16 year old Starchild Abraham Cherrix is in joint custody between his parents and the Accomack County, Virginia's Department of Social Services. The ability to decide for himself what his body must go through during an illness has been denied both him and his parents by juvenile court Judge Jesse E. Demps.
Cherrix has undergone 3 months of chemotherapy. He says it made him nauseous and weak, and he didn't want to undergo it again. He prefers an alternative treatment. But, he's being denied the choice.
This is a boy who has the right to drive (where he might be killed), but denied the right to decide if he is wants to have chemotherapy which is doing nothing good for his body. This is happening in an age where a girl can be given birth control pills to stop pregnancy, can abort a child almost up to the day of delivery (after all, a woman's body is her own and she has the right to make those decisions); yet, this young, intelligent boy cannot make a simple decision that affects his own body.
That a court would deny Cherrix and his parents such a choice prompted the family attorney, John Stepanovich, to say: "I want to caution all parents of Virginia: Look out, because Social Services may be pounding on your door next when they disagree with the decision you've made about the health care of your child."
Cal Thomas, author of the article, says he heard this young boy interviewed, and thinks he is very intelligent and articulate. And, barring any negative information that may not have come to light about the case, he and his parents should have the right to make these sort of decisions.
The attitude of the state and culture toward the value of human life is in constant flux. Like the Dow Jones Industrial Averages, it is up one day and down the next. Some want to use embryonic stem cells for research into all sorts of afflictions and diseases, though no clinical tests have proved they are effective and stem cells from placentas and other sources, which cause no harm to human life, are available. Life in the womb - indeed life emerging from the womb - may be destroyed at any time and for any reason. There is pressure at the other end of life to euthanize the elderly and handicapped when they become "burdensome" to family members or "too costly" to the state.
Linked at Conservative Cat
Basil's Blog- Picnic 2006-07-25
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