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Thread: Refusal of Medical Treatment – Petition

  1. #1

    Exclamation Refusal of Medical Treatment – Petition

    Did you see the article in today's Montréal Gazette or see the report on TQS on Friday regarding the on-line petition calling on the government to make it illegal for a person to refuse medical treatment on religious grounds.

    On December 27, 2006, a Québec 26-year old Jehovah's Witness man died after refusing a blood transfusion while being treated for an intestinal tumour. The man's father told TQS that he has accepted his son's decision to not have the blood transfusion. However, the man's brother, who is a former Jehovah's Witness himself, maintains that his brother would still be alive if he had received the blood transfusion. Accordingly, his brother has since launched an on-line petition to make it illegal for a person to refuse medical treatment based on religious grounds.

    1,252 individuals have signed the petition as of this morning. If you want to sign the petition also, the link is below.

    Montréal Gazette: http://www.canada.com/montrealgazett...0fe922&k=15147

    TQS TV: http://www.tqs.ca/infos/quebec/2007/...uine--5021.php

    Petition: http://www.primovivere.org/

  2. #2
    Looking at it from another perspective, isn't the petition the same as an attempt to legislate religious beliefs? No way would I sign it.

  3. #3
    Any sane adult is entitled to refuse medical treatment if they choose to, whether it's on religious or other grounds. Of course one could argue that religion can drive people insane but that would be another debate entirely.

  4. #4
    Fix the health care system. (Yeah it takes money so cut back on funding the racist office de la langue francaise, cut back on politicians' salaries and expense accounts, cut back on politicians' pensions, cut back on other governmental waste and cut back on the number of politicians and backroom boys). Give people freedom of choice (even the freedom to make choices detrimental to their health if that's what they want) and legalize euthanasia. Don't sign the stupid freakin petition.

  5. #5
    Veteran of Misadventures
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    A person has a right to refuse medical treatment for any reason, religious or otherwise. Medical treatment should never be forced on anyone.

    Imagine this situation: Hobbyist X goes to his doctor, and tells his doctor of his hobbying activities. Doctor tells X that he should have immediate STD testing. X says, "no thank you." Doctor says "sorry, but this is something you really have to have." X says, "Doctor, I said no thank you." Doctor then has his assistant grab X in a headlock, while Doctor forcibly jerks down X's pants, and inserts the old cotton swab into X's penis in a corkscrew motion, causing so much pain that X passes out.

    If you can't refuse medical treatment, this is what will eventually happen to all of you. Big brother or the government will make your medical decisions for you.
    Last edited by EagerBeaver; 01-14-2007 at 05:02 PM.

  6. #6

    I would never sign this

    There are way too many humans on earth... let's not remove any reason for someone to die..!! It's natural selection.. if an individual is too "dumb" to accept treatment, let him die, the gene pool will better itself from it..!!

  7. #7
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    I won't sign such a petition.

    I am an adult and do not need the government to decide what is best for me and my body. This type of legislation, if passed could be used as precedence to change our abortion laws back to when it had to be deemed necessary by a doctor.

    It also reminds me of some of the arguments around prostitution. Women do need the government to tell them what is best for them. Women who "claim" that sex work is their choice just don't know what is best for them.

    No, I will not sign such a petition.

    Ronnie,
    Naughtylady
    They will forget what you said,
    they will forget what you did,
    but they will never forget the way you made them feel.

  8. #8
    I wouldn't sign the petition either since I believe that all adults should have the right to refuse medical treatment unless he/she is highly infectious and his/her health puts others at risk. I also agree that children should not have the right to refuse treatment and parents should not have the right to refuse treatment for their children due to religious reasons.

    I realize that my first statement could force people to refuse STD treatments but I am more concerned about something that happened a few years ago (or maybe it was just last year) where an immigrant/refugee with highly infectious TB refused to take medication. He also roamed about the city freely endangering others.

    It is one thing to refuse treatment if your refusal doesn't put others at risk such as if a cancer patient refuses chemotherapy or a Jehovah's Witness refuses a blood transfusion. It is another thing to refuse treatment if your refusal puts others at risk such as what I wrote above (and what actually happened).

    I wouldn't have an issue with the above individual staying at home and refusing treatment/medication but the person refused to take his medication and put others at risk. If I remember correctly, he also only took the medication for a shorter duration and then stopped making the TB that he carried a stronger variety. I think that in his case, the courts got involved since there was no reasoning with him and he put others at risk.
    Last edited by jacep; 01-14-2007 at 08:02 PM.

  9. #9
    I believe the link to the person refusing TB is here (although I thought it was from Montreal originally):
    http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2005/06/22/tb050622.html

    Not really related to that person's refusal but others possibly getting infected by TB infected person:
    http://www.cbc.ca/news/story/2000/05...bus000519.html

  10. #10
    I am me, too!
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    Not going to sign this. Adult can refuse treatment if they want. And to see it in a cold way, I also agree with Big Bee's opinion, except for the "gene pool": stupidity have nothing to do with genes.

    But there's been occasion where parents refused treatments for kids (Jehova's Witness are known for this) and doctors had to see a judge to save the kid, with all the risk of delays it implicate. For a kid under 18, the kid's life should be what matters, not the parent's personal religious opinion or other.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by jimace
    I realize that my first statement could force people to refuse STD treatments but I am more concerned about something that happened a few years ago (or maybe it was just last year) where an immigrant/refugee with highly infectious TB refused to take medication. He also roamed about the city freely endangering others.

    It is one thing to refuse treatment if your refusal doesn't put others at risk such as if a cancer patient refuses chemotherapy or a Jehovah's Witness refuses a blood transfusion. It is another thing to refuse treatment if your refusal puts others at risk such as what I wrote above (and what actually happened).
    That is precisely what makes this new petition so dangerous. It is not about public health and infectious diseases, but rather about the right to refuse medical treatment in cases that do not involve such risk. Save in cases involving a threat to public health all adults should have the right to make an informed refusal of medical treatment. However in cases involving a threat to the public health treatment should be compulsory.

  12. #12
    Mired in the red dust.
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    Essentially, I agree that adults have a right to refuse medical treatment. But there are nevertheless important questions that need to be considered.

    First, doctors in Canada do not have the right to assist in euthanasia. We need to ask ourselves then why a doctor should be allowed NOT to give treatment when that treatment would easily correct a potentially fatal medical condition. Isn't a doctor who lets a patient die in such cases assisting in a suicide? Why is it that we will not let somebody with painful cancer or MS take their own life, but we will let somebody kill themself by refusing to accept a simple blood transfusion?

    Second, if I walk out into the middle of the street and light myself on fire because I feel that I am destined to be a guiding light for aliens on their passage to Earth, will the police and fire department stand by and watch me burn because they respect my belief? No. They will extinguish the flames and deliver me to a psychiatric hospital. And rightly so. Why then let the young man described above kill himself? In this country we stop people from killing themselves. It used to be a crime to commit suicide. Now we treat you until you no longer have the desire to end your life.

    Third, we force people to wear motorcycle helmets and seatbelts. So where's the logic? If he can kill himself by not having a blood transfusion, why can't I smash my head into a telephone pole by not wearing a helmut if I want to? Isn't that my right?

    I've watched a good friend die in circumstances similar to those above. He was 37 and left behind six kids (just like with his medical condition, he also thought that it was God's will if his wife got pregnant). The plain truth is that at an earlier time in his life when he was confused he had the bad luck to get scooped up by bunch of starry-eyed Christians. In my opinion, he was brainwashed and effectively incapable of making a rational decision at the time of his death.

    If I could go back in time, I would put him in a tight headlock and drag him kicking to the hospital for treatment. He would have thanked me later on.

    Come to think of it, why didn't they just sedate the young Jehovah Witness guy and give him a blood transfusion while he was knocked out? Like we often say on this site, isn't honesty overrated anyway? They could have told him God performed a miracle while he was asleep. It would be a grown-up spin on the Santa Claus story (which is basically what religion is anyway).

    But I guess I don't want doctor any forcing me to have a prostate checkup before I've prepared myself mentally. Also, the point about the "gene pool" mentioned above is a pretty strong argument. But then, my friend did have six kids....... Seems like he could have at least hung around to take care of them.
    Last edited by Fat Happy Buddha; 01-15-2007 at 07:26 AM.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fat Happy Buddha
    ...Second, if I walk out into the middle of the street and light myself on fire because I feel that I am destined to be a guiding light for aliens on their passage to Earth, will the police and fire department stand by and watch me burn because they respect my belief? No. They will extinguish the flames and deliver me to a psychiatric hospital. And rightly so. Why then let the young man described above kill himself? In this country we stop people from killing themselves. It used to be a crime to commit suicide. Now we treat you until you no longer have the desire to end your life.

    Third, we force people to wear motorcycle helmets and seatbelts. So where's the logic? If he can kill himself by not having a blood transfusion, why can't I smash my head into a telephone pole by not wearing a helmut if I want to? Isn't that my right?
    ...
    If you set yourself on fire and nobody put it down, you WILL DIE. No other possible outcome. If you're prevented to do so, or if somebody put the fire off, maybe you won't die. This is why they will rain on your parade. This can be prevented. You should not have choice.

    Seat belts and helmets. If you get into an accident, your chances of death if not using the above are way higher. With seat belts and helmets, death rate can be diminished. You should not have choice.

    If you get into an accident and loose to much blood, you might die. This is why you get blood transfusions. Death might be prevented by this simple procedure. You should not have choice.

    You're terminally ill, nothing science can do will help you and the more you go, the worst it will get, with absolutely no possibilities of getting better. You SHOULD have choice.

  14. #14
    Mired in the red dust.
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    Quote Originally Posted by metoo4
    If you set yourself on fire and nobody put it down, you WILL DIE. No other possible outcome. If you're prevented to do so, or if somebody put the fire off, maybe you won't die. This is why they will rain on your parade. This can be prevented. You should not have choice.

    Seat belts and helmets. If you get into an accident, your chances of death if not using the above are way higher. With seat belts and helmets, death rate can be diminished. You should not have choice.

    If you get into an accident and loose to much blood, you might die. This is why you get blood transfusions. Death might be prevented by this simple procedure. You should not have choice.

    You're terminally ill, nothing science can do will help you and the more you go, the worst it will get, with absolutely no possibilities of getting better. You SHOULD have choice.
    Jehovah Witnesses refuse blood transfusions in all situations, even in the event of a car accident. Their beliefs state that they cannot have another individual's blood or bone marrow inserted into their body, even when an illness or injury is easily treatable but the lack of a blood transfusion will almost surely result in death.

    We do not know the details of the young man's demise, but it sounds like he was having a stomach tumor removed and a routine blood transfusion was needed during the surgery. Nowhere does it say that the man was going to die from cancer in any event and that a blood transfusion would only extend his misery. I suspect that if this was the case, this event would not be in the news, because it is very common for cancer victims to refuse treatment in the final stage. The news story here is clearly that the man decided to die instead of having a blood transfusion.

    I'm sorry, I don't see the difference between forcing somebody to wear a motorcycle helmet to prevent an avoidable death and forcing somebody to have a blood transfusion to prevent an avoidable death.

    The only reason the man was allowed to refuse treatment is because of the freedom of religion we have in this country and society's belief that individual's have the final say over what happens to their body. But this is one case where those rights are being taken to the extreme.
    Last edited by Fat Happy Buddha; 01-15-2007 at 07:58 PM.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Fat Happy Buddha
    I'm sorry, I don't see the difference between forcing somebody to wear a motorcycle helmet to prevent an avoidable death and forcing somebody to have a blood transfusion to prevent an avoidable death.
    Forcing someone to wear a helmet or a seatbelt will save public money....allowing someone to not get a transfusion will also save public money..!!

    In a time when medical costs are through the roof, I'd rather see my money go helping someone who wants to...let 'em die if that's what they want..!!

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