When should conscience override children's rights?

Discussion in 'Current Affairs' started by Always_a_Civvy, Jan 29, 2007.

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  1. I thought to continue on from our discussions of ideological hypocrisy and inconsistency it might be worth looking at a different example reported in yesterday's Sunday Times (28 Jan 2007), where the leader of the Muslim Medical Association has suggested that Muslims should not vaccinate their children against rubella, etc on account that the animals killed to make the vaccines were not killed according to Islamic law or the vaccines might be derived from forbidden meats such as pigs.

    Should a parent's ideological/religious beliefs, alias their "conscience" be allowed to override the welfare of their children?
  2. That is the situation today, just remeber the various cases with JWs not letting their kids get transfusions.

    I do however think that some one who deliberately makes statements such as you reported which will cause people to not allow vacination in case the preparation offends is irresponsible. If he said you should noy use A because it is prepared in a way that is contrary to our belief that is one thing but to say generaly some may offend so shun all is improper
  3. Well you can always ask Jehova Witnesess what they think of that statement.......
    Far to many have died for religouse belief........... in more the one faith we see children suffer the consquenses of the parents choosen faith,,yes we all like our children to have a belief in something, but a life is worth more when lived to the full, then left to wither...
    As a good catholic Im suposed to have my children take thier first "holy commuion" at the age of seven,,, however i have waited till both mine were at least nine..in this way i feel they can ask their own questions..And yes some of their questions have made me think "why" myself. But
    ultimalty i feel children should be alowed to make their own choise..... and if when they are older and wish to change faith then that too is thier decsion to make, who am i to question anothers faith...........
  4. I suppose it is one way of self regulation on the number of muslims around..

    I just feel sorry for the children when so many prats like the one mentioned is around..
  5. Some religions are a trifle more honest and do not accept young people into the inner mysteries until they reach their late teens, at least by then they have had a real opportunity to debate the situation. Personally I see little difference between seven or nine, would you let them smoke or have sex at that age?
  6. The simple answer is No.Cruelty to Children is against the Law.I am sure the Legal Proffession can draft up a few more Laws.
  7. I have found that a seven year old will sit and say nothing BUT a nine year old will shout at the top of his/her lungs exactly what they think.
    And know i would not alow my child to smoke or have sex ... as it is no one smokes in our home not even visitors....especialy the Mother-in-law!!!!
  8. The parents do not "own" the children and therefore should not be able to force their religious beliefs upon them. Someone not being vaccinated could allow the disease to spread to a third party who has no interest in Islamic objections to vaccination.
  9. I agree totally - I look forward to human rights legislation catching up with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and modern, philosophical, legal thinking.
  10. Since the begining of time parents have taught their children their ways - be it religion or anything else! It's how we bring our children up -to believe in what we believe in, after all that's why we have children, for the continuation of the race! so the race must remain the same, surely? to do otherwise would aliviate the need for children and bring about racial suicide! We may say that others are wrong to bring their children up this or that way but will they not say we are wrong for not doing it!

    As for this crap about 'against the law' - what is law? surely that is, or should be, a code of living for the people by the people (as opposed to the modern efforts by some societies where the few control the many, and we are one of the main exponants of this system! No mattter how you dress it up)!

    If Muslims do not wish to vacinate their children is it any different to the MMR problem were we said we're not going to do it 'cos the Great Leader is not doing it for his!

    Its up to our society to say "in this country we vacinate our children, we will not force you against your will to do this if you don't want to but if you don't you are going against our ways -- leave our country!

    Get Out!

    Until we do that we have no control over OUR way of life!
  11. Many UK parents are not allowing their children to be given the MMR vaccine. No one has taken action against these parents to force their children to be vaccinated. Similarly if for whatever reason religious or not we must not force parents to take decisions they do not wish to take. If the child becomes ill because of this decision it is the parents responsibility.
  12. On the face of it, I agree.

    However, by withholding the MMR vaccine based on an ill-informed and misled choice, are you not taking action that endangers the child and may result in them coming to harm? How is that different from prosecuting someone for providing their child with a poor diet or exposing them to socially maladjusted conditions like drug addiction or alcoholism?

    The devil may be in the details, but if we are to hold parents to account for such things we must clearly know where the line is and why we have chosen to draw it there.

    Too often do we legislate for the extremes and leave the courts to tackle the ambiguity of the grey. This allows for a fluid judicial process, but smacks of lazy, short-sighted legislating as so much is left open and it is through these cracks that so many children fall.

    The fact that we can protect children from abuse with one hand, but allow their parents to deny them life-saving procedures with another reeks of hypocrisy.
  13. The point was if they are old enough and wise enough to make as significant a choice as declaring their belief in god then they are old enough to make the other choices for themselves. Personally I would rate choices on religion as more important than most.
  14. Oh sh*t, I agree with you again.

    People will start to talk if this goes on.
  15. They may be old enough to make the choice, but are they old enough to understand it?

    More than likely not.

    This is why we don't prosecute children in the same way we do adults: Children cannot fully understand the consequences of actions and decisions as they have neither the experience or the context to do so. Yes, the capability varies, but if we can allow a child to make an 'important decision' on religion, then why do we not allow them to vote as well? Surely if a child can venture onto the path of resolving issues of cosmic mystery they can easily make an informed choice as to which party's policy on health spending appeals to them.
  16. True, but according to Private Eye, GP's were instead denied access to the single vaccines, thus putting the concerned parent in the awkward position of either using the MMR vaccine or none at all.

    I don't know how many chose not to get their child vaccinated, but I'll bet it was relativly few.
  17. And the sex?
  18. Meanwhile, whichever party's line is being taken in the provision of preventative medicine, the kids won't get the benefit of the intensively researched benefits of vaccination. Where I have a problem with the parents, Muslim or otherwise, who deny the advantages of vaccination to their own children, is that they increase the risk of infecting others who have no say by withholding such permission and reducing the chances of eradicating disease. Any of those old enough to go through smallpox vaccination when they joined up have benefitted by seeing this killer disease eradicated, to all intents and purposes.
  19. I know the feeling Peter! The question should be: should the parents be entitled to harm their child in accordance with their own beliefs, scientific or otherwise? I would let Mill's Harm Principle govern the law here.
  20. BZ Chalky! I'd love to study philosophy with you! :smile:

    PS: Safewalrus, you asked 'what is law' (as against the less interesting question: what is the law)? I could write a whole book on the topic! Might I suggest you read Herbert Hart's Concept of Law (I can lend you a copy if you wish). Alternately Rosie might be able to suggest something a little more readable! :roll:

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