John Travolta and rights

Sam Crane had an interesting post on the recent tragedy to befall the Travolta family:

I think this opens up some interesting possibilities for examining rights-based ethics vs. other systems.

As was briefly brought up, even within a rights-based perspective, there is no clear answer here. Does the Travolta family have the right to deny medical attention (negative liberty) or did the child in question have a right to medical treatment (positive liberty)?

Likewise, if we are going to discuss notions of intervention vs. non-intervention, the issue can be framed both ways without missing a beat. Is medicine the intervention or is imposing on the family the intervention? Or is the family imposing an absence the intervention?

How does duty factor into this? Do rights entail duties as well or are they separate entities?

There is also a family vs. government issue at stake here, one that I think Prof. Crane glossed over in his Confucian analysis. Does the good as envisioned by the paterfamilias trump the good as envisioned by outside forces like the government? Or has the government become the paterfamilias?

The child’s rights must be protected by the state. Suspicion is raised because of Scientology’s history of conflict with standard medical practices. The child’s death must be thoroughly investigated. Hopefully the autopsy will be helpful in adjudicating the matter swiftly one way or another.

The legal system can be very clumsy when it comes to dealing with families. Privacy is assaulted, feelings are stepped on and placed in emotional limbo. Resources are limited, bureaucracy is often slow and ineffective. Sadly, whether or not the Travoltas were culpable in their son’s death, their grief is sure to be exacerbated by the process.

sigh I find it irritating to continously reference the ancients on issues of modern ethics that they couldn’t understand or even talk about sensically compared to someone speaking from a modern rational humanitarian outlook based on understanding modern disease.

The issue of whether the kid got great treatment or poor treatment is based on his med files lacking those all I can say is 1. seizure conditions vary, their causes vary, sometimes nothing short of radical brain surgery is even an option, that being said there is absolutely no excuse based on religious grounds to hold back medication because another type never worked, its a bad arguement based on bad statisstic interpretation.

I can make the arguement that once antibiotics fail once in a person to not try a second dose more specific to your infection, to not try a broad spectrum, after all antibiotics are more likely to fail after failing once… thats an arguement based on bad science. Its also actively bad advice for a seizure patient, we should therefor consider it bad thought experiments for parents to have or others about how we should potentially treat children. No adult patient would take yhat seriously , assuming they worry about *their lives.

Children’s guardians should have the responsibility to look out for them the way we could assume a rational self preserving individual would look out for themselves with health effecting conditions. The issue of quitting the kids meds after one OR several medications failed doesn’t pass that test. At all.

parents vs child’s right convos are boring we don’t have the civil right to throw tiny humans onto the train tracks of disease progression for beliefs sake, and *when we do, children endlessly die. We don’t have those rights over our own pets let alone children.

its illegal where I live to leave a pet in unnecessary pain from illness, stress etc by definition that includes holding back medical treatment for disease. These laws exist for nonhuman animals, I don’t see why someone’s children warrant more opposed to less debate.

Adian can’t be compared to another seizure kid sensically either.

Cyrene - I find it irritating that you are so obviously correct here that I cannot argue with you.

I kinda miss that.

Here’s an article that also brings a bit of internationalism to your argument.
news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/7815896.stm
An Afghan girl who was raped had the child aborted by her mother and brother, using a razor to cut her open and take the child out.
I think it’s pretty clear in these circumstances that the family’s reaction to what they perceive as a type of disease is unwarranted. Without the government to intervene however, nothing would’ve been done. Given the history of the US, there’s a specifically reactive attitude to risk and safety management. The state can’t babysit every child, but it should be the local government’s responsibility to look after its citizens. All opinions and faiths are not equal. Where irrationality or faith are leading to the unnecessary loss or degradation in the quality of life, should the government have information indicating this, then it is the local government’s responsibility to place measures to protect them.

Well, that sounds noble but it has little substance. There is no objective way to “preserve Humanity” and no matter what you do, all individuals are destined to die. Furthermore, the entire human race can survive a single individual human death.

So, whatever “preserve Humanity” means it has to reside along a continuum between:

  1. one person dying
    and
  2. every single person dying

[sarcasm]
Given that the human race is just the result of the random sloshing around of a primordial soup, I really do not see why preserving Humanity deserves the honor of being a goal.
[/sarcasm]

Clear?? No, it is not clear. You do not know what is in their head.
I think it is safe to assume that the circumstances are in the context of their religious beliefs.

  1. For all you know, that girl may be convinced that she is doomed to burn in Hell if she carries that child to term. Without the abortion, she may be convinced that – if she can NOT get an abortion – her only salvation is to become a suicide bomber to score some points.
    For all you know, cutting her open prevented a lot more deaths.

  2. For all you know, that girl may get bullied or beaten to death by her neighbors for being an unwed mother. She may never have a chance to be married and will be destined to a life of poverty. She may not be able to afford a safe abortion.
    Cutting her open – the earlier the better – may have been her only chance at survival.

So, we can discuss wacky religious beliefs and outrageous peer pressure but you can not say their reaction is unwarranted. If their beliefs are correct, their reaction sort of makes sense. Furthermore, you will never be able to prove their religious beliefs are wrong.

Do you have any proof of that belief?

I’m going to assume that you’re at least half serious.

In Islam, all non-muslims are friends of each other and not friends of muslims. Does that make it a fact? If you befriended a muslim, would you still be bound be the prophecy that you are in fact not really his friend, but are looking to deceive him? All beliefs are not equal and beliefs don’t dictate reality.

No, that’s not what the Quran says. She will not burn in hell. Suicide bombing is not salvation.

Why would her neighbors get involved. “For all you know, a dog may attack her and eat her child and leave her bleeding on the ground”. Great.
Maybe, she could potentially have been married. And then on her first night when the husband sees her scars, he beats her up all night then annuls the marriage. Hm.

As long as there has been a single non-muslim friend of a muslim person who was genuinely a friend, yes, I can say exactly that. Their reaction doesn’t make sense, Liberalism only goes so far before you start making silly assertions without ever having even lived in the region. Afghans are among the poorest and most uneducated people in the world, hence these reactions. And since you clearly know nothing of islam, you should relook the part where you think it says that home surgery by razor blades is accepted.
Going by your argument, it’s fine to shoot someone in the face for looking at you sideways. The remedy does not need to be in proportion to the ailment. Sure.

Was anything done prior to the girl being taken to the hospital and the rapist being arrested? You’re just failing at being funny or you’re just dying to give an opposing view.

Oh, I am very serious. I am not professing what is written in the Koran or whatever.

I am saying you do not know what those other people are thinking. Meditate upon that.

Considering violence against women is common in those areas, say as common as THE RANTING ABOUT HOW THEIR JUSTIFIED in doing so. We can guess what they had in mind because they have public outcries about how thats their religious right.

More than that I can tell you why women get acid face baths for refusing to quit school.

  1. You can make probability judgements about religion. Its dumb to suggest otherwise. I CAN say unicorn’s don’t exist, more importantly I can certainly say someone torturing women based on that belief in unicorns is twisted, whether she believes it or not.

What I’m thinking is that neither do you and that what anyone else might be thinking doesn’t negate the fact that your post reflects a mentality at least as sick as that of the people who actually cut open a 5-month-pregnant girl in a filthy barn with a razor for whatever the hell reason they did it.

Somewhere, someone has to say that’s sick and disgusting and will not be tolerated no matter what the neighbors might think or do, no matter what the country itself might think and do, and regardless of the book they choose to wave in the air to justify what they think and do, mmkay?

What were lynch mobs thinking? What were people thinking when they were burning people as witches? What were they thinking during the inquisition? So many times throughout history, what were they thinking? I’ve addressed the points you previously made, and I don’t see any merit in your argument.

Well, it was tolerated no matter what you or I think.

I am just suggesting that it might help to make a wee-bit effort to understand what they may be thinking. Try it.

Not to be gossipy, but it’s my understanding that the immediate issue in this tragedy wasn’t one of medical intervention per se, but a concussion that could have been prevented by wearing a hockey helmet. Some parents of children with severe seizure disorders refuse on socialization grounds (some would say vanity) to have their children wear helmets. Is this a legitimate parental choice?

reports said his son was on medication

I bring this up because it doesn’t jive with scientology “dogma”

they aren’t exactly allowed to use the kind of meds his son did

the sound of hypocrisy is astounding

:uhoh: