Textbook delusional behaviour is characterised by false fixed ideas, impervious to logic.
Now, if you were a doctor in a hospital , and I told you not to feed my baby, what would you say?
You’re mad! is what you’d say.
No, I’d insist. I have a belief that it’s wrong to feed babies. And the Missus thinks the same.
But the child will die, you’d protest, horrified.
No matter. Our belief is more important. Let it starve.
Listen, you’d say. In my professional opinion, you’re both bonkers.
We’ll go to Court to stop you feeding that baby!
Away you go you fucking lunatic! you’d reply, and once the court heard the case, they’d say the same: Mr and Mrs McNutcase, it is the Court’s considered opinion that you are both off your trolley. Now fuck off.
Ah, but wait! Suppose I didn’t want to deny the baby life-giving food. Suppose instead, I wanted to deny it a life-giving blood transfusion? Would you still say that I held false fixed ideas, impervious to reason?
Even though my belief is just as crazy, you wouldn’t call it a delusion. You’d say it was my religion.
You see, denying a baby food is delusional and mad, but denying it blood means you’re a Jehovah’s Witness. Very well. Applying the test of fixed false ideas impervious to logic, please tell me the difference between a madman and a Jehovah’s Witness, if you wouldn’t mind too much.
We have just such a case going on at the moment. A couple are in the High Court arguing that the National Maternity Hospital should not intervene to help their baby, whose haemoglobin levels have continued to fall since last Sunday. They’re fighting a court order permitting the hospital to give a transfusion and the basis of their case is that a transfusion is contrary to their religious beliefs.
Wait a minute! What was that word?
What has religion to do with it? Since when did religion confer the right to behave in a way contrary to all reason and human decency? Since when did anyone’s lunatic beliefs — religious or otherwise — become sufficient reason to endanger a child’s life? It doesn’t matter where they got their insane ideas, whether from a religion or from a talking peanut on the Planet Fred. They’re still lunatics, and dangerous ones at that.
It’s a non-sequitur. The parents’ religion has nothing to do with this child’s demonstrable need for treatment. Let me put it another way: if you walked into court and told the judge the child shouldn’t receive the transfusion because there are too many red-haired men in Ireland, he’d quite properly laugh at you and I hope he laughs at these people too.
I hope the Court not only upholds the order allowing the hospital to save the child’s life. I hope it also orders that the child be taken away from these dangerous, deranged maniacs and given into the care of someone who’ll look after it properly.
I’m glad to say that the court continued the order until the 7th March when it will be reviewed again.
Related posts:Jehovah’s Bystanders