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At what age should a person be allowed to refuse medical treatment?

At what age should a person be allowed to refuse medical treatment?


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MyOwnDrum

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At what age should a young person be allowed to choose to refuse medical treatment?

Here's the story, it's from 2008:

Oregon Teenager Dies From Refusing Medical Treatment Because of Church

An Oregon teenager who belonged to a local faith church died from a treatable urinary tract blockage that eventually poisoned his organs. Oregon state law indicates that any teenager 14 and older can refuse treatment.

Little Ava Worthington died in March of a treatable illness because her parents refused treatment based on the teachings of their church. Now Ava's 16-year-old cousin, who attended the same church with is parents, died of a treatable illness after refusing treatment.

16-year-old Neil Beagley had a urinary tract blockage that was left untreated. The urea that could not escape through normal methods built up in his system poisoning his organs. In the end he died of congenital heart failure resulting from the untreated blockage. The medical procedure that would have saved this boys life would have been as simple as an insertion of a catheter. If the condition was dealt with early on the blockage could have been removed.
Oregon law provides teenagers 14-years-old and over with the choice to refuse medical treatment. The parents assert that Neil did indeed refuse treatment, and unless that statement is falsified no charges can be filed for neglect or abuse. However, there is evidence from Neil's autopsy that suggests the urinary tract blockages were a congenital condition that occurred multiple times in the boys' life.

The church the Beagley's and the Worthington's belong to is called the Followers of Christ that is said to have no mainstream association with any other churches. In 1999 it had 1,200 members. Ava and Neil are not the first children to die from that church, the problems have caused legislation to be past that does not allow parents to use religious freedom as a shield in cases of neglect.
 

jamesrage

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You didn't list 18 so I picked other. At 18 years old you are an adult and legallly responsible for what ever the hell you do.At 17 years old and younger your parents are legally and morally responsible for you,therefore you do not have a right to refuse medical treatment and since your parents are legally and morally responsible for you they do not have a right to deny you needed medical treatment.
 

tacomancer

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The tragedy in this case had everything to do with belief and nothing to do with age.

But ultimately, it could go the other way, the kid could have refused treatment with his parents pleading for him to do it and still died.
 
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Gipper

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Depends. At what age should a PERSON be allowed to refuse? Any age. However, at NO time should a parent be allowed to refuse acceptable treatment for a child.

Damn the first amendment. You can't plead the faith (you see what I did there?) in those situations.

The parents in all those scenarios in which the child died should be tried for first degree murder and, if convicted, be put to death. Not only would it prevent additional tragedies, but it'd cleanse the gene pool that much more.
 

rivrrat

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IMO, it cannot be an age thing, but instead must be on a person by person basis. Based on the individual's ability to understand the consequences of his/her decision.
 

MyOwnDrum

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IMO, it cannot be an age thing, but instead must be on a person by person basis. Based on the individual's ability to understand the consequences of his/her decision.

Who would decide?
 

MyOwnDrum

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You didn't list 18 so I picked other. At 18 years old you are an adult and legallly responsible for what ever the hell you do.At 17 years old and younger your parents are legally and morally responsible for you,therefore you do not have a right to refuse medical treatment and since your parents are legally and morally responsible for you they do not have a right to deny you needed medical treatment.

You're right, lol.

What do you think of the age 14, as per Oregon law? Seems a little young.
 

MyOwnDrum

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But, just imagine you have an intelligent 14 year old. He has been treated for cancer, reacts badly to chemo, there's a huge alteration to his body image, he's depressed.

Do you strap him down in a chair and force him to take chemo? He says he's had enough and wants to let nature to take its course.
 

jamesrage

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You're right, lol.

What do you think of the age 14, as per Oregon law? Seems a little young.

Are you sure about that because in Oregon the sexual age of consent is 18 and the age in which someone can legally get married is 18(17 with parental consent), and you must be at least 16 in the state of Oregon to be able petition to become emancipated.

http://www.jrplaw.org/documents/emancipation in multnomah county oregon.pdf

Marriage Laws in the US by Age

Teen Life Q & A - Age of Consent in North America - Age of Consent Chart - How old do you have to be to legally have sex?
 

jamesrage

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But, just imagine you have an intelligent 14 year old. He has been treated for cancer, reacts badly to chemo, there's a huge alteration to his body image, he's depressed.

Do you strap him down in a chair and force him to take chemo? He says he's had enough and wants to let nature to take its course.

Then the parents should sue or move to a state where a child can legally petition to have himself emancipated at 14 years of age.
 

MyOwnDrum

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Are you sure about that because in Oregon the sexual age of consent is 18 and the age in which someone can legally get married is 18(17 with parental consent), and you must be at least 16 in the state of Oregon to be able petition to become emancipated.

http://www.jrplaw.org/documents/emancipation in multnomah county oregon.pdf

Marriage Laws in the US by Age

Teen Life Q & A - Age of Consent in North America - Age of Consent Chart - How old do you have to be to legally have sex?

I'm merely going by what the article I posted stated.
 

Kandahar

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I think it depends on the type of treatment and why they're refusing it. If they're weighing the pros and cons of a risky procedure from a medical perspective, that requires a little more brainpower (and therefore a higher age of consent) than deciding that it offends their religious sensibilities.

But in general, somewhere between 14 and 16 IMO.
 
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Goshin

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75. :mrgreen:




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1069

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You didn't list 18 so I picked other. At 18 years old you are an adult and legallly responsible for what ever the hell you do.At 17 years old and younger your parents are legally and morally responsible for you,therefore you do not have a right to refuse medical treatment and since your parents are legally and morally responsible for you they do not have a right to deny you needed medical treatment.

Not if you're a parent yourself.
In that case, you not only have a right to determine the course of your own medical treatment, but also that of your children.
 

Gipper

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Not if those actions could be determined as criminally negligent.

I think refusing life-saving medical care because of "your beliefs" fits that description. I know our founding fathers fought for our right to be stupid, but not when it negatively impacts others.
 

Toothpicvic

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If they're an adult (18+), then they should be allowed to at any age (unless they are seriously mentally handicapped - and if this guy did this because of some stupid fundamentalist belief, then he might qualify as such).
 

Ikari

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IMO, it cannot be an age thing, but instead must be on a person by person basis. Based on the individual's ability to understand the consequences of his/her decision.

It's mostly this. But if I'm asked to name an age, I'd go with around 16-ish.
 

Ikari

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Not if those actions could be determined as criminally negligent.

I think refusing life-saving medical care because of "your beliefs" fits that description. I know our founding fathers fought for our right to be stupid, but not when it negatively impacts others.

Meh, it's kinda like chlorine for the gene pool.
 

Cephus

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They can refuse medical treatment the day they turn 18. Before that, they are not legally adults and therefore, do not have full legal control over their bodies. Likewise, parents ought not be allowed to deny medical treatment to minors either.
 

earthworm

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The founding fathers never fought for any right for anyman to be stupid. The Oregon law is wrong, should never have been.
These so-called churches/religious organizations should be banned; its so obvious that their agenda is primary and that the health and welfare of their victims is secondary.
A man's age has little to do with this problem.
 

hazlnut

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Why did you not include 18? or 19-21 for that matter?
 

O_Guru

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I answered other like the others because there was no 18 listed
per todays society and laws 18 is the only acceptable answers since before then you are a minor
 

Kandahar

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I answered other like the others because there was no 18 listed
per todays society and laws 18 is the only acceptable answers since before then you are a minor

That doesn't mean that you have no rights whatsoever, and are incapable of deciding anything at all for yourself until you turn 18. In the United States (at least in most states), we have granular age restrictions depending on the subject at hand. For something like this, somewhere between 14 and 16 seems appropriate IMO.
 
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