article: when child's medical treatment goes against parents faith - Page 4 - Mothering Forums

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Old 04-17-2008, 12:25 AM
 
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Doctors are there to inform, not force procedures upon their patients.
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Old 04-17-2008, 01:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I don't agree with the religious aspects of this, but just to play devils advocate here, I think to most religious believers it IS a safety issue. Most people of faith believe in the afterlife as the ultimate goal. Refusing a blood transfusion is also for the guarantee of the child making it safetly into the afterlife. So in that way, religion stands above other personal beliefe systems, because the 'safety' issue can be shifted in multiple directions.
To most religious believers it is a safety issue, but to everyone else it is letting your child die. Also, making it into the afterlife is for the parents benefit, no JW would ever tell you that a child who was given a blood transfusion would then have to die in armageddon. They just don't believe that. Not giving your kid a blood transfusion is to preserve your own chances at afterlife, not to preserve your child's. Where you choose to give birth, or choosing to co-sleep is not conditional on believing in the supernatural. Homebirthing and co-sleeping are not explained or defended by telling people that you have a belief in the supernatural.
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Old 04-17-2008, 02:18 PM
 
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Jennica I agree with your point that homebirthing, cosleeping, breastfeeding etc are not life or death situations, and also don't have religious connotations attached.

I don't know what a JW would 'tell' you. But I do know that it would be a test to God, and I allways thought that to be involving both the parents and the child. Also, in other religions, the parents are the religious guardians of their children until a certain age. For example, religions who baptise in infancy often think the infant would serve a consiquence should something happen and it wasn't baptised. I am no expert on the subject.

I just felt uncomfurtable with the notion that these parents are 'killing' their baby. I don't agree with that at all, and I think it is the most hurtfull thing we can say about them. I am sure the parents in the situation certainly don't feel that way.

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Old 04-17-2008, 02:55 PM
 
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The truth hurts sometimes.
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Old 04-17-2008, 04:41 PM
 
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The truth hurts sometimes.
I think this comment is rude. You are intittled to your opinion, but I wouldn't go so far to say it is 'the truth', because it is just your opinion, and I'm sure not everyone shares it.

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Old 04-17-2008, 05:29 PM
 
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I think this comment is rude. You are intittled to your opinion, but I wouldn't go so far to say it is 'the truth', because it is just your opinion, and I'm sure not everyone shares it.

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Old 04-18-2008, 03:47 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I don't know what a JW would 'tell' you. But I do know that it would be a test to God, and I allways thought that to be involving both the parents and the child. Also, in other religions, the parents are the religious guardians of their children until a certain age. For example, religions who baptise in infancy often think the infant would serve a consiquence should something happen and it wasn't baptised. I am no expert on the subject.

I just felt uncomfurtable with the notion that these parents are 'killing' their baby. I don't agree with that at all, and I think it is the most hurtfull thing we can say about them. I am sure the parents in the situation certainly don't feel that way.
Well, the point of the article seemed to be clear that they were happy with the situation of the government interfering and forcing a blood transfusion on their child. So, if they are absolved from sin because someone with higher authority said they had to comply, then it stands to reason that a child would be absolved as well if a higher authority (their parents) said that had to have the transfusion. The sin is the parents, not the child's, and the parents would be punished for it. JW's do not teach in public or in private (as far as I can remember anyway) that the child would be guilty of a sin if a blood transfusion was given to it.

I don't think it is true to say that these parents are killing their kids either. The parents obviously care about their children and don't want them to die, and in a lot of cases I truly don't believe the parents are fully informed about what they are deciding, and that is really sad. It is a really complex issue with no easy answers.
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Old 04-18-2008, 12:42 PM
 
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"This tendency toward avoiding a baby's death at all costs - without considering a family's physical, emotional, or spiritual needs - has created some confusing and contradictory practices. Consider how physicians approach Down syndrome, which often results in mental retardation, heart defects, a higher risk of leukemia, and other problems. Last year, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommended that all pregnant women, regardless of age, be offered screening for the condition before 20 weeks of pregnancy - a time frame clearly determined by the availability of legal abortion. Yet since 1984, federal law forces a child born with Down syndrome to receive almost any necessary surgery to preserve life. Therefore, aborting an otherwise normal fetus with Down syndrome for any reason is legal; however, allowing natural death for newborns with not only Down syndrome but also severe spinal and gastrointestinal defects is forbidden."

This paragraph of the article was interesting to me. Why do we have a right to purposely terminate a pregnancy, but we don't have a right to let nature take its course after a baby is born with an allready deadly disease?

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Old 04-18-2008, 07:20 PM
 
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I agree with alegna.

"The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic."
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Old 04-19-2008, 12:27 AM
 
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"This tendency toward avoiding a baby's death at all costs - without considering a family's physical, emotional, or spiritual needs - has created some confusing and contradictory practices. Consider how physicians approach Down syndrome, which often results in mental retardation, heart defects, a higher risk of leukemia, and other problems. Last year, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommended that all pregnant women, regardless of age, be offered screening for the condition before 20 weeks of pregnancy - a time frame clearly determined by the availability of legal abortion. Yet since 1984, federal law forces a child born with Down syndrome to receive almost any necessary surgery to preserve life. Therefore, aborting an otherwise normal fetus with Down syndrome for any reason is legal; however, allowing natural death for newborns with not only Down syndrome but also severe spinal and gastrointestinal defects is forbidden."

This paragraph of the article was interesting to me. Why do we have a right to purposely terminate a pregnancy, but we don't have a right to let nature take its course after a baby is born with an allready deadly disease?
Downs Syndrome usually isn't deadly.

At any rate, I think the point of that law is that the things it's referring to are usually correctable with surgery and not necessarily deadly.

I remembering reading a short article by a mom who's daughter was born with Downs. They were Catholic and had declined prenatal testing and she also had a heart defect that wasn't catastrophic but did require surgery. The doctor actually told this mother that he would be happy to NOT do the surgery since they didn't have a chance to "take care of this" before birth. (I.E. you didn't know your kid was "defective" so I'm happy to sit by and watch her die since you didn't have the chance to abort her).

I think that's the kind of thing the law is trying to prevent.
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Old 04-19-2008, 01:25 AM
 
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Downs Syndrome usually isn't deadly.

At any rate, I think the point of that law is that the things it's referring to are usually correctable with surgery and not necessarily deadly.

I remembering reading a short article by a mom who's daughter was born with Downs. They were Catholic and had declined prenatal testing and she also had a heart defect that wasn't catastrophic but did require surgery. The doctor actually told this mother that he would be happy to NOT do the surgery since they didn't have a chance to "take care of this" before birth. (I.E. you didn't know your kid was "defective" so I'm happy to sit by and watch her die since you didn't have the chance to abort her).

I think that's the kind of thing the law is trying to prevent.
I see your point.

As you sated, Downs is not deadly. Yet it is perfectly exceptable to terminate a pregnancy with news of this or other non deadly diseases. I think when a child is BORN with a deadly disease, a parent should have the right to make a desision between medical attention or a peacefull death. I find it ironic that our society is so excepting of one and so apaulled by the other. JMO

I am not quite sure by your post what your stance was on the issue, I just wanted to clarrify what I was trying to say, since reading it back I dont' think I worded it as well as I could have.

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Old 04-19-2008, 02:48 AM - Thread Starter
 
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As you sated, Downs is not deadly. Yet it is perfectly exceptable to terminate a pregnancy with news of this or other non deadly diseases. I think when a child is BORN with a deadly disease, a parent should have the right to make a desision between medical attention or a peacefull death. I find it ironic that our society is so excepting of one and so apaulled by the other. JMO
I would not say that it is "perfectly acceptable" to terminate a pregnancy, whether the fetus has a disease or not. If your saying it shouldn't be acceptable to terminate a pregnancy, then, if you want to talk about threatening homebirth/VBAC/or birth choices, then lets talk about giving fetus's rights. That is much more a threat to the NFL lifestyle as it pertains to birth, then these religions withholding medical treatment. But that subject could be a whole other thread, and is getting pretty off topic.

Also, you say "when a child is born with a 'deadly' disease". If a disease is curable, then it is not "deadly". The disease that the baby in this article was born with is only "deadly" in that if you withhold treatment the baby will die, but it is not "deadly" in that there is no cure for the disease. There is a big difference there. You wouldn't say that appendicitis is "deadly", because even though it can kill you if you choose to pray about it instead of seeking medical treatment, it is totally curable in the vast majority of cases. You also wouldn't say that "letting" someone die of appendicitis is choosing a "peaceful death". In the absence of disease (e.g. birth, intact foreskin) medical intervention introduces problems, suffering, and pain, but in the presence of disease, medical intervention can bring balance, functioning, or "peace" back to the body. Therefore, to say that a death is "peaceful" just because needed medical care was not provided is simply not true. If we use appendicitis as an example again, the person will suffer their pain will steadily increase to unbearable amounts for a great deal of time before dying, yet, if you treat it with surgery, the person will heal and the pain will lesson until the person is restored to health.

In my opinion, this isn't about allowing a terminally ill child to die in peace. This is about withholding treatment from children who have curable diseases or trauma. In most cases these children would be restored to perfect, or almost perfect, health after this treatment if given, or die or be seriously injured if withheld. I can see your point about allowing a terminally ill child to die, and be able as parents to make the decision to withhold further treatments in that case, however, I simply don't think that relates to this situation.
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Old 04-19-2008, 03:21 AM
 
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Jennica I can see where I have gotten off topic, but let me clarrify.

When I say it is "perfectly acceptable" to terminate a pregnancy, I mean that it is a) legal, b) suported, and sometimes encouraged by doctors, and c) not something the majority of the public would openly bash another parent for doing. Or say that they are 'killing' their child. It is accepted in our society, yes. Forgive me for bringing it up.

If a child is born with a deadly disease, that disease is deadly. Regardless of the medical treatment available, the disease itself is deadly. Again, let me say how much this article makes me sad for this family, the baby, and all involved. I am not agreeing or condoning this in any way. I am simply saying that if we start to ridicule this couple for their dissision, simply because we don't agree with their religious beliefes, where can we expect to draw the line? I want the freedom in my country to except or deny medical treetment. That goes for all aspects. It will be along time before we get there, but I feel like fighting this topic would be contradicting everything else I stand for. Now, all of a sudon, just because I don't agree with this, the doctors and government should be able to force treetment onto them?? It would be very hard for our government to have to look at each and every case individually. Either we have rights, or we dont'.

This baby wasn't born with appendisitis. It was born with a heart disease. Open heart surgery is a very intense thing to go threw, especially for a new born. It is no doubt traumatic and will have a lasting effect on this child. To me, there are more things to observe here then the statistical outcome of the surgery.

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Old 04-19-2008, 05:18 PM
 
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Friendly moderator reminder that we do not host abortion debate at MDC. As interesting as it may be, let's leave the discussion of abortion, termination, and fetal rights aside please.
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Old 04-20-2008, 12:03 AM
 
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Im chiming in a bit late...

1) As a former JW I find these statements nauseating....

"a Witness who "willfully and without regret" accepts blood has "ceased being one of Jehovah's Witnesses."

Which basically means you lose your entire life, friends, family, often business connections. Disfellowshipping is brutal.

"Loving parents are responsible to weigh risks, benefits, and other factors and then to make a choice." Pellechia says: "It's a difficult situation for any parent." Although transfusion "would be a violation of God's law," he says, "it's up to the individual to decide whether they want to apply that law or not."

All the while knowing you will be shunned and have sinned against God and will forfeit your eternal life. But its up to you...

"On occasion . . . medical personnel have sought court backing to give blood. Of course, Christians agree with laws or court action to prevent child abuse or neglect."

The most cowardly end run I can imagine - well, ahem, you sin for us, after all you are just a degenerate sinner, what's one more on your tab - because it is JW teaching that you CAN disobey the legal system in support of a christian directive. IE, preaching where banned, refusing military service, etc... Just in this case you, of course, must comply.


On the non JW specific topic I will say that I agree with those who give the parents the right to choose, with a line drawn at high success procedures vs terminal conditions. Then again I am a right to die kind of person.

It does seem to me at times that we are leading our species toward extinction by circumventing survival of the fittest. Those who nature would deny reproduction have children,etc. I am so not fit and my genetic material is superbly flawed so this is all just philosophical rambling on my part....
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Old 04-21-2008, 03:43 AM - Thread Starter
 
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The most cowardly end run I can imagine - well, ahem, you sin for us, after all you are just a degenerate sinner, what's one more on your tab - because it is JW teaching that you CAN disobey the legal system in support of a christian directive. IE, preaching where banned, refusing military service, etc... Just in this case you, of course, must comply.
: Exactly! Why is it suddenly okay to comply with the legal system for something that supposedly goes against god? As a JW we were always taught the line between when we could comply with man's laws and when we could not, and it was clear that when things went against god's law, then it was not okay to comply to man's law. But in this case, the couple, and the Watchtower Society, seem to WANT the law to step in and make a ruling to force a transfusion. Not only this, but they then participate in an article to educate the public about how this is okay with them. I just don't get it.
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Old 08-08-2008, 03:24 AM
 
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LOL...this is old thread. I did a search for "cancer blood type" and this happened to pop up...

See as I share the other opinion, I thought I'd chime in.

You are right in that we do not accept blood transfusions (or we wouldnt eat blood sausage or blood pudding, etc). We feel that according the Bible, we are to abstain from blood (one example is Acts 15:28,29 which tells us to keep abstaining from blood.)

We also believe that commandments such as this are there for a reason and a protection for us. Example, in the early 80's when HIV wasnt screened out of blood (like the Ryan White story) and certain other diseases (hepatitis, etc), it was a protection to not accept blood transfusions.

By refusing blood though does not mean we refuse medical treatment in emergency situations. We have a liason committee that is specially trained in knowing non-blood procedures who will be at the hospital ASAP. There are alot of doctors who will preform bloodless surgery. Even locally we have a hospital that specializes in bloodless procedures (and is NOT affiliated with JWs). We DO accept things that help minimize blood loss, products such as streptokinase and recombinant products, EPO, and synthesized clotting factors. We can also use hemodilution and intra/post operative blood salvage if it is constantly linked to the circulatory system. We are all very prepared for emergency situations and we keep an Advanced Medical Directive on us that explains what we will and will not accept (we personally as in my family, have it on file with our local hospital too.)

It's not like we just stand there in an emergency and say "yep, let em die." No parent wants harm to their child.

If they step in here, they will step in everywhere. What's next, forced vax? Doctors will argue to the death that they are a "protection" and that we are neglecting our children if we dont get them. We (non-vaxers) know that isnt true. Forced hospital birth? "They" also think that is better and will throw link after link trying to prove their point. We (homebirthers) know that is not true.

I do not think the medical community should have that much power.

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Old 08-08-2008, 03:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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LOL...this is old thread. I did a search for "cancer blood type" and this happened to pop up...

See as I share the other opinion, I thought I'd chime in.

You are right in that we do not accept blood transfusions (or we wouldnt eat blood sausage or blood pudding, etc). We feel that according the Bible, we are to abstain from blood (one example is Acts 15:28,29 which tells us to keep abstaining from blood.)

We also believe that commandments such as this are there for a reason and a protection for us. Example, in the early 80's when HIV wasnt screened out of blood (like the Ryan White story) and certain other diseases (hepatitis, etc), it was a protection to not accept blood transfusions.

By refusing blood though does not mean we refuse medical treatment in emergency situations. We have a liason committee that is specially trained in knowing non-blood procedures who will be at the hospital ASAP. There are alot of doctors who will preform bloodless surgery. Even locally we have a hospital that specializes in bloodless procedures (and is NOT affiliated with JWs). We DO accept things that help minimize blood loss, products such as streptokinase and recombinant products, EPO, and synthesized clotting factors. We can also use hemodilution and intra/post operative blood salvage if it is constantly linked to the circulatory system. We are all very prepared for emergency situations and we keep an Advanced Medical Directive on us that explains what we will and will not accept (we personally as in my family, have it on file with our local hospital too.)

It's not like we just stand there in an emergency and say "yep, let em die." No parent wants harm to their child.

If they step in here, they will step in everywhere. What's next, forced vax? Doctors will argue to the death that they are a "protection" and that we are neglecting our children if we dont get them. We (non-vaxers) know that isnt true. Forced hospital birth? "They" also think that is better and will throw link after link trying to prove their point. We (homebirthers) know that is not true.

I do not think the medical community should have that much power.
Did you read through the thread, because I believe pretty much all of these points have been addressed. There is no need to rehash it again to answer your comment when people can simply read back in the thread.

Here is an interesting website about JW's and their blood policy. The site is created by current JW's who want "new light" (reform) on the blood policy. http://ajwrb.org/ It is called "New Light on Blood" with a subtitle of "Official Website of Associated Jehovah's Witnesses for Reform on Blood". It will answer several of your comments, and shows that Jehovah's Witnesses are not united in their feelings about the Watchtower Societies changing policies on blood transfusions.
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Old 08-09-2008, 02:39 AM
 
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thanks for that link.......gave me a lot to think about
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Old 08-09-2008, 12:59 PM
 
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LOL...this is old thread. I did a search for "cancer blood type" and this happened to pop up...

See as I share the other opinion, I thought I'd chime in.

You are right in that we do not accept blood transfusions (or we wouldnt eat blood sausage or blood pudding, etc). We feel that according the Bible, we are to abstain from blood (one example is Acts 15:28,29 which tells us to keep abstaining from blood.)

We also believe that commandments such as this are there for a reason and a protection for us. Example, in the early 80's when HIV wasnt screened out of blood (like the Ryan White story) and certain other diseases (hepatitis, etc), it was a protection to not accept blood transfusions.

By refusing blood though does not mean we refuse medical treatment in emergency situations. We have a liason committee that is specially trained in knowing non-blood procedures who will be at the hospital ASAP. There are alot of doctors who will preform bloodless surgery. Even locally we have a hospital that specializes in bloodless procedures (and is NOT affiliated with JWs). We DO accept things that help minimize blood loss, products such as streptokinase and recombinant products, EPO, and synthesized clotting factors. We can also use hemodilution and intra/post operative blood salvage if it is constantly linked to the circulatory system. We are all very prepared for emergency situations and we keep an Advanced Medical Directive on us that explains what we will and will not accept (we personally as in my family, have it on file with our local hospital too.)

It's not like we just stand there in an emergency and say "yep, let em die." No parent wants harm to their child.

If they step in here, they will step in everywhere. What's next, forced vax? Doctors will argue to the death that they are a "protection" and that we are neglecting our children if we dont get them. We (non-vaxers) know that isnt true. Forced hospital birth? "They" also think that is better and will throw link after link trying to prove their point. We (homebirthers) know that is not true.

I do not think the medical community should have that much power.
Great post, Desiree! Thanks for your perspective. And EXACTLY! to the bolded.

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Old 08-18-2008, 05:24 PM
 
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I don't really get how they can say that they didn't actually make the decision, that they've done everything according to their beliefs. I have to agree with those who say that it doesn't seem so much like a compromise as it does like letting someone else make a decision so that they didn't have to.

That said, I wanted to address the idea that it's similar to Jews hiring someone to "work" on shabbos; It's not remotely. Jehovah's Witnesses believe that if their child has a transfusion, they're violating God's laws, right? Allowing someone else to effectively take the decision from their hands is allowing God's rules to be violated. Jews don't believe that there's anything wrong with non-jews turning lights on on shabbos; It's only Jews who are prohibited from doing those things. Also: A Jew is not permitted to actually ask someone, even a non-Jew, to turn the lights on on shabbos/yom tov. Very very different.

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Old 09-01-2008, 11:00 PM
 
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For me, there should be a line drawn if there is an immediate danger of death. I

f parents want a second or third opinion, and there is time (even just a few hours) then it should be granted. I am anti-vax and believe parents should be able to seek alternative treatments for cancer, etc, but those are things that have to do with saving life - just a different approach to how that life is saved.

I don't think religion is an excuse for everything, and religion should not be an excuse to literally allow a child to die. I cannot support that, personally.
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