Originally posted at the former Chicago Moms Blog on May 17, 2009
Where does their power end? Daniel Hauser FORCED treatment for Hodgkin's Disease
How does this sound constitutional? How does this sound like free will and religious freedom?
If you haven't heard already, if Daniel Hauser, age 13 who has Hodgkin's Disease, is found to have what the doctors consider "treatable cancer," he will be forced to undergo treatments deemed necessary by the hospital. If the parents refuse to subject him to their medical treatments, Daniel will be taken from their custody and placed in temporary custody.
If I were to refuse medical treatment for myself, would I be forced to undergo medical procedures? What if I said I understood the details and percentages, but the doctors thought I wasn't competent enough? As adults, we have the "freedom" to decide what we want done to our bodies. So if a 13 year old boy decides he wants to refuse chemotherapy due to religious convictions, who are we to say that he is wrong? Which religions are "real religions" and which are "cults?" Who are the government officials to say that it's okay to worship the idea of a man dying and coming back to life in 3 days, but that the "natural healing" of the Nemenhah band are ludicrous and unworthy of their respect?
Those who practice medicine are not infallible. In fact, you need only to read the words, "PRACTICING medicine" to realize that they do NOT know all of the answers. They are playing a guessing game of levels and treatments. Doctors hold the knowledge that is equivalent to a thimbleful of an ocean. It IS some knowledge, but only a miniscule portion of what is available!
I am not saying that the chemotherapy and radiation won't cure this particular boy of his Hodgkin's lymphoma. If you're have to have cancer, Hodgkin's is one of the ones you would prefer as its cure rate is much higher than that of other more aggressive cancers. Chances are, he would survive the chemo and radiation treatments.
But where does our government's ability to make our medical choices FOR US end? Where does it stop? IF a treatment WERE found to have a 100% cure ratio, would we all be forced to accept that treatment? Could the government extend this ability to have a say in our children's medical treatments eventually grow so much as to one day force us to immunize, sterilize, and euthanize?
For me, this isn't about neglect. This is a basic human rights and religious freedom issue. My heart goes out to Daniel and his family, that they have to undergo this legal circus at a time such as this. My family, as well as many others, has not remained untouched by the devastation that is cancer. May Daniel's family's rights not be overlooked by those who deem themselves more worthy of an opinion than anyone else.