Skip to comments.Ohio family fighting forced chemo appeals ruling under Ohio's health care freedom amendment
Posted on 02/08/2014 2:47:33 PM PST by workerbee
The Hershbergers say assigning a guardian to have the final say robbed them of their constitutional rights. They're appealing under the Ohio Health Care Freedom Amendment that voters approved in 2011. The amendment prohibits any law from forcing Ohioans to participate in "a health care system."
"Allowing an uninterested third-party, one that has never even met the family or the child, to assert an interest in an exceedingly important parental decision will completely undermine the parent-child relationship," Thompson said in a filing with the Ohio Supreme Court.
(Excerpt) Read more at foxnews.com ...
> The Hershbergers say assigning a guardian to have the final say robbed them of their constitutional rights. They’re appealing under the Ohio Health Care Freedom Amendment that voters approved in 2011. The amendment prohibits any law from forcing Ohioans to participate in “a health care system.”
Ahh, so some of the liberals are finally figuring out why the proggressive leftists wanted that mandated healthcare in place so bad; and be called law.
They’re Amish. I doubt too liberal. ;-)
The Health Care Freedom Amendment passed with 66% approval.
Andy and Anna Hershberger (Amish couple) are appealing a court decision that allowed the guardian to step in.
The Hershbergers say assigning a guardian to have the final say robbed them of their constitutional rights. They’re appealing under the Ohio Health Care Freedom Amendment that voters approved in 2011. The amendment prohibits any law from forcing Ohioans to participate in “a health care system.”
Their appeal marks the first time a court has been asked to determine the scope of the amendment,.....snip
Ohio voters in 2011 overwhelmingly approved the amendment prohibiting government from requiring Ohioans to buy health insurance. The measure, though, did not stop the implementation of Obama’s new federal health care law because a state amendment can’t nullify federal law.
I’ll admit these types of cases always tear me up. I can’t imagine denying my child medical treatment that could save her life. OTOH, I can see how easily my rights as a parent could be trampled by beaurocrats. Forced chemo today, forced euthenasia tomorrow?
Gee, maybe they could just get a free late-term abortion. She’s only 11.
I don’t understand your comment.
If that child dies I would prosecute the parents for murder. They are substituting their non medical judgement for the judgement of people who are more probably correct than they are. I had a little girl die of cancer thirty five years ago and we moved heaven and earth and gave her the finest treatment we could give. We miss her to this day. Even religion is no excuse as it is written “thou shalt not tempt God.”(At least they are not raising that issue.)
Government knows best. I believe in Government, the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and Earth...
This child will die without treatment. The law has never allowed parents to decide to let their child die without treatment. A person can make that decision for himself or herself, but not for a minor.
These cases pop up every once in a while. Often, because the parents stupidly decide to use some “alternative” therapy and refuse evidence-based medicine, by the time the case is resolved, the disease has already progressed too far to be treatable.
Just a tax, Roberts? See what you’ve done?!
The treatment is almost as bad as the disease and any doctor worth his salt will tell a parent that fact before starting their child on chemo. They are poisoning a child’s cells with the chemicals, that is why there is vomiting and misery for the cancer victim. Of course the medications make the child sick. I have seen it. However, since cancer cells grow faster the chemicals will kill them first. With many cancers it is certain death to fail to treat and the treatment, as bad as it is, at least gives the child a “shot.” You are damn right I would support any state official who interfered to see the cancer stricken child has a “shot” if the stupid parents believed God or vitamins would save their little one. Such parents like the ones in the article are guilty of murder if the child dies through their neglect. A parent has a DUTY to see that their child gets the best treatment available, failure to perform that duty is criminal.
See #7. Are you in favor of ceding authority to the hospital, “guardian” or government to make decisions on behalf of all minors diagnosed with potentially terminal illnesses? Do you have any concerns about the same logic being used to end life? Who’s to say in the future what will be deemed “alternative”? What if the “evidence-based” conclusion is to euthenize?
I don’t know... I can see both sides. I can’t help but feel torn here.
Someday your beloved government is coming for you.
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“This child will die without treatment. The law has never allowed parents to decide to let their child die without treatment. A person can make that decision for himself or herself, but not for a minor.”
The law allows it all the time if the parents don’t have the money for the treatment. Not only that, the law specifically allows, yes even encourages, the killing of un-born offspring if the woman feels she may be inconvenienced in the least.
As to whether this kid will die without “treatment” we don’t know IMHO. People are cured through faith sometimes. Probably more often than we will ever know... To that there is no doubt in my mind.
If it were my kid, I wouldn’t trust my faith enough, but that’s just me. Sorry to have to say it, but I would want a plan “B”.
At any rate, not trusting the parents to make these decisions and turning it over to the state is a slippery slope that perhaps we should not go down...
Chemo treatments are brutal. My father was an MD and he said that if he ever got cancer he wouldn’t take it. He did get cancer and he didn’t do any chemo. He had watched his cousin and good friend since childhood go through it (and then die) and that made up his mind about it.
Parents have to be trusted to make the best decision, unless what they decide was done to deliberately harm that child. Looking at the total picture, I feel confident that less children will be harmed by a good parent making a bad decision than by an out of control government deciding what's best for a child.
Forced euthanasia, forced sterilization, forced abortion will not be far behind when the state has universal healthcare, and the right to make decisions for people. Ask the Chinese.
The parents do not have the legal right to harm their child, period. Refusing to have the child treated is morally the same as refusing to feed the child and thus is an act of harm. To my knowledge, no court has ever sided with the parents in such a case.
BTW, evidence-based medicine means that the treatment has been tested in large-scale studies and determined to be equal to or better than other existing treatments for the same condition. Physicians are trained to practice evidence-based medicine. As far as I know, there has never been a study where a proposed treatment was euthanasia—such a study cannot exist, since euthanasia would lead to a worse outcome (faster death) than any existing treatment or no treatment.
Yes, we all know that a woman can kill her child at any time as long as the child is still attached by the placenta. This case has nothing to do with that. Also, maybe you are not aware of this, but the government pays for treatments for kids whose families can't afford it. There are also many charities who will help families pay for cancer treatments. Did you know that St. Jude's Children's hospital operates purely on donations and never charges families for cancer treatments for their children? Not having money is not an excuse.
As to whether this kid will die without treatment we dont know IMHO. People are cured through faith sometimes. Probably more often than we will ever know... To that there is no doubt in my mind.
The survival time of untreated leukemia is measured in weeks. People do not survive cancer without treatment. Many people do not survive even with treatment. The survival rate of treated leukemia is around 85%.
At any rate, not trusting the parents to make these decisions and turning it over to the state is a slippery slope that perhaps we should not go down...
Where parents make decisions that are actively harmful for their child, the state can and does step in all the time. There is no slippery slope here. Parents do not have the absolute right to starve their children, beat them, expose them to pornography, etc. Refusing life-saving medical treatment is in the same category.
And your father was an adult who understood the consequences of his decision.
Is the treatment 100% guaranteed? 80%? 50%? Can anyone ever really know? Who says “when”? Would you advocate this girl be forcibly removed from her parents’ home so that she gets “approved” treatment? Is natural death ever acceptable?
Obviously on some level I’m playing devil’s advocate here, but I think it’s an issue conservatives should be concerned about — now more than ever. At what point IS it a parent’s right to overrule “their betters” when it comes to their children? Because the same arguments I’ve read here could apply to everything from outlawing homeschooling to removing children from “superstitous” (i.e. religious) homes.
I will go out on a limb and assume that these parents are adults too.
“the government pays for treatments for kids whose families can’t afford it.”
Through Medicaid... And according to the law, the parents are responsible for paying it back.
Some hospital will pick up the tab... But most will not. We just had a huge fundraiser for a child in Idaho to pay for treatment. People came through in this case, and the child got the treatment... The state didn’t pick it up and neither did the hospitals. It was charity that covered it.
As adults, they have the legal right to make that decision for themselves, but not for their child. A child is not considered capable of understanding fully the consequences of such a decision, and the legal assumption is that the child would take the life-saving treatment if he or she were able to understand the alternatives.
If the issue were that the child will die in 2 months without treatment, and in 6 months with treatment, then I think the parents’ decision to withhold treatment would probably be allowed.
What is the point of legal guardianship then? Why should anyone bother to raise their children if the state owns them?
Medicine is an art not a science. It can't make guarantees like that about anything.
Actually, we do know how effective treatment is--as I already said, it is better than 85% for leukemia. And I am perfectly okay with children being removed from the homes of abusive parents, no matter what form that abuse takes. Refusing proper medical care for a child, to the point where that child dies, is extremely abusive, IMO.
Obviously on some level Im playing devils advocate here, but I think its an issue conservatives should be concerned about now more than ever. At what point IS it a parents right to overrule their betters when it comes to their children? Because the same arguments Ive read here could apply to everything from outlawing homeschooling to removing children from superstitous (i.e. religious) homes.
You have to apply intelligence and logic to the situation, and judge the situation on its merits. Telling parents that they have no right to refuse medical treatment for their child who will die without that treatment is not even comparable to home schooling. Do children die from being home schooled? Or from going to church on Sunday? I don't think so. Unless the parents are actively harming their children, how they raise them is their business.
So, do you think parents should be allowed to beat their children to death? How about starving them? How about parents forcing them to watch while they kill their pet puppies or kittens—or who force the children to kill their pets themselves? Do you really think the government has no right or duty to intervene when parents grossly mistreat or fail to take care of their children?
FYI, being against child abuse is *not* the same as saying the state owns the children.
I am always amazed by the number of people who think everything is an absolute.
That is an absurd straw man. Pure sophistry.
Absolutely correct. The parents do not have the right to deny their child a potentially life-saving treatment.
I understand the concerns of people who feel that it's just another step to the point at which the government begins to dictate everything that happens to your child, but this really is a very different situation.
That said, it is conceptually very complicated. As a doc I have to acknowledge that medical opinions are clearly not always right, and I could see a situation arising in which a treatment is ‘mainstream’, but actually harmful (e.g. we killed George Washington by bleeding him). I think any case in which physicians feel it is imperative to override parental wishes has to be very carefully considered and reviewed by a ‘non-government’ private board of those knowledgeable enough to make a very informed decision.
Hodgkin's lymphoma, for example, is absolutely curable, with very high success rates. To withhold chemo from a child with Hodgkin's is very much interpretable as murder. On the other hand, if a specific live virus vaccine were developed and mandated by government for all schoolchildren, and the parents were legitimately concerned about exposure to this new live virus vaccine, I would have a very hard time accepting forced vaccination.
Refusing to provide basic care for a child, whether it is medical care, food, shelter, etc., is all child abuse. And that is how the law considers it.
That is too silly to discuss.
I agree with the sentiment expressed here but have read that the newer chemo drugs are much easier on the system. These, however, are the $30,000+/month variety. I could afford a week or so of that treatment.
Chemotherapy is hardly "basic" care.
If I had Hodgkin's and declined chemo would that be suicide?
You are probably right about the newer drugs. The essential point was about the freedom to choose one’s own medical care. If we aren’t free to make bad decisions we aren’t free at all. I might be able to afford a couple of days at those rates.
If the parents are too ignorant to provide the life saving chemotherapy, a guardian being appointed to make educated decisions is the right thing. A pro-life standpoint would be to give the life saving treatment to the child.
It is for a child who has cancer.
That said, it is conceptually very complicated.
Thank you. As a medical researcher, I have to deal with ethics questions. I appreciate the point of view of a caregiver. Medical issues can be quite complicated.
It would be a poor decision, and if you had a family and children to take care of, it would be a selfish decision. Whether or not it was suicide depends. If you knew that the cure rates were greater than 85%, and you refused because you didn't want to live, that would arguably be suicide.
If you were a severe insulin-requiring diabetic, and knew that without taking insulin you would go into an ketoacidotic coma and die, and you decided to quit taking insulin, would that be suicide?
The child has undergone some chemo and the parents believe it was killing her. Is that possible? Could a child die from the treatment? How long do you give it?
I am NOT advocating for what the parents are doing, because I would not do it myself. However, yes, put me in the camp who worries that this is another incremental precedent towards authoritarianism. We are moving full-throttle into socialized medicine. Where does the line get drawn? When, and by whom?
“I dont understand your comment.”
The State wants to save this girl? How many abortions have they aided in the meanwhile? Kill them when they are young.
Not jumping on Ohio, as I don’t know their record, just in general.