United Kingdom. Commentary. If a state refused, they would not receive federal child abuse protection grants. The spread of measles has called attention to parents who don’t vaccinate children because of religious beliefs. In situations in which parents refuse on religious grounds to consent to medical treatment for their children, health care providers should consult local counsel as to the legal options available. Child; Child Advocacy/legislation & jurisprudence* Humans; Liability, Legal* Parent-Child Relations* Religion and Medicine* Treatment … For several hours there was a tense standoff between caregivers and parent. Medical care is considered one of the most basic of all human needs, and yet parents may elect to apply religious or cultural beliefs in place of traditional Western medical care for their children. But when the tables are turned and parents insist on sustaining life by any means, few doctors are willing to make it a legal matter. "But often they are OK when the physician says enough is enough.". He and his parents opted instead for "alternative medicines" based on their religious … However, they may not impose religious practices or personal beliefs which endanger the welfare of a child on minor children. Eleven states had exemptions in place by the end of 1974, and within 10 years, all states had one in place. "Spending a lifetime attached to a mechanical ventilator, having every bodily function supervised and sanitized by a carer or relative, leaving no dignity or privacy to the child and then adult, has been argued as inhumane," they say in an accompanying editorial. In this photo, pregnant sect member Rebecca Corneau, center, … Parents do not have an absolute right to refuse medical treatment for their children based on their religious beliefs. For example, if a parent prevented needed care because of a fear of nonexistent risks, the state would be able to intervene with little opposition by courts. The Canadian Supreme Court ruled that provided that the child demonstrate adequate knowledge, they could consent to a procedure despite their parents … Parents have the right to refuse medical treatments when doing so does not place the child at significant risk of substantial harm or suffering. ScienceDirect ® is a registered trademark of Elsevier B.V. ScienceDirect ® is a registered trademark of Elsevier B.V. Parents’ refusal of medical treatment based on religious and/or cultural beliefs: The law, ethical principles, and clinical implications. They are innocent and have every right to live healthy lives. For example, in a case involving a seventeen- year-old Jehovah’s Witness who refused blood transfusions with parental support, the court recognized the distinctiveness of … If the patient is a child who lacks capacity to make a decision, and both parents 16 refuse treatment on the grounds of their religious or moral beliefs, you must discuss their concerns and look for treatment options that will accommodate their beliefs. A Minnesota judge has ruled that a 13-year-old boy with a highly treatable form of cancer must seek conventional medical treatment despite his parents' objections on religious grounds. It's not something for their parents to decide. Some states (Arizona, Washington, Illinois, and Connecticut) met these federal requirements by providing religious exemptions to prosecution to Christian Scientists only. But what if the treatment the doctors want to do is a complicated, high-risk one? Caplan says in most cases, they ultimately advocate for the patient. The medical treatments at issue are generally standard, well-accepted ones. In cases where a minor is mature enough to make medical decisions based on his or her religious faith, courts are often willing to allow refusal of treatment when the court would have rejected parental objections. Any info, suggestions, etc would be greatly appreciated. She finally allowed the child to come off life support when Caplan told her, "God may bring you a miracle but your baby does not have to be attached to a machine for this happen.". https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pedn.2004.05.014. … This dilemma is complex. Bioethics: Do parents harm their children when they refuse medical treatment based on religious grounds? I've been assigned to defend the "No" parents do not harm their children when they do this, but I don't agree with this so im having trouble finding info to help my stance. "You have to take beliefs into account but you can't let any parent for any reason hijack what you as a doctor believe is in the child's best interest," he says. And he points out, sometimes it's just a matter of demonstrating a little empathy. Perhaps a treatment … "How many times have we heard stories where physicians say the situation is hopeless and the patient goes onto make a miraculous recovery?" It's proven daily that medical treatment saves lives. 12, 43. However, a new study has found that sometimes deeply religious families test the limits of medical science by asking doctors to go to extremes to prolong life. RE: What's your opinion on parents refusing medical treatment for kids on religious grounds? When parents hold a religious belief that leads them to refuse treatment for a child, at least 2 levels of understanding are needed in an effort to reach agreement. In the majority of instances, parents ultimately agreed to end treatment after meeting with caregivers and discussing the options. By continuing you agree to the use of cookies. Most notable, a young teens parents (on religious grounds) refused a blood transfusion for their their child. To deny this to children based on religious grounds harms them. An example of such a situation is a Jehovahs' Witness being admitted to the emergency ward after a great loss of blood due to a car accident, who … In … Such scenarios bring up all sorts of ethical and legal dilemmas for medical caregivers who must try to balance a parent's wishes with what they think is best for their patient. This Site Might Help You. The genuineness of consent - 8. The legitimate limitations on the right to refuse a treatment on religious grounds - 6. In the Child Abuse Prevention Treatment Act of 1996, Congress legislated that there was no federal requirement that a child must be provided “medical service or treatment against the religious beliefs of the parent or legal guardian.” Minority faiths got protection to refuse medical attention for their children. "Of the more than 2,000 laws dealing with religion can be traced back to Christian Scientists," said Melton. There is no specific state statute addressing the refusal on religious grounds, by a parent or guardian, to allow a blood transfusion for a minor. In their commentary they stress that religious beliefs provide vital support to many parents in a time of dire need but still express concerns that those same beliefs are increasingly leading parents to insist on the continuation of aggressive treatment long after it make sense. 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