Do we accept a child’s ‘parental-assisted suicide’?

I’ve been following this story for a while now, still uncertain about what I think. Actually, that’s not quite true. I’m certain about what I think — the problem is that I think several things that conflict with each other.

From the Minneapolis Star Tribune:

NEW ULM, Minn. – A judge returned 13-year-old Daniel Hauser to his parents’ custody today despite objections from the Brown County attorney in New Ulm.

During a one-hour hearing, Brown County District Judge John Rodenberg asked both parents, Anthony and Colleen Hauser, if they understood that Daniel needs chemotherapy to save his life. Both said: “Yes.”

The judge then said: “I take you at your word” and transferred his custody back to the parents.

Daniel, who has Hodgkin’s lymphoma, was in the custody of Brown County authorities since his parents balked at chemo therapy after one round of treatment. Colleen and Daniel then fled to California for a week before returning early Monday….

A family spokesman told reporters today that after spending 12 hours with the family Monday he feels that the Hausers are ready to be more cooperative about how to best to treat their son’s Hodgkin’s lymphoma, but he could not say the same for Daniel.

“I think the real problem is that Danny is going to be very resistant, even if the parents were to give their OK” to proceed with chemotherapy, said spokesman Dan Zwakman, who added that two doctors examined Daniel for a total of three hours Monday, but he did not have any update about the boy’s condition.

Hodgkin’s lymphoma was diagnosed in Daniel in January, and a Brown County judge ordered him into medical treatment earlier this month after his parents ceased his chemotherapy, citing religious and other objections. Doctors have testified that the boy has a 90 to 95 percent chance of surviving if he receives a recommended course of chemotherapy but only a 5 percent chance if he does not.

I’m leery of government intervention in such cases. I don’t like it. But given the very good odds of success if the boy is treated, plus the fact that he’s still just a child at 13, I also think that sitting back and doing nothing seems like accepting a child’s parental-assisted suicide.

97 comments Add your comment

N.J,

May 26th, 2009
5:46 pm

The chanced of success if treated are very good, but what many people dont discuss when treating hodgkins is that the treatment itself can result in another form of lymphoma, non-hodgekins lymphoma, that is virtually untreatable, and develops in about one in three people who are treated for hodgekins. I had a very good friend who was treated for hodgkins, sucessfully, who stayed clear for five years, which is when doctors say is a sign that it will not come back, only to develop non-hodgekins in the seventh year, and died in a under a year. We celebrated like crazy when he got his five year clearance and 20 months later I was watching his burial.

Cancer’s in the young tend to be brutally agressive, because the cells that have become cancerous are, well, younger and in better shape than cells in the elderly.

But still, rights have to be drawn somewhere. Its why we dont license faith healers I suppose.

I Rule You :-) / You Whine :-(

May 26th, 2009
5:47 pm

Give the kid a valium and stick him in the hospital bed.

geez

I Rule You :-) / You Whine :-(

May 26th, 2009
5:49 pm

Obozo is nothing more than an economic faith healer, a shaman if you will, so before you libs start going off on other people’s beliefs, just think of how you slavishly slurp every word of a virtual witch doctor.

Greg Mendel

May 26th, 2009
5:50 pm

Some — and I stress “some” — religious fanatics spend a lot of time wailing about the unborn, but never seem to care much after kids are born. Most of us, right or left, don’t object to government intervention in cases of child abuse. Intentionally withholding critical medical help from one’s own child is, in my opinion, not only abuse, but negligent homicide.

Mrs. Godzilla

May 26th, 2009
5:56 pm

I don’t know the numbers on this illness anymore. When my sister-in-law
was diagnosed 30 years ago it was ten years. She had 5 or six good years, three declining, one bad and one truly terribly awful. She died six months after the wedding, her 5th grade class sand at both the wedding and the funeral.

There are circumstances under which I, as a well-informed patient, would issue a cease and desist order against further treatment. My Pop
has made his wishes clear and legal. It is a personal matter.

But a 13 year old? I don’t know the answer.

Mostly – I don’t think 13 year olds can be allowed to make life or death choices without proper counsel….

My thoughts are with the family.

Greg Mendel

May 26th, 2009
6:06 pm

“Obozo is nothing more than an economic faith healer…”

It’s all about money, isn’t it.

getalife

May 26th, 2009
6:24 pm

I am waiting on Frist to review the video.

N.J,

May 26th, 2009
6:24 pm

Republicans are wrong about this one as well. Government money gets back into the same economy that private sector money does. However Republican economic priorities tend to be much less effective at spending which actually does a great deal of good for the economy, while Democrats spend it in ways that provide the nation with greater stimulus.

Of course this is why the nations with the largest government sectors, like France, are being much less effected by the current world recession, and countries like the United States are being hurt more by it. Even Forbes magazine just had to admit that the French system has shielded the economy from the worse of the current world recession:

Reuters
ANALYSIS-French weaknesses help to cushion recession

PARIS, April 16 (Reuters) – France has avoided the property crash that has hit Spain, it has not suffered as much as export champion Germany and its consumers have not been crippled by the kind of debt that has tied British shoppers down.

“The French economy and, above all, the French consumer appear to be relatively resilient in the presence of shocks,” said Elga Bartsch, chief European economist at Morgan Stanley

Or the Washington Post:

France’s Oft-Derided Largess Insulates Many From Slump

Washington Post Foreign Service
Monday, May 25, 2009

MENTON, France — In recent years, Jean Beaufranqui and his wife have spent most of their time in Menton, enjoying the sunshine and gentle Mediterranean breezes that have made this little town into a retirement haven, France’s version of Miami Beach.

And now, even as the world reels from its most painful economic crisis since the 1930s, Beaufranqui’s thoughts have turned not to budget cuts but to buying an apartment here and settling in full time. As a retiree — he stopped working almost 19 years ago, at the standard age of 60 — the former metallurgist has sailed smoothly through the economic storm as the French government regularly deposited his monthly pension payments.

“Not really,” he responded when asked whether the financial crisis had affected his standard of living, a question that seemed to interest him less than the petanque bowling tournament he was watching from a park bench beside the beach.

For Beaufranqui and millions of other French people dependent on tax-financed largess, this country’s cozy social protections, vast numbers of bureaucrats and unhesitating government intervention have proved to be a shelter from want in these hard economic times.

As usual, Republicans make all these strange assertions about government spending, but invariably, they are also always wrong.

Paul

May 26th, 2009
6:24 pm

Tough case. But what are the principles?

Adults can decline treatment with no repercussions.

Health insurance companies can refuse to cover procedures with no repercussions.

Adults who want procedures but can’t pay can have medical facilities decline with no repercussions.

Children aren’t generally permitted to make legally-binding decisions, such as contracts.

Parents are generally thought to act in their childrens’ best interests. When their actions are deemed detrimental and conflict with law (general welfare or, say, marriage) the state can invoke primacy.

Parents who cite religious reasons for medical (non)treatment generally get grief. Parents who make the same decision without citing religious reasons escape the grief.

So:

The child should have no say in what happens. Period.

The parents should make the decision.

It’s difficult to make a ‘fits for all cases’ decision, but given the odds of success, I can concur with Jay’s opinion; however, if the state is going to exercise jurisdiction, the state should pay for the treatment, even if the child remains in the parents’ custody.

N.J,

May 26th, 2009
6:26 pm

Its all about money, true. Its how you spend it, not how much you spend.
What was it that George H.W. Bush called what is now the Republican philosophy…Voodoo Economics.

N.J,

May 26th, 2009
6:28 pm

Yup. The last difference between Republicans and Democrats are basically the unfunded mandates that Republicans place on people. They of course defend the unborn, but are unwilling to pay anything for that unborn childs life about a second after the umbilical is cut. Same thing goes for medical care, education, etc.

Midori

May 26th, 2009
6:37 pm

In Andy’s case, I’ll make an exception.

How old are you Andy? 9? 10? 11?

georgian by birth floridian because I'm lucky

May 26th, 2009
6:40 pm

I’m confused how did we get from a topic about a boy w/ cancer and his right to choice, and end up on money?

What does that say is maybe more important.

But does this 13 yr old not have the right to choose what to do with his body? After all this is his body and there are other arguments that say 15, 16, 17 year olds should be allowed to do with their body as they choose.

Do kids really get that much more wise in the course of 13 to 15, or 16 or 17?

Bosch

May 26th, 2009
6:48 pm

“I’m leery of government intervention in such cases. I don’t like it. But given the very good odds of success if the boy is treated, plus the fact that he’s still just a child at 13, I also think that sitting back and doing nothing seems like accepting a child’s parental-assisted suicide.”

Well stated. I agree. This story has made me sit back and go, “huh” quite a few times. My dad had cancer – and was treated – and is all “cured” but the treatment has almost killed him. Granted, I’ve mentioned before, my dad is a raging alcoholic, and that is part to blame, and my dad is 70 too, not 13. I like to look at things like this case by case and it’s easier to make a decision – running from the law and the father (who by the way I’m not so sure hadn’t talked to them) was not a good plan. No good answers here.

Hope them all well.

I Rule You :-) / You Whine :-(

May 26th, 2009
6:48 pm

Aahhh, yes, McObozo-

WASHINGTON – The Pentagon is prepared to leave fighting forces in Iraq for as long as a decade despite an agreement between the United States and Iraq that would bring all American troops home by 2012, the top U.S. Army officer said Tuesday.

Take that, Code Pinko!

haha

Paul

May 26th, 2009
7:04 pm

georgian by birth

[[fter all this is his body and there are other arguments that say 15, 16, 17 year olds should be allowed to do with their body as they choose.]]

I hesitated to type this, but given medical treatment, that would be true only with an abortion.

___________________

But I must revise my earlier opinion. If I look at the case with empathy, through the eyes of the ‘victim’ I must side with the child. Wait… but the gov’t social workers are really moved by this, too, so we gotta send the kid to them…. the religious types have heartfelt feelings, so I should side with them…

Hmmm. I wonder what the law says?

TUESDAY VANDY GIRL

May 26th, 2009
7:50 pm

to N.J.,

Why do you WANT to shield those who live off the largess of others thru the government (welfare leeches, govt employees , etc)from economic upheaval?

I was not born to be a battery , to work and produce and have the proceeds of my efforts sapped , drained, stolen, for the good of others !

The private sector spending is superior to public sector spending because the PEOPLE WHO EARNED THE MONEY decide HOW TO SPEND THE MONEY.
In other words, whatever I want to spend my money on, is a superior cause than the want’s , needs, and desires of others.

jewcowboy

May 26th, 2009
7:54 pm

From what I read last week about his, the “religion” this woman is basing her son’s life on, was found after a web search for alternative medicine. The founder of this “faith” is Phillip Landis who has served prison terms for fraud in selling alternative medicines.

This sounds more like a desperate parent grasping at straws rather than a case of religious rights being circumvented. Perhaps the court recognized it as such.

jewcowboy

May 26th, 2009
7:56 pm

TUESDAY VANDY GIRL.

“(welfare leeches, govt employees , etc)”

From what I’ve read of your previous posts you are in college. Do you or your parents pay for that?

Ray

May 26th, 2009
7:58 pm

georgian by birth,

We already got a moderator – you got a point?

If the kid appeared to be drowning, but the parent insisted it would teach him how to swim, I would pull the kid from the water.

Should this child die as a result of not seeking medical help, the parents, bot of them, should be charged.

Ray

May 26th, 2009
8:15 pm

TUESDAY VANDY GIRL,

You are the real deal, the last of the unabashed Republicans. No need to hook your rig to the Bible, no need to dance the mythical voo-doo economic slide, just a good old fashioned spoiled little B. And I love you.

georgian by birth floridian because I'm lucky

May 26th, 2009
8:22 pm

Ray sorry to have offended you and I will try to work on the content of my post as to not do anothers job.

And Paul, I would never allude to a thing like that, never I say.

But since you brought it up, how can the argument be made that a 13 year old cannot make a decision about the health of his own body. However, unless I’m confused people 2,3,4 years older are allowed and never questioned by some who question this, when they decide to alter the health of a living organism, just because it is a parasite upon their body. Are they somehow in those 2 years able to obtain that type of wisdom, where not only can they understand what to do with their body, but also that of another?

catlady

May 26th, 2009
8:29 pm

Why doesn’t this kid want to live?

Ray

May 26th, 2009
8:31 pm

georgian by birth,

Sorry if I sounded offended. Apparently you speak with questions. The lost art of questioning is a welcome sight, just didn’t know that was how you wrote.

As to your latest, the boy is breathing on his own and has a heartbeat. That’s why you called the other thing an organism and not a little boy.

Bud Wiser

May 26th, 2009
8:33 pm

The left apparently looks very leery at the possibility of a 13 year old making his own life or death choices, flipping his own coin, so to speak. They would rather flip it for him.

The 13 year old girl living in cruel poverty, let her pump out those babies, we’ll take care of them too. Don’t want ‘em? We’ll take ‘em. And they’ll be great for the lab folks too. No problem, the government is here for you, conception to interment.

Byte Me

May 26th, 2009
8:34 pm

I vote with Darwin on this one. Only the fittest should survive. If the parents are too stooooopid to take the proper course of action, then only the fittest survive and the universe accounts for that.

My wife had Hodgkins a little over 10 years ago. Nearly killed her. Chemo worked. Clean since. Fingers crossed that the streak continues a long time.

ty webb

May 26th, 2009
8:38 pm

How do parents paying for their children’s college have anything to do with people(welfare leeches according to Tuesday Vandy Girl) living off the federal government(i.e.taxpayers)?

jewcowboy

May 26th, 2009
8:43 pm

ty webb,

Just pointing out we are all leeches on this planet in our own way.

georgian by birth floridian because I'm lucky

May 26th, 2009
8:45 pm

Ray,
You caught that? I am not qualified nor would ever claim to be educated r divine enough to act like I know when a soul is present, but regardless it is an organism and that cannot be debated, since an organism is merely a collection of organ sysytems.

Now would you say it is odd at teh least that there are some who would shout to the rooftops that a person has the right to terminate a parasite in the body, yet the same person then says another person has no right to allow a parasite on theirs?

Are these individuals, either very hypocritical or are they sexist, because apparently a girl is capable of making this decision but a boy is not? Why would they feel girls are more adapt to making this type of choice, could it be to cover for their own hypocricy, or a deeper issue like not being able to think for ones self?

Strange I tell ya strange

ty webb

May 26th, 2009
8:48 pm

Jewcowboy,
fair point. The only difference is one voluntarily pays for their kid’s education, and the other lives off money that is forcibly taken away from others.

I Rule You :-) / You Whine :-(

May 26th, 2009
8:48 pm

Did BiteMe really just call his wife “weak?”

Ray

May 26th, 2009
8:54 pm

gaergian by birth,

Agreed. Strange yes, probably because attempting to rationalize that which has broken the rules of rationalization with hypocricy is absolutely futile, thus strange. Good word.

Sexist, you say? Maybe. Or maybe the only way to avoid some real unpleasant shiite.

I the issue were a life saving turnicate and not chemo how would you handle it?

DebbieDoRight

May 26th, 2009
8:54 pm

This is tuff! Tough decisions and tuff choices to make. On one hand, you don’t want the government to interfere in your personal decisions made as a parent/partner for your family, (Terri Schiavo), on the other hand, you want the kid to have a chance at life. This is one for the biblical scholars…….what would King Sol do?

Kamchak

May 26th, 2009
8:59 pm

“Did BiteMe really just call his wife ‘weak’?”

No Andy. What I took from his comments was that they(MR.& Mrs. ByteMe) are evolved enough to seek treatment, and not rely on faith alone.
God helps those who help themselves.

I Rule You :-) / You Whine :-(

May 26th, 2009
9:06 pm

UpChuck-

Byte Me I vote with Darwin on this one. Only the fittest should survive.

OK, so the alternative to what I offered 8:48 is that some people of the world are naturally weak minded and shouldn’t be allowed to survive.

Are you sure you want to stand on this position?

This is exactly the topic that bookman is raising but he thinks he can do it from a position of safety, safety from within the liberal world of hate that is, one, he criticizes religion and two, he criticizes white people.

Imagine what would befall me were I too broaden this subject’s horizons?

I rule you klowns.

jewcowboy

May 26th, 2009
9:08 pm

ty webb,

I assume Vandy means Vanderbilt University. It has a $2.9 Billion endowment with tax-exempt status. Endowments’ for colleges average a rate of return of 17.2% according to a 2007 study by the National Association of College and University Business Officers.

I am not proposing to tax higher education entities, but you do have to appreciate a certain level of irony of someone enjoying a tax payer subsidized education talking about welfare leeches.

jewcowboy

May 26th, 2009
9:10 pm

Kamchak,

“God helps those who help themselves.”

Whahuh? That’s just crazy talk.

jewcowboy

May 26th, 2009
9:13 pm

I have to say I’m very impressed with the restraint of those on the right. Not one mention on this blog of those “activist judges.” Bravo!

georgian by birth floridian because I'm lucky

May 26th, 2009
9:13 pm

Ray,
Forgive me for trying but I assume you are saying what would I do if I came upon someone cut and bleeding severely would I place a turnicate on them.

Well I would ask if they wanted the help, I would offer and offer, however I would not place myself into an issue that I was not asked to by the injured person. Would I be expected to hold them down if they began to kick and punch, as the young boy has made threats to do, if they resisted? I would not judge myself poorly for only offering and being fully willing to do whatever was needed of by me, I hope you would not judge me negatively either.

Now if the person is not responding and is not capable of saying no, then I would help as best I knew how.

Do you feel we should call the policew and force a person to go to the doctor, because they ask you every time if you get in an accident, and are able to rspond, if you would like to go to the hospital?

Or should all minors be required to undergo any procedure the doctor says, as long as the percentages are in the docs favor? Some would argue that percieved Quality of life is so much more important than Quantity of life, so would it be wrong to assume that the 13 year old could make that logical choice?

georgian by birth floridian because I'm lucky

May 26th, 2009
9:17 pm

congrats jewcowboy you were the first to bring it up!

May I ask why?

jewcowboy

May 26th, 2009
9:24 pm

georgian by birth floridian because I’m lucky,

“May I ask why?”

Because I am legitimately impressed we are able to move past clichéd maxims to a conversation with substance. My Bravo was genuine.

ty webb

May 26th, 2009
9:30 pm

Jewcowboy,
Again, those tax exempt endowments are given to Vandy not forcibly taken from the giver by the government and given to Vandy. Are you equating tax exemption of the endowments to welfare or a government handout?

jewcowboy

May 26th, 2009
9:30 pm

georgian by birth floridian because I’m lucky,

“so would it be wrong to assume that the 13 year old could make that logical choice?”

I look at the way I drove when I was 16, and I have to say I am very lucky to be alive. I drove like a fool and made some very unwise decisions. I was lucky with the poor decisions I made. The decision he has to make is one of life or death, which most 13 year olds are ill equipped to make.

jewcowboy

May 26th, 2009
9:34 pm

ty webb,

“Are you equating tax exemption of the endowments to welfare or a government handout?”

Yes. Legitimate ones, but handouts none the less. A private organization making 17.2% roi annually on $2.9 Billion would have a considerable tax burden.

@@

May 26th, 2009
9:58 pm

For years euthanasia and assisted suicide were practiced in the Netherlands albeit illegally. The solution was to enact law that would support the practice. In the process of doing so, the most eye-catching aspect of the bill was that it would give children between the ages of 12 and 16 the right to request enthanasia with a doctor’s consent but absent the parents’.

The public was appalled although the practice of euthanizing newborns in Holland was common practice which had been largely ignored. The Dutch Pediatric Association, in 1994 issued guidelines under which babies who were not terminally ill but who were mentally retarded could be eligible for “the treatment of death”.

Get ‘em when they’re young….get ‘em when they’re old and, if justified, somewhere in between.

It’s what’s known as “progressive” thinking — cuts down on the cost to government healthcare.

Peter Pan’s neverland.

Kamchak

May 26th, 2009
10:00 pm

“OK, so the alternative to what I offered 8:48 is that some people of the world are naturally weak minded and shouldn’t be allowed to survive.”

Survival of the fittest is not only about physical prowess and what you offered at 8:48 was not the alternative. In your own tongue in cheek style, your post was advocating that people you consider weak minded should be culled from the human race. Not that I’m being high-minded because I have my own ideas about how this world would be a better place if certain people weren’t here. We do have a brain and use it to make choices. A bad choice is to eschew the medical advances of the history of the human race and rely exclusively on faith.

Every evangelical preacher I have had the dubious pleasure of listening to has relayed the old saw about “the man in the flood.” You know–the story about the man who prayed to God to deliver him from danger. Three times people came to save him, and three times he refused and told his rescuers that he was waiting on God. Of course he drowned and confronted God about his death only to be told “What are you doing here? I sent three people to help you.”

Should “naturally” weak minded people be denied care? I dunno. Making those kind of decisions would be playing God and I’m not up to the challenge. Stupid people, making stupid decisions is part of the natural selection process though. The real trick would be culling them out before they breed more stupid people.

jewcowboy

May 26th, 2009
10:11 pm

“The real trick would be culling them out before they breed more stupid people.”

First, identify the people that respond to emails from the diplomat from Gabon that needs someone to help him deposit $14 million in the U.S and for their help they will receive half.

Next, people who do not use turn signals.

Third, cat owners.

That should be a good start.

Kamchak

May 26th, 2009
10:17 pm

jewcowboy

Boy you ARE cranky today. Still trippin’ on errant shoes in the middle of the night? (just kiddin’)

jewcowboy

May 26th, 2009
10:17 pm

“The real trick would be culling them out before they breed more stupid people.”

Oh, and the people who enjoy fried Twinkies. There should be a fresh hell for those people.

Dave R

May 26th, 2009
10:22 pm

Can we add Yankees fans to that list, jewcowboy? If so, I’m all for it!

And anyone who’s last name is Steinbrenner.

Dave R

May 26th, 2009
10:25 pm

You know, I once ate a fried Twinkie. Nastiest thing on the planet.

jewcowboy

May 26th, 2009
10:25 pm

Dave R,

Go for it! But the fried Twinkie eaters are non-negotiable.

jewcowboy

May 26th, 2009
10:26 pm

Dave R,

“You know, I once ate a fried Twinkie. Nastiest thing on the planet.”

Thank you!

TnGelding

May 26th, 2009
10:33 pm

You know what you’re going to have to go through with chemo, and it isn’t pleasant. It’s the parent’s and the child’s decision.

From answers.com:

Hodgkin’s disease, particularly in children, is one of the most curable forms of cancer. Approximately 90% of individuals are cured of the disease with chemotherapy and/or radiation.

The one-year relative survival rate following treatment for Hodgkin’s disease is 93%. Relative survival rates do not include individuals who die of causes other than Hodgkin’s disease. The percentage of individuals who have not died of Hodgkin’s disease within five years of diagnosis is 90–95% for those with stage I or stage II disease. The figure is 85–90% for those diagnosed with stage III Hodgkin’s and approximately 80% for those diagnosed with stage IV disease. The 15-year relative survival rate is 63%. Approximately 75% of children are alive and cancer free 20 years after the original diagnosis of Hodgkin’s.

The side effects of chemotherapy for Hodgkin’s disease depend on the dose of drugs and the length of time they are taken. Since these drugs target rapidly dividing cancer cells, they also affect normal cells that grow rapidly. These include the cells of the bone marrow, the linings of the mouth and intestines, and hair follicles. Damage to bone marrow leads to lower white blood cell counts and lower resistance to infection. It also leads to lower red blood cell counts that can result in fatigue and easy bleeding and bruising. Damage to intestinal cells leads to a loss of appetite (anorexia), and nausea and vomiting. Mouth sores and hair loss (alopecia) also are common side effects of chemotherapy. These side effects disappear when the chemotherapy is discontinued. Some drugs can reduce or prevent the nausea and vomiting.

Chemotherapy for Hodgkin’s disease may lead to long-term complications. The drugs may damage the heart, lungs, kidneys, and liver. In children, growth may be impeded. Some chemotherapy can cause sterility, so men may choose to have their sperm frozen prior to treatment. Women may stop ovulating and menstruating during chemotherapy. This may or may not be permanent.

jewcowboy

May 26th, 2009
10:42 pm

Kamchak,

“Still trippin’ on errant shoes in the middle of the night?”

Always ;)

Dusty

May 26th, 2009
11:06 pm

Well, I think Catlady has asked the most thoughtful question here @ 8:29

She asked “Why doesn’t this kid want to live?”

Yes, why doesn’t he?

I think he does. But he thinks he is doing what his parents really desire.

His parents first convinced him that they had the cure he needed. Alternative medicine! He believed them.

Then the parents came and said that maybe the doctors are right about chemo. They change their minds.

Confusion!! The boy probably said BUT YOU SAID..and you convinced me and I believed you. NO CHEMO!

I would say that the parents are the only ones who can convince this child that he needs chemo therapy for his cancer. I also believe that the courts would grant the parents whatever decision they make unless doctors go to court.

When I was learning the ethics of blood banking I was told never to insist to a patient that they must have a blood transfusion if they were Jehovah’s Witnesses or a religious group with the same beliefs. It was illegal to infringe upon a patient’s religious beliefs no matter the outcome.

Although this seems non-religious, certainly the decisions must be made first by parents. If doctors thought it was neglect, then they would have to go to extreme legal measures to give treatment. That we know.

So it is not for us to decide one way or another. It is the parent’s decision. They brought this child into the world and they may take him out with misguided intentions. I certainly hope not. That would be a tragedy.

TnGelding

May 26th, 2009
11:13 pm

Jay, the child’s death would be natural, not suicide. The mind is a powerful force, and miracles do happen. It’s something we all could face and it’s our decision.

jewcowboy

May 26th, 2009
11:14 pm

@@,

Thank you, by the way, for your post on 5.21 about Pfc. Richard A. Dewater. It’s always gratifying to get more info on those whose have given the supreme sacrifice for our country, and see into the lives they’ve left behind. Most humbling.

jewcowboy

May 26th, 2009
11:15 pm

Dusty,

“I certainly hope not. That would be a tragedy.”

I think we may all agree to that.

jewcowboy

May 26th, 2009
11:16 pm

“I certainly hope not. That would be a tragedy.”

Unless he ate fried Twinkies.

TnGelding

May 26th, 2009
11:20 pm

Dusty

May 26th, 2009
11:06 pm

What’s tragic about dying a natural death with dignity? The boy doesn’t necessarily want to die, he is just being courageous enough to accept his fate.

AmVet

May 26th, 2009
11:20 pm

“Some drugs can reduce or prevent the nausea and vomiting.”

Though apparently smoking weed, which can be the most effective “drug”, is evil and not allowed.

Dave R, as a lifelong Yankee fan I LMAO at that comment about their fans. It is hard not to agree.

Great comments tonight. For the most part. This is really a tough topic for most of us.

And at the risk of being petty I want to address something both small, yet important.

Some of us, including myself have been chastised for certain uses of grammar. Like CAPS. Or this written faux pas or the other. Not to mention the innumerable typo and grammar nannies…

But this goes beyond that.

I was once thoroughly chastened for pasting several paragraphs of information without duly noting the source.

I am guilty as charged. But offered a guilty with explanation defense. I said, unchanged, it can be easily found. And I made no representation that I wrote it freehand. But again, to be clear, it is unsourced.

Ironically, the only reason I really bring this up is because of the accuser.

@@ and her aide-de-camp RW, blasted me, several months ago, for doing what she did at 9:58. Uncited, copied material.

I’ve been called a Joe Biden by a Joe Bidener.

Just saying…

jewcowboy

May 26th, 2009
11:26 pm

AmVet,

“Some of us, including myself have been chastised for certain uses of grammar.”

Just to be clear, I only do that when the person posting has a grammatical mistake in their post when they are calling someone stupid. I just love the irony. I am potentially the worst typist in the world and I am overly-dependent on spell check.

AmVet

May 26th, 2009
11:33 pm

jewcowboy, ditto. And ditto…

jewcowboy

May 26th, 2009
11:42 pm

AmVet,

LOL. Let’s go split a cup of Joe, de-caffeinated ;)

Byte Me

May 27th, 2009
12:12 am

So Whiner first asks if I called my wife “weak” and then later is corrected and asks:

“OK, so the alternative to what I offered 8:48 is that some people of the world are naturally weak minded and shouldn’t be allowed to survive.”

Wrong again. Some people are physically weak or mentally weak and have a higher statistical probability of dying of their own causes. Your “shouldn’t be allowed to survive” is very Hitler of you.

In my wife’s case, she’s quite strong, since she’s survived 10+ years after having a genetic defect that showed up during her late 20’s. She overcame that through strong will and great doctors.

As for the comment “God helps those who help themselves”, I’m reminded of this West Wing clip:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QX6wOOJy0hk

Dusty

May 27th, 2009
12:12 am

TnGelding

I do not think fatal cancer is considered a natural death.

jewcowboy,

What? “Unless he ate fried twinkies.” I think there is something “fried” HERE and it AINT TWINKIES.(caps for Amvet’s enjoyment).

jewcowboy

May 27th, 2009
12:18 am

Byte Me,

“In my wife’s case, she’s quite strong, since she’s survived 10+ years after having a genetic defect that showed up during her late 20’s. She overcame that through strong will and great doctors.”

“You know what they say, that which does not kill us makes us stronger.”

JoshLovesPeace

May 27th, 2009
12:22 am

So, this story is *%@#$* up in so many ways…

And, please remember, this is my opinion. If you disagree, please feel free to express it but please act like an adult while doing so and have verifiable references to back up any claims that you make. I am including this disclaimer because this topic, and my response, refers to religion and I know how heated people can get over the subject.

If you look at the facts, and add up the numbers, more people have been killed in the name of “place your gods name here” than any other reasons combined. Whether it be war or ignorance, people kill or die because of this belief in an all-powerful/knowing/forgiving being. Wars have been waged, inquisitions have taken place and ignorance has caused death because of this need to believe in something bigger than yourself. Why not just believe in yourself?

This story is an example of the ignorance. Someone (or people) who so blindly believe in this unproven god will let their children die in the name of Faith.

From there I could go on and on, but they are all just arguements on god and religion. This is about sense and logical thinking…

If your child is dying and you have any opportunity to save them, especially if it is a method with a high (over 60 percent) success rate, why the h3ll wouldn’t you do it? Really, it doesn’t make much sense. Why couldn’t you believe that your god created the intelligence to think of chemotherapy? Not everything has to contradict… Sometimes your beliefs and science can work together. You just have to be willing to have an open mind.

Although I am not a big fan of government intervention, I do think this case justifies it. The kid is a minor and cannot make the decision on it’s own. Sometimes people can be messed up in the head, we all know that, and that’s where government intervention can help. Its a “good with the bad” sort of thing. In this case, government intervention could only be the best thing.

jewcowboy

May 27th, 2009
12:30 am

Dusty,

“Common sense and a sense of humor are the same thing, moving at different speeds. A sense of humor is just common sense, dancing.”

~ William James

jewcowboy

May 27th, 2009
12:38 am

JoshLovesPeace,

“You just have to be willing to have an open mind.”

That is a tall order for some.

JoshLovesPeace

May 27th, 2009
12:45 am

N.J.,
Before you brought it up, republicans weren’t mentioned at all. Being a democrat, I am embarrassed at your comment… You can just have an opinion on a subject, you do not have to throw the other party under the bus to prove it. Let them attack and then retaliate. It’s a smart ninja move…

JoshLovesPeace

May 27th, 2009
12:47 am

BigNosedDiamondLoverOnAHorse (LOL),
You are completely right. Most of the time it is too tall of an order… The majority of people cannot take it all in one shot.

jewcowboy

May 27th, 2009
1:00 am

JoshLovesPeace,

“BigNosedDiamondLoverOnAHorse (LOL),”

“You just have to be willing to have an open mind.”

I guess it’s too tall of an order for yourself.

jewcowboy

May 27th, 2009
1:02 am

JoshLovesPeace

“I am embarrassed at your comment…”

Much may be said for your own comment.

JoshLovesPeace

May 27th, 2009
1:08 am

jewcowboy,
I was joking… I hoped you’d understand. I am Jewish, 100%… My last name is Aronowitz. I was just trying to lighten the mood. Know what I mean?

jewcowboy

May 27th, 2009
1:17 am

JoshLovesPeace,

Sorry…I guess my post at 12.30 came to bite me in the bootie. It’s hard to tell humor on a post sometimes. Especially with some of the bigots that post on this blog. In the spirit of the joke. hahahaha ;) But if you’ve a 2 ct d-flawless princess cut for wholesale, pass it on over :O

Jay rules Andy

May 27th, 2009
7:35 am

Wow!
I did not realize my brother in Afghanistan is a leech (since he is a Marine and technically a govt employee). I suppose he better give back some of the tax payer funded titanium, (in his body from one of his tours in Iraq). And we should probably see about reimbursing the govt. for his time at Longstool and Bethesda Naval Hospital .

He’ll be dissappointed to be sure because he’s a leech. I’m not sure how he’ll explain it to all his subordinates (that they’re all leaches as well) and hope the company takes it well… They’ll all be doubly dissappointed, because they’re all Republicans (barely, thanks to W and Rummy). What a blow! To serve thier country, risk life and limb in a foreign country, all only to be told that “you’re a government employee, so you’re a leech”

Thanks for opening my eyes to that TVD.

Oh,
I hope you’re never attacked and mugged or anything, lest leeches be called upon to help you… Maybe we should call “poleeches” from now on instead of “police”.

Normal

May 27th, 2009
7:53 am

With advance apologies to all, I think that this IS a Pro Life issue.
Not Pro Fetus, but truly pro LIFE. If you believe in the sanctity of
life, then you would want to do whatever it takes to save this young
life. Even approve of Government intervention.
It is natural and right, but only if then, you are willing to
see that the life will have every chance to succeed. In this case I
think that while his parents are misquided, they are good people and
will do their best to ensure his success.
It was brought up as to whether a 13 year old child has the right to
ask to die. I think that is too young, unless his disease becomes
hopeless and he is in unbearable pain. That would be my wish if it were
me.
This is truly a difficult subject and it does require Solomon-like
wisdom to solve.
__________________

I still don’t understand how our President being a witch doctor has
anything to do with this, though…

williebkind

May 27th, 2009
8:19 am

“Do we accept a child’s ‘parental-assisted suicide’?”
Of course we do! It is called abortion.

Why is it that homosexuals and abortionists want to be recognized as normal?

Kamchak

May 27th, 2009
8:27 am

“Stupidity cannot be cured with money, or through education, or by legislation. Stupidity is not a sin, the victim can’t help being stupid. But stupidity is the only universal capital crime; the sentence is death, there is no appeal, and the execution is carried out automatically and without pity.”
Robert A. Heinlein

Cat Stevens

May 27th, 2009
8:28 am

Will you tell us when to live, will you tell us when to die?

Copyleft

May 27th, 2009
8:43 am

Perhaps, WillieB, because they’re more intelligent, more moral, and more patriotic than you?

PJ

May 27th, 2009
8:48 am

This is an example of the medical industry driving the government to enforce its will on private citizens. If the government is so concerned about protecting the health of teenagers, why haven’t they outlawed junk food? (They haven’t because 2 more very powerful industry lobbies — fast food chain restaurants and consumer products manufacturers — would scream “Foul! Government interference in personal choices!”)

We all make personal health decisions that others disagree with. Maybe it’s what we eat. Maybe it’s how much we do or don’t exercise. Maybe it’s how much sleep we get. Or maybe it’s a major decision like whether to flood our bodies with poisonous chemicals in an effort to kill cancer cells. Regardless of how minor or major the decision, it should always be a personal choice.

Chemotherapy fights cancer and has horrendous negative side effects — physical, and for some, spiritual. In other words, a great benefit at a great cost. Only the patient and the patient’s parents, in the case of a minor, should be involved in deciding whether the benefit is worth the costs.

The doctors’ role is to give expert advice and offer treatment, not to force their will on a family. The government should have no role at all in this decision.

This is not a case of child abuse. It’s a case of extreme government interference in the personal lives of private citizens. If the family has decided that the potential benefits of chemotherapy are not worth the costs, then forcing chemotherapy on this child is bordering on government-sanctioned torture.

Paul

May 27th, 2009
9:34 am

G’morning, Kamchak

Unfinished business from the other day. I referenced a recent Bill Maher appearance on Leno. Leno noted he hates charity venues, said he can tell Bush/Cheney jokes and Republicans roll in the aisles but if he hits Democrats’ sacred cows they mumble and grumble. He asked Maher if he agrees conservatives have a better sense of humor, can laugh at themselves more than Democrats. Maher agreed and called them “Limiting Liberals.”

I believe you asked if I referenced Maher as I think him to be a prototypical liberal. I picked him as he was Leno’s partner in the conversation. I think it’s pretty safe to say he is a liberal; however, I think it’s more telling they’re both part of Hollywood, are celebrities involved in humor and play to both conservative and liberal audiences. We’ve (the board) have had discussions in the past as to whether or not many liberals are thin skinned and take things very seriously others would laugh at – just offering the perspective of two in the business.

florida by birth

I’d left by the time you posted why a kid can abort a pregnancy but can’t make other medical decisions. I’ll take much of the post as rhetorical – I think you answered it pretty well. It’s just the way it is.

Normal

May 27th, 2009
9:37 am

Kamchak,
Was that a Lazarus Long quote?

It is a quote that will stand the test of time, though, like Will Rogers
“If pro is the opposite of con, then progress is the opposite of congress”.

@@

May 27th, 2009
9:40 am

AmVet:

It was the “Peter Pan neverland” sign off that got your green tights in a wad, wasn’t it?

So referencing The Dutch Pediatric Association (which I did) was of no value.

There ^^^, I’ve done the heavy lifting for you.

I’ve mentioned the Netherlands’ policy on euthanasia before with link included. I can’t help it that you suffer from alzheimers.

By the way, it was only the second sentence, second paragraph that was delivered verbatim. The remainder was in my own words.

Thanks for the opportunity to plug, Joe/SPAMSweat.

TnGelding

May 27th, 2009
9:53 am

williebkind

May 27th, 2009
8:19 am

Growing cells are not a child. But that doesn’t make it any less immoral, especially with the contraceptives available these days. Let’s strive to make every pregnancy a wanted one and to see that every child is loved, nurtured and protected.

williebkind

May 27th, 2009
11:08 am

Cpyleft: You are so correct! They are more intelligent than I am. However, the words moral coming from a progressive’s mouth is oxymoronic.
Patriotic to the American way and constitution I am, but to make law instead of legislate laws is anarchy like the liberal way.

For instance, how many times does the homosexuals in california have to be told by the citizens that marriage is between a man and a women? You want everyone to recognize homosexuality as normal…nope is not.

Atlast KOTUS can place law makers in the supreme court and lawfully force me to accept homosexuality as normal…it will never happen.

You will stick to your approbate mindset I am sure.

williebkind

May 27th, 2009
11:20 am

TnGelding: I accept your primise about contraceptives. Albeit that growing cells does not look like a child does not diminish the outcome of a human being. Flesh and blood! It is MORE than a dog, cat, or any other animal you will send people to jail for harming.

Jay rules Andy

May 27th, 2009
11:27 am

I wonder if TVD’s feelings extend to “faith-based” charities as well???

N.J,

May 27th, 2009
12:00 pm

Yes the private sector spends the money much better. Like on subprime mortgages,running up huge credit card debt (90 percent of Americans have more debt than annual income) and my favorite negative savings.

Its largely the private sector that causes economic recessions and depressions and historically has never done a very good job getting out of them. The government has always had to intervene before greed and panic tore the country to pieces.

N.J,

May 27th, 2009
12:05 pm

Again the idea that being pro fetus is being pro life is totally false particulary if the other life involved is TOTALLY expendable. To the pro fetus bunch, a woman LOSES her total constitutional rights to “life, liberty, and the persuit of happiness” something the blastocyct brigade is always flinging around to refute right to choice, the moment of conception. There is one person whose life can be tossed away in all cases according to the anti-abortion crowd, and that is the woman’s. She is subhuman according to the anti-abortion crowd the moment she conceives, as she losses all rights and the unborn child take them.

williebkind

May 27th, 2009
12:18 pm

NJ: You spew lies! Lies and more lies! You blame the trees for the forest. Lies, lies, and more lies. Where is the woman’s life in danger? Liar! Subhuman! You liar! Loses her constitutional rights! by whom? Liar!

Nan

May 27th, 2009
12:46 pm

From what I’ve read in various reports, the 13-year-old in this case is learning disabled and effectively illiterate. It sounds as this his mental age is considerably younger than his physical and he truly does not understand that he has a cancer that will kill him if left untreated. The first chemotherapy treatment made him sick enough that he decided he didn’t want another — and that’s when his mother went looking for alternatives. After seeing her (the mother) interviewed on CNN, I’d say she’s not the sharpest tool in the shed either. My personal inclination is to say that when people that dumb are making choices to remove themselves from the gene pool we should let them, but I hate to see any kid die a truly awful death thanks to his parents’ ignorance.

TnGelding

May 27th, 2009
11:35 pm

N.J,

May 27th, 2009
12:05 pm

A woman can have many children. A child only has one mother.

HoyaLawya

May 28th, 2009
1:21 pm

N.J., I’ll go you one better. Since women have no way of knowing when they conceive, all women would need to lose all rights to do things known to potentially harm a fetus or cause an early miscarriage, like: drink coffee, lift heavy objects, exercise, smoke, drink alcohol, eat sushi, eat luncheon meat, etc. If the rights of the fetus really do trump the woman’s, this is the future we can look forward to. Guess it’ll make it easy to keep us barefoot in the kitchen, no?