Freedom of Choice in Healthcare

Justice and HealthcareUSA Today just published an article on a new ruling by a Minnesota judge stating that Daniel Hauser, a 13-year-old boy with cancer, is required to seek conventional medical care (chemotherapy and radiation), against his parents’ wishes.  Brown County District Judge John Rodenberg says that this child has been “medically neglected.”

This is an unfortunate and alarming ruling that threatens the freedom Americans once had in making decisions about their own healthcare and the healthcare of their children.  Is the government qualified to make such decisions? Should government have the power to do so, even if it were qualified?

There are other ways to address health challenges such as cancer and our knowledge of how best to treat this dis-ease is not complete.  The concern is not whether conventional medical care is or is not the best treatment for this child. The question is whether or not the government has over stepped its boundaries in forcing a child to receive a specific medical treatment against both his and his parents’ desires.

Dr. Gina

One Response to Freedom of Choice in Healthcare

  1. Hua says:

    Hi Dr Gina,

    I’m totally on the fence on this one. We want what’s best for the boy, but we also want the preserve their right to choose. Great post.

    I’m Hua, the director of Wellsphere’s HealthBlogger Network, a network of over 2,000 of the best health writers on the web (including doctors, nurses, healthy living professionals, and expert patients). I think your blog would be a great addition to the Network, and I’d like to invite you to learn more about it and apply to join at http://www.wellsphere.com/health-blogger. Once approved by our Chief Medical Officer, your posts will be republished on Wellsphere where they will be available to over 5 million monthly visitors who come to the site looking for health information and support. There’s no cost and no extra work for you! The HealthBlogger page (http://www.wellsphere.com/health-blogger) provides details about participation, but if you have any questions please feel free to email me at hua@wellsphere.com.

    Best,
    Hua

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