I don’t usually get too much into politics and government on this blog because, if I did, I probably wouldn’t be able to stop. But lately, something has been really bugging me. It’s the case of 13 year old Daniel Hauser whom the court is forcing to undergo chemotherapy, against his and his family’s wishes.
Now I know there are a lot of variables in a case like this – the age of the child, the parents’ intentions, etc. But, from everything I’ve heard and read about this case, the boy is aware of his options and has already undergone one session of chemo, and has chosen to pursue alternative therapies, based upon natural healing practices of a religious group called the Nemehah Band which is based on American Indian beliefs. I think that, at thirteen, he is old enough to understand the ramifications of his actions. His mother has stated that she will continue to seek permission to use alternative treatments for her son’s cancer “that aren’t toxic.”
What is really raising red flags in my consciousness is the word “forcing.” Since when is our judicial system allowed to force individuals to accept medical treatment? Even if a certain course of treatment is medically proven to help, since when do the courts, and, by extension, the government, have the right to decide and force someone to comply? It’s starting to sound pretty “Big Brother-ish” to me. And where will they draw the line?
Five years ago there was a similar case in Utah involving a boy named Parker Jensen who had been diagnosed with cancer. He and his parents had to fight for their right to refuse chemotherapy and finally won against the court. Today, five years later, the boy is still alive and in good health.
I understand that when a small child or baby is being denied treatment by parents with questionable motives, someone must step in to protect them. But I think this whole issue of the courts “forcing” treatment on people is one which we, as Americans, need to keep an eye on. There’s a fine line between genuine concern for someone’s welfare and judicial heavy-handedness. We’re in a situation already where the government makes decisions every day in the name of doing what’s best for the people. But my question is – “In whose opinion is something best for me?” I’m never consulted.
Our individual freedoms are very important and very precious and we must be vigilant in protecting them because once they’re gone…they’re gone.
I’m just sayin’…