Sunday, February 26, 2012

Video: Is Overfeeding a Child a Form of Abuse?

By Diana Hsieh

In Sunday's Philosophy in Action Webcast, I discussed overfeeding a child as abuse. The question was:

Is overfeeding a child a form of abuse? In November, county officials in Ohio placed a third-grade child into foster care on the grounds that he's over 200 pounds and his mother isn't doing enough to control his weight. (See the news story.) The boy does not currently have any serious medical problems: he's merely at risk for developing diabetes, hypertension, etc. The county worked with the mother for a year before removing the child, and it claims that her actions constitute medical neglect. Now his mother is only permitted to see him once per week for two hours. Did the state overreach its proper authority in removing the child from his home?
My answer, in brief:
The state should only remove children from their parents when the parents are violating the rights of the child by inflicting permanent physical or psychological harm. This case of supposed overfeeding does not qualify, not by a long shot.
Here's the video of my full answer:
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