What if the parent neglected to remove the infant from the train tracks if it ended up there by no fault of the parent?
If the parent had the power to save the child's life, and instead he just casually watched his infant get hit by a train, we would universally condemn that, no matter what legal or criminal label you put on it.
IMO, such a parent shouldn't be prosecuted for negligence. Yes, it's a really bad thing to do. The problem is that once you establish that theory, that someone has a legal obligation to save someone else, then prosecutors turn the common-sense applications on their heads trying to get convictions. The next thing you know, parents are going to jail for not taking their children off the train tracks when the parent was tied up and unable to help, or because the parent was looking the other way and didn't know the train was coming and was deaf and couldn't hear the train, or because they were chasing their other kid who was running off in the other direction and the parent couldn't chase both kids. Stuff like that happens all the time, it's ridiculous. I think the bottom line is that the criminal apparatus should always assume that a parent acts in his child's best interest unless there is damning evidence to the contrary. The vast majority of parents won't intentionally let their children die. Those that do, deserve to have something horrible happen to them, like having their children die.
Haha. Seriously though, I don't think people in general should be prosecuted for failing to help someone. Parents are generally the people we should be LEAST worried about in this department, because they are naturally protective of their children. "Good Samaritan" laws have been repeatedly struck down in the context of requiring the police to help a citizen in need. Those are the situations I'd be far more concerned about. Although, I do agree, if a parent doesn't want to be responsible for his child, he ought to give the child to someone who is willing to care for it appropriately.
As I've said elsewhere, there are various ways of caring for a child. In this example, an infant died while the parents relied on faith healing. It seems to me that they DID seek treatment according to their religion. I can't think of a reason to prosecute them for acting according to their own values instead of the State's.
In other words, simply knowing that a child is in danger is not sufficient "damning evidence" for negligence. There are always a ton of details that modify every situation. That's why, as a general rule, I don't think anyone should be legally liable for not helping someone else. Obviously, the world would be a better place if we helped each other, and if you don't want to care for your child, give it to someone else to raise. But I can't see putting the State in a position to enforce this with guns
indentitee, r/libertarian 5 Comments
[8/10/2018 11:20:42 AM]
Fundie Index: 4