Religious Freedom & Social/Legal Responsibility

The U.S. Constitution provides all Americans with the right to religious freedom and allows people to practice the religion of their choice. While this is usually not a point of contention, there are times when a person's religious rights can be challenged. When religion becomes a matter of life and death, there are many people who feel that religious beliefs can and should be restricted. For example, a number of religions rely only on the power of prayer and church sanctioned "healers" and do not allow the use of medicine or visits to doctors, even for lifesaving treatment.

Give your ideas on these items, regarding how the right to freedom of religion is handled in relation to providing compulsory medical treatment your state or area. Some ideas to discuss could include:

Are immunizations and/or physical examinations required for children to attend school, even if parents object on religious grounds?
Do all newborns have to receive customary metabolic testing, prophylactic eye drops, hearing tests, and Vitamin K injections?
Are there exemptions to the child abuse and neglect codes based on religion?
If lifesaving treatment must be rendered in order to save a child's life, will Child Protective Services be allowed to intervene, and to what degree?

Give an example of a situation where a child has failed to receive appropriate medical treatment and have died. Review what penalties, if any, were faced by the parents.

Solution Summary

The solution provides an extensive narrative and discussion over the topic of religious freedom in relation to the US Constitution (see original problem). In particular, religius freedon and practical as well as social resonsibility is discussed in relation to healthcare and education of children. A case study is provided wherein religious practice caused the death of a child presenting details of the case and the social as well as legal right os children and the responsibility of parents vis-a-vis religious freedom. The solution follows the APA format and references are provided for expansion. A word version of the solution is attached for easy printing.