Sunday, September 19, 2004

child rights and parental responsibilities


Judith Collins has been busy defending her SOP to change the law regarding abortions for those 16 and under. Quite a few politicians - most whom do not have kids - have come out and supported the medical groups who support the rights of children over the responsibility of parents. Now if course it is irrelevant that the head of one of these medical groups is widely known for her pro-abortion stance, and I supposed it is also irrelevant that the group does not represent the views of the majority of the medical profession.

Well, irrelevant to politicians like Helen Clark.

To those who support the right of child not to tell the parents of an abortion, I ask this: Why should abortion be the only medical procedure that does not legally require parental consent?

These days you often need parental consent to give a child an aspirin at school. Why hasn't a child the right to take an aspirin without parental consent, particularly as they can access contraception without parental consent?

Under law, any medical, surgical, or dental procedure that is carried out on a child requires parental consent.

Except abortion.

Back in 1977 when the law was written, parental responsibility took precedence over childrens' rights - and children who had an abortion 15-20 years ago were probably less likely to exclude their parents. - and more likely to live with both of them. These days this balance is shifting to such an extent that parental responsibility is secondary to the rights of the child.

If you think children should have the right to have an abortion without parental knowledge, why then don't you push for a law change to give children the right to go to the dentist or have a blood transfusion without parents knowing?

After all, isn't good law about having a consistent approach?

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

The silence to your questions is deafening Dave.

I think that although the politicians have views in this subject we are only here because the child chose to have sex in the first place (incest/rape excluded). There is an onus on the government to promote abstinence as a first option and when Clark is questioned on this she invariably says that sex for under 16s is too young anyway.

Therefore there should be a bigger onus on the media (by that I mean the 'popular' media which includes advertising, movies, fictional TV, 'reality' TV as well as the normal docos, newspapers, news, magazines etc) to promote chastity and healthy living for children, especially teenagaers.

Only with a holistic approach from parents, Government, and the media can we get a consistent message through to them.

Anonymous said...

Okay. I'd like to point out that Dave's
claim is incorrect. In Re V, a nineties
Family Court case, two Jehovahs Witness
parents petitioned the Family Court and
Court of Appeal to obstruct a vital blood
transfusion for their child on the basis of
their religious beliefs. Both courts held
that parental 'rights' and religious beliefs
needed to be overrode in this case for child
health and welfare.

If one can accept that the parents were wrong
in this case, then what about abortion access?
Especially if the young adolescent has developed
some degree of strategic reasoning capacity*, and
when very early pregnancies may lead to the
tragedy of future miscarriages and infertility?

For an excellent summary of current medical, legal
and other debates about child health and welfare.
see the Ministry of Health's document "Consent and
Child Health." Suffice to say, there are other
contexts in which parental 'rights' clash with their
responsibilities.

Craig

*Usually around thirteen to fourteen

MrTips said...

Craig, nice try but your wrong.

Children reach some kind of reasoning capacity at about the age of 7-8.

Second, your comparison of the Jehovah's witnesses with abortion is, at best, invalid; at worst, mischievous. It also displays a lack of clear thinking; the Jehovah's witness parents HAD a say in their child's treatment, and you then use such a situation to justify the law for NOT allowing parental involvement in ANY treatment.

Third, your suggestion that teenage pregnancy may lead to future miscarriage has no basis in fact. In fact, teenage ABORTION leads to future increased risks of miscarriage and infertility.

Finally, if, AND ONLY IF, you are Craig Young who used to be at ALRANZ and writes for GayNZ, then your comments come as no surprise; that Mr Young is well known as a serial liar.

Anonymous said...

Dave
you make a very good point in...

"To those who support the right of child not to tell the parents of an abortion, I ask this: Why should abortion be the only medical procedure that does not legally require parental consent?

These days you often need parental consent to give a child an aspirin at school. Why hasn't a child the right to take an aspirin without parental consent, particularly as they can access contraception without parental consent?"


In my experience the only people that argue against this point are those
1. who want to attack the Judeo/Christian worldview of family relationships and authorities persuent to that.
2. dismantle the Judeo/Christian structure of society which was formed through this worldview and value system. (to replace it with another)
or
3. those who want access to our children and hence want to have them treated as individuals not fall under the ambit of a parental authority.

a good site to go to is www.drjudithreisman.com in some of her articles in that area of her site you can find this theme again and again.

Which one are you Craig?

Mike

Anonymous said...

Sorry Craig
I was posting whilst the other post one came in.
I don't know you and certainly didn't know you were a homosexual, of course there is no need to answer my question.
best
Mike

Sam said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Sam said...

Hey Dave,
Oops! New to this.

Good questions!

I think allowing children to have abortions without parental knowledge is like kidknapping them(with their permission)but that's OK because children do know what's best for them in the long run eh?

How come no one tells parents off for stopping their children running onto a busy road? The reason is because it's dangerous! Allowing children to make that sort of decision without parental involvement or knowledge is disastrous.

Where pregnancy is the result of sexual assault the perp needs to be brought to face punishment for the crime. It is a crime! If the issue is hidden from parents they are denied the chance to take corrective or preventitive action. The offender is free to re-offend and society is giving a strong message to the child "our society allows people to do bad things with impunity". This is at an age where children are deciding what kind of adult they will be.
What sort of adult will they turn out with the experience of injustice being swept under the carpet and of individuals not being required to be responsible for their own actions?

The child is denied the parental support and counsel when it's very much in need. The parents whose responsibility it is to care for the child does not know the whole story. How can they then provide the best care they are expected to?

When children make mistakes or find themselves in situations that have unpleasant consequences they will try and avoid those consequences. For a lot of children that unpleasantness may be upsetting their parents whom they love and who love them.
Honest, open communication is necessary for any healthy relationship. It doesn't mean there will be no tears.

It used to be only allowable to have abortions where the life of the mother was in danger now it seems to be a lifestyle choice by some women who don't want the inconvenience. Abortion is pschologically traumatic and emotionally damaging for adults and you want children to experience this without the support of their family who is to live with them and support them after the event?

This hiding of the truth from parents is contributing to the damage being done to healthy families. The consequences of which we are seeing in our society as children without adequate family support become adults with unhealthy community values and care for others.

The 90's was a decade of "the rise of the indivual" and we're reaping the rewards now.

Parents must know and give perission before anything like this is done with their child.

Sam

Sam said...

Hey Dave,
Oops! New to this.

Good questions!

I think allowing children to have abortions without parental knowledge is like kidknapping them(with their permission)but that's OK because children do know what's best for them in the long run eh?

How come no one tells parents off for stopping their children running onto a busy road? The reason is because it's dangerous! Allowing children to make that sort of decision without parental involvement or knowledge is disastrous.

Where pregnancy is the result of sexual assault the perp needs to be brought to face punishment for the crime. It is a crime! If the issue is hidden from parents they are denied the chance to take corrective or preventitive action. The offender is free to re-offend and society is giving a strong message to the child "our society allows people to do bad things with impunity". This is at an age where children are deciding what kind of adult they will be.
What sort of adult will they turn out with the experience of injustice being swept under the carpet and of individuals not being required to be responsible for their own actions?

The child is denied the parental support and counsel when it's very much in need. The parents whose responsibility it is to care for the child does not know the whole story. How can they then provide the best care they are expected to?

When children make mistakes or find themselves in situations that have unpleasant consequences they will try and avoid those consequences. For a lot of children that unpleasantness may be upsetting their parents whom they love and who love them.
Honest, open communication is necessary for any healthy relationship. It doesn't mean there will be no tears.

It used to be only allowable to have abortions where the life of the mother was in danger now it seems to be a lifestyle choice by some women who don't want the inconvenience. Abortion is pschologically traumatic and emotionally damaging for adults and you want children to experience this without the support of their family who is to live with them and support them after the event?

This hiding of the truth from parents is contributing to the damage being done to healthy families. The consequences of which we are seeing in our society as children without adequate family support become adults with unhealthy community values and care for others.

The 90's was a decade of "the rise of the indivual" and we're reaping the rewards now.

Parents must know and give perission before anything like this is done with their child.

Sam

Anonymous said...

And MrTips, if you're the well-known ACToholic DB, at
least have the guts to sign your own name.

Be that as it may, read Re V. Yes, the JW parents did indeed try to interfere with their childs' medical treatment. Yes, the High Court and Court of Appeal did rule against them. I am at a loss to know how pointing out known case law in the New Zealand Family Law Reports constitutes a 'lie.' Yes, parental religious views don't trump child welfare.

Craig

And furthermore, there's also the matter of the UK's Gillick v Wisbech Health Authority decision [1985]. In this case, the Law Lords accepted medical evidence that adolescents were quite capable of strategic reasoning before they reached the official age of consent.

And again, at least have a look at the Ministry of Health's "Consent and Child Health" document.