By now you’ve probably heard about the case of 13-year-old Daniel Hauser.  Daniel has Hodgkins lymphoma, a highly treatable form of cancer.  He has an excellent prognosis…if he receives treatment.  Without treatment he will likely die.

Problem is, he doesn’t want to go through chemotherapy, and he and his parents have refused it for religious reasons.  When the court decided he had to do it, to save his life, his mom took him and scarpered.  For a week they were on the lam, finally returning home yesterday. 

Now the parents say they will agree to chemo, presumably so that they will be allowed to keep custody of the boy.  Daniel has stated he will physically fight the treatment.

The normally vociferous religious community has been notably silent on this case.  How about it, religious community?  What do you think?  Mostly I want to know what “pro-life” America thinks about Daniel.

This is not a tangent.  Hear me out.

If you have pro-life views, you want the government to force women, some as young as Daniel Hauser, to undergo a lengthy, traumatic medical event.  It may be painful and it brings about severe side effects, including nausea and vomiting that in some cases occurs all day every day for months.  As pregnancy goes on it becomes progressively more uncomfortable and results in bodily changes that may be debilitating.  Possible complications may be life-threatening and may result in permanent impairments in some bodily functions.  Depending on the difficulty of the pregnancy and the nature of her occupation, the woman may lose her job and suffer severe economic consequences.  The pregnancy culminates in childbirth, an extraordinarily painful and dangerous event that may cause permanent damage, may require a major surgical procedure to complete, and may be life-threatening.  And the government would force a woman to endure this not for her own benefit, but to enable the embryo to be sheltered and nourished by her body so that it can develop and eventually be born. 

So if you’re on that page, it seems to me you must surely believe the government should strap Daniel Hauser in a chair and force him to accept chemotherapy, a lengthy medical trauma with severe side effects (such as nausea and vomiting), for his own benefit, in spite of the religious beliefs of his family. 

Or does pro-religion trump pro-life?


In a new and strangely related government-in-your-face twist, the Governor of Minnesota (the very state where Daniel Hauser is being forced to take chemotherapy) has vetoed a bill that would have legalized medical marijuana for terminally ill patients. 

So the government can force you to take some drugs, yet deny you the right to take other drugs that alleviate the side effects of the forced drugs.

Thank you, Tim “Super Nanny” Pawlenty.





78 thoughts on “HOW PRO-LIFE ARE YOU?

  1. Not being pro-life, I can’t tell you what they would say.  Do you have a lot of pro-life readers?  While I understand the impetus of these folks I cannot say that the people forcing therapy on this kid are right.  I’m not sure they’re wrong either.  I’m glad I am not having to make this choice.

  2. @transvestite_rabbit – Abortion and Chemotherapy are hardly equatable subjects. One concerns the life of a person currently living with a serious illness. The other is an ethical consideration of the embryo’s right to life versus the mothers freedoms of choice. Are you suggesting that pregnancy is a serious illness or that cancer has a right to live? If neither, then the conditions are only related by common symptoms. An embryo can not decline to be born. That is the defining factor here. You must be conscious to decide.In that way, you are effectively comparing apples to whales.

  3. I think the issue I have with this situation is the fact that he has a treatable form of cancer.  By disregarding treatment, he will surely die (by all accounts from what I’ve read).  And while I’d prefer he go voluntarily, until he’s 18 and an adult, I would, as his parent, insist on treatment.  That’s what a parent is supposed to do, help their child live.  I’m sorry he was depressed after the first round.  I’m sorry chemo sucks major ass.  But I’m not about to let my child die when there’s treatment.  (Won’t even touch the whole ‘God helps those who help themselves’ tangent)

  4. @ElliottStrange – I am not equating abortion to chemotherapy.  I am comparing forced pregnancy and childbirth with forced chemotherapy. In both cases, the motivation for denying an individual the right the choose is “life.”  No, an embryo can’t make a choice, but arguably, an illiterate 13-year-old can’t, either.

  5.  Cancer treatment is certainly no walk in the park, so  I could understand Daniel’s reluctance to have  chemotherapy if it was only going to give him a few more months of life, but Hodgkins is one of the most curable of all cancers.  He was diagnosed in the second stage, and with a few months of chemo he has an excellent chance of being completely cured.  Religion or no religion, by refusing treatment he is, in effect, commiting suicide, and his mother is, in effect, killing him.     How do practioners of such a religion face themselves in the mirror each morning? 

  6. In this case, I think you took a stereotypical version of a pro-lifer and compared it to other things. I am pro-life. I believe that no child should EVER be aborted, I believe in things like adoption is the best choice if you cannot take care of a child. My beliefs… are a string of things I guess.If I was pregnant and did not want the child, I would give it up for adoption. A preplanned adoption. America has lots of kids in the system who need parents, I believe that gay couples should be able to always adopt a child. I believe gay couples should be able to marry in all 49 states and the District of Columbia. I believe that single men and women should be able to adopt. While some of these things are aloud, not all are.However, as a pro-lifer, I believe that people already alive and living in this world have a choice whether to die or not. He is a child, yes. He is a human, yes. He has a fully functional brain, yes. He is capable of making the decision to accept or reject treatment. If this child was not a day over 18, there would be no issue with him refusing treatment.Maybe he doesn’t want to live his life like this, maybe he doesn’t want the treatment. He is 13, but he is capable of having his own morals and his own beliefs. Wake up people, the child is growing up.Someone should never be able to make the decision of whether or not to accept treatment for someone else.Okay, my comment is all over the place. XD~Jennifer

  7. @nluvwgreenday – You say “no child should EVER be aborted,” which means, if I understand you correctly, that women and girls should be FORCED by the government to bear children when they do not want to.  You favor denying women and girls the right to choose not to go through pregnancy and childbirth.  But later you say “Someone should never be able to make the decision of whether or not to accept treatment for someone else.”  Unless that someone else is a pregnant woman or girl?

  8. Yeah, this is a false dichotomy. I see where you are trying to go but it doesn’t really work as the core of the abortion issue isn’t dealt with. Is the fetus a human being? This isn’t a grayscale question. It is either yes or no. If the fetus is human then abortion is murder. If it isn’t then it is just worthless tissue. I am not answering this question but then neither are you.In logic this is called a red herring.@bryangoodrich – I of course value your opinion on this one also.

  9. @herzog3000 – Not a red herring at all.  Let’s say the fetus is a human being.  If the woman should be forced to undergo pregnancy and childbirth to save the life of the fetus, then Daniel Hauser must be forced to undergo chemotherapy to save his own life.  Right?

  10. I’ve given up trying to understand the logic of the “pro-life” movement, so really, I can’t even guess. Especially when so many of them are also pro-death penalty. You know, make ’em give birth, but who cares what happens to them after that.

  11. @transvestite_rabbit – The ethics involved in self concern are quite different from concern for another. Deliberately causing the death of another is in no way equal to choosing to cause one’s own death. The morality of suicide is a much more complicated issue than the morality of murder in almost every ethical system. You are singling out a single aspect of the issue and making that representative of the whole, which is one form of red herring.Let’s try this:If I choose not to eat food again, thereby causing my own death through neglect, is that the same as taking a gun to a 4 year old baby’s head and pulling the trigger? I think not. Many would argue that we all have a right to suicide but few would say we have a right to murder our own children.

  12. Wow, very thought-provoking.I can see where people are coming from when they argue against the right to life of an unborn and the right to choose of a living human being. However I`m not sure that`s the real issue of your post. Seems to me the real issue is the degree with which the Religious Wrong advocate pro-life (not that all pro-lifers are in any way religious zealots) on the grounds of, well, “life” yet here they are refusing to save a life based on dogma. If life is so improtant then surely it comes first, no matter what….? And, if this is an issue of choice, ie: the choice of a living being allowed to choose death, well… how come suicide and euthenasia are fiercely condemned by these same religious people?

  13. @herzog3000 – Your example does not apply.  A four-year-old has an entirely separate physical existence.  The care of a four-year-old does not demand trauma and suffering.  And if a parent chooses not to care for the four-year-old, another, more willing adult can easily step in and do the job.  No matter how you sugarcoat it or ignore it, banning abortion is not just saving a fetus, it is denying a  pregnant woman the personal sovereignty that everyone else enjoys.   Furthermore, Daniel Hauser is not an adult.  For his parents to refuse a life-saving treatment for him is akin to putting a bullet in his head.

  14. @transvestite_rabbit – Are you saying that abortion is a treatment? Well it is not. It is the sick, disgusting way out of a situation. I realize that a woman or girl can become pregnant because of rape, but that is not the unborn child’s fault. They did not start growing inside of you as a punishment or because of something you did wrong. They are still a child and have every right to live their life. If abortion was 100% legalized at any age and for any reason, women would be using abortion as a reason to have sex without the protection of birth control and/or condoms, etc. Abortion would be the birth control for them. “Oh! I am pregnant? Well, I’ll just abort, go back to my normal life.”I never said women and girls should be forced by the government to bear children. That would mean forcing them to get pregnant, then have the child. What I am saying is that once pregnant, there should be no way out. Aborting the baby, this human being growing inside of you, is murder without the consequence of imprisonment.And, just to let others know, I am by no means a religious person. I do not attend church, I have piercings and plans for tattoos, I have a sex life. I am no stuck-up religious person forcing my beliefs on everyone else. You do not need to attend church almost ritually two or three times a week to be a pro-life advocate.

  15. @transvestite_rabbit – Did you not read my first comment I left you on this post?I quote, “However, as a pro-lifer, I believe thatpeople already alive and living in this world have a choice whether todie or not. He is a child, yes. He is a human, yes. He has a fullyfunctional brain, yes. He is capable of making the decision to acceptor reject treatment. If this child was not a day over 18, there wouldbe no issue with him refusing treatment.Maybe he doesn’t want tolive his life like this, maybe he doesn’t want the treatment. He is 13,but he is capable of having his own morals and his own beliefs. Wake uppeople, the child is growing up.”*I should have said, “However, even as a pro-lifer”. That was my typing error.I do not support the court’s decision to force chemotherapy upon him. He is himself, he does not have another human being in him. He is a 13 year old child who is sick. I realize there is a treatment, but he decided he does not want it. His parents are supporting that and backing it up with their beliefs. The court needs to leave this child alone. He may live, he may die.

  16. @nluvwgreenday – Sorry, I should have gone back and reread your original comment.I find your views inconsistent and contradictory.  You allow a 13-year-old boy more rights and greater self-determination than you allow an adult woman.  And you show more concern for the life of a fetus than you show for the life of Daniel.

  17. @transvestite_rabbit – Daniel does not have the life of a fetus growing in him to be concerned with. He only has his own. I feel he has the right to say yes or no to chemotherapy and I feel that a woman should not be aloud to have an abortion, yes. However, if Daniel ever becomes pregnant and doesn’t want to the have the child, tell me and I will give the same argument, if he does not want this child, place it for adoption. My views may be contradicting each other, but they are my views. I am pro-life, I am also pro-same sex marriage and and pro a lot of things. One thing I do not agree with is forcing someone to have a treatment for something he does not want. Having an abortion/not having an abortion is NOT a treatment for a medical condition.John Travolta’s son was removed from medication due to John’s belief in Scientology. Did the courts go and slam the gavel and say, “You have no choice, you must give your son this medication because it can help him”?

  18. @transvestite_rabbit - another point that seems to be missed:  aborting a fetus (i.e., killing your own child in utero) is the same as allowing your underaged kid to refuse chemo (i.e., killing your 13 yo kid by refusing medical treatment).  Here’s a question I’d like to have answered:  if a fetus could vote “yes, I don’t want to live,” would it be okay to kill it?

  19. @ordinarybutloud – In answer to your question, I believe yes. The child would then have the choice of whether or not to live. While in the womb, no it does not, and it should not be killed because of the mother’s reasons. The child should be allowed to die on it’s on terms. And I do not believe that you are correct in saying that aborting a fetus is the same as allowing this child to refuse treatment. This is, as I said above, because in one, the child has the choice, in the other, the child does not.

  20. @nluvwgreenday - so “right to die” isn’t accompanied by any competency factors like, say, being of sound mind or legal age?  Daniel isn’t of legal age.  His mother is making the decision for him that he is going to die.  Chemo sucks.  I bet if you asked a fetus, the fetus would tell you that childbirth sucks, too.  It’s scary and I think there’s rotation and squeezing and pain and possibly even deprivation of oxygen involved, plus afterwards you get separated from your mom and nasty stuff gets stuck in your eyes.  If I were a fetus, I’m not sure I would choose birth.  If I were Daniel, I probably wouldn’t choose chemo.  That’s why fetuses and young teens don’t get to make life-altering decisions.

  21. @transvestite_rabbit – Once again, you have stirred up a hornet’s nest with no chance of reaching a consensus.   Of course, the objective here is not consensus but discussion.  Women should have the right to choose.  Period!   If not, all the pro-lifers who call others murderers  should agree to adopt all unwanted childen which would result from an abortion ban.   They won’t, of course.  The focus should be on preventing conception…not screaming at each other.   Daniel must get treatment to save his life.  He’s not capable of deciding to forego life saving treatment on his own.  

  22. @ordinarybutloud – “Young teens don’t get to make life-altering decisions.” Hmm… my 16 year-old best friend is six months pregnant with what would be her second child. She miscarried the first one. I would be a 15 year-old mother if I had not miscarried a child. I believe that having a child is a life-altering decision that I made when I chose to have sex. I did not have sex, obviousely, thinking that I would get pregnant, but that is the subconnscious decision I made. I am a teen. If a teen chooses to do drugs, smoke, or drink, that is a life-altering decision. At age 15-17, a teen can start driving. That is a life-altering decision. If a 16-18 year old drops out of school, that is a life altering decision. At 13-18, a teen can get a job and start paying taxes. That is a life altering decision (and, since I am paying taxes on my college fund dividends and Subway income, I definitely know that one).I believe your point it moot. It carries no meaning in today’s world.Also, I do believe Daniel is of sound mind. If a 16 to 17 year old brother or sister’s parents die, and he or she has a/several sibling/s, and fights for his or her right to raise these children, do you automatically deny them because they are not of age and can’t possibly be of sound mind? (I believe that they would be of sound mind.)

  23. @nluvwgreenday - sorry, life-altering was too broad.  You are right.  Young teens are generally not permitted to act on their own in a legal capacity, i.e., make decisions about medical treatment and care, unless they are emancipated minors, which I do not believe Daniel is.  

  24. @nluvwgreenday - In your orphan scenario, it would not be an issue of “sound mind.”  It would be an issue of “in the best interests of the minor children,” and I would be surprised if there were very many jurisdictions that would allow a 16 yo to raise a passel of younger siblings.

  25. @transvestite_rabbit – Again you miss the point. (For the record I am not arguing when life begins; that is quite another topic.) If we agree at the outset that a fetus is a full human being then he is equivalent in moral arguments to a 4 year old child, regardless of thier relative physical independence. So yes, my example does apply. Just admit that you believe a fetus is *not* a human being and this discussion can progress rationally. Far too many people enaged in this debate have no training in logic or purposely choose to ignore it.If a fetus is accepted to be a whole person, you have raised a false distinction between the fetus and the four year old. If you rely on a dialysis machine to live are you less of a person? Is it morally acceptable to kill people who cannot live without outside assistance? You have raised non sequitors to refute my point, which you still have not addressed. Attacking the periphery of a argument instead of directly answering the question is akin to asking a fireman to help you with your pottery class homework while your house burns to the ground.Your statement of other parties that can care for this or that person is wholly irrelevant. Yet another red herring. You really like using those, don’t you?I am actually inclined to agree with your point about Daniel, but I haven’t said anything for or against your assertion about him up until now.

  26. @herzog3000 - I don’t get why you think Daniel’s death would be like a suicide.  He’s a kid.  His mother is making the decision about his death.  How is that different from a mother who gets an abortion, assuming a fetus is a whole person?

  27. @ordinarybutloud – No, Daniel is not an emancipated teenager. Neither am I, nor is my best friend. We all still live happily at home with our parents and they still carry rights of us until we are 18. However, Daniel has made the decision that he does not want treatment. Are you saying that his parents, regardless of his or their own beliefs, should say, “No, we will not allow you to decide what you can and cannot do with your own body”?Out of curiosity, have you ever read a book called My Sister’s Keeper? This is a book about a child that is born for the sole reason of keeping her sister alive. She has no choice but allow her parents to use her for whatever medical reasons they need her for. She sues her parents for the right to her own body. (I won’t tell the ending because it is an amazing book and you should go read it!) While this does not have the same plot as Daniel’s case does, it is an example of how a child needs to be able to decide what their body is for. He does not believe his is for pumping full of chemicals.Let us look at this scenario. A child is, say… 14, and their is an experimental allergy drug for children that needs testing, and a parent must consent for the child to do this. Child A wants to do this testing, his parents allow him to because he is making the decision of whether or not to do so. Child B does not want to do this testing, but his parents force him to because he is under 18 and therefore, is not an adult AND sound of mind. Do you, as the court system, say that Child A must not do the testing even though he does want to and his parents support his decision. Do you, as the court system, say that that Child B must do the testing because he is underage and it is ultimately up to his parents?

  28. I think Daniel should be forced to have his surgery. Life = Life. I oppose abortion, assisted suicide, the death penalty, guns, and unjustified war. The 5th Commandment says “You shall not Kill.” Killing includes not taking measures, that are available to be taken, so save a life. Killing is killing. So no, religion does not trump pro-life so long as you are not using your faith as a political tool. Which, sadly, far too many Christians do.

  29. @ordinarybutloud – I didn’t address Daniel at all actually. I haven’t been arguing for equivalence of Daniel’s situation and the mother-fetus situation; transvestite-rabbit has. I haven’t been arguing for their distinction either.

  30. @herzog3000 - Immediately before you said TR missed the point, you made an argument based on the ethics of self-care being different from the ethics of care for another, and you based your 4 yr old hypothetical on a “negligent suicide” scenario vs a homicidal act via gun.  The implication was that you view her situation as false because it pits murder against suicide.  Did I somehow misunderstand your implication?

  31. @ordinarybutloud – I did make that distinction but only as it applied to a fetus accepted at the outset to be a full human and a 4 year old child. I haven’t addressed Daniel because that situation is not fundamentally comparable in my view. Thus I claimed “false dichotomy” against her original point.

  32. @ordinarybutloud – In this case, if Daniel was age 7, 5, or 2, the parent SHOULD be the one deciding to give him treatment or not. The court should still have no right to step in and force it on him. I believe in this age range, he is underage AND not sound of mind in the sense that he is not capable of making an informed decision. Daniel is 13 and is capable of doing so.Also, a 16 year can decide, as I said before, to have a child, get a job, drive, finish or not finish schooling, and do or not do drugs. A 16 year old can do all of this, but is not capable of raising their brother or sister because, and only because, they are not 18, and therefore, still being two years away from what the law considers “sound of mind”?

  33. Okay, this is going to be long.  I apologize in advance.First, I’d like to say it pains me deeply to support government intervention into a private medical matter.  But having had the same disease as Daniel, and having been through chemo, I have a frequent urge to reach through the T.V. screen and slap his mother silly.Chemo is unpleasant, yes.  It can be very, very unpleasant.  And difficult.  But for this disease, it is very temporary.  Depending on the type of treatment, three or nine months.  If the boy were actually suicidal, and his parents stood by while he starved himself to death, the courts would be correct to intervene, and they are correct in this case.I know, that wasn’t your question, but I really wanted to vent that.  As to your question, I’m not sure the two situations can be equated.  On the issue of abortion, the fetus’ right to life (assuming it has one) is weighed against the mother’s right to sovereignty over her own body.  For example, let’s change the age of the child from unborn to 10 years old.  Now let’s say that 10-year-old needs a kidney transplant from his mother, in order to live.  While most mothers would certainly donate the kidney, there’s no legal way to compel her to do so, if she doesn’t want to.  The same applies for less drastic procedures, like a blood transfusion.  In short, a child’s (or anyone’s) right to life does not extend to forcing others to violate the integrity of their own bodies.But that’s not what’s being asked, or demanded, of this mother.  The competing rights in Daniel’s case are different.  In this case, we’re talking about Daniel’s right to live, versus his right to die, versus his parents’ right to make medical decisions for their child.  Unlike the issue of pregnancy and abortion, the mother’s body doesn’t come into play here, only her judgment.  I think her judgment is suspect, but I’ve already been over that.As for Daniel’s right to choose death over chemotherapy, I would argue that a 13 year old is not competent to make that decision.  Especially considering how curable this disease is.  His decision is akin to cutting off his leg for a broken ankle because a cast would be uncomfortable.  A competent parent would step in and prevent that, even if there were a religious objection to plaster.Obviously, other cancers and other chemotherapies are not so cut-and-dried.  But Hodgkin’s is.  That leads us to Daniel’s right to life.  He does have that right, and he’s not old enough to surrender it.  Furthermore, his life is not dependant on his mother’s physical being, but on her willingness to see that he gets proper care.  By not making sure he gets his chemo, she’s an accomplice to cutting off the leg for the broken ankle.  In fact, there’s no doubt in my mind that Daniel’s resistance to chemotherapy begins and ends with her.  Given those facts, I think the government has a duty to step in and protect Daniel’s right to life from his mother.

  34. I haven’t heard what religion Daniel Hauser and his family are.I googled “daniel hauser religion” and nothing came up as a home run. I’m going to do a little digging… woop, here it is:”the family are members of the Nemenhah Band of Native Americans, who are proponents of natural healing methods” if they lived on an Indian reservation/sovereign nation land, then it would have been up to them. of course that really doesn’t tackle the issue.I don’t believe the pro-life community is necessarily “silent” on this one. to come out blazing on every story that ends up as a newsmaker is quite reactionary. also, who speaks for the pro-life movement? Is there a Jesse Jackon/Al Sharpton equivalent?if anything, this is more related to end-of-life / euthanasia than abortion.In this instance, I personally think the child should get treatment. But if they’re seeking alternative treatment forms on religious grounds, that should be protected by the first amendment. nothing in my religion prohibits me from getting chemo so if I had hodgkins, I’d opt for chemo. now I’ve never heard the argument that someone wanted an abortion based on religious grounds.

  35. I am Pro-Life. And I’m also a nurse.I know we have our ethical standards of doing our job, but I don’t think I will ever participate in something that will allow me to abort a fetus. Unless a fetus has .1 percent chance of surviving, then I think it is best to have the baby aborted. But if the fetus has about 10% chance of surviving, then why the hell not? Some people just abort their babies because of their own selfish reasons.As for this Daniel situation, well….I would definitely want him to go through treatments no matter what the outcome. I’d feel MORE guilty if I knew that he’d have a chance at survival and I didn’t do anything about it just coz I was scared that it would be a lengthly, traumatic operation. So what? He already has a medical condition. Life is NOT a bed of roses. To me, it is an act of kindness no matter whether in the end he’ll survive or not. At least you didn’t pass up the chance to help somebody.I mean, look at it this way. What if YOU were the one who had this medical condition and you couldn’t decide for yourself and then suddenly your family members and friends decide that you WILL NOT undergo any operation at all because they’re afraid it might get worse. Would you want that? I think I’d go for treatment. There’s always hope for everybody. There’s a risk, yes. But you’ll never know until you try.

  36. I don’t want to get into the abortion debate, but with regard to the Daniel Hauser case, I’ll say this:  It’s troubling that the government could force someone to undergo medical treatment he or she does not want.  On the other hand, it seems to me that this whole situation could have been avoided with better education for the family, and, perhaps, better management of the side effects of the chemotherapy.  

  37. @nluvwgreenday – With all due respect, the point here is that you cannot stand there and say “Daniel has a right to choose what can and cannot be done to his body because it’s HIS body” and then turn around and tell a woman or young girl who is pregnant “Sorry, you don’t have the right to choose what can and cannot be done to your body because it’s a fetus that may be a Beethoven some day.” Uh, that’s called hypocrisy. Either I have the right to choose what goes on in my body or I don’t. Are there mitigating circumstances here? You tell me. That girl may have become pregnant because of rape or incest.  Or the birth control failed and this wasn’t supposed to happen. She may need that abortion because to carry that child would kill her. Or cause her to suffer crippling diseases–stroke, diabetes, etc. Or it could kill her. That child may deformed to the point that the quality of life is null and void and to be born would kill it…or to live would be more pain than you can imagine. You would force her to carry to term knowing all of these things…but the point is, you would force her to do that. But you would disagree with forcing this child to take poison into his body because it’s his right to choose.Darlin’, freedom cannot be given with conditions. You’re either free or you’re not. You either have choice or you don’t. And by the way, being pro-life is also a choice. Makes you pro-choice.

  38. Oh god, don’t get me started on Tim Pawlenty (or, as I affectionately call him, T-Paw). You know why he vetoed the marijuana bill for terminal patients? He’s worried about marijuana’s addictive properties. I would think that would be of secondary importance to the fact that THEY ARE DYING!

  39. You’re so smart! I totally agree. Like I’ve said before, as a religious person of the Christian persuasion, I fully believe that God is pro-choice.  So I think the choice of treatment for any serious medical condition must be up to each individual person.  Like I said, you’re so smart! Love the analogy, and the update.  Why do people hate pot?? It’s such a mellow drug. It all goes back to that damn cotton lobby, they didn’t want the superior hemp fiber running them out of the marketplace.  Speaking of, have you ever seen Reefer Madness? The original short film or the musical – if you haven’t you should rent the DVD of the musical and watch the original Reefer Madness (on the DVD) first and then the musical. Guaranteed hilarity.  Did you know pot turns you into a crazed zombie!??!! It’s all true, I swear!!!

  40. @totalacceptance – But Daniel Hauser is an innocent child too.  He’s not old enough to make an informed decision about his medical care, or to decide to kill himself.  So by refusing life-saving treatment for him, his parents are killing him.  Or were.  They’ve given in under threat of arrest.

  41. I think those parents are just wrong not to get treatment for Daniel, whatever their beliefs. 13 is not old enough to decide to die, particularly when recovery is so likely.  However, I don’t think the law should force them to accept treatment because I believe people (or their legal guardians) should make those decisions for themselves.  Re: abortion, I think fetuses are people.  I always have.  I think it’s impossible to assign the point at which life begins based on any scientific or ideological measure other than conception, because everything else is just a stage of development.  I am still pro-choice.  I have never personally had an abortion, and now that I am 40 I can safely say I never will.  Well, actually, I retract that.  I can safely say it is highly unlikely.  I think marijuana should be legal.  I don’t necessarily think pro-lifers are inconsistent with Daniel/abortion, though.  Here’s how it’s really consistent:  no medical intervention is ever okay, because science is the devil.  Inconsistencies solved!

  42. @transvestite_rabbit – No one should force anyone to do something. There’s always the nurses’ rights and there’s also the patient’s rights. The patient has the right to refuse treatment. As in this case, he should not be forced to be treated. But he’s 13. He should still need the consent of his parents. If I were the parent, I would take the risk of having my son undergoing such treatment rather than KNOWING he might live with this treatment and I didn’t do anything at all because my FEAR was ruling over any other decision.

  43. My husband brought up an interesting point in that this case is also essentially about who “owns” children – their parents or the state.  I get pretty nervous whenever I see the state encroaching on my right to raise my children in the way I think is best, even if that means other parents are allowed to do things with their children that I think are wrong.  It does get pretty fuzzy, though, when you get into DHS territory.  But as someone who would like to home school her children (for a while anyway) – that is, my right to give my children the education I deem best, rather than what the state deems best – I do get nervous when the rights of parents are infringed upon, as they definitely were in this case.  I like having all these intelligent people around to make me think!

  44. Having read The Tipping Point about abortions vs crime rates I am further convinced that people are stupid and abortion should be legalised (although there should be counselling/therapy involved every step of the way). But back to your point – I think its the right of the child to choose if he wishes to undergo chemotherapy. I am borderline religious but if my church had said “Thou shalt not seek a doctor when ill” I’ll just say stuff it and walk out. I think its important to understand no parent would want their child to die slowly – honestly, would most parents even allow that? – and in this case the family truly believes that the child can be saved by God. I think the state has done the right thing by interfering and steps are taken to ensure the child receives adequate medical treatment however whatever happens, happens. Next thing to consider: if the child dies because he has fought the treatment (how does one do that? Box the nurse up?) or by way of the family’s resistance to the treatment does the state have a right to charge the family for death resulting in negligence?

  45. okay, i know i am a little late in weighing in on this blog, but i think it is really sad that at 16 years old (if indeed she really is a 16 year old girl), nluvwgreenday believes, quote ‘If abortion was 100% legalized at any ageand for any reason, women would be using abortion as a reason to havesex without the protection of birth control and/or condoms, etc.Abortion would be the birth control for them. “Oh! I am pregnant? Well,I’ll just abort, go back to my normal life.”‘ (copied verbatim from her second comment).   is this really what young girls think of abortion these days? because i don’t think i know a single woman who has had to deal with the abortion issue that has viewed it so flippantly as her comment implies. 

  46. sorry  am sailing this past ship…But I read this and wow Someone who thinks like I do. I am pro life choicer LOLI don’t choose abortion for myself but don’t condemn anyone who cannot face  pregnancy and motherhood.The Government used to force women to have hysterectomies back in the 1970’s on Native American women. Little know facts. I like to see Pro-lifers realize we need to keep this choice to have or not have up to the individual.

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