Faith healing results in death of another child, exemptions must end

Protecting the lives of children, even from their own parents, is the duty of the state. In most cases, the state does its best to step in when children are being abused and neglected.

But when religion is involved the lines become blurred. In Wisconsin, for example, the state protects children from a parent who would intentionally deny a child necessary medical care-unless they are doing it because of their religion. Wisconsin’s prayer treatment exception doesn’t shield parents from homicide prosecutions, only prosecutions for child abuse and neglect.

But in the case of the Neummans, whose child slowly died of diabetes while they prayed for her, the parents now argue that Wisconsin’s law did not give them clear notice of when medical care became necessary under the law. The Neummans’ defense is that the faith healing exemption is ambiguous and they weren’t sure at what point it applied.

Today the Neummans will attempt to persuade the state Supreme Court to overturn their homicide convictions, because they believe the state law protects them from prosecution. “The case presents charged questions for the court about where religious freedom ends. The justices for the first time will have to weigh whether the state’s faith-healing exemptions protect parents from criminal liability if their choices lead to a child’s death,” said one Associated Press article.

The obvious solution to future problems like this is to remove faith healing exemptions completely. If an adult rejects medical treatment, that is his or her choice. But children’s medical decisions are not their own and they should not lose their lives due to another’s religious beliefs-even their parents’.

Today 31 states have child-abuse religious exemptions. When a child is being abused or neglected, the justifications for it shouldn’t matter-abuse is abuse. Neglect is neglect. Especially when it comes to life and death, the state must put the welfare of children above the religious beliefs of the parents.

16 Responses to Faith healing results in death of another child, exemptions must end

  1. avatar DeliciousZombait

    [But in the case of the Neummans, whose child slowly died of diabetes while they prayed for her, the parents now argue that Wisconsin’s law did not give them clear notice of when medical care became necessary under the law.] So, because the parent’s “God” did not feel their child needed to be saved they now are trying to blame the doctor(s) and/or hospitals involved? Hey parents, you made the choice to be ignorant twats so suck up with the responsibility that you initially shunned.

  2. This is ridiculous. What is a website that supposedly wants to protect individual liberty (including mandated schooling and innoculations) taking the side of the state in a case like this? MEdical freedom is one of the most basic rights of parents and individuals. Even if it is true that the parents made a mistake and the kid died….they have that right….don’t you think kids die all the time ecause of unnecessary Medical intervention? (like unneeded or poorly performed innoculations, operations, and drug treatment) In the zeal of this website to demonize religion, they have hoisted themselves on their own petard (or however that is spelled)

    • Do you think parents should be permitted to beat a child to death because their religion says to do so? I’m going to guess your answer is no. Likewise, parents do not have the right to allow their child to die from a treatable medical condition for the sake of the parent’s religion. An adult may consent to refuse medical treatment. A child is not legally competent to do so. In cases such as this, the child must be protected from the parents. The child’s right to health and, indeed, continued life outweighs the parent’s religious rights.

    • I think, you should fell the pain of the “Become a diabetic”-Game. The symptoms of a beginning diabetes are no joke, they are conspicuous, you must be a monster, if you ignore them and don’t call a medic. Maybe the gir was lucky, I do not want to imagine, what would have threatened her,if the parents have played the “Jesus instead of insulin/Consequential damages are God’s will/A true Christian does not need a kidney, nerve cells, eyes, feet, fingers, …”-game. I’m a diabetic and I know, what I am writing about.

  3. avatar Incriminally Sane

    Yeah, state sponsored medical worked extremely well for Terri Schaivo in Florida and the medical establishment in partnership with the Pharmaceutical companies kill 290 people PER DAY and there aren’t mass amounts of people complaining about their killing of people needlessly. People in today’s world have their priorities way out of whack! Wake up to reality people!

    • Faith healing didn’t exactly return Terri Schiavo to the perfect picture of health, now did it? Do you think the family didn’t leave her in a vegetative state long enough for a god to get around to doing something?

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