A child has been siezed from his parents due to their neglect. Make your voices heard in this article, and give your thoughts on the subject here of course. It's obvious that when a mother or father is overweight or has unhealthy eating habits, they pass it on to the kids in someway.
Despicable, these so-called parents should be thrown in jail. I often suspect that these half-wit parents who overfeed their tots are attempting to kill them aka Munchhausen -by-proxy, and if they are food addicts themselves then they certainly know the score about carrying around a big FUPA bag, inner-thigh chafing, chronic yeast infections, heart palpitaions, boy-boobs and thrice-chins.
Or maybe they're just stupid.
...Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of...Donuts! ???
Some may argue that this is an example of the Law Natural Selection in action.
Wow! What a potential political predicament of prodigious proportion!
I am often one of the first to take up arms at the first hint of government encroachment upon those basic Inalienable Rights referred to in the Declaration of Independence. However, I would have to say that in this case, it appears that the State(or local Gov’t) does indeed have the Constitutional Authority, even the responsibility to intervene on the behalf of the child’s welfare and safety. While parents certainly have a legitimate right to raise, educate, and indoctrinate their own children into whatever religious or cultural systems they see fit, this basic right of a parent does not supersede the individual child’s higher intrinsic and Inalienable Right to “Life”, which “life” has been placed in peril by an errant parent-either thru wanton neglect or vacuous ignorance.
If the child was being sexually or physically abused, I doubt anyone would object to the state intervening to enforce the law and protect the child. This case is just as compelling, just as virulent, perhaps even more so-as this sort of neglect is well known in many cases to physically kill, or seriously maim or debilitate with life long effect-even for generations. Facilitating a child’s obesity is a reprehensible crime of omission-against the Natural Right of a child to be properly cared for and nourished by its parent(s). The mother in this case has abdicated that duty by default. Therefore, her influence on the child’s continued development and upbringing into adulthood ought to be greatly curtailed, if allowed at all; and any such interaction as permitted by the legal authority, vigilantly monitored.
This story and the situation it depicts are heart-breaking. I agree that—given that the child was having trouble breathing—the extraordinary measure of removing the child from his home was appropriate, and that not doing so would have been negligent (and I am sure that the social workers in charge were acutely aware that, had the child died, they would have stood accused of neglect). Removing the child was necessary. What a terrible thing.
That said, I am wary (not against, but wary) of this measure as a matter of public policy, for two reasons:
First, speaking as a mother (and one with a ballerina body, I might add), the trauma of separating mother and child is very great and needs to be weighed against the desired long-term effects. From the child’s side: what will he learn but that weight loss came at the cost of perceived abandonment? What will he do upon returning home but seek to regain the lost comfort—and what will give him more comfort than food? From the mother’s side: what will she do but become more depressed—or defiant by feeling that she is now a victim—and how will she deal with that except by eating more? I would like to think that external shame and the pressure of radical and intrusive measures would impel her to get her act together. But realistically, folks, how often has that worked for you? It’s a bit like offering a military solution for a political problem. Military solutions are temporary and cannot shape an underlying ethos or deal with complex human issues—in this case, a purely toxic environment to which the child will be returned. But I am open to hearing evidence, longer-term evidence, to the contrary.
But that last point leads to my second concern: I am not comfortable living in a political culture split between mindless hatred of government (on the one hand) and passive acceptance of intrusive encroachments upon individual lives under the guise of emergency measures (on the other)—a culture whose political sensibility is increasingly defined by its extreme conditions. Of course, emergencies happen. But to me, the issue is not how to deal with a 200 pound 8-year old (duh), but how to respond to all of the 120 pound 8 year-olds out there. I do not think that the answer lies in putting them all in foster care.
How, as a culture, as a country, can we promote healthy eating and exercise? Is there anything that public policy can do to prevent us from turning our nation into the world of Wall-E? Insurance companies are now starting to raise premiums for the unhealthy—will that spur more people to get healthy, or will it mean that we will have an even more gargantuan population of uninsured who need care the most? Are regulations in the food industry an answer—or will companies just find other ways to offer cheap junk? Is education the answer? And what are limits of civic education in a culture increasingly insisting on the right to home-school?
I do not have answers to these questions. But they are the ones that spring to my mind.