I have been following with interest the story of Abraham Cherrix, the 16-year-old cancer patient who, with his parents' support, is trying to forego further chemotherapy and to try natural treatments instead. The problem is that a local social service agency, and a county judge asked to rule on the issue, disagree. They want to force Abraham to endure more chemotherapy, against his wishes.
The collectivist thinking on these things is that the government has an obligation to protect people, even from themselves. It's true that Abraham is a minor, and that someone needs to look out for his interests. Were the parents trying to get him to drink drain cleaner in the mistaken belief that his system would be somehow purified in the process, maybe there would a be a case for government intervention. That is not the case, though. They want to try 'natural' therapy.
Therein lies the problem. Although natural remedies are popular with millions of people world-wide, they sure aren't popular with the medical establishment. And the medical lobbyists do everything possible to control (eliminate?) the competition from naturopaths, homeopaths, chiropractors, and others who might offer alternative treatments. Do the practitioners of 'traditional' medicine always know what is best for us? I don't think so. Medical errors kill a lot of people every year. How many? Read this.
What about the big drug lobby that is trying to regulate vitamin and supplement use and accessibility? Do they really know what is best for us? Maybe not. Read this. Want to scare yourself silly by reading a 99 page research paper on the subject? Download it here.
This all boils down, as many things do these days, to the issue of whether you own your life or whether you merely hold it in trust for various agencies of government. If you truly own yourself, you should have the right to medicate yourself in a manner of your choice.
It appears, judging by the handling of the Abraham Cherrix case and others like it, that we don't really own ourselves.