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  #1  
Old 05-11-2009, 12:21 PM
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Is a 13 year old mature enough to...

Make his own decisions about whether he should be able to refuse medical treatment? I'm talking about a case here where a 13 year old is refusing chemotherapy.

http://www.twincities.com/ci_12326725?source=most_viewed
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Old 05-11-2009, 12:41 PM
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Quote:
"My son is not in any medical danger at this point," she said.
Maybe this is nature's way of limiting access to the gene pool by dumb people. Poor kid.
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  #3  
Old 05-11-2009, 12:44 PM
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I'm watching my MIL going through that right now...

She's decided that there's not enough of her to make it through the whole process (her Drs. agree)...and it's not something that is easy to take...by any stretch of the imagination...

To force an adult to take a therapy that's too hard for them to stand would be criminal...

Why would it be any less so because it's being applied to a juvenile?

If he/she is able to decide whether they want the procedure or not, they need to make sure their parents understand exactly what's going on...and the parents have to understand exactly what the child is experiencing...the pain and pain and more pain...

Also, what's the chance of remission, let alone the complete cure of the disease altogether?

If it's 100% and the cure won't kill the kid, it's worth fighting...

But, if it's only going to give the kid and family another year or two together, then the comfort of the child should be paramount in the minds of the parents first, following the will of their child...

Here's the bad part of this whole thing...

We can sit here and type away what we feel should be done in these cases...

What we should be doing is asking those that have really dealt with these issues on a one-to-one basis to tell us what happened and how really difficult it was in doing what they did. They are the experts...we're nothing more than arm-chair nar'-do-wells...

Like I said earlier...my MIL is going down for the count...the cure was worse than the disease...but she decided that on her own and we have to live with that decision...not her living painfully with ours...

Should it be any different for that 13yo?
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Old 05-11-2009, 01:00 PM
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I think it depends on the 13 yr old and the reasons the child is giving. In reading the story, it seems that the reasons for foregoing the treatment all come from the mother and not the child. They are also not based on Mgburg's alternative of suffer painfully for a short period and then die, or just die. They're based on an unverified belief that the standard treatment of cancer is inadequate and 'alternative medical therapy' is better. I don't think a 13 yr old is in a position to make that kind of judgment. It's the parent's judgment, not the child that is at the basis of this decision. So in this instance, if I were the judge, I'd trump the 13 yr old.
If the child was making Mgburg's MIL's decision, I don't think I would trump the child.
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  #5  
Old 05-11-2009, 04:07 PM
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Originally Posted by OldPokey View Post
Maybe this is nature's way of limiting access to the gene pool by dumb people. Poor kid.
Thank you. When the child dies then mommy and daddy are going to sue the doctors because they let the kid die and Jesus didn't hear their prayers in time.
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Old 05-11-2009, 04:33 PM
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Thank you. When the child dies then mommy and daddy are going to sue the doctors because they let the kid die and Jesus didn't hear their prayers in time.
Can't the MDs get her to sign the AMA form and waive all claims?

So the kid doesn't want it. No biggie. One more dead kid is not an issue.
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Old 05-11-2009, 04:40 PM
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It's bigger than whether the kid will die or not. It's whether or not a kid has the right to self determination and whether those rights are intrinsic or earned. Whose life is it and whose rights trump whose?
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Old 05-11-2009, 04:57 PM
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It's bigger than whether the kid will die or not. It's whether or not a kid has the right to self determination and whether those rights are intrinsic or earned. Whose life is it and whose rights trump whose?
At 13, the issue to me is pretty clear. It is the parent's responsibility. If you don't feel they are adequate parents, take the kid away legally. If the decision screws up, charge them. IOW, if the kid dies, charge them.
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Old 05-11-2009, 05:06 PM
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I think it depends on the 13 yr old and the reasons the child is giving. In reading the story, it seems that the reasons for foregoing the treatment all come from the mother and not the child. They are also not based on Mgburg's alternative of suffer painfully for a short period and then die, or just die. They're based on an unverified belief that the standard treatment of cancer is inadequate and 'alternative medical therapy' is better. I don't think a 13 yr old is in a position to make that kind of judgment. It's the parent's judgment, not the child that is at the basis of this decision. So in this instance, if I were the judge, I'd trump the 13 yr old.
If the child was making Mgburg's MIL's decision, I don't think I would trump the child.
good post.
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Old 05-11-2009, 06:17 PM
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At 13, the issue to me is pretty clear. It is the parent's responsibility. If you don't feel they are adequate parents, take the kid away legally. If the decision screws up, charge them. IOW, if the kid dies, charge them.
What would indicate to you that a person is able to make their own decisions about their own lives then? I think it is quite possible that a 13 year old knows the difference between life and death, the difference between right and wrong, and the has the right to control their own destiny. Heck if we can charge kids as adults shouldn't we be able to allow them the ability to make their own decisions about medical treatment?
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Old 05-11-2009, 06:22 PM
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What would indicate to you that a person is able to make their own decisions about their own lives then? I think it is quite possible that a 13 year old knows the difference between life and death, the difference between right and wrong, and the has the right to control their own destiny. Heck if we can charge kids as adults shouldn't we be able to allow them the ability to make their own decisions about medical treatment?
Maybe he should take it up in court and be waived into adult court too.
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  #12  
Old 05-11-2009, 06:27 PM
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Is a 13 year old mature enough to...

Yes and no. People mature at different rates.

Charges shouldn't be filed no matter the outcome though.
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Old 05-11-2009, 06:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Kuan View Post
What would indicate to you that a person is able to make their own decisions about their own lives then? I think it is quite possible that a 13 year old knows the difference between life and death, the difference between right and wrong, and the has the right to control their own destiny. Heck if we can charge kids as adults shouldn't we be able to allow them the ability to make their own decisions about medical treatment?
I agree that it's quite possible that a 13 yr old could know the difference between life and death and be able to decide. I don't think it's the case here. It's not a question of life and death, it's a question of what treatment will be successful. I doubt the 13 yr old has done much research into the comparative effectiveness of traditional cancer therapy versus the new age native religion therapy his mother is taking him too. If indeed, the kid could talk intelligently about the history of research on the effectiveness of the traditional therapy he was being given versus the 'alternative medicine' he is now getting, and I were the judge, I might be inclined to allow him to make the decision. But if I had the power, I'd generally try to stop 13 yr olds from killing themselves because they have nut job parents who can't tell the difference between a double blind study and double walled sweatlodge.
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Old 05-11-2009, 06:55 PM
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Originally Posted by kerry View Post
I agree that it's quite possible that a 13 yr old could know the difference between life and death and be able to decide. I don't think it's the case here. It's not a question of life and death, it's a question of what treatment will be successful. I doubt the 13 yr old has done much research into the comparative effectiveness of traditional cancer therapy versus the new age native religion therapy his mother is taking him too. If indeed, the kid could talk intelligently about the history of research on the effectiveness of the traditional therapy he was being given versus the 'alternative medicine' he is now getting, and I were the judge, I might be inclined to allow him to make the decision. But if I had the power, I'd generally try to stop 13 yr olds from killing themselves because they have nut job parents who can't tell the difference between a double blind study and double walled sweatlodge.
I would agree with you, but I also think that MOST 13 year olds are not cognizant of what death is all about. A 13 year old's brain is not as mature as a 16 or 18 year old and look at how irresponsible older kids can be. We need to stop treating our kids as mini-adults and understand that there are things they cannot process and cannot cope with on their own. As much as I do not like CPS stepping in, in this case, I feel they should to save this kid from his misinformed and ridiculous parents. The kid hase a cancer that has a 100% cure rate if treated intime and with chemo. to refuse this treatment is signing the kid's death warrant. The thing that really burns me up is that the mother gave the kid one treatment already and said that if it was a matter of life and death she would do a second dose. That has to be the worst thing you can do, kill off most of the cancer, let it grow back and whack it again. It also proves that her religious beliefs don't mean ***** to a tree since she already violated them and would do it again. This doctor is setting himself up for a huge lawsuit since the treatments the mother will allow him to do will not save the kid's life, but just cause him pain., I wonder if this is a set up on her part for a big payoff for her and her 7 other kids...
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  #15  
Old 05-11-2009, 07:54 PM
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Originally Posted by aklim View Post
At 13, the issue to me is pretty clear. It is the parent's responsibility. If you don't feel they are adequate parents, take the kid away legally. If the decision screws up, charge them. IOW, if the kid dies, charge them.
Regrettably, the situation is one where IF the child dies, no amount of legal redress will satisfy him. He's dead.

I have seen a lot of death. It is permanent. Like the Navajo say, "It's one of those things that cannopt be undone."

The RESET button doesn't work here.....

The issue then becomes, Can the child petition the court to make a decision? If yes, how do we make the child aware of his/her rights?

Do we depend upon parents for this guidance? What if they are junkies? Or don't speak English?

There is no easy answer. Each case must stand and fall on its own merits and circumstances, and we are ALL, including me, just speculating with a modicum of the facts, not all of them.

So, no more from me on this subject.
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