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Rights On Choosing Medical Care

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Deciding what medical care to undertake has recently been a big issue. In Minnesota, Colleen Hauser took away her 13-year old cancer-stricken son Daniel. The patient is supposed to undergo chemotherapy as part of the treating Hodgkin's Lymphoma, but his mother opted for Nemenhah, a holistic medical treatment based upon Native American healing practices.

 

May 19, the day after Daniel Hauser's doctor said the boy's cancer is worsening and would need chemotherapy, the he and his mother disappeared. After a week, Coleen and her son Daniel voluntarily returned to accept whatever course of treatment a court may order, defense lawyer Jennifer Keller said.

"My understanding is that Colleen intends to abide by whatever orders the court makes and that she wants to put her best case forward for her son to have a chance at alternative treatment," Keller told CNN. "But if the court overrules that, she will abide by the orders of the court."

Should a mother, like Colleen flee because of rejecting the standard medical treatment advised by medical professionals? Or should a court make the decision instead of leaving it to the family's discretion?


How should one decide on a complicated situation? Consider one situation. A nurse and also a mother, someone who, because of her Bible-trained conscience, refuses to accept blood transfusion in accordance to blood abstinence. She is fully aware of the risks of taking in somebody else's blood into here own bloodstream as much as she knows the possible beneficial results. There is an alternative medicine with which she can undergo without having to deal with her conscience. The treatment also has advantages and disadvantages just like the other option.

In many places today, the patient has an inviolable right to decide what treatment he will accept. "The law of informed consent has been based on two premises: (1) that a patient has the right to receive sufficient information to make an informed choice about the treatment recommended; and (2) that the patient may choose to accept or to decline the physician's recommendation. . . Unless patients are viewed as having the right to say no, as well as yes, and even yes with conditions, much of the rationale for informed consent evaporates."-Informed Consent-Legal Theory and Clinical Practice, 1987

"Underlying the necessity for patient consent is the ethical concept of individual autonomy, that decisions about one's own fate should be made by the person involved. The legal ground for requiring consent is that a medical act performed without the patient's consent constitutes battery."-Informed Consent for Blood Transfusion, 1989, U.S.

An unconsented blood transfusion is an extremely serious offense when committed against a devout Jehovah's Witness. Many have compared the act with rape. Such an act must not be sanctioned by the state. - Ethics and Law in Modern Medicine, David M. Vukadinovich, Susan L. Krinsky

Now, wear your medical scrub, and then, decide.


Refusal from any medical treatments, however, has limitations and boundaries that must be determined by the court. When a right to preservation of life is being violated, attempt to commit suicide, or any similar case is seen by the court, other issues are considered. Only after thoroughly studying all evidence will the court decide.

Rastafarianism is another religious organization that has been questioned for their beliefs that hinder medical treatment. To be a Rastafarian is a right; and part of being Rastafarian entails being vegan and practicing faith-healing.

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