Video: Is childhood obesity child abuse/neglect?
posted at 2:25 pm on July 22, 2009 by Ed Morrissey
Bad cases make bad law, says the axiom, and this applies here. Obviously, this teenager has a serious problem that his mother ignored. If she gets prosecuted for felony abuse/neglect, does this open the floodgates to government prosecution of a wide swath of American parenthood? Or does this extreme case justify South Carolina’s actions? Watch the clip:
The mother’s story doesn’t add up, in my opinion. Teenagers eat a lot of bad food when they visit friends, but they don’t all put on 400 pounds of fat. Undoubtedly the mother has had a tough time raising the teen alone, but again, we don’t have legions of 555-pound teens coming from latchkey situations. At the very least, the mother failed to respond properly to the morbid weight gain of her son, who’s practically an invalid at that weight — and notice that her attorney doesn’t claim that the son has some unusual medical condition, but that he simply ate his way to 555 pounds.
I’d say this is actionable by the state and that they’re being reasonable in charging her with criminal abuse/neglect. I understand and agree with the “slippery slope” argument to a point, but this is a case so extreme that failure to respond would be neglect in and of itself. Your opinions may differ, though, so take the poll!