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daniel hauser 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’…

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Has anyone else but me noticed that this Presidential campaign has driven the whole world crazy?  It’s more than the endless political ads on television that repeat themselves ad infinitum. It’s more than all the slanted newspaper and magazine stories.  No, what I find really distressing are all the hate-filled diatribes being launched from one side to the other.  And I’m not just talking about the candidates, although they’re both doing their share.  What bothers me is that people who are normally decent, kind, thoughtful individuals are behaving with such hostility towards anyone who doesn’t share their views.  All you have to do is peruse a handful of blogs on the Internet to find example after example of mudslinging and viciousness. I keep hearing stories of people whose yard signs are trashed and stolen as soon as they put them up.  What does that accomplish?  It’s hard to find anyone who simply writes about the merits of their chosen candidate.  No, everyone seems to have to need to eviscerate the opposition.

Why?  What happened to “tolerance?”  What happened to “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it?”  And more importantly, do you really think these strident attacks are going to make any difference?

Speaking only for myself, when I hear below-the-belt accusations about my candidate, my gut instinct is to only strengthen my resolution to hold my ground.  Maybe I’m alone here.  Let’s take a little poll.

All I’m saying here is let’s face the facts.  The day after the election there will be two groups of people.  One group will be wildly celebrating.  The other will feel sick to their stomachs.  And all this energy that has gone into tearing each other down will be for nothing.

We’re all human beings doing the best we can.  Can’t we all just try for a little civility?  It certainly couldn’t hurt.

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