And this time, it was fatal and it happened in America – in the supposedly more “progressive” state of Wisconsin, not in some rural corner of the developing world! Here’s an excerpt from this appalling news story:
An 11-year-old girl died after her parents prayed for healing rather than seek medical help for a treatable form of diabetes, police said Tuesday.
Everest Metro Police Chief Dan Vergin said Madeline Neumann died Sunday.
“She got sicker and sicker until she was dead,” he said.
Vergin said an autopsy determined the girl died from diabetic ketoacidosis, an ailment that left her with too little insulin in her body, and she had probably been ill for about 30 days, suffering symptoms like nausea, vomiting, excessive thirst, loss of appetite and weakness.
The girl’s parents, Dale and Leilani Neumann, attributed the death to “apparently they didn’t have enough faith,” the police chief said.
They believed the key to healing “was it was better to keep praying. Call more people to help pray,” he said.
The mother believes the girl could still be resurrected, the police chief said.
What century are they living in, again? And in what backward “leader-of-the-free-world” country?
But that’s not all – here’s what local law enforcement did:
Officers went to the home after one of the girl’s relatives in California called police to check on her, Vergin said. She was taken to a hospital where she was pronounced dead.
The relative was fearful the girl was “extremely ill, dire,” Vergin said.
The girl has three siblings, ranging in age from 13 to 16, the police chief said.
“They are still in the home,” he said. “There is no reason to remove them. There is no abuse or signs of abuse that we can see.”
If you are now even more appalled and wondering how and why death is not apparently a sign of abuse, it turns out that such parental neglect, even if fatal, is not considered so bad as long as it is faith-based! Here’s a quote from someone who commented on the above story after looking into the Wisconsin state law:
Unfortunately Wisconsin law won’t hold the parents accountable:
State statute 948.03(6) provides an exemption from the law against failing to act to protect children from bodily harm for what is referred to as ‘Treatment through prayer.’ The statute says: ‘A person is not guilty of an offense under this section solely because he or she provides a child with treatment by spiritual means through prayer alone for healing in accordance with the religious method of healing … in lieu of medical or surgical treatment.‘
And another reader posted this follow-up:
Regarding statute 948.03(6), I have just done the research to confirm this for myself. That, together with 48.981(3)(c) and or 448.03(6), explicitly state that it is not considered child abuse nor neglect to rely solely on prayer or cultural practices (The first two) or ‘Christian Science’ (The final one) for healing a child, even to the exclusion of medical means. So, this is probably perfectly legal.
I suggest this would be a very good time to campaign for the state legislature to pass an act removing these exceptions – parents who refuse to provide available medical care for their very ill children should not be trusted with the safety of more, even if they honestly believe their rituals had healing power.
Why do I get the feeling that that police chief’s reaction might have been somewhat different had the parents been conducting “vedic” or “tantric” prayers and chants for the poor child, or holding a havan for her?
Meanwhile, in Oregon, another faithful family killed their 15-month old toddler by denying her the chance of getting antibiotics. At least in that case, prosecutors are reviewing it for legal action because the Oregon legislature threw out laws similar to Wisconsin’s offering the faith-based get-out-of-jail-free card to neglectful parents.
How can a country where people kill their own children through such ignorant barbaric faith in some god feel morally superior to other fundamentalists from other countries with slightly different but equally barbaric faiths?