Children’s Bill Of Rights – The Right to Medical Care

Thursday, May 10th, 2012

The following is part of a series of articles on the rights and responsibilities of children and of families.  On our site, we’ve published a Children’s Bill Of Rights, with all of the sections in the bill.  You can take a look at Children’s Bill of Rights.

(To read additional articles about Children’s Rights and the specific rights recommended in the Children’s Bill of Rights, look through this blog, and at Homeschool Hows & Whys.)


Medical care

Every child has the right to any medical care needed to the best possible health and well-being of the child.

Every child has the right to turn down any sort of medical care or aid that they do not wish to have, particularly in the area of “mental health”.

In the debate about who should be responsible for providing medical care to children, I believe there may be a single point upon which we can all agree.  It is a very key point.  The child cannot himself or herself be expected to provide their own medical care unless born into wealth, or employed in some profession (such as acting say) which makes the child enough income to make them self-sufficient. 

Very few children, then, should be expected to provide their own medical care.  Assuming we can all pretty much agree on this point, then it is up to adults to see to it that children are cared for.  That is unless we have decided in favor of a particularly heartless and grim version of Social Darwinism, and we believe that the fittest only should survive in civilization, and that the weakest should be “weeded out”.

There can be little question that children are the weakest amongst us.  One huge problem, then, with the social Darwinism argument regarding medical care is – well, if we do not keep our children alive and healthy, the species dies.  Does that sound like a good idea?

Diseases and plagues allowed to run unchecked do not respect boundaries of nations, boundaries of wealth, or any other boundaries.  Poverty enforced leads to such disease, historically.  It also leads to riots and revolutions, something that Social Darwinists never seem to take into account.  Any large number can defeat any small one by sheer dint of the numbers, regardless of the wealth and “social fitness” of the small number.  It has happened many times before.  We are seeing it happen today in the Middle East, in nation after nation.

Safety of the few “socially elite” rests solely on the implementation of fairness and justice, and of the true and real providing of opportunity to the many.  People without means will not allow their children to starve.  People who sense that they have been treated unjustly, that they have not the opportunities that others have – will eventually rise up.  And where their children are involved, they will not wait long.  Social Darwinism fails miserably as a doctrine when faced with large, angry numbers.

There are many ways to “classify” the existence of a child.  One way is through economics.  The child is a part of a wealthy family, or he is not.  Clearly children who are not a part of a wealthy family are at a handicap when faced with the need for expensive medical care.  Poor families sometimes have to make the dreadful choice between medical care or food.  This is not a choice at all.

Another way to classify a child is by family relation.  Some children live with both birth parents.  Others live with a single parent.  Others live in other family circumstances, such as with grandparents or other relatives.  Still other children live in foster homes, or are adopted.  And many children have no family or home at all.  The “strata” of family a child lives with will determine who is responsible for his medical care…indeed, it will determine his general welfare.  There are parents who can easily afford a child’s care, and they should certainly pay.  There are others who can cover a child’s care but it is difficult.  They should also pay.  No one here is advocating an escape from hard work or hard choices.

But a child in a foster home is a ward of state, like it or not.  A child without a family is also a ward of state.  And a child from a poverty-stricken family, when it comes to health care, may as well be a ward of state, like it or not.  Such children are entirely reliant on the civilization that claims them as members.  If health care is needed by such a child, it will either come directly from the state or from a support organization in the private sector. 

Or the help simply will not come.  There are no other options.  And if that help does not come, as is often the case in many parts of the world, children die.

There is little that most sane people find more upsetting and disturbing than the death of children, particularly large numbers of children.  Again, such woes lead to the making of history, to the overthrow of governments and the replacing of the wealthy.  It has happened many times.

We fail to care for children at great peril to ourselves and our nations. 

We fail to care for children at great peril to our souls and to our humanity.

We demonstrate dreadfully bad sense in assuming Social Darwinism as a philosophy, particularly in regards to children.  We demonstrate terrible values in our willingness to send our young men and women off to war and possible death, but our unwillingness to care for our youngest and most in need. 

Such actions speak very poorly for us as a civilization.  The civilizations that have gone this route are found in the trash heap of history.  Is that really where we want to end up?

As to the much-discussed area of “mental health”, it really needs to be understood that psychiatry and psychology are not sciences.  They are pseudo-sciences as they do not do what real sciences do – deal with the measureable.  Psychology and its drug-ridden partner, psychiatry, instead deal almost entirely in opinion.  And one man’s opinion of another man’s behavior has almost no validity.  As Buddha wisely said, “Beware of opinions – for anyone may have one”.  In English, he meant that any fool can have an opinion, and they usually do.

In the United States, as in many places in the world today, we have experienced a great rash of “psychiatric professionals” labeling children.  They stick a label on a child which will follow that child throughout his schooling.  These labels demand strange “handlings” of children, often including giving them severe drugs intended to seriously alter the child’s behavior and personality.  All of this is based almost entirely on opinions, including the so-called “tests” that psychologists and psychiatrists so joyfully provide.  There is almost no clinical or statistical base to this voodoo, and you should not ever force your child to endure it

No person should ever be forced to undergo psychological testing or treatment, not ever.  It is abusive in many cases.  There are reasons that psychologists have one of the highest rates of suicide of any profession.  Remember that old comment, “How can you live with yourself”?  Many psychologists and psychiatrists, after harming so many innocents, cannot.

I fully recognize that some of you will find my position on psychiatry and psychology questionable at best, objectionable at worse.  So be it.  Mine is based on actual observation of HUNDREDS of children (and some adults) placed under psychiatric care, and often given psychiatric drugs – the real profit-maker for these “professionals”.  I have seen the results of their handiwork in too many lives destroyed.  You may believe as you wish. 

In the end though, perhaps we can agree that no one should ever be forced into any sort of medical or mental health care.  Such procedures should always be voluntary, and a child should never be pushed into them without his full understanding of the possible results, and his consent.

Nazi doctors “experimented” on people waiting for death in concentration camps.  Their “patients” had no rights, no hopes.  Do we really need to be following the Nazi formula in health care?  There should be nothing mandatory about such things.  They should require informed consent, even from the youngest of us.

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