Christian Scientist children.?

I was watching Family Guy tonight and I saw the episode about the Christian Scientist family whose children has cancer and Peter and Lois kidnap the child to get it medical treatment and it got me thinking about this issue. Even though there is religious freedom in America, I know it has some limitations. So let's say that a child is diagnosed with a treatable form of leukemia that will become fatal if not treated soon. Do Christian Scientist parents have the legal right to deny medical care for their children? This leads to several sub-questions. Is the child making this decision on its own or is the parent making it for them? Is the child old enough to be making this decision? Is there a way to legally intervene if the child wants to receive treatment even if the parents won't let them? If the child dies, could the parents be charged with murder or neglect or something? If anyone has any legal experience with this topic I would greatly appreciate the answers.

4 Answers

  • 6 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    This is a tricky legal area. It differs from state to state, but historically, children dieing because of the religious beliefs of their parents has not been a prosecutable crime. That is changing though. One family was charged with negligence when their first kid died. then when it happened again, because they were under court order to get proper medical care for their kids after the first trial, the charge was murder.

    So, at least things are getting better.

  • 6 years ago

    Underage children cannot give legal consent to their own medical care, and the law can only intervene if the child's illness poses a threat to the health of others ie. smallpox, beubonic plague. Since it's for religious reasons, I doubt the parents could be charged by anyone outside the household.

  • Rick
    Lv 6
    6 years ago

    I don't have legal experience, but I have heard news stories about children becoming wards of the State for this issue.

    There must be some legal remedy, and it may be dependent on which state you live in.

  • 6 years ago

    Each state as its own laws.

    In Oregon, christian scientists can be charged for letting their children die.

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