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The Nanny State’s Darker Side (update)
Posted by: McQ on Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Nightmare in Omaha:
A Nebraska couple sued state health officials Thursday, arguing their rights were violated when their newborn baby was seized by sheriff's deputies so a mandatory blood test could be performed.

Joel Anaya, who was almost 6 weeks old, was kept in foster care for six days until the tests came back negative earlier this month.

His parents, Mary and Josue Anaya, believe that the Bible instructs against deliberately drawing blood and that ignoring that directive may shorten a person's life. State health officials ``conspired to deny the Anayas their rights of due process, and to seize and test baby Joel without notice or a hearing in district court,'' according to the filed in U.S. District Court in Omaha.

``This is a classic case of the government overreaching and violating a family's constitutional rights,'' said Jeff Downing, the couple's attorney.

The Anaya family is not seeking damages, but they want to ensure that this won't happen again if they have more children.
Now, whether you believe as the Anaya's do or not we, as a country, pride ourselves on a couple of things - due process and religious freedom. There's also a matter, in situations like this, where the rights, beliefs and preferences of someone should be accommodated by the ability to 'opt out' of something.

Some background.
Health officials say the newborn screening program is one of the state's most cost-effective public health programs. The newborn blood test - usually performed within 48 hours of birth - screens for dozens of rare diseases, some of which can cause severe mental retardation or death if left undetected.

Last year, out of 26,819 babies tested, 537 tested positive for one of the dozens of diseases, and 43 of those results were confirmed, according to the state's Newborn Screening Program.
So what we have here is the desire of the state, driven by "cost-effective public health" concerns, mandating testing with the ostensible purpose being early detection and early treatment. Note that none of the diseases it tests for are contagious. Note also that instead of this being a service for which parents can opt in, it is instead mandatory with no ability to opt out.

The result?
The decision to seize Joel Anaya and test him was made by Douglas County prosecutors who have said they only did what was necessary to protect the baby's health.

When the Anayas' daughter Rosa was born in 2003, a hearing was held in Douglas County District Court and the couple voiced their objections. The state Supreme Court eventually turned down their arguments, but Rosa never was tested.

This time, the county wanted to make sure the testing was completed, said Nicole Brundo Goaley, a deputy Douglas County Attorney. So the county got an order from a juvenile court judge to test the baby.

Sheriff's deputies came Oct. 11 to take the child, who remained in foster care until tests came back Oct. 16. During that period, social workers let Mary Anaya nurse her son several times a day.
They came into the home of American citizens, took their child (5+ weeks old and nursing) into state custody and placed it in foster care. Why? Because the parents, due to their religious beliefs, objected to a test the state had mandated. The child's health wasn't in danger, he didn't need any medical treatment, in fact he is quite healthy. But the state felt that its priorities and decisions overruled those of the parents and drew the child's blood over the parents strenuous objections. Chilling.

Keeping that in mind, imagine, if you will, what powers the state will be left to exercise if it eventually is placed charge of every aspect of your health care.

UPDATE: From a page which describes the testing in detail:
The motivation for checking at birth is strictly logical: by examining a child at birth, doctors are able to catch and treat or prepare a strategy for treating any indicated problems. If this strikes parents with some alarm, the results aren’t necessarily dire news: most screenings only show indicators that doctors should pursue more tests before making a final diagnosis.

Most newborns pass the screening tests with flying colors: statistics show less than one tenth of one percent are ever found to have the tests’ targets, despite often comprehensive blood workups. However, because each state separately determines which tests are given, different states routinely provide different combinations and batches of tests.

[...]

Blood tests are usually taken to check for treatable genetic, endocrinologic (hormonal), metabolic, or hematologic (blood-related) diseases.

[...]

According to the U.S. National Newborn Screening and Genetics Resource Center, only four tests are currently mandated by every state, including:

-phenylketonuria (PKU)

-congenital hypothyroidism (CH)

-galactosemia (GAL)

-sickle cell disease (SS, SC etc.).

[...]

In a handful of states, the testing is compulsory – parents have no choice but to allow the testing as a matter of public health. In Maryland, The District of Columbia, and Wyoming, however, hospitals must obtain parental consent before the testing is performed.
The real key is in the last paragraph. A few states, like Nebraska, make the testing compulsary. Others apparently have an "opt out". MD, DC and WY have and "opt in". Either of the latter two are obviously preferable to "compulsory."
 
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Previous Comments to this Post 

Comments
Oh please. Enough with the scaremongering.

Hillary assures us that it won’t be state run...

[/end sarcasm]
 
Written By: Robb Allen
URL: http://blog.robballen.com
This is absolutely outrageous.

Additionally, mathematically they did this because 0.16% of the babies ultimately test positive for one of the diseases they test for.
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
I’ll bite, how can a libertarian object to this? Libertarians believe that the actions of consenting adults ought to be respected....this is a case that involves more than consenting adults. The CHILD had no say, and therefore the state spoke for the child. It seems reasonable to me. Had the child been 13 (Bar/t Mitzvah or Confirmation) much less 18 I’d say that this was unconscionable. But the child was NOT of an age to give consent to her parents beliefs and actions. A court, in fact multiple courts were invovled, so the parents were granted DUE PROCESS. What’s the kick?

Bottom-line: Parents acted, all actors could not make an informed decision or consent, the state spoke on behalf of the child, due process was followed...and this is a violation of someone’s liberty how? Again, had they mandated that the PARENTS get a blood test or that a child at the age of reason get a blood test, inspite of religious objections, I’d be on the barricades with you, but in this case, not so much.

I think libertarians get too wrapped around the autonomy thing, or rather they take the view that ANY time the state uses coercion, something bad has happened.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
"Yeah, we got national health care...

...what do you mean I have to pee into this cup?"
 
Written By: jpm100
URL: http://
You’re joking right, Joe? How about I follow due process and take away your child because I don’t think the way you handle your sex education is correct?
 
Written By: Robb Allen
URL: http://blog.robballen.com
this is a case that involves more than consenting adults.
Hardly. The parents give and withold concent for the child. As is their God given right as parents.

The state can’t make you feed your child carrots, so why should they be able to take away your kid and poke it with needles to test for something with the statistical odds akin to being struk my lightning?

The state had no real authority, and I likely would have shot the people trying to take my kid.
 
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
And if they discover something - since we’re not talking contagious disease here, what happens then?
one of the state’s most cost-effective public health programs
More cost effective for who?
Does the state pick up the cost of treatment, assuming there IS a treatment for the condition if the kids test positive?
Is this for all children or only those likely to be using ’public’ health programs?


Joe - I wasn’t aware that libertarians necessarily thought of children as actors apart from their parents that required the state to act on their behalf.
I would have presumed there would be more emphasis on the family as a unit that would make your view the opposite of a libertarian stand. My family, emphasis on the word my.
Bottom-line: Parents acted, all actors could not make an informed decision or consent, the state spoke on behalf of the child, due process was followed...and this is a violation of someone’s liberty how? Again, had they mandated that the PARENTS get a blood test or that a child at the age of reason get a blood test, inspite of religious objections, I’d be on the barricades with you, but in this case, not so much.
Hypothetical - the program was to implant a micro chip ’for the children’ so they can be located if they’re kidnapped by gypsies. The parents object for religious reasons, the state excercises due process, takes the kid, and implants the chip.

Is it still so innocuous?
Same thing, the only distinction is the procedure the state decided to perform ’on behalf of the child’.

And if ’cost effective’ is the goal, it’s not done on behalf of the child, it’s done on behalf of the tax payers, represented by the state to keep costs down.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
I imagine the folks who want state-controlled health care see nothing whatever improper here. And I guess we have some confirmation of that in the comments.

The piece is clear that the issue was never heard in district court. Where’s the due process anyway, Joe?

Not that I would approve of the action if a court had ordered it.
 
Written By: spongeworthy
URL: http://
And let me guess who paid for the shot and the tests....and I bet if they had health insurance, it wasn’t the state....
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Well guys if the parents had had the child, and reared the child as a human sacrifice for Ba’al would you be so certain of the state’s inablity to act?

And that’s my question, at what point do goofy parents get to lose the rights to decide for children? Again if this were an older child or one of the parents, I’d agree that the state had no right to overide an informed decision to accept or reject treatment or testing. Rosa could not give that consent....ergo the state could, IMO go to court and compel the testing.

I feel a bit differently, about HPV/Guardia vaccinations....here the person has from 8 to 25 to make the decision to get the vacination, so it is far less obvious to me that mandatory vacination is OK for cervical cancer. I’m utilitarian in my libertarianism...what the state did was not a treatment, only a test, it was a minor test, it wasn’t an operation or a vacination. Further, DUE PROCESS was followed...the state went to court the parents went to court. Everyone had their day and in the end one side "lost." It what heppends in society.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
When the Anayas’ daughter Rosa was born in 2003, a hearing was held in Douglas County District Court and the couple voiced their objections. The state Supreme Court eventually turned down their arguments, but Rosa never was tested.
Court was used, if not in this case previously, with the parents....
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
at what point do goofy parents get to lose the rights to decide for children?
What harm were the parents inflicting upon their child if they did not get the tests?
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
at what point do goofy parents get to lose the rights to decide for children?
What harm were the parents inflicting upon their child if they did not get the tests?
Well if the child had a prevetable disease but didn’t test i guess that counts as "harm" in my book.....just because the kid turned up healthy doesn’t mean the parents were right.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Well if the child had a prevetable disease but didn’t test i guess that counts as "harm" in my book.....just because the kid turned up healthy doesn’t mean the parents were right.
By definition it wouldn’t be preventable, because the kid would already have it, or else the testing wouldn’t show it anyways.
 
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
By definition it wouldn’t be preventable, because the kid would already have it, or else the testing wouldn’t show it anyways.

Reading the ’blurb the stae argues early detection and treatment make for a better utcome, so let me rephrase had they discovered the child was ill at day 2 it would be better than discovering the problem at age 2.....
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
The point of the post is to demonstrate how the state, under the guise of controlling or cutting cost in health care, can insist on tests and procedures, willyou, nillyou.

This is allegedly a cost control issue on the part of the state, that’s how they dressed this monkey up and justified it when asked.
These aren’t contagious diseases, so it’s an each and every individual situation, not a broad, general, ’for the public health’ issue as it would be if they decided to quarantine one person from the general public for something everybody could catch.

While I can appreciate the test being done, why isn’t it left to the health insurer/doctor making a recommendation to the family, rather than enforced, literally, at the point of a gun, by the County?

And, who paid the bill in this case, the insurer, the state, the Anayas?
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16846962/
One in every 837 babies born last year tested positive for one of the 34 diseases the state tests for, said Julie Miller, manager of Nebraska’s Newborn Screening Program. But the incidence is much lower for the eight most serious diseases, with one in 112,000 having biotinidase deficiency, which can cause developmental delays.
So for the serious diseases we’re talking about a 0.0009% chance.

I bet I can find lots of ways for the government to protect Joe and his family for any risks of this magnitude since "that counts as "harm" in [Joe’s] book."
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
While I can appreciate the test being done, why isn’t it left to the health insurer/doctor making a recommendation to the family, rather than enforced, literally, at the point of a gun, by the County?
Now you raise a good point, but certain testing, for communicalbe diseases must be mandatory, don’t know if they tested for those in this one. But some tests ought to be state mandated...I don’t care if YOU have typhoid, but I worry about you giving it to me.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
PARENT INFORMATION for presumptive positive newborn screening
http://www.nlc.state.ne.us/epubs/H8200/H002-2006.pdf
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
Now you raise a good point, but certain testing, for communicalbe diseases must be mandatory, don’t know if they tested for those in this one.
Not a single one that they tested for was contagious.
 
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
Still the state argues(d) early testing yields early treatment and a better outcome for those diseases and conditions tested for....Testing is not treatment and I can’t see how the child is damaged by testing...treatment might be a different thing. Again, why is the child, who can’t make a decision in all this, supposed to be solely the ward of the parents?
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
OMG IM GOING TO DIE IF YOU TAKE MY BLOOD GOD SAYS SO!!
 
Written By: SLNTAX
URL: http://
Again, why is the child, who can’t make a decision in all this, supposed to be solely the ward of the parents?
Because they are the f**king parents!!!

You have kids? You want me to tell you what to do with them? How to raise them, feed them, and force medical proceedures upon them?

My kids, not the states. "It takes a village"? It sure does, because I’ll have to run outta bullets before they take the kid from my care.
 
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
Why is the child solely the ward of the parents? Are you kidding? Where does that end?
 
Written By: spongeworthy
URL: http://
Again, why is the child, who can’t make a decision in all this, supposed to be solely the ward of the parents?
Because you’re talking about the chance of harm from disease being 0.0009%. And the chance at harm for the rest of us is zero.
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
Wait a sec...are you seriously arguing that because the child didn’t acquiesce that it’s the state’s job to decide for the parents?

the baby hasn’t even developed a cognitive sense of self, let alone the ability to speak, and you want to ask it if it wants blood drawn?

Get outta here!
 
Written By: Joel C.
URL: http://
Joe, I think the state needs to come over to your house to ensure it is baby-proof. You will have no choice in the matter.

After all, thousands of children die every year from nonintentional injuries around the home.
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
The CHILD had no say ...
That’s what parents are for and they had spoken.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
I also think we should force Joe to be tested for any genetic problems that he could pass on to his children. After all, the potential child will have no decision in the matter of being conceived, so the state will need to step in and make sure Joe is not going to endanger any offspring.
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
I also think we should force Joe to be tested for any genetic problems that he could pass on to his children.
Why not? In principle, what’s the difference?

And since the "state" will claim to be the entity to have to bear the burden of cost if Joe should have children, it should be able to involuntarily sterilize him to ensure it doesn’t happen.

All in the name of "cost-effective public health", of course.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Why not? In principle, what’s the difference?
That would be the point. There is no difference. JWG was making a point. :)

The state shouldn’t be able to force Joe to be tested, just like they shouldn’t have been able to in this case.
 
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
at what point do goofy parents get to lose the rights to decide for children?
When the goofy parents put their child in imminent and negligent mortal danger (such as falling into a stoned stupor while the kid plays with matches), or puts other kids in imminent mortal danger.

Not screening for a rare disease doesn’t pass that test.



 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
I’d say the parents were wrong and the State was wronger.

Also I want to highlight that the government kept the kid 6 days when getting a blood sample takes about 6 seconds.
 
Written By: abw
URL: http://abw.mee.nu
I’d say the parents were wrong and the State was wronger.
Unless your argument is that the parents should never have those sorts of choices, how were they wrong?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
but certain testing, for communicalbe diseases must be mandatory
See, I don’t think they’re testing for these, which is kinda ironic.

Cost control though, that’s the focus. Efficent use of health facilities as defined by the state.

(Entirely likely, efficent use of a company that does the testing by legislators who had an interest)
Again, why is the child, who can’t make a decision in all this, supposed to be solely the ward of the parents?
Parents are normally considered the legal guardians of a child unless the state can prove there is a reason not to allow that to continue (being raised for human sacrifice to Baal qualifies), and until the child comes of age.
(You know that, you’re just being difficult....)
OMG IM GOING TO DIE IF YOU TAKE MY BLOOD GOD SAYS SO!!
First off, that’s not what they said, secondly, last time I checked we have freedom of religion in the US, meaning just because you find it silly doesn’t mean it’s not protected.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
See, I don’t think they’re testing for these, which is kinda ironic.
I’ve updated the post with what they are testing for.
Blood tests are usually taken to check for treatable genetic, endocrinologic (hormonal), metabolic, or hematologic (blood-related) diseases.
IOW, they’re not communicable.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Babies born at home: Babies who are born at home must also be screened for these diseases. The parents or the person registering the birth must arrange with a doctor to have the tests completed. The test should be done between 24 and 48 hours of birth, so that any needed treatment can be started as soon as possible. If a baby is older they should still get the screening. Even though it is less ideal in terms of timing, older babies may still benefit from treatment for certain disorders.
Read the PDF from beginning to end - I sure didn’t see anything that says we’re going to send armed deputies around to your house to take your kid for 6 days while we draw the blood if you don’t agree to this.
I wonder if they take the same measures with the home born kids as they did with the couple in question (bet not, or we’d have heard about it, eh?).

Also - the State pays the cost of the testing (one objection done away with..haha..it’s FREE!!!!! bwaahahahahahahahahaha).

Well, cool, the money to pay the lab must fall from the heavens, at no cost to the tax payer(bwaaahahahahahahahahahahaha)

and the likelyhood that the lab and some legislators (past or present) have (or had) connections just went up.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
I’ve updated the post with what they are testing for.
My previous link shows every test Nebraska performs.

Here it is again:
http://www.nlc.state.ne.us/epubs/H8200/H002-2006.pdf

Also, 4 states have mandatory screening (no opt out):
Nebraska, South Dakota, Michigan and Montana
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
I don’t know where I stand on this, but...

So we’ll all be cool with paying their healthcare/other costs of one of the kid requires lost of expensive "cure" that we could have avoided with some cheap "prevention?" I guess we have to let people be idiots. I wonder if they have a boy, will he be circumsized?

I do know that nowadays in Taiwan they routinely check babies for all kinds of scary stuff. When we had our kid, the nurses came by with photocopied fliers and handed us the one for "hole in the heart." Very scary until you go to the meeting with all of the other parents and see every single kid had at least one sheet and some with 5 pages! In the future I assume they’ll be telling you that your kid can’t eat gluten or peanuts in the first trimester.
 
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
Would it save lives ?

I wonder what parents of children who have died from anaphylactic shock due to peanuts or coeliac disease would say about it ?
 
Written By: Blewyn
URL: http://
I would have presumed there would be more emphasis on the family as a unit that would make your view the opposite of a libertarian stand. My family, emphasis on the word my.
Except they’re not. You don’t own them any more than you own me. Parents have a legal obligation to look after children - but that doesn’t mean they can treat them any way they like. You can’t work them in the fields for 18 hrs a day. You can’t cut bits off them to sell. You can’t make them live in a chimney, or eat rats. You do NOT own them. You DO have a duty of care toward them, and having them tested for disease is no different to putting them in a seatbelt in a car.
 
Written By: Blewyn
URL: http://
Not only do .16% of children have a disease, several of those diseases are genetic and there isn’t much in the way of a cure. Sickle cell anemia for one is a change in the shape of the red blood cells that makes a person more susceptable to blood clots. Other then being on blood thinners, there isn’t much you can do about it. Why waste money detecting a disease that you can identify based on knowledge of the parents medical history?
 
Written By: the Brain
URL: http://
having them tested for disease is no different to putting them in a seatbelt in a car
So Blewyn must also support mandatory inspections by the state to ensure every house that children enter is properly childproofed. Afterall, the state mandates we protect children in a vehicle, so the state should protect them in our homes.

We must also have mandatory monthly nutritional testing to make sure your children are getting their proper level of vitamins. Having them tested for vitamins is no different than making them wear a seatbelt.

And Blewyn must be forced by the state to undergo genetic testing before having children to detect and prevent any possible harm that could be passed along. In fact, Blewyn has no right to subject children to any potential harm whatsoever. The state will have to determine if Blewyn is even allowed to have children.
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
As far as the results of the tests and what can be done....My sister was born (in 1958)with a thyroid gland that did not produce (sufficient) thyroid hormone. If it had been detected at, or shortly after birth, she could have been put on a replacement regime with a thyroid pill. But since it was not detected, her brain did not develop as it should have. She became mentally retarded. She was not born retarded, but the lack of thyroid did not spur her brain to continue to develop. This testing was not done (or really available) at the time of her birth. It became available in the late 60’s and mandated in the early 70’s.

So the parents are stupid or misguided in their beliefs. But people should be allowed to be stupid or misguided, as long as it does not harm someone else.

Now in the case at hand, and most cases by the odds, no one was harmed. But what is the recourse to the son, if he had the metabolic condition, that could have been detected and treated, but was not, by the parent’s enforcement of their belief? Irrepairable harm could be done, and statistically, it will occur to someone. What child should have their potential wither away for the lack of a test that costs under a hundred dollars and a treatment of pennies a day? And what is the recourse of the child for the bad decision of the parents? They can never recover the lost potential. And some of the metabolic errors can be life-threatening if not treated.

I don’t know what the answer is. In the case at hand the State was overly heavy handed (particularly in holding the child the number of days. They only needed to obtain the three drops of blood for the test, and could have handed the child back). I want to be up in arms over the violation of the parent’s rights. But in the back of my mind, I still have the thought, what if the son had had the under-performing thyroid? Would I feel the same way?
 
Written By: Loren
URL: http://
And that’s my question, at what point do goofy parents get to lose the rights to decide for children?
My Dad always told me I have no rights. Until I get a job, put a roof over my head and pay taxes the only rights I had was what he granted me and that they must be earned. I must be dating myself.

In Maine, a parents consent allows their child to go the schools clinic for an aspirin, but if your 11 to 15 year old child asks for birth control while they are there, well its none of the parents damn business. Confidentiality laws for 13 year olds?

Apparently I was born about 40 years to early.
 
Written By: tonto
URL: http://
but that doesn’t mean they can treat them any way they like. You can’t work them in the fields for 18 hrs a day. You can’t cut bits off them to sell. You can’t make them live in a chimney, or eat rats. You do NOT own them. You DO have a duty of care toward them, and having them tested for disease is no different to putting them in a seatbelt in a car.
Where did I suggest any of that?
The state is arguing the odds of disease as their justification, and forcing these tests on people as a cost reduction mechanism.

I think we already dealt with the concept that you’re not allowed for example, to raise children to sacrifice to Baal. If you can demonstrate that the parents in this case intended to cut bits off, or slave trade the kid, by all means do so, otherwise you might as well have gone back to suggesting they were raising him as a human sacrifical victim.
You DO have a duty of care toward them, and having them tested for disease is no different to putting them in a seatbelt in a car.
How many diseases? Why not all of them, it’s your duty as a parent, right? And I mean ALL OF THEM, why stop at these eight? Anything less, according to your argument, is a failure of your duty to care for them. They’re available for testing, you can have them tested, if you don’t you’re a bad parent, that’s your argument, right?
Or are you only interested in the ’free’ mandatory tests.

Your argument is ’why not’. Their argument is it’s against their religious beliefs. Unless it’s ’out there’ generally religious arguments carry some weight. This isn’t that far out there since only 4 states out of 50 mandate these tests.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
I still have the thought, what if the son had had the under-performing thyroid? Would I feel the same way?
We can come up with all sorts of ways for the state to force us to keep our children healthy.

What if the son grows up to be unhealthy in some other way and the state could’ve prevented it?
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
JWG,

I admit, I am conflicted.

But I grew up in a family that was affected by the .01% chance. Would that my sister had had things happen differently.......
But people should be allowed to be stupid or misguided, as long as it does not harm someone else.
So the real problem is when the harm is not a certainty, but a chance. And at what probability level do we not continue to allow people to be stupid or misguided, in order to prevent harm to another. And does the severity of the potential harm effect the calculation?
 
Written By: Loren
URL: http://
at what probability level do we not continue to allow people to be stupid or misguided
I don’t have the statistics from the 46 states that allow parents to opt out of testing, but I would guess that the percentage would be smaller than the prevalence levels of the serious diseases.
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
Heck, I’m not even against the tests.

Showing up with deputies at the house and taking the kid to be put in foster care (of what calibre?) for 6 days, now THAT I have a real problem with.

Sounds to me like they deliberately crushed these people with the full weight of the law to make up for the previous time.
The words "we’ll show them" keep running through my mind during imagined conversations at the local DA’s office.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
To clarify my earlier post:

me: "I’d say the parents were wrong and the State was wronger."
McQ: "Unless your argument is that the parents should never have those sorts of choices, how were they wrong?"

The parents are wrong because they should allow the blood test. The fear of shortening the kid’s life is irrational.

However I think they should have the right to be stupid and opt out so that’s why I say the State was wronger.

It’s cases like this though that give us big powerful governments because the ’We know better’ temptation is so strong and it’d be terrible if the kid actually did have a disease that needed to be detected early but wasn’t because of the parents.
 
Written By: abw
URL: http://abw.mee.nu
I would guess that the percentage would be smaller than the prevalence levels of the serious diseases.
Of course the probability of those who opt out has no influence on the probability of the metabolic error. So the child faces the same probability of having the condition, the opt-out only effects the probability of early detection, which again is the whole dilemma. From the child’s viewpoint, is the change of probabilty from slight chance to no chance worth the imposition?

While I generally agree with the testing requirement, and think the parents in this case are misguided, I remain extemely uncomfortable with the heavy handedness of the State in this instance. And given the propensity of the State to be heavy handed in enforcing all rules, it makes it difficult to balance the good that comes from the testing, vs. the bad of State enforcement.

When my son was born, I asked about the testing, as I was not sure of MN law, being a transplant from MT. I was not told I had an option, but told that the testing would be done. I was given the impression that it was required. With my own experience, it would have been done, regardless of government requirement.
 
Written By: Loren
URL: http://
The parents are wrong because they should allow the blood test.
Other than based on your opinion, how are they "wrong"? I’m looking for a specific reason everyone would agree makes them "wrong" in their choice.

I see no "wrong" in their choice. We may disagree with them, but our disagreement doesn’t make what they did "wrong". Had the strangled the baby instead of letting authorities take him for testing, I think we’d all agree that was "wrong".

And if someone is ’wrong’, you don’t then say:
However I think they should have the right to be stupid and opt out ...
In your opinion, they’re stupid. OK, I can understand that and perhaps even agree with the point ... but "wrong" ... I can’t buy into that.

OTOH, I think the state was completely wrong (due process and parental rights were completely violated).
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
So the child faces the same probability of having the condition
Yes.

But the chance of him having it combined with the chance that he wouldn’t be tested with a parental opt-out are very very very small.

The point being that allowing parents to opt out is very very very unlikely to lead to undiagnosed conditions.

On the other hand, not allowing parents to opt out leads to a 100% chance of reduced liberty.
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
So Blewyn must also support mandatory inspections by the state to ensure every house that children enter is properly childproofed. Afterall, the state mandates we protect children in a vehicle, so the state should protect them in our homes.
It does. See what happens if you leave a pan of boiling oil on the floor and your child steps in it. As with the seatbelt law, the state protects children in the home by the most appropriate means - deterrent law. Where you have become confused is by somehow concluding that because some protective measures are intrinsically invasive (like testing for disease), then all protective measures must be invasive (hence ’inspections by the state’). Really, do please try to think more clearly.
And Blewyn must be forced by the state to undergo genetic testing before having children to detect and prevent any possible harm that could be passed along. In fact, Blewyn has no right to subject children to any potential harm whatsoever. The state will have to determine if Blewyn is even allowed to have children.
Well it’s an interesting question....what if a HIV sufferer knowingly gets pregnant, and passes on the disease ? Can the child sue ? Should there be a punishment, or deterrent ? What about genetic diseases ?
 
Written By: Blewyn
URL: http://
Where did I suggest any of that?
The state is arguing the odds of disease as their justification, and forcing these tests on people as a cost reduction mechanism.
You were quite emphatic in making the point about YOUR children. Just pointing out that you don’t actually own them, and the state has the right to intervene in your behaviour with them where it sees fit, to prevent you from harming them.
You DO have a duty of care toward them, and having them tested for disease is no different to putting them in a seatbelt in a car.
How many diseases?
ALL the diseases that are selected by your democratically-elected government.
Why not all of them, it’s your duty as a parent, right? And I mean ALL OF THEM, why stop at these eight? Anything less, according to your argument, is a failure of your duty to care for them. They’re available for testing, you can have them tested, if you don’t you’re a bad parent, that’s your argument, right?
Absolutely. If something is within your means to achieve that would potentially avoid a significant quality-of-life impairment to your kids, then IMHO it is your duty to do it. They didn’t ask you to be born, you brought them here, and you are responsible for them.

Your argument is ’why not’. Their argument is it’s against their religious beliefs.
No-one’s asking them to take the tests.
 
Written By: Blewyn
URL: http://
On the other hand, not allowing parents to opt out leads to a 100% chance of reduced liberty.
Your liberty only extends to yourself and your property.
 
Written By: Blewyn
URL: http://

 
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