Parental Authority Should Be Overridden for a Sick Child (Transcript)

Hi. I am Art Caplan, and I am at the division of medical ethics at the New York University (NYU) School of Medicine.

An increasing phenomenon in American society, and Canada too, is parents who, for religious reasons, don't want to take their child to the doctor. Now, we have had this issue for many, many, many decades. It goes back to Christian Science, which has always had a leery attitude about healthcare.

We have certainly seen some Jehovah's Witnesses who go to get healthcare, but they are not accepting of blood transfusion, and then there are a host of other people who either belong to an increasing number of more fundamentalist sects, or they may pursue natural healing, some types of more homeopathic approaches, not scientific, but they find themselves in groups or choose to follow those modes of responding to illness and disease.