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PostPosted: 06 Nov 2007, 11:57 
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Grand Poobah
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Joined: 18 Sep 2007, 11:26
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Location: Buffalo, NY
(is this ethics or spirtuality?)

A young (22) mother of two, a JW, recently died giving birth to those two because she refused a blood transfusion.

At what point do we, as rationals first, say 'enough is enough' and either 1) religion (at least that one, in that instance) is evil or 2) the person is not capable for thinking for themselves, and someone else needs to step in?

For me, this is wrong, and she should have been given the basic medical treatment.

On the other hand, where does the right to step in and force someone to act outside their faith stop?

While I personally wish this woman had been saved, on the other hand does she have a right to die this way? And who am I to say she doesn't?

A clear line, In My Opinion, is with the endangerment of children--- like that couple who had their church pray over their son instead of seeking medical care.
But then we still get the parental rights problem--- who has a right to tell me how I can raise my son?

(Although, personally, if I was observed hurting him for a religious reason, I'd *hope* someone would step in.)

So, how much of this is a slippery slope, how much of this is valid and what should be done.

Hell, this could also be 'activism'--- to form a 'bill of religious rights' to protect some adults rights to be asses (like snake handlers) and protect children and misguided adults from the same asshattery.

(eta: ooooo--- sneaky--- I M O is changed to spell it out! Censorship!)


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PostPosted: 06 Nov 2007, 12:22 
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Joined: 31 Oct 2007, 18:47
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Location: Colorado
I am strongly in favor of personal responsibility, and the fact that her choice will have such an impact on the child is the only reason I'd consider her behavior in any way wrong.

That said, I am also strongly in favor of freedom for people to make these choices for themselves. I don't believe it's the governments job to force us into making intelligent choices for our health (I'm against pretty much all nanny state laws).

People should continue to have the freedom to reject medical attention In My Opinion. It is the same as any other choice made for your own body.

The only thing that makes me question her choice is her responsibility toward the child, but I'd hope that decision was handled by discussing her choice with the family, and hopefully there is a father or at least grandparents/brother/sister involved who said they would be willing to care for the child if she died from her decision.


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PostPosted: 06 Nov 2007, 18:34 
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Neighbor of the Beast

Joined: 03 Nov 2007, 09:17
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This seems to me to be a slippery slope sort of situation. Where do we allow this to apply and where does it not apply?

Should we then dictate that certain career or lifestyle choices should be avoided because they are more dangerous?

The rules on this are made murky by the impact such choices have on others. If the choice made causes injury or harm to another being, then it should be allowed as a matter of regulation. If it harms no other being, then the choice should be solely the responsibility and choice of the subject(s) involved.

This of course leaves the matter of choices being made for those no longer capable of making them for themselves. What of the unborn child, the Alzheimer's patient, or the brain dead person in a coma? The only solution is to hammer out a set of guidelines that dictates what can be done and when, and then live with the choices.

In the case of this woman, she should have the right to die by refusing medical aid, in my opinion, unless this could kill the children, in which case, every effort should be made to save the lives of the children. In my opinion, if the choice results in the death of or injury to the children, the full weight of the law should be brought to bear of the person(s) involved, including those that should aid or abet such situations. A sub-culture that does not agree with a societies rules should not be exempted from them simply because they want to be.

Serial killer's should not be. Radical fringe religious groups should not be. Hate groups should not be. If you break the law, you must deal with the consequences of it. If you don't like the law, you should seek to change it. If you cannot change it, and the force of social opinion is against you, then you will have to a) adapt, b) move on, or c) die out.

As to the refusal to seek medical attention to save a life, as in the case of the parent's that tried to save their child(ren) through prayer, my answer must be the same. Were I a parent, I would seek any and all means that are within my power to save the life of my child. If my religious beliefs resulted in the death of that child, I would be seriously considering a change in faith. I would also expect society to exact a price if my beliefs caused such a situation. I would expect to come up on charges and face the consequences of the failure to perform my duty as a parent and a human being.

Wow, I do go on.... :oops:


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PostPosted: 06 Nov 2007, 21:01 
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Grand Poobah
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I will say, the parents I mentioned in the OP did lose their faith (after believing so strongly that they refused to bury their child because God would resurrect him). I believe they are very very liberal Christian/agnostics now...

But that brings to light the question, how much personal responsibility does someone who has been brainwashed have? Is a 22 year old girl, recently married and never exposed to the 'real world' capable of making a decision like this one? What mother would risk dying and leaving her children alone, on purpose?

At what point does the state have a right to step in and put a halt to it? I remember my dad saying about the illegality of snake handling and poison drinking that no, the state doesn't have an interest in how a man practises his religion. The state has an interest in not allowing the creation of widows and orphans. (Or course, it does in the case of the military, but I digress.)

In this case, I would think the state also has an interest in keeping the mother alive, as children without mothers often end up being a burden on the state through welfare or prison time. Cynical, I know. But, forcing her to have a blood transfusion in order to let her hold her children...

My infertility is comeing through, isn't it? Amazing how much of my life that colored.

One thing that is bothering me is that they are working on a blood free blood transfusion for people (Rascal, our dog who died in 2001 had it). Why not use it on this mother?

But yeh, where does one draw the line? An atheist can say that everythign is wrong, and a fanatic can say that everything is right, but for us in between, what do we do? rely on our guts?


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PostPosted: 06 Nov 2007, 21:19 
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Neighbor of the Beast

Joined: 03 Nov 2007, 09:17
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As we can only form our opinions on the experiences and education that we have had in life, we are left with just that "gut" feeling on how to do things.

That is why I believe as I do on this subject.

In the case of the state having the burden of caring for the child, that is true, but then, the parent needs not die for that cause and the state has that burden as a "passive" one. In the case of forcing the mother to undergo a procedure, it is an "active" burden, which is far more difficult to justify and get the population to accept.

As to the subject of brainwashing...that is a said matter to consider. Every form of education, every form of learning, is just a matter of establishing a where, when, how, and why of action and thought. We have learned to use our rational thought processes as the basis for making decisions, to act in an informed manner. Others find that sort of thing as much brainwashing as we consider the opposite to be.

Some people simply do not have the mental "guts" to take responsibility for themselves. They "need" a leader to make decisions for them for whatever reason (failure to know how, fear of failure, etc). Personally think it is silly and poor policy. (O.K., I censored that opinion somewhat). But it is there. If we start using the state to regulate their behavior, we simply replace one form of servitude with another.

"The price of democracy is eternal vigilance" -Thomas Jefferson. *

That price is applied to any freedom. Freedom to think, act, believe...all of it. Alas.

For all of its flaws, our system is probably the best that we can have, for the here and now.

*Not that this country has EVER been a democracy. IMnsHO


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PostPosted: 13 Nov 2017, 22:10 
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