Losing rights

There’s a story in the news of late about a girl being forced into chemo for cancer... it’s eating at me. I don’t think the government or state or anyone should have the right to force anyone else into treatment of any kind, for any reason.

It’s playing out in the children’s hospital that is connected to the hospital where I was almost forced into ECT against my will. It’s bringing back a lot. I feel for this kid. And I’m suddenly reminded of the line the doctor used in retort to me staying that no one would force me into a medical treatment of I chose to decline that and not psychiatric treatment… he said “I would force you, or anyone, if I felt it was the right choice”… what gives anyone else the right to deem a choice correct over your own? It’s becoming a very scary world. We are losing our rights bit by bit and no one is outraged. It was OK for the mentally ill because “they can’t possibly make sound choices”. Now it’s OK for parents and kids because they cannot make “sounds choices for themselves”… what next? Who next? Will we lose all ability to choose treatment options and medical care to whatever doctor we see? Doesn’t that set a scary precident for allowing doctors to only back their treatments? When will the rest of us start freaking out?

The girl mentioned above is 17. She will be 18 in a few months. Legally, at that time she will be considered “mature enough” to make her own decisions, but sadly the court has deemed her “incompetent”, so that right will never materialize for her. This kid has already lost her decision-making powers about her body and her health. She’s been deemed mentally ill and unable to make her own decisions. She’s being sedated and forced into a horrific treatment that should ultimately be her choice…

This is the second publicized case of the courts overstepping their bounds in New England and forcing treatment on a child in the last few years. It really scared me. Can we no longer disagree with doctors? If my child were sick, and I wanted a second opinion or another treatment option, would I be suddenly deemed an unfit parent and my child forced into treatment? This is a very scary slippery slope started by the forced treatment of people with mental illness. It’s slipping into the realm of children and the elderly. Eventually, no one will have the right to dictate their own medical care. Think about the implications of that for a moment, then get scared and outraged…

A few more articles about the decision:
from NPR
From CBS (this one mentions that she would die in 2 years of her cancer was left untreated… there’s no apparent rush to force this girl into chemo then. She would have time to seek (and likely find) alternate treatment.
From Reuters

The only rush to force this kid into treatment is coming from the fact that she will age or if the state’s easy reach by September of this year… after that, it’s a bit harder to force someone into treatment, but not by much.


2 responses to “Losing rights

  • Jane

    It goes both ways. there are many who will not prescribe because they have determined …your not worth the risk. this happens ALL THE TIME to large people. My husband’s ex just died at 52 because they deemed her unfit for a liver transplant. They basically let her die.

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