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AC Medical Issues Parents' Rights

AC Medical Issues Parents' Rights - 1 Parental Rights for...

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Parental Rights for Medical Treatment of Their Children v. The State In Canada ( and the English-speaking world generally, e.g. the U.S. and G. B.) parents have the legal right and the responsibility to make decisions about their children’s welfare. For example: Where the child will live Where the child will go to school What the child’s religion will be How the child will be disciplined What social life the child will have What the child’s medical/dental care will be These rights and responsibilities, however, are not without checks and balances. In the case of medical treatment, the State is said to have an interest if and when the parents make or are about to make decisions which may be detrimental to the child’s well-being. Refusal to allow medical treatment, based on religious or other reasons (e.g. belief in alternative medical treatments, not necessarily based on religion) may be occasion for the State to step in and take responsibility for the child’s care. The current situation in British Columbia where sextuplets were recently born at 25 weeks gestation to parents whose religion is reported to be Jehovah’s Witness has led to speculation in the media that authorities in B.C. may step in and prevent the parents from exercising the usual rights parents traditionally have to make medical decisions affecting their children’s health. The specific issue which has been raised is that of blood transfusions which doctors may want to give and the parents may not want their children to have due to their religious beliefs. (Note: there are other situations which could arise; for example, if doctors wanted to operate and the parents refused, not based on religious reasons but for other reasons.) In Canada, the Children’s Aid Society (C.A.S.) in each province is given the responsibility for overseeing the well-being (physical, mental, and emotional) of the children who live there. Legislation is in place to provide procedures for resolving disputes between parents or guardians and the local 1
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C. A. S. when a child is reported to be in danger and the parents are unable or unwilling to provide the proper care. Here is how the situation in B. C. may evolve:
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AC Medical Issues Parents' Rights - 1 Parental Rights for...

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