Martha Randolph Carr Martha Randolph Carr, 5/25/2009 [Archive]

Updated Parental Rights

Updated Parental Rights

By Martha Randolph Carr

In America the nuclear family rules. This is one area where it doesn't matter if you're in a blue or a red state. Everyone agrees that there should always be a certain amount of leeway given so that the personal bylaws of past generations can be passed down to the newest generation. It's why the first year of marriage is so tough.

Two people trying to combine hard and fast rules about where the plates go in the dishwasher and how to make the bed the right way is very tough. Everyone knows that whoever wins the first few scuffles gets to throw their weight around for years to come. Managing money, religious views, feelings about sex and parenting are even more important but most of us are too embarrassed to start those discussions. That list we enact by a nice mix of force and denial.

However, modern science has once again messed up our thousand year old system of relying on what past generations did, even though we don't like sitting in the same room with our parents. All of this newfangled technology is forcing us to come up with some new rules out of thin air. At the top of the to-do list in need of some boundaries are in vitro fertilization and internet medical advice, which are really ruining our ability to just look away and hope it all fixes itself. Ah, the good old days.

Consider two recent news items as the tip of this iceberg. The first was the announcement that a 66 year old British businesswoman, Elizabeth Adeney is eight months pregnant with her first child. She's not the first pregnant senior citizen, either. Recently, a 70 year old gave birth to a baby girl in India where this is becoming more and more common. Her 72 year old husband is overjoyed. He had illegally wed the younger sister at one point in an attempt to reproduce. We can all feel some sense of relief that he's now able to pass on his philosophies of life to a new generation of women.

The eventual teenagers from all of these test tube interventions will find it harder to rebel because their biological parents won't be around to carry on the traditional never-ending arguments about school, curfews and taking the family car. However, the jobs these kids take in order to pay the bills they're left with will probably do an even better job of cutting down on the partying. This will probably also turn out to be the most effective way to curb the trend.

Then we have the case of Colleen Hauser, who has fled with her 13 year old son, Daniel for parts unknown. Daniel is suffering from treatable Hodgkin's lymphoma and has a tumor in his chest that is growing and left untreated will kill him. His mother wanted the right to continue to treat Daniel with herbs and other natural remedies she had found on the internet. Well, of course she did. I've also read on the internet that underwire bras cause breast cancer. There's no study, no gathering of evidence but there's plenty of entertaining stories. That's got to be enough to risk your child's ability to become old enough to vote and change some of these laws.

Hauser feels that the throughly researched chemotherapy that has been shown to work will only poison her son's body. Apparently the tumor isn't the enemy to her son's long life, the treatment is, or maybe it's Colleen. Her son, who was being homeschooled and had been given limited information about his disease and the potential affects of all of the options has sided with his mother.

Individual families in this country are allowed to make up their own rules and with a few exceptions, no one intervenes. It's appropriate and necessary so that we don't end up with unintended consequences such as dictating religious views or erasing ethnic practices or languages. But, some of our children are being put into jeopardy before they even get here or are not being given the opportunity to stick around long enough to establish their own little kingdom inside of suburbia.

If you'd like to get involved in the 2009 America Challenge to raise funds for community-based charities email me at Martha@CagleCartoons.com for more information. Together we're going to build stronger communities and empower ourselves. For a free download of the nationally popular self-help book, The 3x5 Game visit http://69.161.96.142:8080/alfresco/faces/jsp/browse/browse.jsp and type Carr into the search.

Martha Randolph Carr's latest book, A Place to Call Home, is available wherever books are sold. If you'd like Martha to come and speak to your group visit: www.newvoicespeakers.com. Email Martha at: Martha@caglecartoons.com or visit www.martharandolphcarr.com.

© 2009 Martha Randolph Carr. Martha's column is distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons Inc. newspaper syndicate. For info call Sales at (805) 969-2829 or email Sales@cagle.com.

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