i was skimming the parents choosing prayer over medicine thread, and it was an interesting read. it got me thinking about other aspects of parenting decisions and how much legal/gov't regulation people feel is appropriate in their lives and the lives of others in regards to choice.
right now, the general legal situation in the US is that individuals get to decide for themselves what sorts of health care they want provided and when, and that parents get to decide this for their children. there are cases where the state steps in--for the welfare of the child or the individual, whereby parents and individuals have to be considered somehow incompetent or the state's interest in that child outweighs the parent's right to choose (eg. a georgia case asserted that a woman close to her due date could not refuse medical treatment of any kind, if deemed necessary by the doctor, in order to safeguard the child. of course, other cases have asserted the opposite.)
now, we have discussed the religious reasons, but i also was curious about philosophical differences in regards to medical care.
often, when people think of medical or health care, they think of the western, allopathic model of care as being the "best" or in some cases, the 'only' real form of health/medical care available.
but, there are many other theories of health/medical care out there--homeopathic, osteopathic, traditional medicine from various cultures (chinese medicine, ayurvedic medicine, etc).
beyond these sort of "big theories" of medical care, there are also levels of "general health care" such as herbalism, nutrition/nourishment, rest and moving that contribute to overall health and wellbeing. and this also may include work, spiritual endeavors, etc.
now, looking at this, how much latitude should a parent have in regards to providing health care to their children?
legally speaking, we have great latitide, so this is really about what the folks on VB
think about health care and parental choices.
if we were to say that a parent chose traditional chinese medicine as a 'better' philosophical perspective as well as a 'better' form of health care, and consistently provided that care to a sick or injured child, and then, if the child became incredibly ill (cancer or some such) and the parent decided to continue with traditional chinese medicine rather than switching to the western, allopathic model, would you have the same impulse toward the parent as toward those parents that chose prayer to medicine?
would you encourage the state to step in and force the family to utilize allopathic medicine?
and, what of those situations where a child is sick and given allopathic medicine, and yet still dies? are these parents given a social "by?" and if so, why?
i'm just curious.