I was looking through stories to post and forward for my Facebook followers and found an article out of California where the parents of a girl are being told that she is legally dead, still on life support and the parents did not want her removed. The state has stepped in and said that she is legally dead and that she is going to be removed from the life support machines. When did parents lose their rights to make decisions for their children? Isn’t that what we are supposed to do?
Now, I am not talking about whether she is dead and whether she should be removed from life support. I am strictly talking about parental rights. When does the government have the right to declare someone dead and by order remove someone from life support? Recently, there have been several stories of parents having their right taken away by government/hospital agencies. This specific story, I saw being reported by The Blaze.
The girl, Jahi McMath, is a black 13 year old teenager who had what is considered to be a routine simple procedure to have her tonsils removed to attempt to cure her of her sleep apnea. As we all know, any surgery has risks and this one was no different. She suffered from severe bleeding and also went into cardiac arrest in the days following the operation. It was after this that they declared her brain dead.
Under California law, Jahi met the requirements for being declared dead and would be removed from life support, the family was told by the head of the pediatric department. The parents did not want her removed from life support. Whether they were not ready to accept the reality of the situation or because they thought there was a chance that she would recover, the hospital was following the law. Apparently, once declared brain dead by two physicians performing different tests on the patient, the hospital has the right to remove them from life support, not the family.
When did we lose the right to make decisions over our body and make decisions for the safety and well being of our children? We, as parents are responsible for our children and their actions. We alone are responsible for raising them and protecting them. How is it that the government can forgo this and remove our parental rights? Shouldn’t it be our decision and responsibility to do what is best for our child? We see stories everyday about parents who do not take responsibility for their children and as result of neglect or abuse, the parents are jailed and the children are removed from the dangerous situation, as it should be. But these parents are, most likely, trying to make sure that they are doing what is best for Jahi. Most likely they do not have a medical background and are just trying to understand that there may not be any other answer for her but to remove her from life support.
Is bed space so important that the hospital is trying to push them out? Is it the insurance companies pushing them out? Or is this the beginning of the “death panels” for Obamacare and is this what we can expect in the very near future for any of us? If it is any of these, I fear what we as a Nation and society have become.