Chemotherapy is one of the many ways doctors choose to treat patients with cancer. Although it can be very effective, it isn’t the only option. And it can be very difficult on the human body. One of the hottest topics across the nation right now concerns mandatory chemotherapy. Should patients, particularly those under the age of 18, be forced to undergo this type of treatment? People’s parental rights have been taken from them in some cases when they do not opt to have their child undergo this type of treatment. Some hospitals are relying on government regulations to make decisions for patients regarding their own health.
Another topic that is being fiercely debated right now concerns vaccines. There are many parents who choose not to get their children vaccinated. Yet a child that isn’t vaccinated is at a significant risk to acquire and then potentially spread serious, even deadly diseases. And although many schools do require that students are vaccinated, there are so many loopholes in this requirement that it almost doesn’t matter. In fact, as more parents decide not to opt for vaccinations, there has been a serious uptick in those very diseases the vaccinations are for, such as measles and whooping cough. Those diseases can also be deadly and at the very least can cause serious illness that often requires hospitalization.
We should all have the freedom to make our own medical decisions. But so much of the time people make decisions that simply aren’t based on facts or science. Should there be laws requiring individuals to be unable to refuse cancer treatments? Or should it be a matter of personal choice? Shouldn’t people do what they can as a responsible member of society to keep themselves healthy so that others around them may have the same ability? If you can knowingly stop the spread of a disease just be getting a simple shot don’t you owe that to yourself and your loved ones? And at what point do government regulations go too far? If someone already has a deadly disease such as cancer, should they be able to say no to the treatment and decide their own fate? After all, cancer isn’t communicable like other diseases. Where should the line be drawn? Only the future knows, and in the meantime we need to truly educate ourselves about what is right for us and how it affects society.