Midday Coffee Break

What’s up?

Magazine publisher Conde Nast will be shutting down four of its magazines: Gourmet, Cookie, Elegant Bride and Modern Bride, according to NPR. Tracy Clark-Flory over at Salon called them “lady magazines.” But I would classify them as “high-end magazines” with a small audience in today’s market conditions.

Good news from the Associated Press: Fewer schools are selling candy and salty snacks to students, according to a study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

A Wisconsin couple convicted of reckless homicide for praying rather than seek medical treatment for their now dead 11-year-old daughter will be sentenced shortly, according to Salon Wires. The couple faces up to 25 years in prison for refusing to seek medical treatment for their daughter, Madeline Neumann, who died from untreated diabetes.  

A Dallas judge not only ruled that two men married in Massachusetts could divorce in Texas, but that the state’s gay marriage ban violated the U.S. Constitution’s right to equal protection, according to the Dallas Morning News.

What else is in the news? What’s up with you?


Wisconsin’s Case Against Faith Healing

A father who prayed rather than sought medical treatment for his diabetic 11-year-old daughter was found guilty of second-degree reckless homicide, according to the Associated Press.

This was the first time that a parent who relied on prayer rather than medical intervention was prosecuted and convicted in the state of Wisconsin. From AP:

Dale Neumann, 47, was convicted in the March 23, 2008, death of his daughter, Madeline, from undiagnosed diabetes. Prosecutors contended he should have rushed the girl to a hospital because she couldn’t walk, talk, eat or drink. Instead, Madeline died on the floor of the family’s rural Weston home as people surrounded her and prayed. Someone called 911 when she stopped breathing.

Sitting straight in his chair, Neumann stared at the jury as the verdict in a nearly empty courtroom was read. He declined comment as he left the courthouse.

Defense attorney Jay Kronenwetter said the verdict would be appealed. He declined further comment.

What do you think of the ruling? Should parents have the right to decline medical treatment for their children?


The Ethical, Legal Challenges of Refusing Medical Treatment For Minors

In case you missed it, a Minnesota judge has issued an arrest warrant for a mother on the run with her 13-year-old son who has cancer, according to CNN.

Initially, the parents refused any additional chemotherapy for the son who has Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a cancer if treated with chemotherapy and radiation has a 95 percent survival rate. Instead, they opted for a holistic treatment based on Native American healing practices called Nemenhah .

On Tuesday, the court reviewed x-rays suggesting the boy’s cancer has worsened without the chemotherapy. The father showed up to the courthouse, but the boy and his mother did not.

In a written statement issued last week, an attorney for the parents said they “believe that the injection of chemotherapy into Danny Hauser amounts to an assault upon his body, and torture when it occurs over a long period of time.”

Medical ethicists say parents generally have a legal right to make decisions for their children, but there is a limit.

“You have a right, but not an open-ended right,” Arthur Caplan, director of the center for bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania, told CNN last week. “You can’t compromise the life of your child.”

CNN’s Anderson Cooper had a more detailed panel discussion with Caplan and legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin. It is a fascinating discussion worth a read. What do you think?