16 year old Son killed because of refusal of "modern medicine"

TheBonobo4TheBonobo4 Road Warrior
edited September 2012 in Less Rokk More Talk
Read the article here.



After reading this, it begs the question of whether what they were doing was right. Should people be allowed to refuse modern medicine in this day and age based upon religious reasons, despite the extremely high chance of pain and suffering for the patient? Is it right for doctors to pray to God to help cure the patient and let God handle it? Or should these people be arrested for child abuse and other issues?

Comments

  • jibjqrkljibjqrkl Eventually Perceptive
    edited September 2012
    TheBonobo4;4886054 said:
    Should people be allowed to refuse modern medicine in this day and age based upon religious reasons, despite the extremely high chance of pain and suffering for the patient?

    the people, no
    the patient himself, sure
  • randomasrandomas Opening Act
    edited September 2012
    On minors in many countries it's illegal, but once they're adults if they want to remove themselves from the gene-pool they're doing us a favour as far as I'm concerend.
  • TheBonobo4TheBonobo4 Road Warrior
    edited September 2012
    if they want to remove themselves from the gene-pool they're doing us a favour as far as I'm concerend.
    Are you suggesting we let natural selection take its course? If so, then yes, I agree. :D
  • Lawdog1521Lawdog1521 Squirrel Chasing Expert
    edited September 2012
    This thread will inevitably be closed, it's going to lead to a religious debate which is against forum rules.

    With that out of the way, of course the welfare of the child should be looked at. But where do you draw the line? Groups have the right to perform circumcisions on infants in the name of religion. How is that any different? (A topic that's become a hot button issue in Germany)
  • TheBonobo4TheBonobo4 Road Warrior
    edited September 2012
    it's going to lead to a religious debate which is against forum rules.
    Oh. Sorry I didn't realise that was against site rules. Normally on sites there's at least one debate thread of sorts.
  • Lawdog1521Lawdog1521 Squirrel Chasing Expert
    edited September 2012
    TheBonobo4;4886174 said:
    Oh. Sorry I didn't realise that was against site rules. Normally on sites there's at least one debate thread of sorts.

    Both religion and politics are technically against the forum rules but most of the mods will let them go as long as they're civil.

    The problem is sooner or later someone comes in and post something offensive. :p
  • TheBonobo4TheBonobo4 Road Warrior
    edited September 2012
    Just realised there's no option on the poll for "Modern medicine is ineffective. Prayer is the answer" like what the couple in the article believed. Sorry about that.
  • JglaubmanJglaubman Headliner
    edited September 2012
    TheBonobo4;4886181 said:
    Just realised there's no option on the poll for "Modern medicine is ineffective. Prayer is the answer" like what the couple in the article believed. Sorry about that.

    I don't know if it was intentional... but that was a brilliantly worded post.
  • topdrawertopdrawer Opening Act
    edited September 2012
    These are stupid parents for letting this happen to their son. But why isnt the church accountable for his death too
  • TheBonobo4TheBonobo4 Road Warrior
    edited September 2012
    Jglaubman;4886199 said:
    I don't know if it was intentional... but that was a brilliantly worded post.
    Thank you. It was *mildly* intentional. ;)
  • jibjqrkljibjqrkl Eventually Perceptive
    edited September 2012
    topdrawer;4886224 said:
    These are stupid parents for letting this happen to their son. But why isnt the church accountable for his death too

    for what?

    they didn't put a gun to these peoples head and force them to never take medication
  • Mega-TallicaMega-Tallica Washed Up
    edited September 2012
    Touchy subject for a forum like this, it will be closed in no time as soon as somebody takes it a tad too far with religion, but my 2 cents are for this situation specifically, considering the child is a minor and that the parents still have sole responsibility over him, somebody should have stepped in and brought the parents to their senses. This is beyond the 'mind your own business' argument, this kid had to die in severe agony because of his parents' decision, not his own. The church and his parents practically handed him a death sentence and that is absolutely not right. That's all I'll say.
  • raynebcraynebc Road Warrior
    edited September 2012
    The patient has the right to accept or deny medical treatment. The state has no right to force the patient to receive treatment, and for that matter has no right to force preventative care such as vaccines. Especially with vaccines, extreme negative reactions have been documented, even if they're not typical with all recipients.
  • TheBonobo4TheBonobo4 Road Warrior
    edited September 2012
    Yes but in this case it was the parents and not the patient's decision to refuse treatment.
  • Mega-TallicaMega-Tallica Washed Up
    edited September 2012
    TheBonobo4;4886300 said:
    Yes but in this case it was the parents and not the patient's decision to refuse treatment.
    Exactly, the fact that the patient was a minor changes the circumstances quite a bit. The parents were making these decisions for him rather than the actual suffering patient.
  • bigmfbigmf Tiny Hulk Smash!
    edited September 2012
    You've biased your poll by using the word "killed" in the title.
  • bclewisbclewis Road Warrior
    edited September 2012
    Mega-Tallica;4886302 said:
    Exactly, the fact that the patient was a minor changes the circumstances quite a bit. The parents were making these decisions for him rather than the actual suffering patient.

    I'm not convinced that changes things significantly. I think parents *should* make these decisions for the minors under their care, right or wrong, until they are old enough to make their own (right or wrong) decisions.

    Also, "modern medicine" is certainly not always correct. I personally think it's generally better than anything else we have, but it's the patient's/guardian's reponsibility to try to make informed decisions.
  • Mega-TallicaMega-Tallica Washed Up
    edited September 2012
    bclewis;4886346 said:
    I'm not convinced that changes things significantly. I think parents *should* make these decisions for the minors under their care, right or wrong, until they are old enough to make their own (right or wrong) decisions.

    Also, "modern medicine" is certainly not always correct. I personally think it's generally better than anything else we have, but it's the patient's/guardian's reponsibility to try to make informed decisions.
    From the way the article describes it, the kid was in complete agony, I honestly don't know how anyone, especially the parents, could stand aside when doctors were prepared to give him possible relief for his pain, but instead pray for a miracle. Sometimes, modern medicine is the miracle. There is a possibility that it won't work, but there's a better possibility it would have at the very least helped ease the pain the kid was suffering from.

    Generally, I would agree that the parents should be responsible for their children until they are of age to make those decisions and generally parents do what is best for their child, but if their decision isn't informed and they are not doing what's best for the sake of their child, especially something as severe as life and death, I think there should be something in place to override the parents' power.

    We are treading on some thin ice, kinda hard to discuss this sincerely without getting too in depth with religion which is pretty much what this whole thing boils down to. I'm surprised this thread is lasting this long.
  • bclewisbclewis Road Warrior
    edited September 2012
    Even regardless of religion, it's hard to know where the state should step in and say "you may mean well, but what you're doing amounts to child abuse".

    I certainly don't have a firm handle on what the "right" solution is.
  • Mega-TallicaMega-Tallica Washed Up
    edited September 2012
    bclewis;4886380 said:
    Even regardless of religion, it's hard to know where the state should step in and say "you may mean well, but what you're doing amounts to child abuse".

    I certainly don't have a firm handle on what the "right" solution is.
    Me neither, whenever it comes to science/medicine vs. religion there's never a clear cut solution. Somebody is going to be on the wrong end of the stick either way. If the state stepped in and force medicated the kid against the parents' wishes, the church and parents would be upset and will very quickly be pointing the fingers at the doctors and the state. But, instead, they let it go, the kid is dead and now people are going to start pointing fingers at the church and parents. Different headlines, same BS.
  • raynebcraynebc Road Warrior
    edited September 2012
    Mega-Tallica;4886360 said:
    but if their decision isn't informed and they are not doing what's best for the sake of their child, especially something as severe as life and death, I think there should be something in place to override the parents' power.
    Here's where it gets problematic. Who decides what's best for the child? How much authority should be taken out of the parents' hands and placed into a that of a bureaucracy? Who's right and who's wrong is only a matter of perspective.
    We are treading on some thin ice, kinda hard to discuss this sincerely without getting too in depth with religion which is pretty much what this whole thing boils down to.
    It boils down further than that: Freedom of choice. Religion in this case influenced that choice. The people who make the choice shoulder the consequences, and other parties are absolved. It would be perfectly fair to hold the parents responsible, as they had the right to decide how their son's care would be handled. Failure to seek medical treatment is not the same as murder though, so that needs to be remembered.
  • lvmathemagicianlvmathemagician Road Warrior
    edited September 2012
    Mega-Tallica;4886302 said:
    Exactly, the fact that the patient was a minor changes the circumstances quite a bit. The parents were making these decisions for him rather than the actual suffering patient.


    In your world, what do we need parents for? Why don't we just send all infants to government nurseries, stick a clock in the palms of their hands and kill them on their 21st birthday.



    Mr. Sandman, bring me a dream......
  • randomasrandomas Opening Act
    edited September 2012
    Ok I'll try and reply more seriously this time (not that the general idea changes much).
    First off, I work as a biomedical statistician, i.e. doctors make decisions based on our calculations. If you think modern medicine is a deterministic science, well think again (with the possible exception of surgical and orthopaedic treatments), it's a discipline based on the results of the scientific method. In pharmacology this means a hell of a lot of statistics and hypothetical postulations, this is because the human body is a complex (in the mathematical sense) system and these are the best tools we have.

    I have a close friend who suffers from a degenerative autoimmune disease, and his wife asked my advice ... My reaction was "I'm not a doctor, but from the literature standard treatment odds are ridiculous and the side effects horrid, so my choice would be to skip treatment and use cortisone upon necessity. But it's his body and he needs to do what he thinks is best, he may even be in the lucky minority for whom treatment works well without side-effects." After a few years of trying different treatments, he's dropped them. He follows a strict, balanced and healthy dietary regime, and if it gets bad he uses cortisone. He now has a pretty good quality of life and the condition seems to be under control. Now this is an episodic anecdote and I won't tell you what the condition is in case someone decides to follow the advice of "some dude on teh interwebs". The important thing is the method: patient gathers qualified information and makes up his own mind under constant medical supervision.

    So I'm going to ask you, if the parents had been doctors and they didn't agree with therapy and the result had been the same? Where would you stand?
    So again, the issue here is what your stance on religion in modern society is and how far it should be allowed to go. Most socially accepted and acceptable religions won't get in the way of science based protocols, especially medicine. Even the catholics (I was brought up as one so I am allowed to bad mouth them) have come round and stopped burning astronomers.

    My position is that minors should be protected by law and that in the case of parents denying treatments on religious grounds, doctors should have automatic power of attorney and therefore have the power to overrule the parents decision. As far as adults go, be my guest and get yerself killed, you'll have both mine and Charles' gratitude.

    Last thing, in my wishful thinking parallel universe there would have been a heroic doctor who took matters in his/her own hands, treated the child and faced any legal consequences showing the religious nuts a despondent middle finger. I can but dream ...
  • Mega-TallicaMega-Tallica Washed Up
    edited September 2012
    lvmathemagician;4886539 said:
    In your world, what do we need parents for? Why don't we just send all infants to government nurseries, stick a clock in the palms of their hands and kill them on their 21st birthday.
    Completely exaggerated what I said, I'm not hinting that that's the way it should be at all. I'm saying due to the circumstances and severity of this one situation, it changes things a bit. I'm not saying in every life and death situation with a child the government should overrule the parents' decision because most of the time, parents do do what is best and of course what raynebc said, that's a matter of perspective, but that's my perspective. Praying for a miracle and denying a possible cure is not doing what's best.
  • EhfahqEhfahq Headliner
    edited September 2012
    This story is so sad on so many levels. Poor kid.
  • edited September 2012
    Even though it's been civil so far, I just can't see this thread ending well. I have to agree with Ehfahq that it's a sad story, though.
This discussion has been closed.