Karwath, In re, No. 55089

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Iowa
Writing for the CourtMcCORMICK
Citation199 N.W.2d 147
PartiesIn the Interest of Bryan KARWATH et al., Appellees. The STATE of Iowa, Appellee, v. Raymond KARWATH, Appellant.
Docket NumberNo. 55089
Decision Date05 July 1972

Page 147

199 N.W.2d 147
In the Interest of Bryan KARWATH et al., Appellees.
The STATE of Iowa, Appellee,
v.
Raymond KARWATH, Appellant.
No. 55089.
Supreme Court of Iowa.
July 5, 1972.

Page 148

Donald E. Doyle, Davenport, for appellant.

Bruce A. Shawver, Davenport, for children, appellees.

Richard C. Turner, Atty. Gen., Lorna L. Williams and Thomas R. Hronek, Sp. Asst. Attys. Gen., and Loren T. Hora, Davenport, for appellee.

McCORMICK, Justice.

In this appeal the natural father of three children in legal custody of the Scott County Department of Social Services seeks reversal of a juvenile court order for surgical removal of the children's tonsils and adenoids. We affirm.

Our review is de novo. § 232.58, The Code; In re Delaney, 185 N.W.2d 726, 728 (Iowa 1971).

The children involved are Bryan, ten, Colleen, eight, and Neil, six. Their parents Raymond and Nellie Karwath asked to be relieved of their care and custody in January 1970. The father was unemployed and indigent and the mother emotionally ill. The children were initially placed in St. Vincent's Home. They were adjudged dependent after hearing in June 1970 and legal custody was given to Scott County Department of Social Services for foster home placement. Bryan and Neil were placed in one home and Colleen in another.

On July 7, 1971, juvenile court hearing was held upon the department's application for authorization for surgical removal of the children's tonsils and adenoids. The

Page 149

father resisted. All medical evidence supported the application.

Bryan started getting sore throats in March 1971. They brought sneezing, coughing and difficulty in breathing through his nose. The combined discomfort caused him to miss school several times. During about his fourth sore throat he was seen by Dr. E. L. Manning, a specialist, who noted markedly enlarged and inflamed tonsils and prescribed medication. Although some relief followed, the condition persisted and tonsilloadenoidectomy was scheduled for June 8, 1971, but has not yet been done because of this controversy.

Neil had sore throats from the time he was first placed in foster care. Dr. Manning found his tonsils enlarged and inflamed in June 1971, and he had middle ear infection in both ears. He was also scheduled for June 8, 1971, surgery.

Dr. Manning believed both boys needed their tonsils and adenoids out to prevent further middle ear infections and tonsillitis. Hearing loss and rheumatic fever are possible results of continuing recurrence. Present emergency did not exist, but the surgery was needed within a matter of weeks.

Colleen was first seen in September 1970 by Dr. B. E. Hoenk, also a specialist. He observed enlarged and inflamed tonsils and adenoids and recommended they be removed. In December 1970 Colleen had inflamed adenoids and acute ear infection. Despite medication she continued to carry fluid behind her right eardrum and the tonsil and adenoid condition persisted. By June 1971 her right eardrum had thickened. Although her hearing was clinically normal, Dr. Hoenk believed the tonsils and adenoids urgently needed removal. The surgery could wait a few days or weeks but not months or years.

When asked to state his objection to his children's surgery, Mr. Karwath said:

'My convictions are that unless it is absolutely necessary, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that this should not be done. That all other courses of remedy should be taken first and given a sufficient well formulated trial period, enough to really prove whether it is going to do any good or not.'

He based his convictions on 'religious faith' not further explained. He did not oppose medication or surgery but asked six months' delay to...

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12 practice notes
  • Eric B., In re
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • 25 Febrero 1987
    ...a physical deformity, notwithstanding parental objection and the lack of immediate medical necessity. In In re Karwath (Iowa 1972) 199 N.W.2d 147, the Supreme Court of Iowa upheld a lower court order that the adenoids and tonsils be removed from children over a parent's religious objections......
  • Superintendent of Belchertown State School v. Saikewicz
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
    • 28 Noviembre 1977
    ...N.Y.2d 900, 328 N.Y.S.2d 686, 278 N.E.2d 915 (1972); In re Weberlist, 79 Misc.2d 753, 360 N.Y.S.2d 783 (N.Y.Sup.Ct.1974); In re Karwath, 199 N.W.2d 147 (Iowa This survey of recent decisions involving the difficult question of the right of an individual to refuse medical intervention or trea......
  • Appeal In Cochise County Juvenile Action No. 5666-J, Matter of, No. 15808-PR
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Arizona
    • 29 Julio 1982
    ...instances where the state interfered in the parent-child relationship because of a present need of medical attention. In re Karwath, 199 N.W.2d 147 (Iowa 1972) (child's health endangered if tonsils not removed); Custody of a Minor, 375 Mass. 733, 379 N.E.2d 1053 (1978) (child had leukemia a......
  • Stamford Hosp. v. Vega, No. 15162
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Connecticut
    • 16 Abril 1996
    ...See, e.g., In re Guardianship of Browning, 568 So.2d 4 (Fla.1990); In re L.H.R., 253 Ga. 439, 321 S.E.2d 716 (1984); In re Karwath, 199 N.W.2d 147 (Iowa 1972); Superintendent of Belchertown State School v. Saikewicz, 373 Mass. 728, 370 N.E.2d 417 (1977); In re Gardner, 534 A.2d 947 (Me.1987......
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12 cases
  • Eric B., In re
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • 25 Febrero 1987
    ...a physical deformity, notwithstanding parental objection and the lack of immediate medical necessity. In In re Karwath (Iowa 1972) 199 N.W.2d 147, the Supreme Court of Iowa upheld a lower court order that the adenoids and tonsils be removed from children over a parent's religious objections......
  • Superintendent of Belchertown State School v. Saikewicz
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
    • 28 Noviembre 1977
    ...N.Y.2d 900, 328 N.Y.S.2d 686, 278 N.E.2d 915 (1972); In re Weberlist, 79 Misc.2d 753, 360 N.Y.S.2d 783 (N.Y.Sup.Ct.1974); In re Karwath, 199 N.W.2d 147 (Iowa This survey of recent decisions involving the difficult question of the right of an individual to refuse medical intervention or trea......
  • Appeal In Cochise County Juvenile Action No. 5666-J, Matter of, No. 15808-PR
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Arizona
    • 29 Julio 1982
    ...instances where the state interfered in the parent-child relationship because of a present need of medical attention. In re Karwath, 199 N.W.2d 147 (Iowa 1972) (child's health endangered if tonsils not removed); Custody of a Minor, 375 Mass. 733, 379 N.E.2d 1053 (1978) (child had leukemia a......
  • Stamford Hosp. v. Vega, No. 15162
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Connecticut
    • 16 Abril 1996
    ...See, e.g., In re Guardianship of Browning, 568 So.2d 4 (Fla.1990); In re L.H.R., 253 Ga. 439, 321 S.E.2d 716 (1984); In re Karwath, 199 N.W.2d 147 (Iowa 1972); Superintendent of Belchertown State School v. Saikewicz, 373 Mass. 728, 370 N.E.2d 417 (1977); In re Gardner, 534 A.2d 947 (Me.1987......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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