Judge rules family can't refuse chemo for boy - page 3

MINNEAPOLIS – A Minnesota judge ruled Friday that a 13-year-old cancer patient must be evaluated by a doctor to determine if the boy would benefit from restarting chemotherapy over his parents'... Read More

  1. by   ZanatuBelmont
    Quote from mrsanderton2205
    I am torn with this decision; on one hand how can a family want to withhold life saving medication and then on the other hand what right does a judge have to make that decision.
    Exactly.

    I think as time progresses we will hear more cases similar to this. Eventually, I believe, the "right to healthcare" will be largely justified by the United States Declaration of Independence. After all, does the phrase, "Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" not fall into opporunity - and access - to healthcare that will prolong a person's life, thus impacting a person's ability to enjoy liberty and the pursuit of happiness?

    Personal moral beliefs aside, I agree with the court.
  2. by   bluelorelai
    Here's my take on it -- hardcore as it may seem to some.

    Anyone ever hear of "natural selection"? These people are idiots with 8 kids that will grow up to be idiots as well. Court intervention is a waste of time and resources with these types of people. So, today you make him have chemo... next year what will they do to jeopardize his health and well being? What if the treatment that is forced on him has some untoward outcome and the parents decide to sue the health care providers for medical malpractice? What if he has a recurrence of the cancer when he's 18? I could go on and on.

    When the court intervenes in abuse and neglect cases, the children are removed from the environment and placed (hopefully) with people who are at least a little more normal and responsible. If you force the chemo on this kid, and then let him continue to stay in the environment that thinks its okay to refuse medical treatment, you are just defeating the purpose.

    I say nominate them for a "Darwin Award" and move on.

    (Then when the 13-year old dies of cancer, charge the parents with neglect resulting in the death of a child, throw their stupid a**es in jail and take the remaining seven kids and put them in a better environment.)
    Last edit by bluelorelai on May 16, '09
  3. by   FireStarterRN
    The problem with the government deciding 'what's in the best interest of the child' is obvious; It opens the door to Big Brother abuses.

    What comes to mind are vaccination decisions, childbirth decisions, educational decisions, dietary decisions, the list goes on and on.

    There are many parents making lifestyle choices that are either blatantly unhealthy or run against the grain of conventional wisdom. Where do we draw the line? I think that's my conflict.

    What about parents that are feeding their child too much, leading to childhood obesity? That will statistically lead to severe health problems down the road. Should the government step in?
  4. by   vashtee
    Quote from FireStarterRN
    What about parents that are feeding their child too much, leading to childhood obesity? That will statistically lead to severe health problems down the road. Should the government step in?
    I believe they already have.

    http://www.cwla.org/voice/0807obesity.htm
  5. by   linda1959
    Quote from bluelorelai
    Here's my take on it -- hardcore as it may seem to some.

    Anyone ever hear of "natural selection"? These people are idiots with 8 kids that will grow up to be idiots as well. Court intervention is a waste of time and resources with these types of people. So, today you make him have chemo... next year what will they do to jeopardize his health and well being? What if the treatment that is forced on him has some untoward outcome and the parents decide to sue the health care providers for medical malpractice? What if he has a recurrence of the cancer when he's 18? I could go on and on.

    When the court intervenes in abuse and neglect cases, the children are removed from the environment and placed (hopefully) with people who are at least a little more normal and responsible. If you force the chemo on this kid, and then let him continue to stay in the environment that thinks its okay to refuse medical treatment, you are just defeating the purpose.

    I say nominate them for a "Darwin Award" and move on.

    (Then when the 13-year old dies of cancer, charge the parents with neglect resulting in the death of a child, throw their stupid a**es in jail and take the remaining seven kids and put them in a better environment.)

    I have to say, while your opinion is strong, and it would be a tradegy to see this 13 year old die because of this, "forcing" chemo may not be the best solution, indicated by all the opinions here.

    My big concern to forcing chemo is the side effects to chemo. You will never get this family to bring the kid in for the f/u treatment needed as a result of chemo (fever, blood counts, central line care). So when the child dies as a result of these things, then the medical community gets sued, including the nurse who gave the chemo.

    Now, if they remove the child from the parent's care, and with some quick work by social workers/counselors, can get the child to agree to treatment, different story.
  6. by   bluelorelai
    I concur. Chemotherapy is not a stand alone cure, and this child will have many more medical issues that need to be addressed in the coming months and years.

    I apologize if my strongly worded post earlier today offended anyone. I have three boys of my own, ages 19, 15 and 11. Naturally, reading things like this make make me absolutely furious.

    Little sleep + outrage - morning coffee = a tirade. :smackingf

    ~bl
  7. by   PICNICRN
    Quote from linda1959
    I have to say, while your opinion is strong, and it would be a tradegy to see this 13 year old die because of this, "forcing" chemo may not be the best solution, indicated by all the opinions here.

    My big concern to forcing chemo is the side effects to chemo. You will never get this family to bring the kid in for the f/u treatment needed as a result of chemo (fever, blood counts, central line care). So when the child dies as a result of these things, then the medical community gets sued, including the nurse who gave the chemo.

    Now, if they remove the child from the parent's care, and with some quick work by social workers/counselors, can get the child to agree to treatment, different story.


    Saddly, you are right- these parents will most likely not seek future treatment for this child which is why 9 times out of 10 the kid is removed from the parents completely and put in foster care.

    I do agree that government should "stay out of healthcare" like others have posted and this thought of the food police coming to check out your fridge if you have a obese kid in the UK seems a little over the top to me. And I soooooo do not agree with that. However.... chemo, in this case, just like a unit of PRBCs in a Jahova's Whitness kid will keep them from dying right now. And that is why the court must step in. As for clogging their arteries slowly and letting them sit in front of the TV all day(also not in the best interest of the child)- two different things.

    And I think we need to remember- doesn't matter if the kid agrees to or not- he is a minor.
  8. by   ZanatuBelmont
    Quote from firestarterrn
    the problem with the government deciding 'what's in the best interest of the child' is obvious; it opens the door to big brother abuses.

    what comes to mind are vaccination decisions, childbirth decisions, educational decisions, dietary decisions, the list goes on and on.

    there are many parents making lifestyle choices that are either blatantly unhealthy or run against the grain of conventional wisdom. where do we draw the line? i think that's my conflict.

    what about parents that are feeding their child too much, leading to childhood obesity? that will statistically lead to severe health problems down the road. should the government step in?
    the government already controls those areas. try enrolling your child in school without the required vaccinations. government bans certain foods and chemicals in some areas. your child is required by law to receive an education. schools either teach one of two things, or both, depending on your state: abstinence and/or contraceptive use. that is required to be taught in most public schools.

    your argument, then, is where to erase the line, not where to draw it - the line has already been drawn.
  9. by   nerdtonurse?
    We actually had an experience similar to this in my family -- my grandma's uncle was a pentecostal minister. When his son started having abd. pain, Uncle Dewey and the church elders took him to the church, placed him on the altar, and "prayed him thru" his pain. Sure enough, the kid felt better....because his inflammed appendix had ruptured. Uncle Dewey was protected by the constitution under freedom of religion, and was never prosecuted for the death of his child. Unfortunately, in the South anyway, if someone says they are exercising their religious beliefs, they can do almost anything they want to their kids....just like the folks out west who practice polygamy, some people hide behind a religion to do what they want...
  10. by   lpnstudentin2010
    i was older then him when i started to be inclueded in decisions. It was not till the surgery when I was 17 that I had ANY say at all. at that point my parents left it up to me, and the docs had me sign the consent as well as my parents (they had to by law but the doc wanted me to sign it). That was a good age. The surgery I had when i was 12 I was to young to understand what was happening enough to make any decisions my self, and he is just a year older then that.
  11. by   Pierrette
    Quote from bluelorelai
    These people are idiots with 8 kids that will grow up to be idiots as well.
    Wow! You discerned from that article that the children will grow up to be idiots?

    People who disagree with you are not necessarily idiots. While I strongly disagree with the parents, I hesitate to call them names.

    I'm very fond of this site, but I wish there was less name-calling on Allnurses.com.
  12. by   bluelorelai
    Yes, that is exactly what I have discerned, but I'm not going to engage on this one.

    We are all entitled to our opinions, (actually, that's what all of these posts are about) and if you don't like what you see, then you don't have to agree.
    Last edit by bluelorelai on May 17, '09
  13. by   Kevin RN08
    Oh the story only gets better ... THE HOMESCHOOLED KID THAT HAS DECIDED CHEMO ISN'T FOR HIM CAN NOT READ! http://www.startribune.com/local/451...tml?page=1&c=y

    Another thing is that they had started him on chemo. So how strong are these religious beliefs?
    I agree that a parent should have the right to seek alternative treatment for their children and selves. The problem in this case is that they sought and started traditional treatment. Add to that that the 13 year old is being homeschooled and can not read and now I wonder who is the parent and who is the child, it seems that the 13 year old is in the enviable position of being smart enough to out-wit his parents. Which sadly puts me firmly in the "Natural Selection" camp.

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