A mother in Sleepy Eye Minnesota is choosing to not allow her son to take Chemotherapy Treatments for Hodgkin's. She claims that her reasoning is religious. The article doesn't make clear which religion, but for me that's not even relevant. Instead she is seeking "alternative healing techniques" on the internet.
I find it distasteful that parents take their religion so far as to put their child's well being on the line. I we had a case here in Washington just a few years ago where a JW wouldn't get a blood transfusion that clearly would have saved his young life. I believe that he was 16, so be it, it's his brainwashed choice.
The Hodgkin's case is particularly distasteful for two reasons. Hodgkin's is up to 90% curable with treatment and the boy is 13. So at what point, at what age, does the state step in and say the "superparent" is going to take charge here because the choice is too great for a child to make and the mother cannot choose near certain death for her child. The weight of life in this case is greater than her parental right.
I believe in religious freedom. I believe in parental rights. I don't believe in forcing care upon people. But when we are talking about children making brainwashed decisions there needs to be a line of where we protect his right to life because they are too young to choose or understand what they are choosing. It's somewhat comparable to not allowing children to choose to have sex with someone older. You might choose this path, but you don't appreciate the weight of the consequences. Of course this has to be an individual case by case evaluation, but at what age is too young to decide your own religious path that will lead you to death? At what treatment success rate should we be stepping in? Do you disagree and say that parental rights are not limited even when the choices are just this side of murder? (Did I load that question?)
The success rate and 13 years old could lead to some good discussions... let the opinions fly.

http://www.startribune.com/lifestyle/health/44594367.html?elr=KArksUUUycaEacyU

Views: 6

Tags: children, death, disease, hodgkins, religious, rights

Comment by Barbara Harrison on May 9, 2009 at 3:39pm
The state went in and took all those children away from that FLDS sect in Utah, and that was for something as trivial as sex. The state should definitely intervene in this case!

(But, IMHO, children should be kept away from all religion until they are old enough to go to war over it.)
Comment by CJoe on May 9, 2009 at 9:57pm
Ya can't join the Army and die for your country until you're 18, nor can you choose to smoke cigarettes (among other things). Buying tobacco for a minor is illegal. So, if you can't choose to die for your country, and your parents can't buy you "life threatening" cigarettes, then it seems to follow that a parent should not be able to make harmful decisions for their children, nor should the child be allowed to make the decision to live or die... especially based on religious reasons.
Comment by Morgan Matthew on May 10, 2009 at 4:42am

Comment by Serotonin Wraith on May 10, 2009 at 3:34pm
I was raised in a JW environment so I can say for sure that they are putting the lives of the child first, based on the way they see the world. Far from being deliberately cruel, they honestly think the choice is this-

God has commanded that blood transfusions are not allowed. If the parents allow the child to have one, they and the child will be killed by God for disobeying when the end comes, any day now.

However, if they protect the child from having a blood transfusion, even if the child dies, he/she will be resurrected and live for 1000 years, possibly even forever.

Yes it's crazy, but if those were real outcomes, what would you do? Same thing as them.

This is why respect for religion has to come to an end on a wider scale. If the parents thought Santa wanted them to punch their child every day, society would intervene because of the lack of good reasons for believing this. If the child was to be sacrificed in a burning ritual, it would be stopped. They should be demanding good reasons to believe in their god, and their god's orders on the topic of blood transfusions too. There's no difference.
Comment by Misty: Baytheist Living! on May 14, 2009 at 3:43pm
Actually... the Bible is pretty hush hush on blood transfusions.. since I mean, it wasn't a technology they freakin' possessed!
What it warns against is drinking/consuming blood.
Yeah. No shit.
Undercooked food in unhygienic habitats = food poisoning./ No advanced medicine =death!

Someone call the JW's. I've got this figured and can save their babies!
Comment by Gaytor on May 14, 2009 at 4:04pm
Leviticus 17:14 (King James Version)
For it is the life of all flesh; the blood of it is for the life thereof: therefore I said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall eat the blood of no manner of flesh: for the life of all flesh is the blood thereof: whosoever eateth it shall be cut off.

I don't really get it either. Um... eating means ingesting through that orifice in your face. Serotonin and I discussed it a bit. For me it's one of those crazy interpretations like discussing Jacob where God says
Listen, O isles, to me; and listen, you people, from far; The LORD has called me from the womb; from the bowels of my mother has he made mention of my name.
2 And he has made my mouth like a sharp sword; in the shadow of his hand has he hid me, and made me a polished shaft; in his quiver has he hid me;
A evangelical reads this and says abortion is wrong. I look at Exodus 21:22 and see it spelled out more clearly as a fetus as not being a life. The ability to read the Bible in so many ways clearly shows an unskilled writer. If God wants us to be happy, wouldn't he make clear what we are to do? Is he too ignorant, lazy, or does he lack care for us in this lack of clarity? If he cared it would have been clear enough so that we wouldn't have 50 different sects off of one book all claiming that they have the truth.
How's GB by the way?

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