A very interesting legal issue in P.J. v. Cunningham (CA10) (here), a child was diagnosed with a tumor. The parents didn't want to give the child medical treatment. The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals held that denying a child medical care is parent neglect:
when a child’s life is under immediate threat, a state’s interest in protecting the child is at its zenith, and a state has broad authority to intervene in parental decision making that produces the threat to the child’s life.Thirty-five pages of niceties and balancing tests when the court should have given the parents a ruthless smack down. Spare the rod, spoil the child - and it's obvious here that the parents are the ones behaving like children.
You cannot beat your children. If you put your kid on the roof in the hot sun to communicate with Apollo, no one would claim that you had parental autonomy to give your kid heat stroke. You cannot kill your kid. If you put a knife up to your child's neck, a cop would blow out what little brains you have - and we'd all be happy to see you leave planet Earth for whatever afterlife you believe in.
Somehow when a child has a fatal cancer, everyone starts to act as if these are tough issues. They are not. If you believe that there is a God that's going to heal your child, great. But the child's life is not your own. You are a trustee - or in Biblical terms, a steward. This means you save your child's life.
The child has a right to live. And if you think your deity is so powerful that it will cure cancer, then your deity will push aside the modern medicine to touch the child. In other words, a little chemotherapy isn't going to stop any god with enough power to cure cancer.
What a revolting case, and what a malignant set of parents.