In the fight against childhood obesity, parents’ rights may be on the chopping block. Should obese children be removed from their homes by government agencies? It’s already happening!
Obese Children Removed From Parents; Rights Violated?
If we may believe the news reported by World Net Daily, a family with six children lost two of them to the government. This story hails from Dundee, Scotland. In a fight against childhood obesity, the family lost custody for failing to make their children lose weight.
To tell the truth, the entire family appears to be somewhat overweight, and there are those, who argue that obesity might have genetic links. In some local governments within the UK – which is frequently hailed as a potential role model to America for its free health care – child obesity is now equivalent to child abuse and merits loss of parents’ rights and a stint in the foster care system.
Could Parents’ Rights Stand in the Way of Fighting Childhood Obesity in America?
You may consider the child obesity story from Scotland to be a cautionary tale for American shores. The Child Welfare League of America estimates that between 14-19% of American kids are overweight and 11% are obese. Child discipline – as dictated by parents, who choose what foods to offer to the very young, and which treats to make available to the older ones – is seen as the root cause of the problem.
This understanding has led to state court challenges to parents’ rights when obese children were not receiving the kinds of treatment or care required to make them lose weight. In California, New Mexico, Texas, and a few others, childhood obesity was weighed against parents’ rights, and findings of medical neglect resulted in a few of the court actions. American children were removed into foster care, in one case parents’ rights were terminated entirely, and in other cases, the parents had to defend against criminal charges.
Lest you believe that avoiding the visit to the pediatrician will safeguard your chubby youngsters from being taken away, remember that – as reported by USA Today – there are 20 states in which schools must screen for body mass index adherence; weight tests on children are mandated.
Slippery Slope Dead Ahead
It goes without saying that obese children will suffer from a myriad of health problems. Childhood obesity is a problem that requires child discipline, especially when it comes to saying “no” at the supermarket checkout line, when passing the local fast food joint, or when junior starts to make a pig of himself at a friend’s birthday party. That being said, when fighting child obesity takes away or diminishes parents’ rights, there is the argument of a slippery slope within sight.
Sure, your child may not be obese, but she is awfully thin. As a matter of fact, isn’t she a lot thinner than other little girls her age? So she’s active and a gymnast, but even so, her weight is way too low. Who knows, maybe she has an eating disorder and is hiding it from you? Maybe you know about it but are hiding it from her pediatrician? Would it not make sense to remove this little girl from your home and into a foster home, so that others can keep an eye on her? If nobody catches her throwing up and if she does not gain weight, you might get her back.
As pointed out by Time, obesity experts are debating at present whether parents’ rights must give way when it comes to rescuing obese children. Failing child discipline stands in the way of children’s potential for leading a healthy life. The same could be said of children, who are overly thin, not enrolled in a self defense class, participate in too many after school activities, or have to witness mom and dad go at each other verbally. Will the next knock on your door be Child Protective Services? How do you know?