Is it child abuse or free choice?

January 5, 2007 10:00am CST
Is it child abuse when a child is sick, seriously sick and the parents choose NOT to seek medical attention? I have seen this several times in my life and it bothers me, yet I can’t take a firm side on the issue. The reasons for not seeking medical attention are various such as against religious belief to do so, distrust of modern medicine, or thinks home medications such as herbal thereby will work better. These reasons I can see are parents meaning well, but as the saying goes “the road to hell is paved with good intentions”, could this be considered a form of neglect or abuse? When the child dies from the parents choice, should they be charged with manslaughter? What are your thought on this? !!!BTW I read and rate each post but my not be able to respond to all. Also don’t leave a yes or no, I will give a “-“ and report you as I ask all to do so when seeing a post like that. Thanks in advance!!!!
7 people like this
40 responses
@crazynurse (7489)
• United States
5 Jan 07
Good afternoon! (or morning as the case may be in your area, I too have a hard time taking a stance on this issue. I have seen a case where the medical professionals recommended a weight loss diet for a 7-year old child who weighed 200 pounds...and was starting to have bow legs etc. The mother did not follow the diet, continued to give the child extra money for extra food at school lunch...and the social services dept ended up removing the child from the home. I belive in this case that removal was for the best as the child simply has to lose weight or have numerous health problems. Yet, I have seen cases where the parents, as you say, had good intentions with use of a home remedy and the child became sicker. AT least this parent was trying something! Ultimately, if FORCED to decide, I would have to say that in most cases, the parents should be held responsible and that it should be considered abuse. Thanks for a meaningful discussion!
3 people like this
• United States
5 Jan 07
I couldn't disagree with you more about that case! God, there are children actually being hurt, and this kid gets removed. In this case, it should have been to court. A court order nutritionist, and court ordered family counseling. What is it with this nation that always wants to rip a child from its family without trying to repair the situation. The situation in this case can be repaired! As a nurse, I feel you should be less judgemental, and not through stones. How would you like your child to be ripped out of your home. I dislike judgemental healthcare professionals, they are not compassionate at all, and always the first to throw stones!
@starr4all (2865)
6 Jan 07
The parents had their chance when the professionals told them to put the kid on the diet and the parents ignored it. The child should have been forced out of the home then.
@mikaghi (389)
• United States
5 Jan 07
no religion says that child should die of a preventable illness. so people who make excuses based on their "religion" are just wrong. it is an abuse if a child is not given proper care. parents should be held responsible.
3 people like this
@tooblue (143)
• United States
5 Jan 07
thats kinda tough.. I grew up in a home, where we didnt really visit the doctor much and any ailments were taken care of at home. I really never took pain killers of anit-biotics unless they were extreme cases.. and I always got better. my mom just believed in taking herbal remedies and being natural to get better, and it ususlly worked
2 people like this
@crystal8577 (1470)
• United States
5 Jan 07
I think every parent has to do what they feel is in the best interest of their child. That being said I could never not seek treatment for my child if they were seriously sick. I do not run my girls to the dr. for every sniffle, but I do try to stay on top of things. If something happened to one of them & I did not do anything to help then I would never be able to live with myself. I really can't answer whether not seeking help is abuse or not.
2 people like this
@_hope_ (3908)
• Australia
5 Jan 07
sunshinecup ihave seen this happen and the people at the time lost a new baby they said it was due to their religious beliefs but to me i would never be able to put a healthy life at riskfor no matter what reason every life is precious it`s different if it was your own life and you made that decision of free choice but the life of a child there should be a higher authority who can rule over these cases no matter what
@avonrep1 (1862)
• United States
5 Jan 07
I am mixed on this to. I have had doctors make me better but I have also use herbal rememdies that have worked to. I think that most of the time the later works better, but at times you need a doctor to at least find out what is wrong. So then you can find the cure for it. The problem most people have with moderen medicinces is that they treat, not cure the condition, so you have to keep going back again and again and nothing changes.
@maryannemax (12172)
• Sweden
5 Jan 07
parents are called parents because they should be taking care of their kids' welfares. some parents just don't care about their kids being ill and some reasons i heard of is that they cannot afford the hospital bills and that the medication is too expensive for them to comply with. but these reasons aren't enough reasons to keep their kids worsen his/her situation in bed. scenes like these i see as parents' neglect of duty to their children. they should atleast try and look for ways on how to help their children be eased out from pain. these parents should be punished by the government in some ways.
2 people like this
• India
5 Jan 07
Parents shouldn't treat their child in this way,they must take care of their child as GOD hasn't give us the right to trouble others in their bad timings. Parents must have this much of thinking ability to think that at this stage their child need care & support. They must not abuse their child. According to me these type of parents should be taught some lessons regarding their irrelevant thinking,so that all such type of incidents wont be able to take place. According to me no law can work,all the parents should be given counseling regarding all the topics related to child nourishment but our main aim should be related to this problem.I think this is the right way to handle this problem.
2 people like this
• Philippines
5 Jan 07
i think its free choice because we have different beliefs,,and besides who would like to see someone he/she loves suffering too much,,there are a lot of factors parents consider, one is financially, of course we all know when we choose to go to the doctor we will spend money,so some parents think of alternative solutions first and if it doesnt work out i believe they would do the proper way, we cant blame them in our world today every move equivalent to spending our money and not all of us are so lucky to have lots of money
• United States
5 Jan 07
i do believe that parents shoul not rush their child to the ER with one little cough from their child. I think the child should build up immunities before they go to the doctor and kill the virus. this is how i was raised and i turn out pretty healthy. however, i think when a child becomes bedridden or extrememly ill doctors are needed for intervention. the parents should not be charged with manslaughter, but with child neglect and should receive punishment
2 people like this
@kidsrock (64)
• United States
5 Jan 07
Yes, that is child abuse. A child is not capable of taking care of their own medical needs therefore it is the parents responsibility. However if a parent does not realize the child has this or that and does not take them to the doctor and come to find out the child had some major illness I don't think the parents can be charged with murder or should be. The only time I think there should be punishment is if the parent knowingly neglected to take care of the child's health.
2 people like this
@104090 (470)
• India
5 Jan 07
In our life we rushed to the doctor for my daughter. Virtually once i runned to hospital to save my brother whaen he was bery young. I agree with you in all points
2 people like this
@Geone1 (65)
5 Jan 07
It is a very difficult question I would say because the parents for their beliefs actually feel that they may not be doing anything wrong and as for the child doesn't really have a say it can then be a calculated judgment which would really lies with the parent perhaps, more readily made advice and education could help it is a very sensitive situation, for the sake of the child but can we really tell parents on how to or not to live their lives I personally wouldn't. In answer to whether this is a form of abuse, knowing maybe un knowing maybe not.
1 person likes this
5 Jan 07
Welcome to then fence, here I made room for you, hop on up.:-) I feel the same way, this is a hard thing, to draw a firm conclusion on.
• United States
6 Jan 07
I think it is very wrong to deprive a child of any medical attention regardless of any reason. I don't the parents should have a prison sentence as I think they will suffer a long for the loss of the child.
1 person likes this
• India
6 Jan 07
Its not that no parents are taking care of theri child... its the Situation which makes them not showing their attention towards their children.. they have so much kindness on their children rather than anything else. they do at times don care about the childrens which leads into a serious trouble, but most of all everybody do care ... and i beleive that the parents should not be said or shouldnot be charged as manslaughter
• Malaysia
6 Jan 07
hmmm...actually the definition of so called child abuse has been broaden to such that the parent has no right to their children anymore. everything is under the law control. not like what happen in late 70s or 80s where during that time parents can control their children and of course they know the best for their children. and i think if they have so called child abuse on that time, then the community wil react to that not using law.
1 person likes this
@ahsan15 (334)
• India
6 Jan 07
yeah it's against the law!
1 person likes this
@onesiobhan (1330)
• Canada
6 Jan 07
I don't think there is a simple answer to this question. It depends on what's wrong with the child and what options are available. For some minor things herbal remedies are fine. It won't hurt a child who isn't in daycare to delay some vaccinations until the kid is older and more developed. But no herb in the world is going to help if the child needs an organ transplant or chemotherapy. And sometimes kids die no matter what you try to do to save them.
1 person likes this
• United States
6 Jan 07
This is a tough one i personally believe it is child abuse but i know alot don't i believe in prayer but i also believe GOD can work thru a doctor to heal you so yes i take me kids to the doctor i would do anything to save my kids.
1 person likes this
• United States
6 Jan 07
I wouldn't say that it was abuse, but it could definitely fall under the category of neglect. Some adults may not believe in medical practice or docotrs or might not feel they have the money or the time to do anything about the child being sick. It isn't something they are actively doing to the child, but more passively doing. Definitely neglect.
1 person likes this