29 March 2008
What do you do when the religious beliefs of parents endanger their children? I am a strong supporter of parental rights and the freedom to practice religion, but kids have rights too.
The family believes in the Bible, which says healing comes from God, Leilani Neumann said.
If they believe in God and the Bible, where do they think medical knowledge comes from? If a child breaks a bone, is it a sin to put a cast on? The parents have three other children who are now staying with another relative while this is being investigated. I hope the investigation is thorough, but that won't bring Kara back.
Posted by: Stashiu3 at
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Posted by: Machinist at 29 March 2008@22:08:27 (yFIK0)
Prayer is another form of therapy, and if you believe the way these people believe, it's a superior form of therapy.
Fortunately for me, my religion says we should pray to God to let the physicians figure out the proper treatment
Posted by: kishnevi at 29 March 2008@22:32:34 (0gB9X)
Posted by: Machinist at 29 March 2008@23:55:04 (yFIK0)
The Hippocratic oath like the constitution has fallen on hard times. Politicized medicine and politically empowered doctors and scientists are so much more frightening to me than long shots like rogue comets or climate change. In their search for objectivity the scientists have tried to find a chelating agent (HA!) to remove ethical and moral considerations from their work. While this may be valid from a research perspective it means we must be very careful in letting them set social standards and policy. (Now where did I put my tinfoil hat?)
Posted by: Machinist at 30 March 2008@00:08:30 (yFIK0)
Posted by: Stashiu3 at 30 March 2008@02:11:01 (tarqT)
Posted by: Machinist at 30 March 2008@02:23:30 (yFIK0)
Posted by: Stashiu3 at 30 March 2008@02:36:28 (tarqT)
Posted by: Machinist at 30 March 2008@02:49:27 (yFIK0)
Posted by: Stashiu3 at 30 March 2008@03:08:54 (tarqT)
Posted by: Machinist at 30 March 2008@03:22:00 (yFIK0)
Wouldn't you agree that a parent who failed to get their child's broken arm casted (or did the equivalent themselves even) and just prayed for the fracture to heal would be guilty of abuse? I worry about where the line should be drawn and favor the parents' rights over the governments, but who ensures the rights of the child when the parents won't?
Posted by: Stashiu3 at 30 March 2008@03:35:57 (tarqT)
As much as I would like to agree, I can not. I would love to see a reasonable line drawn but our government has shown that they will not accept any reasonable level of restraint on their own power to dictate these matters so I feel they must be cut off completely. Only when there is actual abuse by the parents or the parents allow actual abuse should it be a criminal matter. To say that they did not purchase enough medical services and therefore are criminals is to open a horrifying Pandora's Box.
Posted by: Machinist at 30 March 2008@03:47:40 (yFIK0)
If the parents molest or prostitute the children, the government should have the power to protect the child. If the parents are drunks and insist the children become intoxicated with them, the government should have the power to protect the child. If the child is in danger of starving because the parents believe in fasting as punishment or that it will "purify" the child, the government should have the power to protect the child. Where to draw the line is problematical, I agree... but not all parents do well by their children.
Posted by: Stashiu3 at 30 March 2008@04:06:42 (tarqT)
Posted by: Machinist at 30 March 2008@04:20:14 (yFIK0)
Posted by: Stashiu3 at 30 March 2008@04:32:22 (tarqT)
-- Should any parent who does not take their child in for a full battery of tests at the first sign of symptoms be charged with abuse and jailed? I understood that her signs came on in a matter of a few days.
--Are we to judge these matters from hindsight? Had the girl had flu and recovered should we still prosecute the parents for not having taken her to the ER at the first signs of illness, just in case?
--I fear we will give medical professionals the kind of abusive power, backed by government force, we have given lawyers. Tort abuse has had a very bad effect on our freedom, our society, and our economy. This could be far worse. Without some way to limit this power grab I am afraid to let the government camel's nose under the family's tent. (clearly I'm too late here, much more than the nose is inside already).
Posted by: Machinist at 30 March 2008@04:54:01 (yFIK0)
Should any parent who does not take their child in for a full battery of tests at the first sign of symptoms be charged with abuse and jailed? I understood that her signs came on in a matter of a few days.
Unlikely at best. The girl was 11 years old and hadn't seen a doctor since she was 3. Her signs most likely developed over a period of weeks, if not months.
My dear friend, this is not the case to make the stand that government is too intrusive... we both agree on that. This underscores the need for a balance between government intrusion and parental autonomy. A healthy skepticism of government motives and reach is always warranted, but they do have a role in protecting members of our society unable to protect themselves.
Posted by: Stashiu3 at 30 March 2008@05:11:34 (tarqT)
Even the family members who called in the police said a few days, less than a week.
My last physical was 43 years ago and I have not seen a doctor in over a decade.
This is a tragic case but I think parents have a far better record with children than government. It's a flawed system but better than the alternative.
Posted by: Machinist at 30 March 2008@05:24:37 (yFIK0)
Posted by: Machinist at 30 March 2008@05:26:05 (yFIK0)
Posted by: Machinist at 30 March 2008@05:31:13 (yFIK0)
Posted by: Machinist at 30 March 2008@05:34:34 (yFIK0)
In the end, only a sister-in-law's call to police led to intervention.
Even the mother admits the child felt poorly for at least two weeks before sharply declining (I'd bet it was longer than that knowing something about the subject). Old farts like us deciding not to see the doctor is our own responsibility. Children cannot take that responsibility for themselves. For a child to not see a doctor, not once even for a checkup, from age 3 to age 11 is neglectful almost to the point of criminality itself.
Posted by: Stashiu3 at 30 March 2008@05:39:41 (tarqT)
The difference between informed choice and willful ignorance.
Tarnation! I saw a doctor when I broke my shoulder last year. I am going to bed now.
Goodnight sir, rest well (still can't sleep yet... but Mom's up so maybe soon)
Posted by: Stashiu3 at 30 March 2008@05:43:59 (tarqT)
We have already seen government confiscating Rush's book from a student and disciplining him and his parent, controlling the religious and moral teachings which can be taught in the home, forcing genital examinations on girls whose parents had indicated in writing they did not want school personnel doing these exams, questioning of students about their parents activities and gun ownership, rulings that parents have no say over political indoctrination of their children in government schools and so much more.
I do not think we have better parenting today than we did fifty years ago, or a hundred.
Posted by: Machinist at 30 March 2008@11:11:17 (yFIK0)
My point exactly sir.
Anytime sometime justifies anything with it's "for the children" I have to question whether this is cover for a grab for more control over our lives. In some cases (such as this one), it's actually true... that's why it's so effective for the power-grabbers.
Fifty or a hundred years ago neighbors had much more influence over how children were raised. Either a neighbor husband would have a "chat" with the substandard parents, or the community would largely shun parents who neglected their kids. Now, neighborhood "chats" would be prosecuted and shunning is largely ineffective as neighborhood influence waned with easy transportation and internet (less inter-dependency).
Posted by: Stashiu3 at 30 March 2008@15:34:26 (tarqT)
I have some once removed experience with both Christian Scientist caregivers and misguided government intrusion into the family. Both had bad effects but without a hard stop on the bureaucrats I would have to consider government to be a cure that is worse than the disease it treats in this area. I certainly recognize that there is room for reasonable disagreement, but I am much more concerned about bad or misguided government than I am about bad parents. A safety net should not be a straight jacket, but always will if bureaucrats are not reined in. Currently I feel the last stop has been passed and like a collapsing star we are on a non stop ride to a black hole.
Should I point out here that I think 85% to 90% of our federal government should be eliminated? The states should also be cut back but it is the feds that have really made a doormat of our constitution, and I don't mean the executive branch. It is the most accountable and therefore the least corrupted of the three.
Posted by: Machinist at 30 March 2008@17:06:00 (yFIK0)
That said, there should be some recourse before a child is neglected to the point of death. Punishing the parents after the child dies is fine, but letting them kill the child through ignorance would be a very high price to pay for restraining government. Too high for me.
Posted by: Stashiu3 at 30 March 2008@18:03:11 (tarqT)
Without a hard stop of some kind it is just too big a blank check of power to trust them with. Each and every freedom we have will be eliminated or "regulated" to "protect the children". It is racing ahead already with the government reaching ever deeper into our lives and homes to protect our children from us. They are claiming the right and need to control religion, speech, eating habits, discipline, morality, politics, and so much more, in our homes, because parents can't be trusted. Experience has shown this power is much more likely to be used against religious or conservative parents than abusive ones.
The people who want this power are almost never the people who should have it or will use it with restraint. We already see this.
Posted by: Machinist at 30 March 2008@19:45:03 (yFIK0)
I'm sorry we couldn't find common ground here my friend. I don't like overly intrusive government either, but recognize that there is a limited role appropriate to the situation. A good example is the toilet-seat lady whose boyfriend was charged. Completely inappropriate as she is an adult who is allowed to make stupid choices. He didn't have to enable her choice and could have left, but that shouldn't be the requirement. This would be an example of overly-intrusive government.
Posted by: Stashiu3 at 30 March 2008@21:05:15 (tarqT)
Posted by: Machinist at 30 March 2008@21:18:08 (yFIK0)
Posted by: Stashiu3 at 30 March 2008@21:49:15 (tarqT)
Posted by: Stashiu3 at 30 March 2008@21:51:43 (tarqT)
Posted by: Stashiu3 at 30 March 2008@21:55:45 (tarqT)
Look into how many children die from neglect and abuse in welfare homes where the single mother is on drugs and selling herself and possibly her children to support her habit. How many crack babies are born. How seldom are these children taken from the parent?
These tragedies are much, much more common but do not get the coverage that a religious based death does. Not PC enough.
Now look at the figures for children in the protective services custody. As I said, these powers will not be used against the worst offenders but the OK to attack groups.
Please don't think from what I said earlier that I am less bothered by these deaths than you are, Sir. I just believe government will be worse for kids overall unless some check is put on their power.
Children will suffer and die either way. I think parents are the better way if it must be unfettered government or unfettered parents.
Posted by: Machinist at 30 March 2008@23:37:06 (yFIK0)
Posted by: Machinist at 30 March 2008@23:39:18 (yFIK0)
Cutting back on government until they're too busy to get involved at the family level would allow neighbors to have those "chats" I spoke of earlier. As a beneficiary of "wall-to-wall" counseling when I was a Private, I understand how it can help someone "get their mind right" (I know, that's a lotta scare-quotes... but oh well )
Posted by: Stashiu3 at 30 March 2008@23:55:17 (tarqT)
I guess my problem is that I don't see a line except at the extreme ends. If action is taken I much prefer local action, either by local government or something less formal. I suspect we would have little problem cooperating at that level. I might even surprise you.
I assumed you had professional experience that gave you considerably more insight than I and a good perspective on the problem, so this does not surprise me.
Posted by: Machinist at 31 March 2008@01:48:50 (yFIK0)
Kids are a button-pusher for most people, that's why "It's for the children!" is used so often. Too often it's effective where it shouldn't be, hence the appeal to emotion in hopes of over-riding reason. Some of these parents should be waterboarded until they are able to verbalize some insight into their own poor parenting, and that's before they do any lasting harm to (or kill) their own children.
Posted by: Stashiu3 at 31 March 2008@09:40:10 (tarqT)
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