The Beagley case goes to court in Oregon this week

“Jeff and Marci Beagley are charged with criminally negligent homicide for failing to provide adequate medical care for their 16-year-old son, Neil, who died in June 2008 of an untreated urinary tract blockage.” - Oregonian

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Sean Fericks's picture

Our society has set the age of self-responsibility at 18. The child was not 18. He was still under his parents' "care".

Susan R's picture


Under Oregon law, children 15 and older are allowed to obtain medical treatment without parental permission. That fact raises compelling questions for jurors in the Beagley case.

How can teenage children make informed decisions if they've never been to a doctor, have no understanding of their condition and have been raised to reject medical treatment? Do children have the right to refuse medical care? How much responsibility do parents have for the health of teenage children?

Which raise other questions- what are the implications when it comes to underage girls seeking abortions without parental consent, parents rejecting certain immunizations, or families that try alternative, non-invasive methods?

Hopefully the line will be drawn at parental decisions that obviously would result in immediate harm to the child. IOW, not receiving a chicken pox vaccine poses no immediate threat, but not following the prescribed treatment for a serious illness or injury can.

It is really annoying that extremists who don't appear to possess the sense that God gave a brass monkey manage to set so many precedents that will affect the freedoms of responsible, thoughtful parents.