Yellow Wugley

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Is this okay?

This was a recent happening in the news and while the subject may be a little bit dated, it's a still ongoing discussion within my state. We're pending multiple studies to prevent further incidents like this being a nationwide argument.

The child is seventeen at the time of this happening and as per United States, not old enough to make drastic decisions. Not "adult" enough. The subject matter of the disease in question is a heavy hearted one. Cancer is of course of the most lethal diseases known to man and is wildly backed as the toughest journey to endure even with medical assistance. If it's not handled early it can reach a point of no return and no cure and leave the person counting down their days until the end.

The girl has Hodgkin's Lymphoma which currently has the best survival rates if dealt with in the first five years. Studies show that during year five or higher, the curability decrease substantially. Being the first year of her cancer diagnosis, this would be the best time to receive treatment and possibly cure it.

On the other hand, chemotherapy is also, as the young girl has protested...a poison to the body. The side effect list is substantial and can cause life changing malformations. The mother of the child is backing her completely in the subject matter and they have taken it to court to discuss the violation they believe in the constitutional rights.

The child according to other news reports, wanted to seek alternative medical help which while possible may not be as effective as chemotherapy. It is unknown as to what exact type of procedure she would prefer.

Given the information supplied by a google search on the incident and what my news has been explaining, I find myself generally on the fence about this subject.

In one hand, I argue that the child is rather young to make such a drastic decision for herself. Seventeen years of age, while learning to go through various amounts of adult stresses and how to handle situations in a proper manner doesn't give enough experience to make judgements such as this. When I was seventeen I was the type of child to purchase cards for a game and go drinking in parties than save for important matters and study for school. I do not know the child personally but given a general study of the human brain at different ages, I don't see promise of a higher understanding of the future and it's possibilities or consequences.

As a parent as well, I find myself appalled at the very idea of letting one of my own children make such a decision. I would be devastated at the possibility of losing my child within five years (less or more) and would refuse their opinion in order to try and preserve what life they could lead. If options become closed due to chemotherapy I would do my best from that point on to provide new options.

On the other hand, I feel that this is a violation of human rights. We grow from choices and learning, whether they be the right or wrong choices. It is a drastic subject to make a choice on and the wrong one could ruin the child's life but that is an everyday battle with each individual. Choosing to go outside today may result in an accident that could change one's life forever.

Do you feel as though the Supreme Court and child services for the state have made the right or wrong decision? Should this be a nationwide review of human rights? Any other viewpoint is welcome.
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2,348 posts
That certainly feels like a loaded question... and quite a good debate subject if you ask me.... hmmm...

First off, let me say that I don't know too much about this particular cancer, so it is possible that my reasoning is completely void given my lack of understanding.

On one hand, I want to say that seventeen is quite old enough to make decisions on your own, concerning certain matters. You're not really much of a child anymore. On the other hand, I also think most teenagers are naturally self absorbed idiots until proven otherwise...

At 17, in my state, you are not allowed to drink or smoke. I agree with this. Not because I don't think drinking is bad, but because I don't think most teenagers have the decision making skills and the self awareness to realize when they're starting to ruin their bodies. If a parent says fine, within in the safety of their home or whatever, then I don't care... but that is the parent's decision. If the girl doesn't want chemo, but her parents think she should, then it should ultimately be the parents who say what's what.

Which also means, that if her parents agree to no treatment, then that's it. No treatment. As long as it's the kid who said no, and the parents who agreed and not the parents forcing their own ideals onto someone who can't defend themselves then the mother should continue to have custody over her child.

While that's my official stance on this particular issue, I would like to say though, that I really hope the mother has spoken with doctors and understands what she's opening herself and her daughter up to by refusing treatment. It's easy to be put into tough situations and tell yourself that you're going to power through and by miracle, be okay in the end.

Sure, chemo can leave your body pretty poorly off... but without it... you could die. In retrospect, not having children, is probably the better option, in my opinion. Really, there are plenty of kids without parents who could use a home anyway. I'm fairly certain this type of cancer can be genetic anyway (I could be wrong, feel free to correct me), so is having kids worth it, if she could possibly be put in her mother's shoes in the future?

Is she willing to risk death in order to refuse introducing chemo to her body?

Will her mother feel like she's made the right decision if this goes bad?

I feel like these are the questions they need to answer, because if there is any doubt, then they should probably not be taking this path that they're on.
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