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?
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
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 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.
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
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.
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
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.
"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?
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!
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
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
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.
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
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
People are forgetting the basic facts of the case:1) The Jensens got
four separate medical opinions, including one from a homeopathic practitioner,
that all agreed on the needed treatment. The Jensens were able to choose several
of those doctors.2) The Jensens had full due process under law in all
proceedings. They and their attorney were part of the entire process, until
they decided to defy the court and flee the state.3) It was the medical
doctors, not DCFS, who made the claim that Parker's life was in danger without
appropriate medical care. DCFS is mandated by law to take such situations to the
courts.4)The Jensens repeatedly lied to DCFS and the Court. They might
feel justified in doing so, but it doesn't make them very credible. The sad fact is that DCFS exists because some parents make very bad decisions
regarding their children. Children are beaten, molested, starved, and tortured
everyday in Utah. Endangering a child's life by refusing medical care is a form
of abuse. The right of the child to live healthily outweighs a parent's right
to be neglectful and abusive.
I think the saddest part of this is the financial burden this family has had to
endure to retain their right to direct their child's treatment. All too often
medical proffessionals forget they are merely the technical experts, not the
I'm a surgeon, a graduate of the U. DCFS and others associated with this
flagrant attempt to hijack the Jensen's parental rights were way out of line.
How about we get rid of DCFS all together and just let children being abused
fend for themselves. Because, as you all say, parents have a right to govern
their children, right?
"The decision establishes that University of Utah physicians had Parker
Jensens best interests in mind in the care they recommended and provided,"
spokeswoman Kathy Wilets. The above quote may be correct but it is
also correct that Parker Jensen's Parents had his best interest in mind and time
has proven that they were correct. The issue here is who had the right to make
the decision in Parker's case. The answer is clear and that is the Parents.
This is a sad day for Utah, America, Freedom and Justice. I assure
you that there is a higher Judge that will rule in this case and when he does
there will be more than seven defendants.
I am wondering: where do parent's rights to determine what is best for their
children trump the state's obligation to protect its citizens?1. If
medically untrained parent's decide to forego medical treatment deemed urgent by
trained medical specialists...who prevails?2. If educationally
deficient parents decide to forego formal education for their children while the
trained education specialists urge otherwise...who prevails? Why different3. If, for religious reasons, a medically untrained family prevents
medical treatment for their child that the medical professionals deem
necessary...who prevails and is this a different situation than this case?4. What if a family, exercising their right (that many of you are sure
is so sacred) to decide what is best for their children, take great medical,
temporal, emotional, and educational care of their children, but belive it in
the children's best interest to be married at the age of 15? Who prevails now?
Is your answer different to this scenario than the first three? Why?Are you willing to trump the early marriage parent but not the medical denial
parent?It is not as crystal clear and easy as many of you are making
it to be
Do not forget there are many parents that abuse their children, (education
neglect, torture, drugs, and child porn just to name a few). We cut the
budgets of our state child services and then we wonder why these things
occur.Also, Re: "Considering" 5:18 pmThere is a big difference between children and a zygote or a embryo?Children should all have the right, to health care, food, safety and
education!But conservatives will try to protect a mass of cells and spend
millions of dollars in their efforts. In the process will cut the budgets of
children that suffer in a abuse and neglect.
I knew an attorney whose job it was to defend criminals in court. I asked him
how he possibly could live with himself, knowing that by one technicality or
another, he was helping them receive lesser sentences or even freedom. His
response to me was thought provoking. He said his job, in reality, was keeping
police officers and government honest and responsible as it relates to law.In the Jensen's case, monumental errors were made with government.
Rather than acepting responsibility, the Supreme Court today, in my opinion,
gave the DCFS and medical physicians a free pass, not holding them accountable
or honest in their role to protect children.
Get the government out of our lives.
We need our state legislature to pass a law prohibiting the government from
doing anything against a parental decision in health care unless it rises to the
level of criminal neglect or abuse. We have plenty of laws on the books that
guide our prosecutors in these arenas. The Dr. should have filed
his complaint, which exonerated him from any responsibility, and it should have
stopped there. Then, the family should have been allowed to make their
decisions. The outcome would determine the next step. If Parker had died, the
prosecutors should have determined if it was criminal neglect or abuse. He
didn't die, so it would have ended there. If a family does
something (or fails to do something) that the prosecutors believe rises to the
level of criminal neglect, let the case be brought by the prosecutors and let
them try it in a jury court. If not, parents must be left to make decisions for
their minor children. Sometimes they will be the exact right ones, sometimes
they won't, sometimes it will be impossible to tell. But rarely are those
decisions criminal neglect.
This ruling should worry and scare every single parent in the state of Utah, and
should cause enough reason to get people working towards removing the judge from
DCFS needs to exist, because the almost unlimited powers of ownership of a child
that we seem to want parents to have comes with no more of a test than the
ability to procreate. Lots of kids die at the hands of their parents every year
to prove the test isn't stringent enough.
This ruling is consistent with the parens patria legal doctrine that the state
is the parent. It is a near certainty that the parents dutifully and ignorantly
went down and obtained a license to marry. A license is government permission to
do something that would otherwise be unlawful. A marriage license grants the
state the position of being a superior party of interest in the marriage since
they granted it into existence and they are entitled to the fruits of the
contract (children). This is well settled legal doctrine in family law courts
across the nation.If however they parents had married under their
unalienable right to marry [see Supreme Court case Meister v. Moore 96 U.S. 76
(1877)] the outcome of this case could have been very different.
I've had enough of this family and this case. This young man is strong and
healthy and serving a mission in Chile. Enjoy your son, and enjoy your lives.
Stop tying up the courts with this case and count your blessings. It's time to
let go of this and realize how lucky you are.
The Utah Supreme Court has 4 Republican Judges and 1 Democratic Judge.This case must be an example of Activist Judicial Over-Reach.Right?
Doctors are put on this almighty pedestal, and most believe they can make no
mistake. If you have 10 months of school or 10 years of school, you are still
just a person who WILL make mistakes.
All these people claiming the State attempted to take away their rights. Imagine
if DFCM took that kid from Layton out of his home before his mother and step
father beat him to death a year ago.DFCM was simply doing their job,
attempting to protect the child, based on a doctor's recommendation. The
Jensen's decisions have put them at a horrible financial situation. Was it their
greed? Anger? Whatever it was that fueled this, they are wrong and did not
deserve to win anything.
"The Jensens had full due process under law in all proceedings."It seems that "full due process" includes the State appointing
a Guardian ad Litem to represent the best interests of the 12 year old boy
against his parents. This Guardian NEVER even spoke with Parker to ask him his
wishes or to assess his level of understanding of the situation and his
options.The Guardian was a never married person with no children.
The Guardian may well have held different religious beliefs and views than does
Parker and may well have been overtly hostile to his and his family's religious
beliefs. I've not seen anything to suggest that the Guardian ever spoke with
Parker's religious advisers or other close family friends to attempt to
determine what might actually be in Parker's best interest.Instead,
a State funded attorney argued from her PERSONAL beliefs what was in Parker's
best interest. Meanwhile, the parents were paying for an attorney out of pocket
in an attempt to even have their values represented. And who is actually
attempting to represent the TRUE interests of a 12 year old faced with lifetime
disability?Due process? INDEED!
It's been said that pretty soon the Government will be able to take your kids
away if you don't give them the government recommended vitamins, or eat foods
with transfats, or let your kid eat a happy-meal once in awhile.The
nanny-state is growing stronger and stronger (at the request of those who chose
not to police themselves).
Time has proven the Jensen's right and the doctors and DCFS wrong. DCFS
over-reacted and should have to pay. The fact that he is cancer free and
cleared to serva mission should tell you something. The Church doesn't let
kids serve a full time mission who are health risks. If they cleared him, they
obviously don't have any problem with his current health status.
My nephew died from a terrible blood clot to his liver from having chemo therapy
when he was 27 years old. He did NOT die from the cancer itself! Why is it that
deaths FROM chemo are so rarely reported, and why is it that this brutal form of
"medical care" has gained superior preference for treatment in the
medical community when it's final outcome is so often the actual (unreported)
CAUSE of death? MANY people die from commonly accepted treatments for cancer.
Millions of children are forced to endure the horrors of this "legal
torture" which to me, this is the crime. If you had a child with cancer and
an alternative treatment that was effective AND humane was offered, wouldn't you
as a loving parent choose the more humane treatment for your own child?
Government organizations dictate medical practices in this country and they will
not even consider effective alternatives to chemo or radiation, even when solid
proof is presented to show that it is effective. I doubt very much that most
medical professionals would choose the commonly accepted, barbaric means of
cancer treatments for themselves or their children if the tables were turned.
Parkers parents did the right thing. If the doctor that treated him was so
right why did he leave the country? Parents have the right to seek medical help
for their kids anywhere they want. Parents and children have the right to refuse
DCFS is an evil entity and needs to be sued.