Protecting Your Right to Make Your Own Decisions Concerning Your Health Care
January 4, 2016
January 4, 2016
When I was a boy, the thought that any government could coerce any free person of sound mind to do or not do something affecting one’s own health was inconceivable. The thought that a parent could be prohibited from knowing what his or her children were doing to affect their health was outrageous. Any healthcare practitioner touching a child without a parent’s consent except in case of emergency could be subject to suit or criminal liability. Only the Nazis practiced enforced health care and denied health care to citizens of sound mind. As a friend of mine from China once said, “No matter how bad the communists are, at least they don’t interfere with parents care of their children.” That our state government could deny access to health care just because one was injured at work was beyond the realm of reason! Yet within the past decades, our Legislature has enacted laws that do interfere with our parental care of our children, that do force medical treatments upon them, and that deny people expedient, or in some cases, any care simply because they are injured at work and want to avoid surgery. What has our legislature become?
A free person certainly has the right to control his own health care, choose his own food and his lodging within his means and bring up his children according to his own values and beliefs. Or does freedom to be free of government coercion stop at our bodies, our children, our bedrooms?
As parents we bear the brunt of all expenses for our children resulting from government interference. No government official, no matter how well intentioned, knows our children or their needs as well as we do. If we were to tell any government official that we should control any aspect of his or her children’s health, he’d roar in indignation, “Who do you think you are?” Exactly, legislators are not made God by being elected. Who do they think they are to tell us whether we can advise our children about any subject let alone care of their own bodies or deal with un-thought of events affecting their future! Who are they to tell us that our children must have or not have any medical treatment or procedure! Who would we be to tell them the same?
Has our government assumed full responsibility for injuries and failures in exchange for our loss of freedom? Ask injured workers who suffer waiting to be given permission to have health care by insurance adjustors and managed care organizations whose only loyalty is to their employer whether the delayed care has resulted in prolonged or permanent suffering or worse outcomes whether there is any real compensation worth the lost wages and lost abilities that delay or denial of treatment entails. Is the loss of freedom worth the unexpected and un-reimbursed expense?
Freedom undefended is freedom lost. To reverse the loss of the basic right to control our own bodies and raise our own children, I’ve submitted a ballot initiative proposal to the Secretary of State. In March or so, I should receive a summary and an estimate of its likely impact on state spending. I hope you will consider favorably signing a petition to place it on the ballot. You may call me at 408-293-3883 to arrange a donation if you feel as strongly about your rights as I do. The proposed Act is:
AN ACT TO PROTECT THE PRIVACY OF HEALTH CARE DECISIONS
Having included in the California Constitution Article Section 1 which reads:
All people are by nature free and independent and have inalienable rights. Among these are enjoying and defending life and liberty, acquiring, possessing, and protecting property, and pursuing and obtaining safety, happiness, and privacy.
we, the people of California, find, declare, and enact as a new section of the Health and Safety Code:
- Decisions regarding whether, how, or when to treat, prevent, manage, or end; and from which licensed health practitioner to seek such treatment, management, end, or prevention of an illness or medical condition are the private decision of the individual if he or she has reached the age of majority or is an emancipated minor, or the individual’s parent or legal guardian if the individual is a minor.
- No person may be deprived of a public right, benefit, privilege, service, or immunity; or refused service, accommodation, employment, or compensation by any business, or compensation by any employer, because of his or her choice or choices concerning his or her health care unless the person is infected with a communicable disease, regardless of whether the person is exhibiting signs or symptoms of the disease, that may cause permanent injury or death to a healthy individual; is a danger to himself or others; is of unsound mind; has lost his civil rights as a result of being convicted of a crime; or is addicted to any substance, including but not limited to alcohol, that interferes with maintaining a healthy mind and/or body. Unless applied to persons who’ve lost their civil rights through due process of law, any such deprivation must be limited to only the purpose of protecting public health and safety and minimized to the extent practicable.
- For purposes of this act, a healthy person is one who has no symptoms or signs of disease, is not addicted to or dependant on any substance that alters normal physiology, and is not infected with a communicable disease.
- Any person infected with a communicable disease that must be reported to public health authorities does not lose the right to decide on treatment of the disease upon reporting the disease, but must obey public health authorities’ orders, such as quarantine orders, that are for the purpose of preventing spread of the disease. No infected person subject to such orders owes any liability to any entity or other person who knowingly violates those orders.
- Nothing in this act shall expand or reduce any obligations of the public or any business under any previous act of the legislature or Congress concerning accommodating persons with diseases or disabilities. Nor shall any provision of this act expand or reduce any rights guaranteed by the California or United States Constitutions.
- If any provision of this act or part thereof is found to be in conflict with the California Constitution or United States Constitution, the remaining provisions and parts shall remain in full force and effect, and to this end the provisions of this act are severable.
- Any statute, law, regulation, or executive order contrary to or in conflict with this initiative act is null and void upon passage of this act.