I agree with you, Staro, about there being a negligence factor involved in this sad story. Some people should never be allowed to become parents. But I can't tell from the story what else was involved: was there a point-of-no-return that the parents considered regarding the illness? I know someone who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and who said no thanks to chemo. He knew his chances of survival weren't good to begin with. At that point he had to consider whether the chemo was going to improve the quality of his life or if he'd be better off without it, since it usually makes a person feel so wretched for so long.
I'm for pharmaceutical cocktails when it's Stage 4/End Stage and to hell with the chemo or radiation. Make the end less painful and be as comfortable as you can be.
Who am I to decide what a good decision is? Well, at the time I worked in this field, I was the one, along with other workers, whose job it was to go into homes or have office visits with the clients...in order to make sure that the children were well treated and had the essentials of life. I was the one who would be called into work on days off because maybe two or three babies were left unattended in their homes, while their parents were out doing crack or drinking. I was the one who had to be support for the children under court supervisions handed down by a judge.
I was at the other end of the scale too. I was a foster child myself. I was finally adopted and I am very lucky. My brother and sister were abandoned in New York. My other brother was abused by the Catholic brothers. Child welfare and loving foster parents saved me...and I wanted to pay it forward.
I have seen things done to children that I wouldnt go into online here. Some nights it was hard to sleep. Burn out is a reality with this kind of stuff.
Bottom line, Shasta, we are all responsible for the welfare of children in our society. They are trusting little souls who depend on us.
I have to go on the side of parental puddin headedness. While parents are allowed to treat their children as they see fit, when the parents are not really seeing the seriousness of the problem, that IMO is when authorities have to step in.
Treating them holistically did not work...the child was very ill and getting much worse. I do not know if you are a mother or not but for me, when I became a mother, I would stop at nothing to protect and save my child...it is inate. The law happens to agree with this . Nobody wants to hurt a mother and father by taking their child...not the law and not the social agencies. There was cause for concern in this case. We cannot have it both ways. If a child is killed in a home or a foster home, there is a hue and cry about the law and child welfare not doing enough. When they do step in, then they are heartless monsters. It is better to ere on the side of caution and investigate. For the sake of the child. These parents may be found innocent...who knows? The law,however, has every right and a duty to find out what happened.
From what I'm reading there seems to be some discrepancies regarding the time frame for the kid's illness, but the professionals--medical and legal--seem adamant his illness lasted through February to March 13th. They must have collated some evidence to corroborate this because no legal case would rely on hearsay.
If he did die from meningitis and the parents deliberately withheld medical treatment in favour of holistic therapies then I agree they do need charging. Parents can't always be relied upon to make the right choice for their child, and if their decisions could result in causing harm then a legal advocate should be appointed to ensure the child is protected. Deliberately withholding potentially lifesaving treatment can only cause harm and is abuse. Unfortunately this child was too young to ask for help, or consent to their own treatment. I'm not sure if minors can do that in the USA but over here they can so long as they can demonstrate Gillick_competence. Anyhoo, I could go off on a tangent here so back on track!
Shasta I respect your opinions about holistic therapies but if a child's life is at risk then I won't ever agree a parent should be allowed to choose this option over medical interventions that are proven to work. If an adult wants to choose that option then that's fine, because they are making an informed choice regarding their own life, but being a parent should not automatically give them the right to force these therapies on their child. Luckily there are systems in place to protect children and vulnerable people so hopefully tragic outcomes like this one should rarely happen.
I agree with Todash that there just isn't enough information to make an informed opinion about this family. They say the boy was only sickly for a few days and had seemed better before taking a sudden turn for the worse. The RCMP says the boy had been ill for weeks. The family also says they use traditional medicine and health care when needed and that their medical records will show that. Add to that how children with meningitis "may only be irritable and look unwell" and things really get sticky. So who knows.
As for parents and legal guardians being able to choose methods of treatment for their children ... geez, that's even stickier. Part of me thinks that, since they are the parents/guardians, they have the right to choose. Part of me also thinks sometimes they are negligent or absolutely deluded and the children need protection. But in general I think until the beliefs and choices of a parent/guardian can be shown as knowingly life-threatening (like a Jehovah's Witness refusing a blood transfusion for their child when they know it's a matter of life and death), then they should be able to make the call.