News - Parental Rights
"Even Very Sick Children Deserve Medical Care: Why Every State Needs 'Simon's Law'"
Public Discourse commentary by Grace Emily Stark
"The impetus for the bill came from the death of an infant, Simon Crosier, who was born in 2010 in St. Louis, Missouri, with the chromosomal disorder Trisomy 18. Simon was born alive via C-section, and lived for three months with many complications, including a severe heart defect. After his death, Simon’s mother discovered that a DNR order had been written into Simon’s chart. This order had been placed there by Simon’s medical providers without the Crosiers’ knowledge or consent. Simon’s parents were also shocked to discover that only 'comfort feeds' had been authorized for their son, despite their hopes that Simon would grow large enough to be considered for heart surgery. " Read more...
Concerns over concept of "futility"
Paul Hoehner, MD
"While physicians and other healthcare providers can certainly render best objective judgment (and it is only a judgment in far too many cases) regarding physiologic futility, this must still be paired with value-judgments, judgments not simply limited to amorphous and ill-defined concepts as “quality of life.” These judgments can only best be expressed and formulated by those that know the patient best, in this instance the parent(s).
In our society, there are just too many competing value-assessments and different moral communities that families are embedded in to make any profession the arbiter of “what’s right.” The danger, especially as medical care is increasingly paid for and controlled by the government, these judgments will default to and be decided upon by the will and power of the state. There are also economic pressures within advanced medical care, particularly at the end of life and with life-sustaining treatments, that may dictate or unduly influence these decisions (as they already are).
And certainly, the trend in our society is away from family decisions and towards more and more control of children by government controlled programs and policies. I believe it’s imperative to put such safeguards in place, even at a federal level, prior to the issues arising."Read More...
Limits to Parental Authority in Medical Decision Making
Christian Medical Association
Christian Medical Association member-approved position statement:
Children are a gift from God to the family. Parents are entrusted with the responsibility to love, nurture, protect, and train for their children. In our society, when parents fail to carry out their fundamental responsibilities, the state is empowered to intervene to protect vulnerable children.
As physicians and dentists, we are obligated professionally to counsel parents regarding the health and safety of their children. In addition, we are obligated legally to report to the appropriate authorities instances of parental abuse or neglect.
We recognize that between the extremes of ideal child rearing and of abusive or negligent child rearing, there is a wide range of parental actions and choices which remains a matter of discretion. In regard to these discretionary matters, we must respect parental authority by working through the parents to improve the child’s welfare.
Some parents, acting on philosophical or religious beliefs may compromise appropriate medical care for their children. In professional encounters with these parents and children, we should attempt to honor their values and beliefs whenever possible. Neverthelessour obligation remains to oppose parental decisions that may significantly harm their children.
The case of baby Charlie Gard: An act of bioethical aggression
First Things commentary by Wesley J. Smith
"These, Charlie’s, and many other similar cases I could recite, involving profoundly ill people of all ages, are examples of what is known in the bioethics trade as “futile care” or “medical futility”—or, as I call it, futile-care theory. FCT authorizes doctors to refuse or withdraw wanted life-sustaining medical treatment over the objections of family and patients when the doctors and/or a bioethics committee believe that the patient’s quality of life makes that life not worth living—or, lurking in the subtext, not worth the resources required to sustain it.
A couple of important points need to be made: We are not talking about an intervention without a potential physiological benefit to the patient—a medical determination. Rather, FCT constitutes a value judgment. As bioethicist Dr. Stuart Youngner once put it, “futility determinations will inevitably involve value judgments about: 1) whether low probability chances are worth taking; and 2) whether certain lives are of a quality worth living.”
Worse, FCT empowers strangers to make medicine’s most important and intimate health-care decisions. Deciding whether to accept or reject life-sustaining care is one of the most difficult medical choices. Under FCT, a patient’s decision—whether it be the desire of an infant patient’s guardians or written in an adult patient’s advance directive—matters less than institutional and professional opinions." Read more...
Rights of parents are under assault: Amend the Constitution
Senator Lindsey Graham press release
August 1, 2017
U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today reintroduced legislation that would amend the U.S. Constitution to clearly protect the rights of parents as they
raise their children. The legislation is cosponsored by U.S. Senators Roy Blunt (R-Missouri), Johnny Isakson (R-Georgia), James Risch (R-Idaho) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa).
Importantly, the legislation empowers parents to make decisions over the type of education their child receives. It also ensures that disabled parents’ rights are not infringed upon.
“The rights of parents are under assault from bureaucrats who think they know what’s best for someone else’s child,” said Senator Graham. “Parental rights do not and should not end when the child leaves their home.” Read more...
Single-payer healthcare threatens parental rights
Rosemary Fernandez Stein, MD
The issue is quite complex and cannot be solved well by one piece of legislation that gives parents the ability to assist in the decision making in life ending situations. It is a start, though.
First and foremost the parent should always be given access to make decisions for their child where this is feasible and medically possible. Most of the problems are coming from single payer systems. This is another example of why it is of utter importance to remove the ACA.
Single payer and government sponsored healthcare work against parental rights. Unless we deal with both issues, parental rights and Obamacare, Charlie Gard incidents will become common.
Leukemia was an incurable medical condition a few decades ago. The treatment for it was considered experimental as well. Now it is routine for children with this diagnosis to have excellent prognosis. I can cite many other similar examples.
Who Should Decide How Children Are Educated?
By Jack Klenk for Family Research Council
Who has the primary responsibility for making critical decisions about the education of school-aged children? Their parents? Or government and the school system it operates? That is a fundamental question about education policy that faces the United States as it attempts to build educational institutions for the twenty-first century.
Parents pay for public education through mandatory taxes. Most send their children to public schools, attend parent-teacher meetings, encourage their children to do homework, and bake cookies for school events. However, decisions about what schools their children attend and what education programs the schools use are typically made by the system’s own professionals. In short, parents fund, support, and cooperate with the school system, but having power over their children’s education is another thing altogether. Read more, view brochure...
Nannies in Blue Berets: Understanding the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child
By Michael Farris for Alliance Defending Freedom and Homeschool Legal Defense Fund
Ten things you need to know about the structure of the CRC:
1. It is a treaty which creates binding rules of law. It is no mere statement of altruism.
2. Its effect would be binding on American families, courts, and policy-makers.
3. Children of other nations would not be impacted or helped in any direct way by our ratification.
4. The CRC would automatically override almost all American laws on children and families because of the U.S. Constitution’s Supremacy Clause in Article VI.
5. The CRC has some elements that are self-executing, others would require implementing legislation. Federal courts would have the power to determine which provisions were self-executing.
Absurdity of U.N. treaty on child's rights
Commentary by Michael Farris - published by WND
Child-rights advocates seeking to convince the U.S. Senate and the American public to ratify the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, or CRC, are pursuing a curious line of reasoning. They say we can ratify the treaty, which preempts parents’ fundamental rights to direct the upbringing and education of their children, without incurring binding legal obligations. They argue that American legislators will choose how much, if any, of the treaty to implement.
Jonathan Todres, a professor at Georgia State, told the Associated Press that American parental rights would be safe because U.N. treaties contain “no enforcement mechanisms or penalties.” Meg Gardinier, who chairs a coalition of groups supporting the U.S. ratification of the treaty, told the AP, “No U.N. treaty will ever usurp the national sovereignty of this country.”
This smacks of the kind of American diplomacy the Left demonizes whenever conservatives suggest that America “can go its own way.” Ratify the treaty, they say. It’s not legally binding. We can choose what to obey and what not to.
This argument is not only patently hypocritical, it is legally wrong.
"As a parent, you teach your children one worldview at home, but when they go to school, are they learning something else? You have the right to oversee your child's education and what they are taught in public school." Read more...
"We are working to preserve parental rights through a Parental Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, as well as through state and federal legislation that will protect children by empowering parents." Read more...