Charity on July 26th, 2006

Update on the Abraham Cherrix case.

A judge ruled Tuesday that a 16-year-old cancer patient who has refused conventional medical treatment does not have to report to a hospital as previously ordered and scheduled a trial to settle the dispute.

This family is not safe from the state yet, but for now, Abraham will not receive chemo and the judge returned full custody to his parents. They are scheduled for an August 16 court date with the circuit court judge.

Read full story here.

Every time I think this country is on the brink, someone steps up and pulls it back. Let’s just hope this judge is familiar with the Constitution. You know, that little piece of paper that is supposed to keep the ego-tripping, power-hungry men of government from taking away our God-given rights. Yeah, that Constitution.

5 Responses to “Freedom prevails, at least one more day”

  1. Don’t you mean that little piece of hemp?

    In other news, if you’re living in a FEMA trailer in New Orleans, you can’t talk to the press without a member of the KGB, (Bush Administration) present.

    “Freedom is on the march.”

  2. Considering that most members of the Bush Administration are neo-conservatives, and a large number of the older neo-conservtives are either former socialists and/or communists, I would say the “KGB” statement was rather apt.

  3. As an extreme conservative you might be interested in this from today’s Boston Globe. I know, to many on the Right the Globe is just this side of Pravda and the Times, but this deserves a look, as it’s by another conservative, with bona fides including writing for Reason magazine.

    I think there are a couple of important points here. First, we have decided as a society that children are not entitled to make life or death decisions for themselves. They don’t get to buy alcoholic beverages, they don’t get to enlist in the military, they don’t, subject to certain exceptions, get to decide to marry. Their parents are largely entrusted with those decisions, and with good reason: children may not be able to properly balance short-term costs against long-term benefits. Thus, we don’t let a sixteen-year-old decide to forgo needed medical treatment just because he doesn’t like it. We know that there are things that we, as adult members of society, can see that the child needs even if the child doesn’t understand it.

    Second, parents’ rights are not unlimited. Parents are required to act in the best interestes of their children. In almost all cases parents are presumed to be acting in their children’s best interests, but there are times when the parents’ decisions amount to abuse or neglect, and in those cases the parents’ rights end and the state has an obligation to step in and assume decision-making authority over the child.

    This is one of those cases. Without needed medical care, this boy will die of cancer. His parents’ decision to dispense with medical care, and subject the boy to medical quackery, will result in their son’s death. This is not a choice that the parents are entitled to make, even if it means subjecting the boy to real discomfort and suffering in the interest of curing him.

    If this kid were an adult it would be his decision to make, and I would have no problem with that. Or if you want to argue that the boy should have the right to go to court and prove that he is mature and rational enough to make this decision, go ahead. But if you are arguing that the parents have the right to withhold life-saving medical treatment from this boy, you are also saying that the parents of any child have the right to starve the child to death, deprive the child of an education, or keep the child locked in a cage. I suspect that most people who are siding with these misguided parents would not support those positions, and they shouldn’t.

    This boy should have the medical treatment he needs, even if he doesn’t like it, so that he will have the opportunity to become an adult and make his own choices of how he will live.

  4. Good to hear from you again, Jack.

    I agree that children are not allowed to make life or death decisions. In this case the parents agree with the decision. (Although, I must point out that if this kid killed someone, he would probably be considered an adult by the courts.)

    I think the parents do have the rights here. It is not about withholding treatment; it is a disagreement about which treatment is the best. I happen to be a proponent of alternative medicine. I also use my judgment. One naturopath I went to seemed like a quack to me and when I had to choose between her recommendation and the doctor’s at the hospital, I went with conventional medicine. I regret that decision because upon doing my own research, after the fact, I found that other people have been successful with the method she recommended.

    My situation was not as serious as cancer, though, but my point is that his parents are not keeping him from treatment. It is just that most people do not agree with the treatment they are choosing. To deny this right of theirs is to rule that alternative medicine is not a valid choice. I disagree with that.

    I thought medical decisions were private. Isn’t that supposedly in the Constitution? Where the heck are the “keep your laws off my body” gals when you need them?

    This is not the same as abuse – starving a child, depriving a child of an education (whatever that means), or locking a child in a cage. The parents are getting him medical care, you just don’t agree with the course of care. Who are you to decide that?

    Oh by the way, I love that you called me “an extreme conservative.” Ha! That made my day!

    The piece you linked was compelling and gives a lot to think about. I am not sure where I come down on the domestic surveillance issue. I received a homeschool book in the mail that I bought on eBay and it was stamped “Subject to search.” It gave my husband and I both chills. On the issue of parents’ rights though, I am very strongly libertarian – even if it means that this boy dies.

    If he dies even with the chemo, are the courts, the judges, the social workers going to lose a son? No, but if he dies with the Hoxsey treatment, these parents have to live with losing a son that they very clearly love. This is not an abusive or neglectful family. They did not come by this decision lightly. They should have the right to decide their child’s medical treatment, not a judge.

  5. For another view of the Hoxsey method of “treatment” take a look here