Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Pre-Natal Agreement

For your consideration, I bring to you the "Pre-Natal Agreement"! This is my little creation and gift to the legal world. In short, it works like a pre-nup, but gives one parent complete control of child-rearing in the event of a divorce. No more arguing over visitation, over dental benefits, over who's going to pick up little Johnny up from soccer practice! This gem gives it all to one parent! How easy will your custody battles be now!! In fact, it even comes with a built in addendum that the non-custodial parent can choose to pay child support or sign away parental rights, no questions asked!

This is a culmination of years of me shaking my head at the evils that parents will do to their children post-divorce, but now it includes court involved evils. Recently that boy and his mother who ran away to get away from a court-appointed chemo treatment incited me to dream up the "Pre-Natal Agreement". Depending on which article you read after googling the boy and his story, you get various views on who has custody of the boy and his medical rights, and why custody is in question, and why there is a court-appointed chemo treatment in the first place. You also occasionally run across their religious beliefs (like them or not) that are against non-hollistic medicine in the first place.

The questions that this boy's case raised for me include:
1. who gets to decide the patient's rights in this and other cases and what are the guidelines?
2. what about his own rights to decide his quality of life and/medical treatments?
3. how far can the courts and the doctors go to force treatment upon patients?
4. will these treatments be directly related to the business of medicine? i.e. will there be a harder and perhaps court-backed push for more costly treatments?
5. when does patient care count as more important than patient treatment?
6. will personal beliefs towards medicine -- be them religous or cultural -- be subservient to the sickness itself? In other words, will the patient be little more than the vehicle to treat the illness, while the illness is the real interest?
7. how will the insurance agencies lobby and for what ends? Will this be one more area where we-the-people have little say in how we are treated and billed?
8. Did this all start from a divorce and shared custody rights? Some articles suggest that it did, others suggest that the state interfered on behalf of the boy because his parents did not believe nor wish to participate in "traditional modern medical practices".

The easiest way to avoid such convoluted situations is to stay married after procreation. But since we don't live in a society that encourages such unions, the next best thing may be to have ultimate rights over one's progeny.

Of course, this brings about several other basic issues that need to be understood:

1. children are an 18 year commitment at minimum. If you are not financially nor emotionally prepared to dedicate 18 years of your life to a life-form other than your own, then do not procreate or sign away parental rights if you do.
2. children are not playthings that are for your amusement in pride issues and control battles over custody. Grow up before you procreate, or agree to act like a grown up once you have.
3. understand that if you play by the rules of society, you just may scrape by under the radar. Draw unnecessary attention to yourself through any means of stupidity or irresponsibility, and you may find Social Services at your door, and then your parental rights could become a moot point anyway.
4. how you feel about someone the day you decide to procreate with them will be very different from the day you decide you're tired of their antics. Think beyond the moment to the worst possible scenerio and plan to deal with the worst, not the best.
5. use your head for something other than a hat rack. If you don't already have the answers you need to the questions you have, go get them from someone who does.
6. you are not half as important to everyone else as you think you are, but you are ten times as important to your child than you think you are.

I look at the situation we are in as a nation with regards to child-rearing and custody arguments and "a village raising our children" from social services to public education and I wonder how humanity survived long enough to get to this point. To all those people in power that are now making decisions to "safeguard our children" I ask you this: did your parents do such a horrible job with you that you now feel that we should grow up in a bubble until we're 18 and then register to vote to support the social programs you think are inalienable rights to our citizens and illegal immigrants?

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