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.