And, more importantly, should the parents have been found to be neglectful?
As reported in this article, a judge has ordered that a 16 year old, Starchild Abraham Cherrix (yes, that's really his name) abandon pursuing alternative cancer treatments and report to a hospital in order to undergo any cancer treatments deemed appropriate by physicians.
Since he's a minor, I can accept that ruling, although I still question the determination that he's not in a position to make medical decisions (with his parent's guidance). But, the judge already ruled that he's under "joint custody" of his parents and the County. So, the ruling makes sense--sort of. I'm curious as to how the judge went about balancing the County's interests with the parent's and the boy's interests, and how that balancing act resulted in his decision.
But, what's even more interesting to me is that the judge found that Starchild's parent's were neglectful:
The judge also found Starchild Abraham Cherrix's parents were neglectful for allowing him to pursue alternative treatment of a sugar-free, organic diet and herbal supplements supervised by a clinic in Mexico, lawyer John Stepanovich said.
That just doesn't sit well with me. It's one thing for the State or County to take custody of a minor and make medical decisions on behalf of said minor. But, it's an entirely different thing to find the parents "neglectful" for encouraging their child to pursue alternative methods of treatment.
When is it in the State's interest to protect "life"? And who determines quality of life anyway? Or is that simply not an important consideration?
If someone wants to seek alternative treatments in lieu of aggressive, invasive, and not necessarily effective treatments, is it really the government's business? If someone chooses to die without having had their body ravaged by puke-inducing chemo, should the government have a say? And if parents support their 16 year old (not exactly a wee little kid) son's decision to pursue alternative treatments, should they be deemed "neglectful" simply by virtue of philosophical differences?
If you haven't already guessed, my answer to each of the above questions is a resounding "no." Or perhaps "NO!!!"