Sunday, May 10, 2009

Woo times Woo equals ignorance squared

By MAURA LERNER, Star Tribune Last update: May 8, 2009 - 11:03 PM

NEW ULM, MINN.

The mother of 13-year-old Daniel Hauser testified Friday that she and her son would refuse to comply with any court order requiring the boy to resume chemotherapy for his cancer.

"Danny clearly made up his mind. He's not doing it,'' Colleen Hauser, of Sleepy Eye, Minn., testified on the opening day of a trial over whether a court should order the boy into medical treatment against the family's wishes.

Hauser, whose son was diagnosed in January with Hodgkin's lymphoma, said conventional treatments such as chemotherapy conflict with the family's religious beliefs. She said they prefer natural remedies such as herbs and vitamins.

Asked where she learned about the alternative healing techniques, Hauser said, "on the Internet.''

Daniel sat stoically through the opening part of the trial as his first oncologist, Dr. Bruce Bostrom of Children's Hospitals and Clinics in Minneapolis, testified that his chances of survival would drop to 5 percent without treatment.

Snip

So a quick review, unproven and dangerous "alternative" medicine meets religious extremism to lower a child's chance of survival to five percent. So how far can the government go in Loco Parentis when the parents might just be loco in the cabasea? Or to put another way how irrational does a parent have to be or act before the larger society calls a time out? After all if these parents where worshipers of the cult of the pagan god Ba'al and were sacrificing goats to appease the anger of their god would we give them the same kind of deference?

Strip away the sectarian religiosity and what presents itself is case of child endangerment. The parents are rejecting sound medical practice out of an almost willful ignorance. Instead of listening to a qualified specialist they are placing there faith in the rambling pronouncements of their preacher and some foolishness they found on the internet. Mind you following the recommendations of the doctor would raise the child's servival rate to 90%. Thus their "faith based" choice has shifted their child's chance from almost certain cure to almost certine death. They are making hideously bad decisions about the well being of their child. As PZ Myers pointed out "There is simply something wrong with a parent who selects the 5% success rate over the 95% success rate, no matter what their motivation." Even as parents they do not have that right. Every right has limitations, no right even the right of raising one's own progeny is absolute. Children are stripped away from biological parents every day for a host of reasons none of which have to do with oppression. If the government intervenes in this case it will not be because it is "oppressing good Christians" but because it has been forced to act in what it believes is the best interest of this particular child. It will be because these particular set of parents are just as derelict in their responsibilities as strung out crack addicts are. The only difference is the drug of choice.

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