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Huh? "Fat family" has kids taken into care...

This article is like one of those ethics discussion studies, you can argue it in a number of different ways. Short precis:

A so-called 'fat family' is having their seven children taken into care because they are getting obese.

You can look at this a number of ways:

  • The state shouldn't care - individual choice is individual choice
  • The state should care about people that do not have the power to act for themselves, in this case, the children, early, constant, obesity could be likened by some to child abuse because of negative health impacts.
  • Or perhaps the grounds are otherwise - the state pays for their healthcare and has a choice - intervene now or pay up later with all the inevitable health problems. 

That last view is one which saw the story held up in the US as an example of an overly intrusive state healthcare system. You see, over there, the state cares less about your weight because if you put yourself in a position where you are overweight most of the additional health costs of that will be born by you - not your fellow tax payers. Except, that may all be about to change.

However, to underline just how complicated the whole debate is we could easily imagine an American version of the 'fat-family' held up as an example of the evils of private health insurance. Let's say the parent's are morbidly obese in this case, are declined health insurance and cannot afford treatment for complications such as obesity and heart disease. Their substantially shortened lives leaves the state with seven kids to look after. You can look at such a situation a number of ways...


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