Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

February 24, 2007

Virginia General Assembly Passes Abraham’s Law

by Doug Mataconis

Yesterday, the Virginia General Assembly gave final approval to a law designed to prevent another teenager being forced to undergo a medical procedure when they don’t want to:

Virginia lawmakers passed a bill called “Abraham’s Law” yesterday after agreeing that 14 is the appropriate age for a teenager with a life-threatening condition to have a hand in making medical decisions.

The bill is named after Starchild Abraham Cherrix, 16, who won a court battle last summer to forgo chemotherapy and instead treat his lymphatic cancer with alternative medicine.

A judge had threatened to force Abraham to take conventional treatments and to take him away from his parents, who faced jail for allowing him to end chemotherapy and use alternative treatments. A compromise allowed Abraham to give up chemotherapy as long as he was treated by an oncologist who is board-certified in radiation therapy and interested in alternative treatment.

In certain circumstances, parents would be allowed to refuse medical treatment for a child without facing charges of neglect, according to the bill.

The bill is now headed to Governor Tim Kaine’s desk where he will, hopefully, do the right thing.

Previous Post:

The Nanny State vs. The Family
The Nanny State vs. The Family Part II
Abraham’s Law: An Idea Whose Time Has Come

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