We all know the proper role for any legitimate democracy is to preserve and protect liberties of the people. And that's exactly why I'm having a hard time with this story.
On the one hand you want to respect the 'self-regarding' actions of all religious people, and on the other you want to protect the lives of minors. According to John Locke, men do not have the authority to delegate away their lives, or liberty to the point of slavery, and if they did, such contracts would be void. Well, a 14 year-old boy facing almost certain death, refused medical treatment which would have likely saved his life, on religious grounds. Have a look:
...Dennis, 14, was diagnosed in a Seattle hospital with leukemia. His doctors had given Dennis a 70 percent chance at a full recovery, provided he accept repeated blood transfusions.Read the whole thing. I'm leaning towards state intervention, because I don't believe we have the right to kill ourselves; after all, we did not give ourselves life. I agree with Locke on this, no one person and no religion has authority over your life, especially when the odds for continued living with basic medical treatment are so good and clear.
Though badly depleted from chemotherapy, Dennis refused because he was a devout Jehovah's Witness.
In a case that drew national attention, Dennis held firm. He died Nov. 28 at Children's Hospital and Regional Medical Center in Seattle, hours after a judge denied a legal attempt to force the transfusion.
His death split Olga's family and tested her faith, launching her on a mission to sway public opinion against the church. She knows that in her grief, she has become a zealot as passionate as any church member. But she presses on - for Dennis, she says, but also to purge her nightmares and her guilt.