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Faith to be Respected or Extreme Child Abuse?

 
 
Eorl
 
Reply Wed 21 Jan, 2009 07:12 pm
Quote:
Kara Neumann, 11, had grown so weak that she could not walk or speak. Her parents, who believe that God alone has the ability to heal the sick, prayed for her recovery but did not take her to a doctor.

After an aunt from California called the sheriff’s department... an ambulance arrived ... and rushed Kara to the hospital. She was pronounced dead on arrival.


http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/21/us/21faith.html

I'm still convinced that those who profess to respect others beliefs only do so until they come into direct conflict with their own. Those who disagree, how do you see this case? Do you respect their faith? Do you defend their right to treat their daughter this way?

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Type: Discussion • Score: 9 • Views: 1,636 • Replies: 15
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rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 Jan, 2009 07:31 pm
@Eorl,
I'm not sure what to say yet. But here's this:
Quote:
The Twitchell Case was the most prominent of a series of criminal cases in the late 1980s and early 1990s in which parents who were members of the Christian Science Church were prosecuted for the deaths of children whose medical conditions had been treated only by Christian Science treatment.
In 1988, Massachusetts prosecutors charged David and Ginger Twitchell with manslaughter in the 1986 death of their two-year-old son Robyn.
Robyn Twitchell died of a peritonitis caused by a bowel obstruction that medical professionals declared would have been easily correctable.
The Twitchells' defense contended that the couple were within their First Amendment rights to treat their son's illness with prayer and that Massachusetts had recognized this right in an exemption to the statute outlawing child neglect.
The Twitchells were convicted of involuntary manslaughter. They were sentenced to ten years probation and required to bring their remaining children to regular visits to a pediatrician. The conviction was overturned in 1993.
The Twitchell case, and others like it, have become rallying points for both people who criticize religious exemptions to child neglect laws, and those who believe that the government oversteps its bounds when it prosecutes people who believe that prayer is a legitimate alternative to medical treatment.

I remember it when it happened. Very very sad at a number of levels.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twitchell_Case
http://www.masskids.org/dbre/dbre_6.html
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Wed 21 Jan, 2009 07:48 pm
Several years ago in Ohio, a couple who espoused a vegan diet were prosecuted for child endangerment, and convicted, because their children were so malnourished as to be the size of children two or three years younger, and in poor health even for those ages and sizes. They were not, of course, able to defend themselves on the basis of a confessional adherence.

Children are citizens of the state as much as are their parents. The state has an obligation to protect all of its citizens. Whether you have religious loonies allowing their children to die of neglect while they go through their superstitious mumbo-jumbo, or vegan fanatics who will impair their childrens' health and development for life because of their goofy dietary views, i think the state has the right to intervene to protect the children.
0 Replies
 
hingehead
 
  2  
Reply Wed 21 Jan, 2009 07:51 pm
@rosborne979,
Well if there is a gene that makes you prone religious belief, you could see it as Darwinian natural selection.

Terrible for the child, and I guess the parents think said offspring is in a 'better place'.

I just worry about who determines who is deluded. Some beliefs are harmless or even beneficial, others seem nutty and cruel.

I guess it's pointless to tell parents that God invented science and medicine too.... And atheists.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 Jan, 2009 07:57 pm
@hingehead,
Quote:
I just worry about who determines who is deluded.


I don't imagine that anyone would be condemning particular religious confessions--i would think it would all hinge on the welfare of the child, without reference to confessional adherence.
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 Jan, 2009 08:01 pm
There are currently two cases in the courts here that I've been watching; both cases could have been easily treated with antibiotics, both families were members of the same sect (not Christian Scientists).

One was a girl who was 6 or 7. The other was a boy who was 16 or 17.

It is said that the boy, as a member of the sect, did not want treatment. In this case, even though it's a minor child, I'm not sure if the family should be prosecuted.

In the case of the little girl I think they should throw every child endangerment, neglect, whatever other crimes they can think up at them.

On the other hand....

There is also a situation here where a girl, about 11, refused any further cancer treatments even though her parents wanted her to continue. They let her quit.

I think they're nuts but it points out that it isn't always about religion.

Anyway....

I'm not sure when a child should be able to call the shots regarding their own healthcare or lack of healthcare. Its very confusing.
CalamityJane
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 Jan, 2009 08:28 pm
I do think along the lines as Setanta has mentioned: a child's welfare is also
in the state's hands, and if parents neglect to care for their children, for whatever reason, the state should have the authority to step in and protect these
children. The amount of neglect and if parents should be held accountable
needs to be determined individually but in the case of the 11 year old girl
who died because the parents withheld medical treatment - yes, they should
be prosecuted, absolutely!
0 Replies
 
Diest TKO
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 Jan, 2009 11:01 pm
@Eorl,
As I view the parents (and the state in some cases) as being the custodians of their progeny's rights (both born and unborn), and that those rights become the custody of the offspring at various arbitrary points in life determined by society at large, I believe that life to right happens at birth and while the child's freedom of press (a 17 year old high school journalist can be censored if they write a unpopular piece... trust me on this one please) or freedom of religion take place at 18. All freedoms have limits though. Freedom of religion today would not allow for people to burn witches if a religion was to demand it. I can self govern myself, but if I attempt to commit suicide, I may be certified a danger to myself and the state will intervene to prevent self harm on the grounds that I'm not mentally stable.

With a case where like this, I can't help but feel like the state has to do something to intervene. A child can't really choose this lifestyle for themselves, nor can they comprehend the consequences of it.

I can respect this faith as a decision for yourself, but making that choice for another is abuse in my opinion.

T
K
O
0 Replies
 
hingehead
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 Jan, 2009 11:47 pm
@Setanta,
Set wrote:
I don't imagine that anyone would be condemning particular religious confessions--i would think it would all hinge on the welfare of the child, without reference to confessional adherence.


It does but my wishy washy brain says who decides on what's best for the child? Sure, in this case it's a no brainer - but our legal system is based on precedence, thus our fear of wedges' thin ends.

And Medicine isn't always perfect either. People advocated castor oil for cholera in the 1800's and men of science thought it was transmitted by the smell of open sewers. The spa FDR went to successfully treat his polio was labelled quack town by medical authorities and nearly closed down.

Obligatory plug: borrow 'The Ghost Map' by Steven Johnson from your local library - a really enjoyable synthesis of story telling, history, science and philosophy.
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Jan, 2009 12:29 am
@hingehead,
No perfect answer, ever.

This one seems pretty damn clear to me, though, even though, indeed, medicine can be wrong.

The parents pretty much killed their child, and the state ought to have intervened and assessed earlier.
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Jan, 2009 12:34 am
@boomerang,
boomerang wrote:

There are currently two cases in the courts here that I've been watching; both cases could have been easily treated with antibiotics, both families were members of the same sect (not Christian Scientists).

One was a girl who was 6 or 7. The other was a boy who was 16 or 17.

It is said that the boy, as a member of the sect, did not want treatment. In this case, even though it's a minor child, I'm not sure if the family should be prosecuted.

In the case of the little girl I think they should throw every child endangerment, neglect, whatever other crimes they can think up at them.

On the other hand....

There is also a situation here where a girl, about 11, refused any further cancer treatments even though her parents wanted her to continue. They let her quit.

I think they're nuts but it points out that it isn't always about religion.

Anyway....

I'm not sure when a child should be able to call the shots regarding their own healthcare or lack of healthcare. Its very confusing.


At 16 I think you will find most countries are going with the kid's decision.

At 11 it's very moot. My comment for the people condemning the parents of the child who refused further cancer treatment was pretty much "all well and good, but it's a bit different when you are the one ramming horrible medication forcibly into a kid's veins as they try to fight you off."

This new one should have been investigated, I think, and I would have wanted damn fine reasons to let the kid die. The parents being religious nuts would not have cut it.
0 Replies
 
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Jan, 2009 07:23 am
The notion of "respecting" the beliefs of others is so over-done...it makes me want to puke.

How many people "respect" the "beliefs" of people like Hitler, Stalin, Caligula, Nero, Napoleon, or Idi Amin?

shewolfnm
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Jan, 2009 07:25 am
@Frank Apisa,
In todays super PC society.. there may actually be some dumbass retarded law that would require us to " respect " their beliefs..

We are becoming a pussy nation with this PC bullshit..
0 Replies
 
shewolfnm
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Jan, 2009 07:28 am
hehehhe
0 Replies
 
djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Jan, 2009 07:30 am
@Frank Apisa,
Frank Apisa wrote:

The notion of "respecting" the beliefs of others is so over-done...it makes me want to puke.

How many people "respect" the "beliefs" of people like Hitler, Stalin, Caligula, Nero, Napoleon, or Idi Amin?


or even the republicans
0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Jan, 2009 08:21 am
@Eorl,
How would the law react if the state took over the welfare of a child to prevent parental neglect (which would lead to death), but then the medical solution applied to the child ended up killing the kid (maybe due to standard risks of surgery) sooner rather than later? Is the state then charged with manslaughter or murder?
0 Replies
 
 

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