Comments about ‘Utah Supreme Court rules no 'flagrant violation' of family's rights in Parker Jensen case’

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Published: Tuesday, March 29 2011 3:00 p.m. MDT

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Salt Lake City, UT

It would be nice to know if this was not a flagrant violation, then what would be. Making the parents into fugitives from the state in order to protect their son from treatment based on a mis-diagnosis and then the child protective service and attorney general's office cocluding with the MD. Really what is a flagrant violation of parental rights?

Paul H
West Valley, UT

The Jensen family are heroes of anyone who believes that parents have the right to determine what is best for their own children. This court decision is a slap in the face to freedom and an encouragement to DCFS to continue business as usual.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

If this isn't a flagrant violation of the parent's and the child's rights... I don't know what is. Since when can the government FORCE you to endure a medical procedure you don't want? Especially when the doctors involved in the case weren't in agreement? The article fails to mention that they had been to Texas to see a specialist and he said chemo wasn't required... but the Utah doctors wouldn't accept his diagnosis and recommendations.

I guess there's no such thing as Criminal ARROGANCE... or the Utah Doctors and DFS workers would surely be found guilty.

We the People
Sandy, UT

We should refrain from cheering or hating a judicial decision based solely on the result. We need to read the decision and determine whether the court properly applied the law. Sometimes, we can hate a result, but like the decision. (I feel this way about many 1st Amendment cases).

In this case, I hate the result and the decision.

As Hellooo stated, I really think that the Utah Supreme Court absolved all future state and government actors from liability in similar cases.

Go Big Blue!!!
Bountiful, UT

It is a difficult situation. How different would it have been had Parker died of cancer?

A neighbor had a daughter that came down with lukemia. The father didn't trust doctors and almost kept his daughter from receiving treatment. In the end the girl was treated and 10 years later she is cancer free. Without treatment she wouldn't have survived.

Parents right need to be protected but so do children's rights. You hope those rights are not in conflict.

Sego Lilly
Salt Lake City, UT

Sounds like the Doctors gave only one option for treatment without the pros and cons. I studied a little medical law and I know that you don't tell a patient - we are going to try this treatment first and see what happens. By law they are to give the pros and cons of each type of treatment availible and let you decide what you are at that time comfortable with.

This type of medical neglect is quite common when treating the elderly also.

Parents - do your research and don't take what the doctor says as the only way.

Saratoga Springs, UT

What if you had a child that required the use of a feeding tube, but you didn't believe in feeding tubes, and believed that they would somehow get the nurishment they needed, and then that child died? What if your child was injured and as a result got a serious infection that was left untreated because the parents didn't believe in treatment, and it kept getting worse? What about a kid who has teeth that are rotting because a parent does not believe in brushing teeth or seeing dentists, and the child ended up losing all of their teeth?

Payson, UT

The difference should be this. When a sure death will result (witholding first aid or a blood transfusion or life saving surgery) and the results are without doubt, then the state should have the right to force the action on children who are not old-enough to understand their parents action or inaction. A twelve year old is old enough to make this decision. As shown by psycologists, an 11 year old is not. Parents should have a say and thusly the child may reject help based on Parent child relationships in these older children. But that is the need for a border line. Anything else would be intrusion into family decisions which are neither wanted nor warranted.

Cato the Elder
Salt Lake City, Utah

"Karra Porter, attorney for the Jensen family, said Tuesday that what the family really wanted was for their story to be heard by a jury."

I realize that an attorney may try to spin a loss, but isn't this laughably false on its face, given that they 1) asked for monetary damages; and 2) appealed this all the way to the Supreme Court?

Fitness Freak
Salt Lake City, UT

Those of you who remember the full details of this case are probably as shocked as I am.
If there was EVER a case that the state of Utah should have had to pay out on its this one.
Those of you who have ever had any sort of interaction with DCFS know: with them, you're guilty unless and until you can prove your innocence!

DCFS always has been out of control, now the courts have given them a rubber stamp of approval!

Phoenix, AZ

This makes me sick! How dare anybody representing a state step in and try to take away a family's RIGHT to make personal medical decisions!!!! Medical attention cannot be FORCED on anybody. It reeks. This family should start sueing.

St. George, Utah

well atleast the State of Utah did not get their way. isnt this what we went to war for in WW2 ? I guess the politicians in Utah think the freedoms only apply to people whenever the state feels like letting them have it. isnt that why we are in Iraq and Aghanistan and isnt this the reason why there is a no fly zone in Lybia ? what part of the U.S constitution does the state of Utah not understand about freedom ? this is America not some communist country the goverment need to stay out of our lives and remember they work for us - not the other way around

Stockton, UT

If this case does not rise to the level of "flagrant violation" of parental and familial and even personal rights, then we need to change our law.

I haven't read the decision. As "We the People" points out, this could be a proper application of current law. If it is, we need to change the law to reflect the obvious community standards and sentiment that says parents and even many children younger than 18 need to have a LOT more latitude in deciding whether or which medical treatment to accept.

If the law already expresses these sentiments and this case was very poorly and wrongly decided, then we need to see these judges impeached or removed by the voters at the next retention election.

For a government that allows a woman to unilaterally terminate the life of her unborn child for no other reason than not wanting to be pregnant to then turn around and remove ALL personal and parental choice from a mentally competent 12 year old and his parents in a case where treatment side effects are viewed as worse than the disease by many is beyond shockingly hypocritical.

Tucson, AZ

2 Bits-Absolutely wrong. The doctor in Houston was never consulted. he didn't trreat this type of cancer and would not have accepted the boy as a patient. The parents were into holistic medicine and that's what this specialist in Houston was doing. They only had enough tissue for one test but that test was reviewed and all agreed he had a rare cancer. These parents are very lucky their son is alive. DMN, before you decline to post this read your archives for its accuracy.

California, CA

The Jensens are heroes and the state of Utah is a zero. How pathetic!! No chemotherapy and he lived and he's serving a mission. It sure looks like the Jensens knew what was best for their son. It also makes the state look incompetent, but then again government equals incompetency.

Salt Lake City, Utah

What about parents who make treatment decisions that are clearly detrimental to a childs health? As some would say was the case here (I do not). The child obesity/diabetes pandemic in this country is clearly uninformed parents feeding their kids processed junk food; but seems widely acceptable and encouraged by commercial after commercial on TV. Yet you don't see them getting dragged into court and reported to CPS.
The Cancer Indu$try seems particulaly protective of the statis quo of cut, burn, and poison as simpler cures (ops, nasty word) would be a major threat to a very lucrative business. You question the system and they are out to get you (or the Jensen's). I am very pleased to hear Parker is doing well in spite of our sick-care system! I think a few hundred thousand less for cancer research should go to the Jensen's for the flagrant violation of their rights!

Ogden, Ut

I certainly hope this ruling is appealed. As a public person, I am ashamed that my taxes are destroying financially a family who chose with good study to go another direction for treatment for their son. This family has certainly had a horrible injustice served to them with this ruling. I hope the Parkers can manage after this blow. I'm so sick of the government getting too deep into our lives. This is a sign of definitely going to far, and the government went way too far in this case.

Good luck in your future Parkers!

county mom
Monroe, UT

I am having a real hard time with this court decision. I have not read the particulars of the court. I struggle with the state or any government entity thinking they are better at taking care of children then the childs parents.
I have had a child who was given a wrong diagnosis and was threatened by the doctor that he would call DCFS if I didn't continue with the treatment he recomended. I took my child to another doctor for the same symptoms(not sharing with him what the first doctor said) got a different diagnosis and treatment opptions. I went to a third doctor and got the same answer as the second doctor. Why did the Jensen's not do this? Not all oppinions from the doctors under the same roof, but under different practices and in different places? A more informed descision can be made this way. And don't tell me they didn't have the money, we do whatever we have to to save our children. Like they did.

Ernest T. Bass
Bountiful, UT

They didn't deserve anything. There were no damages, the risk for the cancer was too great for the State to ignore.
Once again the activist, conservative judges made the correct call.

Glock Diva
Orem, UT

Honestly, I don't know to remain civil in this instances. I simply cannot see my way clear to join in the courts ruling. This is indeed a day of tragedy in our nation's Judicial System. I cannot fathom that any other parent would not feel the same way as the Jensens if they too had to undergo the same horrific nightmare that this family did. DCFS needs to be restrained significantly as does the medical association.

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