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Crazy parents don’t get their First Amendment rights

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We know about the (supposed) separation of church and state, which the majority of Americans agree is a good idea. But how do we feel about the separation of parenthood and state?

Well, parents Colleen and Anthony Hauser are having to deal with those feelings right now. You may be familiar with this Minnesota family who has been in the news about refusing their 13-year-old son cancer treatment. Of course, at first glance this seems like a terrible, TERRIBLE thing to do, but I think there’s more to the story here.

The Hauser’s are part of a religious group that believes in treating health problems with only herbal remedies. (Freedom of religion, anyone?)

As far as refusing to provide their son cancer treatment, the Hauser’s truly believe they are doing the right thing, as does their son.

As Americans, they have the right to do so. Still, the question of where that puts their son, Daniel, remains. If he were of legal age would he be able to decide whether he wanted to go with traditional or alternative medicine? It would be his right. Yet, he doesn’t have a choice now.

So who should get to choose for him? The government or his parents? Who gets to say what is right and what is wrong here?

According to Minnessota courts, it is the government’s responsibility to make the decision.The AP reported that Brown County District Judge John Rodenberg said “the state’s interest in protecting the child override the constitutional right to freedom of religious expression and a parent’s right to direct a child’s upbringing.”

With many complications and arguments of First Amendment right infringements, who’s right in a case like this?

andrea @ May 20, 2009

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