid from the child's brain or he will die, and the parents say, "We'll pray the fluid away". And the child, assuming he/she is old enough to understand, says, "NO! Let the Dr's operate!" Doesn't seem right that the child has no rights and the parents have the final say whether the child lives or dies. So sad.

    Answer by kenzie07 at 4:10 PM on Mar. 10, 2010

  • Sister, I was an EMT and I quit because I can't handle watching people die. I worked as an EMT for 8 months. I don't see a difference between the two and it is not anyone's right to tell anyone they can't have a DNR or that they have to have medical attention. Especially for your child. Those parents have to go through hell and it is not anyone's business but theirs on what to do with their child. You and I may not agree with it but it is not our place.

    Answer by Crissy1213 at 4:20 PM on Mar. 10, 2010

  • I do not believe that a person should be prosecuted for not giving treatment to their children IF that is truly their belief. I remember YEARS ago (I think in the late 70s or early 80s), there was a highly publicized case where the parents were being tried for just this. In the trial, it came out that the father really had a true conviction to his belief, but the wife was just going along to be a good wife. He was not convicted, she was. I agree with that decision. NO ONE should make you do or not do something medically to yourself or your under aged children without your consent.


    Answer by AngelDawn7 at 4:45 PM on Mar. 10, 2010

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