Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Advocates and the Government

As I read articles such as this one and this one, I am left to wonder where should the government step in and where does it leave us alone to make decisions, good or bad? We live in a free democracy which to me would technically mean the government should never step in unless asked. So then who is allowed to ask the government to step in.

As with the situation with Daniel Hauser the hospital stepped in on behalf of the boy. Is this okay? If both parents are willing to make an extreme decision to take their child off of Chemo and try alternative routes should the hospital be able to act as an advocate for a child who is on board with their parents? I understand if mom is for something and dad against needing an advocate but where does government take it too far? If parents accept that their decision may kill their kid and they are OK with that then should the hospital let them have their way? I honestly am not sure to the answer of that question. I think for me it really depends. If Chemo has a low chance of healing a person then I understand wanting to use that time to look into alternatives. But if Chemo is almost guaranteed to cure the patient and the alternative medicines are an untested unknown and parents still want to take their child off of the known and try an unknown then I'm not upset that a judge made a decision in this case. It's a slippery slope though.

This article is what made me again start thinking of this whole situation. When is the government taking their power too far? If the government is going to have a hand in fighting childhood obesity and fixing that problem I think it should begin and end with educating the parents and the kids. Re-write Health Education curriculum and instead of having health class as a 1 semester high school class, have there be a health class every year or incorporate it into an existing class.

But to rezone where fast food restaurants can build and to tax unhealthy foods is taking it too far for me. It's the same with this recommendation to redesign hot dogs. At what point do we as a society let parents be stupid and at what point do we let government step in? Some would say these are elected officials who represent what Americans want. So I ask you, if you voted for Obama did you really want him to start passing laws that tax foods you eat because he deems them unhealthy? Where does it end?

So I leave you asking if a parent just doesn't care what his/her child puts in their mouth and they lead their child down a path of obesity, childhood type 2 diabetes, etc. do we want a complete overhaul of eating and fast food as we know it? Do we want advocates to step in on a case by case basis? Or do we just let parents do that to their kids?

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