In the news the last few weeks, another story of conflict between the state and a parent regarding medical decisions for a child has gained much attention. Once again, the state of Connecticut has intervened because a 17-year-old girl decided not to go through with the chemo treatments for her cancer that doctors say she must have. As some have noted, if the teen wanted to get an abortion without her parents’ consent, the state would allow that decision.
This is the same state in which a Governor’s appointed committee recommended recently that local school officials be given the authority to periodically inspect home schooled children to review their psychological and social well-being, and approve whether the parents may home school.
Last year the state of Massachusetts finally relented after 16 months of custody of a teenage child taken from her parents because they agreed with different doctors’ diagnosis of their child’s condition, and disagreed with the doctor requesting removal.
This developing pattern of disregard for the fundamental constitutional right of parents to direct the care, control, and upbringing of their children impacts many areas, including not only educational decisions, but medical decisions as well.
A couple of weeks ago, an article by a former public school superintendent was posted on THSC’s Facebook page regarding the issue of parental rights related to the immunization of children. Some mistakenly took this post to mean that THSC took the position that the decision of whether to immunize should not be left with parents. That is not the case. THSC firmly believes in and fights for the right of fit parents to make decisions for their own kids.
It is hugely important that the home school community be informed. We often post articles for the sake of disseminating information and for discussion on current happenings in the media and with public policy.
The issue of immunizations could be before the Texas Legislature this session, and our position will be the same as it always has: Parents should be able to make educational and medical decisions for their children in keeping with the constitutional right of parents to direct the care, control, and upbringing of their children.