The United States ' Universal Declaration Of Human Rights

2223 Words Oct 16th, 2014 9 Pages
In 2013, the parents of an Amish girl with leukemia decided to refuse further chemotherapy for her and rely on “natural remedies” instead. The state of Ohio responded by taking the family to court to attempt to force the girl into chemotherapy, which they argued was necessary to save her life. The court ruled in favor of the government, and in response the family fled the country, arguing that the treatment violated their cultural and religious norms, and there was no assurance that it would be effective. This case brings up several complicated issues of human rights that implicate principles from the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Declaration of the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities, Convention on the Rights of a Child, Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The situation of the Ohio Amish family spotlights a potential for conflict between the principles of protecting religious and cultural minorities, allowing for freedom of belief and autonomy over one’s own body, and the rights of a child to both her own religion and culture and to access the same standard of healthcare available to others in her country. In this particular situation, resolving the conflict is a matter of life and death: is it more important to be surrounded by one’s own culture and religion, or to have potentially life saving health care treatment? While I…
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