Children and alternative medicine

16
165

Today, I clicked the News section on Google and came across an interesting article at the bottom of the page.  The article was titled “Book raises alarms about alternative medicine,” but what really caught my eye was the first line that they teased…

“The 12-year-old girl arrived at the hospital wracked with abdominal pain.”

I read the article, expecting it to be about how some parents choose not to treat their children with traditional medical methods and end up hurting them or maybe even killing them.  Every once in awhile there’s a story about a child that dies because his parents refused to give him the proper treatment, usually because of religious or alternative medicine reasons.

Either way, these are sad stories.  There’s no denying that, and it’s easy to let our emotions get in the way of our decision-making abilities.  How simple is it to push to have a law that says “The government will take your children when they are sick and treat them correctly if you as the parents decide that you’re going to deny them what they need to get better.”

That’s pretty cut and dry.  Who wouldn’t want to save the lives of children?

When it comes to children and liberty, things seem to get a little bit dicey.  Children are humans, obviously, and have rights.  However, since their minds aren’t quite fully developed, they’re not always capable of making every decision about their lives.

If an adult chooses to use alternative methods to treat himself, even though the average Joe Schmoe could tell him that it’s not going to work, that’s on him.  I don’t believe that there would too many people who would try to put a gun to his head to make him see a traditional doctor.  With a child, that’s different, but I don’t think that putting a gun to the parent’s head is the right thing to do.

The question many would ask me now is whether or not I think that it’s okay to allow parents to make decisions about their children that could potentially harm them?

My answer is yes.  And that’s because the alternative is worse.

I intentionally phrased the question a certain way.  Different people have different opinions on, well, everything.  This includes what sort of medical treatment a child should get.  So when you’re writing your law to decide what method of torture you should impose upon parents who treat their kids with an internet connection instead of Dr. Professional, ask yourself where you should draw the line.  Once you set the precedent that the state has the authority to dictate to parents how they should raise and treat their children in some way, it opens the door for more and more control by the state.

It sounds great on the surface that the government would protect children from poor decisions by parents, but can we trust government to make all of the right decisions?  They’ve never made poor decisions about health (or a myriad of other things), right?

Once the state starts to make decisions for anyone about anything, the first question you have to ask is “Who is going to get to make the choices, and who are you going to leave ticked off?”

I’m not too into alternative or holistic medicine, so don’t think I’m carrying their water on this.  For example, if I have kids, I’m going to get them vaccinated.  I do not, however, think it to be any sort of “crime” to decide against having your children vaccinated.  That decision is made by the parents with the child’s wellbeing in mind.  That same parent might think I’m insane for thinking that circumcision is okay.  Again, who gets to decide what is legal?

Is the libertarian system perfect in terms of keeping every child healthy?  No, it’s not.  But who is best suited to deal with their children: the parents or nameless bureaucrats?  A broad collection of ideas is more likely to get you to the correct answer than having one or two people pick a path and power ahead with blinders.  For the most part, parents are going to do their best to raise their kids well.  What happens when some power-hungry rulers get to make decisions about your children?  It has happened before with the state.  And don’t think the ball hasn’t already started rolling here yet.

Does this give parents carte blanche to do whatever they want to their kids?  It doesn’t, but you really have to be careful with getting involved.  There are some crazy, evil people out there who will do intentional harm to children.  We can deal with those people in a different article at another time.

Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Lisa
Guest
The website, http://www.whale.to/a/null9.html, has many facts and a perspective that many people tend to either not be aware of or they forget because it’s not talked about on in the mainstream of TV, radio, the internet etc. when it comes to causes of death. It’s deliberately kept out of the mainstream. There are some religions that refuse all types of medicine, conventional as well as alternative, so I’m not including them here. So then, how many deaths have been caused due to alternative medicine or not vaccinating a child? And…how many children have died due to having been vaccinated? Most… Read more »
Rollo McFloogle
Guest

I, and I think any supporter of the free market, want everything on the table. If the “alternative” methods prove to be better, then more people will use them. You brought up the FDA. They are a huge problem. That should all be done competitively.

I don’t blindly follow modern medicine and I think critically about what my doctor tells me to do. The more information out there, the better.

Lisa
Guest
First, let me apologize for the length of this comment… Yes, the FDA is a huge problem and even if people realize that, they still believe them and accept what they say. They don’t realize what they’re capable of. Please watch this trailer of the movie, “Doctored” at http://www.doctoredthemovie.com/ How good it would be if the information about alternative medicine was out there in the open. The problem is, It’s not, though with the internet it’s much easier to find it although you have to dig for it and know what you’re looking for. And even though there are more… Read more »
Cornwall Hoggins
Guest

What if the parent intentionally lets the child die? Let’s say “Casey” no longer wants her child and comes up with a plan to murder her. Jut before the plan goes into effect the child catches a (treatable) disease. This is convenient for Casey because all she has to do j

Cornwall Hoggins
Guest

What if the parent intentionally lets the child die? Let’s say “Casey” no longer wants her child and comes up with a plan to murder her. Just before the plan goes into effect the child catches a (treatable) disease. This is convenient for Casey because all she has to do now is not treat the child and say it is due to religion. How would the parent who essentially murdered this child be held responsible?

Rollo McFloogle
Guest
I’ll answer this question with the assumption of a stateless society and an actual act of aggression against the child. It all depends on the community and if they care. If you see this happening, but no one else really cares, then you’re likely on your own to fight for the child. The more likely case is that people will be genuinely upset that someone would murder their child, so the community would likely, well, essentially steal the child from the parent(s). It’s like getting mugged. Would you fight back if your mugger was 6 inches smaller and 50 pounds… Read more »
Lisa
Guest

Are you saying it takes a village to raise a child?

Rollo McFloogle
Guest

I am not. I’m saying that if you act in a manner that ticks people off, you’re going to have a bad time.

Lisa
Guest
I think what you said was good and that it’s a good case for “It takes a village to raise a child.” I just wasn’t sure if I was reading it right or not. That used to the mentality of our society but it’s no longer that way and our people are not better for it. What I remember from when I was young is that if someone saw someone acting in a bad way they were held accountable for it, child or adult. Many cultures are that way today and it should be that way for Christians too no… Read more »
Rollo McFloogle
Guest

Ah, I misinterpreted what you asked a bit. I agree with you. That said, I do think that a free market would make people act with more accountability…we don’t need the accountability to happen before we allow a free market.

Lisa
Guest

So if we have a society of people where many don’t wish to be accountable or be held accountable how would a free market survive?

Rollo McFloogle
Guest

How does any society whose people don’t want to be accountable survive? A free market puts incentives on accountability. Government programs put a disincentive on it.

If, in a free market, there are people who don’t want to be accountable, their lives will suffer as a result, but they will not directly drag down those who choose to be accountable since they are not tied to them through the made up “social contract.”

lance
Guest
In a free market, she could sell her baby to the highest bidder. Not only would she be spared the guilt, she could make a couple bucks. While the government only allows one option for the vaccines, there is no free market. We vaccinated our boy, but only the polio one and much later than their proscribed agenda. We definitely did pick and choose, and no one from the government gave us gears on any level for our decisions. I’d love to have had an option on a cold stored version rather than the mercury containing standard issue, but government… Read more »
Lisa
Guest

Hi Cornwall Hoggins, who are directing your comment/question to?

Cornwall Hoggins
Guest

I’m just throwing it out there for anyone.

Lisa
Guest

Ok then I’ll let the blog owner reply. 🙂