Police authorities are on a nation-wide search for a mother and her 13-year-old cancer-stricken son who fled after refusing chemotherapy that doctors say could save the boy’s life. The two left their Minnesota home after a doctor’s appointment and X-ray showed his tumor had grown. A court has issued an arrest warrant (ruling the mother in contempt of court), and has ordered that the boy be placed in foster care and immediately evaluated for treatment by a cancer specialist .
His parents insist on alternative medicines, citing religious beliefs. That led authorities to seek custody, as the court ruled that the boy’s parents were medically neglecting their son, as his form of cancer is considered highly curable with chemotherapy and radiation.
The parents believe in the philosophy of the Nemenhah Band, a Missouri-based religious group that believes in natural healing methods with herbal supplements, vitamins, ionized water and such. However, lately the dad has jumped ideological ships and is now agreeing that his son needs the best treatment with a doctor of medicine.
All over the blogosphere, you can read arguments as to whether or not the court should be able to countermand the parents. My opinion? Absolutely yes…when it is clear that the child is in imminent harm and there are the means to rescue him.
This child is in imminent harm because of his parents and the cancer itself. Since the cancer is likely curable, it is unconscionable for his life to be taken by parents who choose some extreme religious views which put their child on the road to death. Secondly, the child, 13, cannot read due to some learning disability. I question whether or not the parents helped him with that problem either. Since the boy cannot read, he is relying on the “wisdom” of his parents, who are not giving him the truth, which is “chemo will save you and herbs will let you die in pain.”
Personally, I am very respectful of most (not all) religious views. I am completely disrespectful of religious views which result in taking the life of an innocent – in this case, robbing the life of an innocent child.