I really tried to stay away from this. I have failed though.
Nicole is irate because the doofus person who runs Medical Kidnap has glommed onto the story of a couple whose baby was taken by CPS, and is now on life support at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital (when it comes to medical care, it doesn’t get much better than that) with the doctors recommending that it be discontinued.
The parents want the child kept alive for no apparent reason other than that’s what they want.
The child has Down syndrome and at least one heart defect, and who knows what else.
The parents have gotten a court injunction to keep the baby on life support for about a week until they can be heard in court.
Nobody has said this, but I will. From what I can see, these parents are unlikely to be carrying health insurance on this child or themselves either, and yet they insist that this baby be kept on life support (meaning intensive care) for an extra week, against medical advice, but have no intention of paying a single cent for it. They are also insisting that the kid get a heart transplant, one they will not pay for, and one that the doctors insist will not work, and one that will waste a heart that could go to some kid who might live, because Jesus has said it’s his will or something.
You know, because taxation is theft.
But Nicole brings up a larger issue.
How far do parental rights go? How far should they go?
The three examples she uses are interesting to me – vaccinations, abortion, life support.
I’m willing to tackle all three, but first, here’s a broad principle.
Your child is not your property.
I’ll repeat that.
Your child is not your property.
At the moment of birth, we as a society have determined that the child receives American citizenship.
You, as the child’s parent, have custody of the kid because somebody has to raise him, but you don’t own him. Custody and ownership are not the same thing.
Here’s what ownership looks like.
While there were laws in place that prevented slave owners from outright killing slaves, they were poorly enforced and regularly flouted. Many a slave died from mistreatment, from lack of medical care, from beatings, and nobody called it murder.
You do not own your children.
I get sick to death of the hypocrisy that is rampant among people who insist that “God” gave them their children and therefore they “own” them in some way, or that their decisions are paramount and the rights of the child as a citizen of this country are secondary.
The parallels to the arguments used by southern slave owners to excuse chattel slavery are unmistakable.
You do not own your children.
This means that you do not have the right to deny your child medical treatment because you believe that prayer works better than insulin. If you try that shit, and your child dies, you can and should go to prison for a very long time.
The case she cites is not really worth discussing simply because we don’t have enough data to make any informed ideas about it. Medical Kidnap is not a news source. It’s a bullshit website that offers nothing but sensational fearmongering.
From more responsible journalists, we find that there is, in fact, a delay on the baby’s impending death. And that’s really all we know. The parents, of course, are totally innocent of any problem when it comes to caring for this poor little kid, as all parents are whose kids are removed by CPS, because the state is in the business of kidnapping children so they can sell them, especially those with Down syndrome and heart defects.
Well, that won’t work, will it?
So, the state took the kid so that they could kill him after a lengthy expensive hospital stay because spending state money is just so much fun.
That’s plausible, right?
So that’s the overarching principle here. You do not own your children. They are not your property.
This means that the larger society can, in fact, tell you what you can and cannot do with and to your children. You do have to get them proper medical treatment, and in some cases, that includes vaccinations (it ought to include those everywhere, but that’s another subject).
You do have to educate them, unless you feed the state some bullshit about how you homeschool and that state has been lobbied to death by right-wing homeschoolers to the point that the laws have been gutted. I hope that someday some of these homeschooled students, as adults, sue the hell out of their parents.
And if you neglect them and fail to provide them with very basic food, shelter and safety, the state can and should and probably will come and take them away.
So what about abortion?
I am pro-choice. How do I reconcile that with the idea that you do not own your children?
It’s simple. The child is not a citizen until the child is born. Prior to that, the mother does, in fact, have life-or-death control over that fetus.
Laws have to be specific. There is a whole book full of laws with very specific definitions for the state of Kentucky. Without the book, everyone would just interpret everything any way they wished and say that making a statement on Facebook is “stalking” and we’d have chaos.
So there has to be a time when a human being is granted citizenship and we’ve determined that time to be at birth. It’s easy to see. Any blithering idiot can get it right. “Conception” doesn’t really work because when is that? When the sperm meets the egg? When the egg implants? How would you know? What if you engaged in risky behavior during the implantation period not knowing you were in fact pregnant and miscarried? Was it the result of that risky behavior? Did “God” do it? Who knows?
We can argue about it forever. People have and will continue to do so, but for right now, citizenship is granted at birth and that’s the point where the woman giving birth ceases to have live-or-death control over the fetus. He has become a separate person and she does not own him.
And when it comes to life support, I really want an answer to my question.
If you think your child should remain on life support against medical advice, and you’ve had lots of specialists look at the situation and they all agree that it’s a hopeless situation, but you think that Jesus wants your kid to have a heart transplant, taking the heart of some other baby that you don’t even know, what makes you think that society should pay for that?
What makes you think that you are entitled to spend that kind of money that belongs to other people?
A heart transplant costs approximately a million dollars, sometimes way more. That baby is in an ICU of some sort, and the cost of that is something around $3000/day. These parents have gone to court and I bet they didn’t pay to go to court, but found some damned lawyer who’d do it for free, and gotten a judge to declare that the state has to fork over an additional $21,000 just because of their “parental rights.”
The same people who bloviate about how the state should have no say in anything regarding their children’s health also think that the state should pay out this money. The same people who insist that nobody is gonna tell them they have to buy insurance also think that the state should just fork over more than a million dollars fruitlessly because Jesus might want them to do so.
Frankly, I am more dismayed at some of the comments on Nicole’s page than I am with her original question. I expect her to be an idiot. I’m horrified at how many idiots read her shit and agree with it.
To clarify a little bit: when a medical decision is made to discontinue life support, the state does not make that decision. The doctors do. I’ll repeat that. The “state” is not discontinuing this child’s treatment. The doctors are recommending that course because the child’s situation is not sustainable. He is going to die.
But just read these comments. This is why we have a moron in the White House and the whole world is making fun of us. This.