Prisoner of the State

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January 23, 2015 by JImbo

(photo from the film The Rite, just to show four point restraints)

Forced chemotherapy in a teen: Exploring the ethics

An interesting article on the legality, morality and professionalism of restraining a young girl against her will and that of her parents in order to give a potentially life saving cancer therapy.

I know people will say “But it could save her life!”

However, it’s not abuse. It’s not neglect. It is a rationally considered medical decision. If the parents and child neither have a right to decide for themselves in this case, then when DO they have a right to determine their own choices?

Chemotherapy is not a sure thing. It is painful. It is often fatal. Plenty of adults have to face this hard decision every day and the State doesn’t step in and second-guess them. They let them refuse treatment with dignity.

Would it be THAT different in a few months when she is 18 and magically an adult? Is the State claiming that the parents don’t CARE? Or that a 17.9 year old is a child and a month later magically becomes cognizant and good at making decisions?

Adults are meant to make good choices for their children. Not the State. The State cannot “care” for people. It is an institution, not a person. A government HAS no “feelings.” It can only obey laws and follow rules.

Rules in this case made by strangers who do not know this family nor their choices.

Is there any limit on when the State can take citizens’ decisions away if the State doesn’t agree with it?

 

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