Tuesday, December 15, 2009

My Constitution, Section 14

Section 14 - Reasonable treatment while not at full liberty

14(1) All individuals in the custody of any government (including isolation for quarantine) have the right to be provided by that government with such sustenance, rest, exercise, medical attention and custodial accommodation as is reasonable to maintain physical health and mental lucidity until either release or lawful execution as the case may be, and also the right to reasonable contact with others outside the place of custody to obtain legal counsel and representation.
Once someone takes another into legally enforceable custody they become responsible for that other’s well-being. The custodian is responsible for the other’s lack of ability to act to meet his own needs, so that custodian is responsible for acting sufficiently to make up for that lack of ability. In application to government, this has to be exercised in conjunction with other requirements and limitations upon lawful government action while holding someone in custody.

14(2) All individuals not of sound mind have the right to be provided by their parents or guardians with such sustenance, rest, exercise, medical attention and accommodation as is reasonable to maintain physical health and make progress to independence; but no obligation shall fall upon any other individuals.
The bulk of this clause is the same again applied to private persons acting as custodians rather than the government so acting. The individuals caused the others’ dependency, and so those individuals are responsible for the others’ upkeep. The difference is that there is no question of a punishment aspect to this.

The last element of this clause is in flat rejection of the idea of community responsibility for the needy, particularly of children. Only the parents are responsible for creating the children, and only they have made themselves bound to act to support those children. Other people, who did not cause those children’s dependency, are not morally bound to support those children no matter how needy they may be.

14(3) No individual not of sound mind shall be made subject to physical injury or made subject to medical procedure not necessary for physical health by their parents or guardians, nor taken outside Australia to be made victim of what is an offence in Australia, nor made subject to any medical procedure without parent’s or guardian’s consent.
This is about custodianship and the latitude allowed under it being limited to exclude actions that are objectively identifiable as physically harmful to the ward. Mental and ideological matters are excluded because it is not the government’s place to be an arbiter of truth or moral right and wrong. Its sole purview is the prevention and punishment of the initiation of the use of physical force.

The second part of the clause is to prevent people from violating the wards’ rights by skirting the laws of Australia through performing the rights-violating activity outside the jurisdiction of Australian governments. Two chief examples of this are arranged marriages and female circumcision, which are legal in barbarous realms but are illegal in decent lands.

The last part of the clause is also necessary because of the same reason as the first part of the clause: it is the custodian who has the ultimate responsibility for the ward until independence is achieved, and so must have the last say in all actions with and to that ward until that time. They are the ones who have to integrate all actions so as to achieve that goal, and being kept in the dark or action done against their consent is violating that principle.

Another reason for the last clause is that the abrogation of custodian’s authority in this regard is only done because the other party presumes the right to use physical force on the ward. When the authority for the objective use of this is taken out of the hands of the actual parent or guardian it is because the other party is seeking to impose not just the force itself but ideological matters as well. It is this which causes the controversy, particularly when mandated by government or at least aided and abetted by government through child privacy rulings. The chief example of this is abortion in teenage girls, information about which is kept from the parents for the purpose of keeping them in the dark about the girls’ sexual activity and hence keeping the parents from enacting consequences for what in their view may be a breach of proper morality. The advocates of non-disclosure here want to prevent that latter, which is by necessity meaning that they are using force against the parents’ rights and responsibilities in order to promote a moral agenda that may differ from those parents.


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