Bioethics Blogs

Children caught between conflicting diagnoses

Yesterday’s Boston Globe tells the first half of a story and today the second half comes out.   Depending on who you believe, Justina is either being kidnapped by the hospital, or she is being protected against a form of “medical abuse” originating from her parents.

The loss of patient autonomy (Justina is a minor, I’m assuming she is still under parents’ guardianship ?) seems to be the most disturbing part of this story. She is 16 now, so when she turns 18 will she be able to declare her patient rights to autonomy and check herself out of BCH? Figuring out when parents love for their children becomes abuse is so hard. When will she be able to continue her high school education and go on with her life, in whatever condition ?

Although DCF has a mission to protect children and families that is undeniably needed in certain situations, their seemingly unbounded power itself is unsettling. In a way, if parents want to take their own minor children home, perhaps to die for their parents’ beliefs (religious or medical), I have to wonder if that is another way natural selection works. I’m always open to hearing arguments and alternative views, but above is my initial response to a difficult situation on all fronts.

What do YOU think ?

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.