Mothers In Jail — Parental Rights, the Government, and Medicine

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Prison Cell
Gradually and little by little (or sometimes quickly and a lot by a lot), our freedoms are being taken away from us.

Two recent cases of government dictating family life ought to send chills up your spine.

1.  In Detroit, a teenage girl was taken from her home after her mother refused to administer medication.  The medicine was for the treatment of adverse reactions to immunizations needed for her to re-enter school after being homeschooled.  The mother was imprisoned and held on $500,000 bail.  From the Detroit News:

“She [the daughter] began acting out of character, being irritated, having facial grimaces that have been associated with immunizations.”

Evans said Maryanne Godboldo sought help for her daughter from The Children's Center, an organization that helps families with at-risk children, where a medical and mental health treatment plan was developed. Godboldo told relatives that the medications ordered by the doctor worsened symptoms, including behavioral problems.

“It is an undiagnosed condition, but the doctor had given her psychotropic drugs that caused a bad reaction, made things worse,” said the girl's father, Mubuarak Hakim. “Maryanne's decision to wean her from that was making a difference, making her better, helping her to be a happy kid again.”

See more on the Godboldo case here.

2.  The second case is from Massachusetts where a mother was sentenced to 8-10 years in prison after stopping chemotherapy for her son.  I first learned of this from Sarah Pope of  The Healthy Home Economist. In this situation, a young boy with autism contracted leukemia, was put on chemotherapy and became very ill from the medication.  His mother felt that she couldn't continue to watch her son suffer and decided to stop his meds.  The boy died and his mother will be incarcerated.

Two different stories, two different parts of the country, two different outcomes.  One big problem.

Now, I am not saying that there is never a place or time for the government or for others to get involved in a family's life when there is clear neglect or abuse.  But parents must have the basic freedom to make choices that others may not approve of.

The point is, whether we agree with what others do or not, children are given to parents by God for them to make decisions as they best see fit for their children's welfare.  No government knows children better than the parents themselves do, and the government cannot parent a nation of children.

Our government regularly demonstrates irresponsible and immoral practices.  The U.S. federal government:

  • refuses to balance its own budget
  • uses dubious means to pass possibly the most sweeping legislation in our nation's history (e.g. our recent health care laws)
  • is rife with scandals in various arenas
  • regularly acts contrary to the best interests of its citizens (spending our money on wasteful projects)

Why then do they think that they know better than we do how to parent our children?

If the government can dictate what medications we are to give to our children, then what about our right to refuse vaccinations for our children whose immune systems are compromised?  What if we wish to pursue natural means of healing rather than pharmaceutical cocktails?  At some point we must be allowed to make decisions that we deem to be the best suited to our children and our family rather than have medical protocols shoved down ours (and our children's) throats.

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    Speak Your Mind


  1. Hi, Adrienne,

    I am confused. This post makes it sound like you are American, yet I read elsewhere you live in Slovakia now and are originally from Canada. Did you live in the United States at some point in between?

  2. I agree with you on the first case, but the second… um, not as much.

    I believe this world is a prison, that we’re stuck here. So I do not begrudge adults who want to leave it, because I’ve been there and understand it, although I no longer feel that way. (I feel like there are things here I need to learn still.)

    That being said, I don’t think that it is the PARENT’S right to make that decision for her child. It is not her right to decide that he should die rather than suffer those treatments. I think she should have researched it further, and attempted alternative methods, or perhaps less of the chemo without completely getting rid of it.

    It sounds from your short synopsis, to me, that she murdered her son. If she was the one with cancer and chose not to continue herself, by all means, do it. I understand. If she had tried all alternatives and nothing improved, and the child himself was asking for the pain to stop, and it was looking like it was making it worse not better, and nothing ever possibly could have saved him, then yes, that makes sense.

    But from what little there is to read in your post, it sounds as though she didn’t even bother trying alternatives. SHE couldn’t handle seeing her son that way so SHE decided that SHE didn’t need to see it anymore. That sounds extremely selfish to me.

  3. I understand it’s scary that the government is stepping in to the point of overstepping. My brother was on a limited vaccines due to him being so sickly and eventually diagnosed with failure to thrive at age 3. He did not grow (no change in shoe size even). Specialists wanted to do all these surgeries (ear, tonsils ect)….his pediatrician wanted to try something else…vaccinate him for everything-way more than was done…mom was afraid for a reaction bc his immune system was so compromised but it was almost a miracle…he showed improvement almost immediately after over a year of struggling and hospitalizations…he never had those surgeries

  4. You have that right and I quote you “attempting to balancing being wise and yet not being fearful….”that is the secret in life…I thank God the fear has been eliminated from my life…by simply being still and this exercise has helped

  5. We avoid doctors like the plague. The less they see us or hear from us, the less likely that they are to bother us. We have four children and a wonderful life of homeschooling, no vaccines, raising our own food, etc. We would love to adopt and share our blessings with other children. Yet, my husband has decided that it will bring in to much government and does not want us on their radar because we know that they do not approve of any of the above. SAD!

    • I completely understand your husband’s concern, but I would check with other like-minded adoptive parents before ruling the option to adopt out. I think we are all “on the radar” as it is. Our life as believers in this world is hard – attempting to balancing being wise and yet not being fearful.

  6. Its horrible the way the medical mafia preys on kids. And thats why kids should be kept far away from profit-driven “medicine.”

  7. This is scary, and unfortunately happens more than we would like to admit. The other scenario is that parents back down from what they think or know would be best for their children because of fear of what the state might do. When government thinks it can act like “god,” deciding who can do what, we know that our freedom is certainly at risk.

    • This is what is happening in our country in so many arenas now….health, food, banking, the automobile industry. I would actually say that our freedom isn’t really “at risk,” but rather that it is gradually and quickly being taken away from us.

  8. I don’t even trust the government to take care of my mailed packages…..why on earth would I trust them to take care of my daughter?

  9. I so agree with you. We chose not to put our son on meds when he was diagnosed with autism and we have chosen to vaccinate only minimally.

    The more I read about government and its ties to profit and control, the less I trust it. To quote Lord Acton, “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men.”

  10. This SCARES the HECK out of me! I went against doctors orders and took my son off daily Singulair after he talked of “killing himself” at age 4. I saw dramatic behavior problems and deep depressive episodes and did some research on the “maintenance” medications he was on and found hundreds of case studies that were remarkably similar. Although doctors STILL don’t believe that was the cause, I (thankfully) trusted my own intuition and he was back to his usual self after about three weeks of being weaned.
    Similarly, I get very violent reactions from doctors when I tell them my daughter is not immunized, even though the first round of shots caused full body hives with every feeding for the first year of her life.
    It is very disturbing to have someone else tell a mother what is best for her child’s health. Especially when we know so much about how the government is motivated by money (and not the health of the younger generation).