Questions - Ripped from the Headlines!

Is it okay for a parent to refuse medical treatment for a child? At what point does a parent's right to make a decisions for a child stop, if ever? If the government can make decisions about the health care for a child, how far does this power extend?

Does the age of the child make a difference?

The government decides at what age a child starts to school and how many years a child should go to school or at least through how many grades, for example. The government decides a minimum age at which a child may drive. Is it wrong for a government to order certain medical treatment for a child who is extremely - or even terminally - ill?
The government decides about seatbelts for children.
If a child is missing, we want the government to help find the child.

What about the separation of church and state? How about freedom of religion? If government, medical experts and religious beliefs are at odds, what happens?

Where do we draw the lines? I'm interested in what YOU think.


Sandee said...

Government is way too big and way too much in our business. That's the plan though...control our every move, and get reelected. Let's not forget that part.

Religion should be a factor in many medical issues for certain religions. Some don't believe in blood transfusions as an example. Government needs to keep their nose out of it.

I've not agreed with all medical decisions either. Let's remember that doctors kill more folks than just about anything else out there. So, I want the right to refuse medical treatment if I don't agree.

We are losing more and more of our decision power in many things that are no ones business but ours. That's the way I see it.

Have a terrific day. :)

Patricia Rockwell said...

This is a hard one for me. Yes, I'd like government to basically stay out of health care decisions. But, I'd also like parents and doctors to always do the right thing (and know what that right thing is). At the moment, I guess I would have to say each case has to be evaluated individually.

Unknown said...

I agree with both of you, at least to some extent. I strongly believe in less governmental interference in our lives.

The right thing is the hard one. Which person or entity decides what is right? Not all parents are right in the way they discipline - or fail to discipline - their children. At least they are not right by my standards, but it's quite likely I'm not right by their standards.

The more I think about these questions, the more inner turmoil and confusion I have!

Martha said...

I too believe that less governmental interference in our individual ADULT lives is preferred; however, as is the case in Greenville county right now, a mother fled to MD rather than to show up at a DSS hearing with her 550 lb. middle-school age son who is medically neglected. Without treatment, this child will likely not live to be 18 years old but the mom took the child and fled so her child could not be treated for morbid obesity. In this case, someone (government?) should step in to see that this child is allowed to thrive beyond childhood. The child cannot make his own decisions at age 14 so an adult, be it a court appointed guardian or the court itself should make this decision. Should the child be allowed to continue to eat himself to death or should there be governmental interference? I think in this case, governmental interference is warranted.

Jenn Jilks said...

Interesting post and thoughts. Our Canadian medical system is profoundly different. We have rules and regs about age of majority. Most of our controversy comes at middle and senior ages.

Unknown said...

Very interesting. I don't think the governmnt should have the right to decide what medical treatments a child should have. It is the parents decision to make. Whether it is due to religious, ethical, moral, or financial reasons, no one but that family should be making decisions.

And for me, this goes both ways. If our government makes a choice to deny health care to a child because the parents can't pay for it or don't have insurance, I believe that is wrong, too. What about when a child needs a transplant, but the parents have no money to pay for it. Is it negligence on the part of government because they did not step in and pay for that treatment and save that child?

Government should have no hand whatsoever in deciding who gets health care or what type of care they receive. Yes, there should be some goverment regulation of healthcare, but only to insure that doctors adhere to certain standards. So, that is my two cents for today

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