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POLL Should this girl's parents be prosecuted?

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.”

Why?

“They deserve it.” She pauses. “And it might stop others.”

Full article:

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/apr/13/followers-of-christ-idaho-religious-sect-child-mortality-refusing-medical-help

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By silvereyes
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25 comments
1

In my opinion this type of behaviour is child abuse. The child should be taken into protective custody and the parents prosecuted.

Veronica Level 2 Nov 16, 2017
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She's an adult now and she plans to sue the parents.
But, if she were still a child- yes, I agree.
1

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.

11Novelist Level 4 Nov 16, 2017
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1

Yes.....ignorance must be stopped.

DUCHESSA Level 4 Nov 16, 2017
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2

Hell yes they should be prosecuted. No religous nut should have the right to deny medical care for their children just because of their idiotic religious beliefs.

Harleyman Level 6 Nov 14, 2017
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2

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.

RichardRaiment Level 4 Nov 14, 2017
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4

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.

snytiger6 Level 7 Nov 11, 2017
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4

hell yes. why these people need to be treated as mentally ill . they need to stop the taboo that they can hide shity ideas in a religion.

MichaelSpinler Level 7 Nov 11, 2017
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4

Of course they should be prosecuted .They are basically abusing the child .

MarcIveson Level 4 Nov 11, 2017
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7

In Canada their prosecution would not be in question at all, it is child negligence.

HeathenFarmer Level 7 Nov 10, 2017
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Score another point for Canada!
7

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.

Squirrellglider Level 7 Nov 10, 2017
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I know. It doesn't make sense!
6

Clearly a case of child endangerment. Killing people should not protected by the 1st Amendment. Funny how a fetus is sacred, but a live born child is disposable.

CozmikCharley Level 2 Nov 10, 2017
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9

There is no excuse to allow anyone to die, especially children for lack of proper treatment. Neglect, which this certainly is, should not be exempted for any reason. This applies to anyone, and the penalties should not be light.

evidentialist Level 5 Nov 10, 2017
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10

As others have stated, if drug or alcohol abuse isn't a good enough excuse for neglect, why should belief?

AndrewM Level 3 Nov 10, 2017
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12

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.

resserts Level 5 Nov 10, 2017
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6

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.

http://nypost.com/2017/09/29/couple-prayed-for-dead-babys-resurrection-instead-of-calling-for-help-police/

mt49er Level 5 Nov 10, 2017
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Terrible. Do you think they learned that prayer does nothing? Hospitals do.
Now now silvereyes... Paul Ryan recently said "Prayer Works" !!!!!!!!!!
lol. Yes, I have such faith in those words!
I maybe a terrible person but, the parents need to be sterilized to prevent them from ever breeding again. No child should have to suffer this level of stupid again.
While your praying to god, he's preying on your mind. If you pray to someone other than god, your prayers will be answered at the same rate. The only thing that possibly works by praying is that you are thinking about your problems and people should do that, but without the imaginary friend.
8

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."


http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-idaho-children-20170418-story.html

VictoriaNotes Level 7 Nov 10, 2017
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It is sad. The law should apply to everyone.
8

I'm starting to think if they compiled a jury of Atheists/Agnostics they would have a unanimous guilty sentence!

silvereyes Level 7 Nov 10, 2017
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If only that could happen.
@DeeTee: I'd vote for us to be on the jury!
(Just not sure anyone cares what I vote for lol)
8

What these parents did is immoral. Their parental rights do not supersede the rights of their child to good health. Parents have the obligation to love their children and care for their physical well being to the best of their ability.

I_dont_know Level 4 Nov 10, 2017
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9

This happened in the USA and was done in the name of Jesus Christ. If this kid endured that kind of abuse and neglect in the name of Islam they would already be sitting in jail. Lock them up.

jodyfine Level 6 Nov 10, 2017
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8

I've seen too many--and even one is too many--children die from lack of proper medical care denied to them by parents such as this young girl's.

tioteo Level 3 Nov 10, 2017
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7

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.

NerdyOkieDude Level 4 Nov 10, 2017
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8

I voted yes but aside from my pity for the girl, I also feel pity for the parents being victims of such stupidity and ignorance. It's just terribly sad, any way you look at it. But prosecute them, maybe put a stop to such idiotic behavior.

ThomasMeador Level 7 Nov 10, 2017
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They'd be considered martyrs. It would likely change nothing.
CowboySteel --- To the real fanatics they probably would be martyrs but prosecution might cause some of the less fanatical to think. I am not absolutely sure that there is any good answer in the face of that degree of delusion.
7

We are all responsible for our behavior and its consequences, regardless of why we chose to act in that manner.

wordywalt Level 6 Nov 10, 2017
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8

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.

SamL Level 7 Nov 10, 2017
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Good point same. It's a tricky line legally.
That sounds like a bias judge and a load of hokey. Because if I kill someone and say it's because Allah or Jesus or human sacrifice to Quetzalcoatl... am I off the hook? Where do you draw the line? And who's doing the drawing? If I start praying for my baby to feed itself - for the food to fly right into its mouth, I'm not hurting anyone directly, but I am doing it out of neglect. Am I off the hook then? I need to be admitted into a psych ward and relieved of custody at least, if not prosecuted as a violent criminal.
You have to be practicing the beliefs of a recognized religion in order to get away with it. What you're describing wouldn't fly being there's been no human sacrifice for centuries and the other things you suggested aren't practices of any known religion.
@fuckreligion: exactly. I didn't say it was right. It's just the way they do business in the courts. Not always fair and just...
there are too many loopholes and gray spots.
Here in Australia, the child is just immediately made a ward of the state and then the parents wishes become irelevent.
12

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?

MsOliver Level 5 Nov 10, 2017
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EXACTLY
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