Parents Want Baby With HIV Taken Off Life-Saving Drugs Despite Doctor's Orders

Say What!? 54

HIVTalk about a rock and a hard place. Parents of a 4-month-old baby with HIV in Minnesota have been given two choices: give their little boy drugs they fear will harm him or lose him entirely.

An easy choice? Maybe for you, but Lindsey Nagel, who passed HIV to her son, took anti-viral medication as a child, and her parents say it almost killed her. Now doctors insist the same drugs be given to her child.

Who do you side with?

On the one hand, medicine has advanced in leaps and bounds in the past 20 years. The anti-viral drugs little Rico is getting are likely very different from those his mom got.

Then again, these parents don't sound neglectful so much as afraid. They've said in court that they'll give the baby his drugs so they don't lose their child, but they'd really like to find alternative treatments ... that the court would approve. And when you're talking about the life of an itty, bitty baby, who can blame them?

But the whole debate brings out a parenting issue we don't often touch on. When does a baby's rights' supersede his (or her) parents' rights to choose what's best for them? Is it only in cases of abuse? Or is there a grey area?

Aren't there good parents who are making the wrong choices for their baby? Like wanting him off life-saving drugs?

Lindsay Nagel and John Martinez don't sound as if they're being callous. They have good reason for not wanting this treatment, and yet they're being treated as if they're abusive parents.

The reason being, of course, that medical professionals are considered by the courts to be more expert in the care of baby with HIV than his parents. And yet, every day parents just trying to do the best that they can have expertise too, don't we? We know our kid. We know how important it is that they be safe and warm and healthy.

So where is the line the parents cross from being good and caring to bad and unable to care for their kid?

Can good parents be unable to care for their own child?


Image via trygve.u/Flickr

baby health


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nonmember avatar kaerae

I'm sorry, but the drugs she should have been concerned with were BIRTH CONTROL PILLS! HIV meds have come a long way in 20 years, the court should make this call. This happened to a teen girl in my community, and they put the baby in foster care when she stopped the meds. they NEED THEM!

LostS... LostSoul88

Selfish selfish selfish. First she brings a baby into this world giving him a  deadly disease then she refuses to give him the one thing that can keep him goign and not die a painful death. SELFISH! 

I personally think those who have HIV/AIDS shouldn't have children and continuing to pass along the disease to a helpless child that had no choice in the matter just because they wanted to be selfish and have a baby of their own. Yes there are cases that the baby may not get the disease but why risk it?

TheTr... TheTruthTeller

HIV meds still have a lot of painful side effects. If they can find promising alternatives, they should be allowed to pursue them. Of course the doctors want to give the baby meds. How else do they make their profits?

twins... twinsplus2more

She had HIV and CHOSE to have a child anyway??  Sorry, but that child should be on the meds as the parents should have and would have been informed of the issues of becoming pregnant while having HIV.

Francesca Rapisarda Schweitzer

While I understand her not wanting to give her child medicine with such awful side effects (and I really understand that, my daughter is currently undergoing chemo), if those drugs could save his life...well  you just have to do it.  She knows first hand what the side effects feel like and I can't imagine what that must be like, but those drugs kept her alive long enough to give birth to him, so obviously....they work. 

Whether or not she should have had a baby is not the issue here, its what's best for him now that he is born and has HIV.

Laura Avila

There's actually a VERY low risk of passing HIV to your child. There are greater odds of having a child born with autism and down syndrome than there are of having a child born with HIV. Should people that have siblings, parents, or other close relatives with not have children? What about those that are schizophrenic, bipolar, depressed, rehabilitated alcoholics? All these have a greater chance of being passed to their child than HIV.

Traci Sanford

Not neglectful? They neglected to prevent a pregnancy. The mother suffered as a child as a result of being HIV positive so why would she subject another innocent to that. If they wanted a baby so bad they should have adopted or used a surrogate or something.

Brandie Dione

I think when they decided to take this risk by having children they lost the right to then decided there child should die. They brought this suffering on the child and any one that would withhold life saving treatment for them in turn does not deserve the right to make that choice.

Christina Kuper

No matter what her choice was as in having a child or not to have the child, it was like you all are saying her choice to have the baby, jsut as it should be her choice if the meds aer giving or not. There is a reason we are told the side efects of these meds, so its our choice to give or take them. No matter how you feel about her choices, they are still hers and no one elses to make.. We have got to stop leting others decide what we can or can not do. As someone who is ill and deals with doctors everyday of my life, there are sometimes the doctors are not in it to help a life but sometimes they are in it to get their name on something.. Either way its the doctors choice to do it for one reason or the other and its the parents choice to say yes or no. This is just a waste of time and money for this country to have this in court.

nonmember avatar katysmom

These people should not have the right to deny this precious baby treatment that will SAVE HIS LIFE. The "alternative" is a death sentence.

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