This girl's parents refused her medical help and relied on prayer instead:
Mariah Walton’s voice is quiet – her lungs have been wrecked by her illness, and her respirator doesn’t help. But her tone is resolute.
“Yes, I would like to see my parents prosecuted.”
“They deserve it.” She pauses. “And it might stop others.”
No person's beliefs should prevent another person from seeking aid of their choosing to address their health. The US protects life, liberty, & the pursuit of happiness, all of which were denied by this girl's parents. It should be clear that parents, and concerned members of society, should be free to add their own means of assistance as long as it does not interfere with the chosen aid, or even step in to prevent harm if there is objective evidence that the aid being sought may cause harm, but in no case should they prevent them from seeking medical help. I believe this is even settled law - that a person's religious views cannot be used to justify child endangerment.
It's likely (I'm form a different country) that these folks could be prosecuted for leaving a dog in a car on a hot day with the windows shut, but religion gives them carte blanche to do as they please with a suffering child. It is insane.
Then again, in my humble opinion, that child is not 'theirs' it is 'ours', and it is our obligation to protect it.
It is amazing to me how those who are "pro-life" seem to end concern as soon as birth takes place. If all life is precious, then preserve the lives that are here, at least as much as the lives that have yet to begin (the Bible defines life as begining with the first breath, "the breath of live".") If they are so concerned about protectignlife, that their own holy book says does not yet exist, and want to codify that in law, then the law shoudl protect the life that is already here even more.
I have just read the article from start to finish, and can't believe that such "shield laws" actually exist. No child should be subject to the whims of such religious neglect. The parents of this girl most certainly should be able to be prosecuted. Here in Australia, if parents attempt to have this sort of medical influence, like trying to prevent blood transfusions as some religions do, the child safety laws mandate immediate removal of the child from the family and they become a ward of the state.
Neglect in the name of religious freedom is still neglect. Abuse is still abuse. People need to understand that religious liberty doesn't grant the right to disobey other laws, but I'm afraid this is an area of justice that's lacking sound judgement. As a society, we can't seem to reconcile rights and responsibilities when it comes to emotional topics like religion.
I saw a story recently where the parents were being prosecuted after they tried to pray jaundice away from an infant. The cops arrived, I believe after the uncle called, to find a bunch of the parents church members praying for a resurrection.
I voted yes. Sadly, the young woman probably won't win. People literally get away with neglect and murder in some states in the name of religion. Canyon County Sheriff Kieran Donahue launched a campaign to change the law, and remove any religious exemptions for the legal obligation to seek medical care for children. But he faced a lot of opposition. It boggles my mind.
Quote: "“Do you think that bill is going to pass?” Majority Leader Bart Davis asked on the Senate floor during debate later that month. “It won’t. Because this body is reluctant to punish people criminally for a firmly held religious belief.” Like previous attempts to change the legislation, the bill was killed on the Senate floor."
The girl's right to life, which includes by necessity adequate healthcare, is superior to her parents' right to "sincerely held religious belief" (being generous there). They have a duty to care for their daughter that supersedes their rights to avoid cognitive dissonance.
I voted yes but if I recall correctly there have been cases similar to this that went to court where the court actually decided in the parents favor because they were practicing the beliefs of their religion and the court ruled it had no jurisdiction on the matter because of the separation between church in state.
Absolutely. You're right to practice your religion does not outweigh the duty of the state to protect a child's right to adequate medical care. We wouldn't let a church use their religion as an excuse for sexually abusing their kids, beating their kids, starving their kids...why would it be okay to neglect their medical needs?