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 Post subject: Couple who relied on faith instead of medical care for child
PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2011 8:50 pm 
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sentenced to 10 years probation for relying on prayer instead of seeking medical care for 2 year old son, who died of bacterial pneumonia.

http://www.philly.com/philly/news/break ... ation.html

I'm surprised that the Philly CJC didn't give a harsher sentence. I'm very glad that the sentence included mandated medical care for their remaining children, but I remember from previous similar cases much harsher punishments - like prison time. These cases make me so sad. And it's heartbreaking that this is the message promoted by their church - that medical care is lack of faith in god. So dangerous. So so dangerous.

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 Post subject: Re: Couple who relied on faith instead of medical care for c
PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2011 9:02 pm 
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It can't be easy to sentence two religious parents who have just lost their child and won't be a danger to society as a whole. I'm glad the sentence include mandated medical care for their other children and sad that a little boy died because his parents felt like seeking medical care was sign of a lack of faith and that their religious leaders didn't intervene to tell them that it was okay to get help.

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 Post subject: Re: Couple who relied on faith instead of medical care for c
PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2011 9:06 pm 
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This is heartbreaking.

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 Post subject: Re: Couple who relied on faith instead of medical care for c
PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2011 9:09 pm 
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We were just discussing this sort of thing in my child protection class. My prof has had a few instances with Jehovahs Witness families who didn't believe in blood transfusions.....one case the child died right in the middle of the emergency judicial hearing. I don't understand it.....I've never been part of a religious group....so sad.

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 Post subject: Re: Couple who relied on faith instead of medical care for c
PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2011 9:56 pm 
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Horrible.

There was a local case like this back when I was in middle or high school. The girl died because her parents had decided to pray over her rather than get her medical treatment.

Even my fundamentalist mother has no love for this sort of thing; her response to that case was, "Did they pray over their car when it broke down instead of taking it to a mechanic?"

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 Post subject: Re: Couple who relied on faith instead of medical care for c
PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2011 10:13 pm 
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These situations are so sad because it's usually not a conscious choice between using medicine or using prayer; the people usually have such deep-seated beliefs that there is no concept of a choice. Prayer is just what is necessary. That's what is scary. It's one thing if a parent knowingly decided to forego medicine in favor of prayer, giving us something to be angry about. But these situations, the ignorance involved, the blind faith that controls...so scary and heartbreaking.

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 Post subject: Re: Couple who relied on faith instead of medical care for c
PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2011 10:50 pm 
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There's a religious sect in the greater Portland area that has literally let dozens of children die in the last 50 years when their faith healing didn't work. The minor illnesses/infections we take for granted will commonly kill if untreated. Maybe 5 years ago, Oregon changed its laws to more effectively deal with them, but they still only get light sentences or probation.

In the last 3 years: one young teen died of a blockage in his ureter that he'd suffered from for years; his niece had just died the year before from a pneumonia-like disease; and there was a slightly premature baby who died shortly after birth (I don't think her parents were charged.) Another child, who had a facial growth, has lost the sight in one eye and is disfigured, but now receiving medical care. She was put in a foster family for a long time, but I think she is back with her family now.

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 Post subject: Re: Couple who relied on faith instead of medical care for c
PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2011 11:22 pm 
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In high school, a girl in my class died, because she couldn't get a blood transfusion. It was so sad that it could have been prevented, but her religion didn't allow it. This is a tough one. I don't think I feel right saying that she should have been forced to get the blood transfusion. Although, she was 17 or 18, so I'm sure she was involved in the decision


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 Post subject: Re: Couple who relied on faith instead of medical care for c
PostPosted: Thu Feb 03, 2011 12:50 am 
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I'm comfortable saying she should have been forced.

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 Post subject: Re: Couple who relied on faith instead of medical care for c
PostPosted: Thu Feb 03, 2011 8:14 am 
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My inlaws are witnesses. It's a subject I generally avoid talking to them about because I get so frustrated. My mother in law told me people assume they're chosing death when they refuse transfusions, but that's not true, they are demanding better health care.
I bite my tongue so hard I'm afraid I'll bite it off. My husband left the religion when he was 14. But he still thinks blood transfusions are gross. It's so much like a brainwashing cult. They were told not to play with non-witness kids after school because they would be a bad influence. They weren't allowed to be in extra curricular activities because they may have been during meeting times (they go to meetings 3 times per week). His father wasn't allowed to give his sister away at her wedding because he's not a witness. It just boggles my mind.

We had a next door neighbour when I was little who used to leave her newborn at home when she went grocery shopping. My mom was horrified and asked her what she was thinking. She calmly replied that God was watching the baby.

If there is a god, I'm sure he/she wouldn't want anyone to suffer needlessly if there were simple treatment options available. That, and I'm sure God is really really busy. God is not a babysitter, a doctor, etc. Let God worry about the really important stuff.
I was in cheerleading in high school, and many teams before going on the floor would pray. My religious friend on my team was disgusted by this. I asked why. She said "God doesn't care about cheerleading. Let him do his job with the important stuff. They're wasting his time".


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 Post subject: Re: Couple who relied on faith instead of medical care for c
PostPosted: Thu Feb 03, 2011 12:25 pm 
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What I don't get is where the disconnect comes in between thinking that "God will provide" and not thinking that perhaps God has already provided in the form of medical technology that can save lives.

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 Post subject: Re: Couple who relied on faith instead of medical care for c
PostPosted: Thu Feb 03, 2011 7:21 pm 
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RandiJM wrote:
These situations are so sad because it's usually not a conscious choice between using medicine or using prayer; the people usually have such deep-seated beliefs that there is no concept of a choice. Prayer is just what is necessary. That's what is scary. It's one thing if a parent knowingly decided to forego medicine in favor of prayer, giving us something to be angry about. But these situations, the ignorance involved, the blind faith that controls...so scary and heartbreaking.


I agree that it is sad, and I agree that there can be a disconnect from reality. But I don't buy that it's not a conscious choice between medicine and prayer. Like what I quoted my mom as saying, how many of these people pray over their car when the transmission goes out? They don't. They take it to a mechanic. And I'd be curious to know how many of these parents deny themselves medical or dental care (aside from refusing blood transfusions).

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 Post subject: Re: Couple who relied on faith instead of medical care for c
PostPosted: Thu Feb 03, 2011 8:27 pm 
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I was of the impression that groups such as this do not believe in medicine at all, so even an older person would not go to the doctor. They don't want to interfere with god's work or plan. That wouldn't apply to a car but would apply to the body. I don't know if these parents are of that sort of thinking though. I am sure there is a lot of variation.

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 Post subject: Re: Couple who relied on faith instead of medical care for c
PostPosted: Thu Feb 03, 2011 8:35 pm 
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But they do believe in dentistry. Filling cavities is part of God's plan.

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 Post subject: Re: Couple who relied on faith instead of medical care for c
PostPosted: Thu Feb 03, 2011 9:11 pm 
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Illness and disease (but not cavities or broken cars) are God testing us.

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 Post subject: Re: Couple who relied on faith instead of medical care for c
PostPosted: Thu Feb 03, 2011 11:55 pm 
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Jill wrote:
There's a religious sect in the greater Portland area that has literally let dozens of children die in the last 50 years when their faith healing didn't work. The minor illnesses/infections we take for granted will commonly kill if untreated. Maybe 5 years ago, Oregon changed its laws to more effectively deal with them, but they still only get light sentences or probation.

In the last 3 years: one young teen died of a blockage in his ureter that he'd suffered from for years; his niece had just died the year before from a pneumonia-like disease; and there was a slightly premature baby who died shortly after birth (I don't think her parents were charged.) Another child, who had a facial growth, has lost the sight in one eye and is disfigured, but now receiving medical care. She was put in a foster family for a long time, but I think she is back with her family now.

I've heard of this place/these people! I can't even believe it!

I also remember another case where the parents let their daughter suffer and die of diabetes instead of bringing her to a doctor. Instead they held prayers for her. But they had health insurance and doctors for themselves.

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 Post subject: Re: Couple who relied on faith instead of medical care for c
PostPosted: Sat Feb 05, 2011 8:10 pm 
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This is a hard one for me.. while obviously my knee jerk reaction is to become very upset and think there should have been intervention for the child, I am not comfortable with the level of involvement the state can have over parental rights when it comes to these sorts of issues.

It's not the same situation at all, but I had a friend who had a baby who was born VERY premature ( at 21 weeks ) and she wanted to allow the baby to die on her own in her and her husbands arms. The hospital REFUSED and took the baby to NICU .. they ( the hospital ) got a court order and their daughter suffered being hooked up to machines and poked and prodded and stuck with needles for 21 HELLISH days... I think as a parent they should have had the right to make life and death decisions for their child..

.. I know that there's a big difference in the situations .. but it still makes me pause to think of who really has the right to make certain decisions.

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 Post subject: Re: Couple who relied on faith instead of medical care for c
PostPosted: Sun Feb 06, 2011 8:33 am 
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Jill wrote:
There's a religious sect in the greater Portland area that has literally let dozens of children die in the last 50 years when their faith healing didn't work. The minor illnesses/infections we take for granted will commonly kill if untreated. Maybe 5 years ago, Oregon changed its laws to more effectively deal with them, but they still only get light sentences or probation.

In the last 3 years: one young teen died of a blockage in his ureter that he'd suffered from for years; his niece had just died the year before from a pneumonia-like disease; and there was a slightly premature baby who died shortly after birth (I don't think her parents were charged.) Another child, who had a facial growth, has lost the sight in one eye and is disfigured, but now receiving medical care. She was put in a foster family for a long time, but I think she is back with her family now.


Ugh I just can't even imagine how painful that would have been and it was so preventable! All cases like this break my heart.


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 Post subject: Re: Couple who relied on faith instead of medical care for c
PostPosted: Sun Feb 06, 2011 8:36 am 
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melomeals wrote:
This is a hard one for me.. while obviously my knee jerk reaction is to become very upset and think there should have been intervention for the child, I am not comfortable with the level of involvement the state can have over parental rights when it comes to these sorts of issues.

It's not the same situation at all, but I had a friend who had a baby who was born VERY premature ( at 21 weeks ) and she wanted to allow the baby to die on her own in her and her husbands arms. The hospital REFUSED and took the baby to NICU .. they ( the hospital ) got a court order and their daughter suffered being hooked up to machines and poked and prodded and stuck with needles for 21 HELLISH days... I think as a parent they should have had the right to make life and death decisions for their child..

.. I know that there's a big difference in the situations .. but it still makes me pause to think of who really has the right to make certain decisions.


I'm sorry your friend went through that. It is interesting the different approaches in medical care, I've heard of the opposite before where doctors refuse to treat premature infants when it's what the parents want.


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 Post subject: Re: Couple who relied on faith instead of medical care for c
PostPosted: Sun Feb 06, 2011 8:47 am 
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melomeals wrote:
It's not the same situation at all, but I had a friend who had a baby who was born VERY premature ( at 21 weeks ) and she wanted to allow the baby to die on her own in her and her husbands arms. The hospital REFUSED and took the baby to NICU .. they ( the hospital ) got a court order and their daughter suffered being hooked up to machines and poked and prodded and stuck with needles for 21 HELLISH days... I think as a parent they should have had the right to make life and death decisions for their child..

.. I know that there's a big difference in the situations .. but it still makes me pause to think of who really has the right to make certain decisions.



This scenario scares me so much! I'm 16 weeks pregnant now so it's something we've thought and talked about. I also saw the documentary "Little Man," in which a baby has to be delivered at 25 weeks and his parents disagree about whether to try to keep the baby alive in NICU or let him die a peaceful death. There all the doctors and nurses are *encouraging* the parents to just let the baby die. There is SO much practice variation with this! And since I'm firmly in the "some babies die, and sometimes that's better than months of life support and lifelong suffering" camp, it makes me really angry to see parents' decisions being overriden on this. I agree that they're different issues but there should definitely be some standardized guidelines for who gets to decide these things!! Even after months and months of NICU, a baby born at 21 weeks is never going to be the same person that would've been born at 40 weeks, and since the doctors aren't the ones who face the burden of raising a severely special needs child I don't think it should be their choice. And special needs kids DO, let's face it, put a lot of burden on parents and right now US society does almost nothing to absorb that financial, emotional, and marital ruin. It terrifies me! Just looking at the divorce statistics alone for parents of special needs kids...


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 Post subject: Re: Couple who relied on faith instead of medical care for c
PostPosted: Sun Feb 06, 2011 4:15 pm 
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That's so bizarre that the church thinks it is okay to get fillings but not to be treated for a cold. Dental decay is a DISEASE! (It's called caries, btw.)


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 Post subject: Re: Couple who relied on faith instead of medical care for c
PostPosted: Sun Feb 06, 2011 4:43 pm 
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pandacookie wrote:
I was of the impression that groups such as this do not believe in medicine at all, so even an older person would not go to the doctor. They don't want to interfere with god's work or plan. That wouldn't apply to a car but would apply to the body. I don't know if these parents are of that sort of thinking though. I am sure there is a lot of variation.


Jesus may be the Great Physician, but he's a rubbish mechanic.

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 Post subject: Re: Couple who relied on faith instead of medical care for c
PostPosted: Sun Feb 06, 2011 4:52 pm 
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Rowan wrote:
We were just discussing this sort of thing in my child protection class. My prof has had a few instances with Jehovahs Witness families who didn't believe in blood transfusions.....one case the child died right in the middle of the emergency judicial hearing. I don't understand it.....I've never been part of a religious group....so sad.


I'm pretty sure that now if a child is a witness, then CPS can step in and make sure that the child gets a blood transfusion or an organ transplant if needed without consent from the parents so that's good. I wonder if these parents ever took the child to the doctor, and then refused treatment? Because if that was the case, the doctor should have reported it and had the system intervene.

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 Post subject: Re: Couple who relied on faith instead of medical care for c
PostPosted: Sun Feb 06, 2011 5:06 pm 
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hoveringdog wrote:
pandacookie wrote:
I was of the impression that groups such as this do not believe in medicine at all, so even an older person would not go to the doctor. They don't want to interfere with god's work or plan. That wouldn't apply to a car but would apply to the body. I don't know if these parents are of that sort of thinking though. I am sure there is a lot of variation.


Jesus may be the Great Physician, but he's a rubbish mechanic.

All the new cars are so computerized these days.

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 Post subject: Re: Couple who relied on faith instead of medical care for c
PostPosted: Sun Feb 06, 2011 5:15 pm 
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sunnybear wrote:
Rowan wrote:
We were just discussing this sort of thing in my child protection class. My prof has had a few instances with Jehovahs Witness families who didn't believe in blood transfusions.....one case the child died right in the middle of the emergency judicial hearing. I don't understand it.....I've never been part of a religious group....so sad.


I'm pretty sure that now if a child is a witness, then CPS can step in and make sure that the child gets a blood transfusion or an organ transplant if needed without consent from the parents so that's good. I wonder if these parents ever took the child to the doctor, and then refused treatment? Because if that was the case, the doctor should have reported it and had the system intervene.


Not where I am......there was a big case in BC a few years ago involving newborn sextuplets and blood transfusions.

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