Religious fundamental parents and their children's health

Requiring medical treatment over faith

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Religious fundamental parents and their children's health

#1  Postby Chris Putnam » Apr 24, 2018 7:26 pm

It is easy to find numerous cases of parents refusing medical treatment for their seriously ill children because to do so reveals a "lack of faith" which might displease the LORD. Jehovah's Witnesses routinely refuse blood transfusions. LDS might refuse the removal of "sacred undergarments" in emergencies. Should the law require medical treatment of minor children over their parents objections on religious grounds? Some US states have laws protecting the parents decisions here. Others do not.

I know such a topic might excite serious emotions in people on both sides of the issue. Hope we can keep this discussion on an intelligent civil tone. Thank you and please lets begin.
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Re: Religious fundamental parents and their children's health

#2  Postby TopCat » Apr 24, 2018 8:33 pm

Good luck finding people from both sides of the (supposed) argument here.
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Re: Religious fundamental parents and their children's health

#3  Postby Sendraks » Apr 24, 2018 9:17 pm

Chris Putnam wrote:Should the law require medical treatment of minor children over their parents objections on religious grounds?


Depends on the treatment and the objection. If it is a life saving treatment, the state has a duty of care to the child's wellbeing.
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Re: Religious fundamental parents and their children's health

#4  Postby felltoearth » Apr 25, 2018 12:21 pm

Chris Putnam wrote:It is easy to find numerous cases of parents refusing medical treatment for their seriously ill children because to do so reveals a "lack of faith" which might displease the LORD. Jehovah's Witnesses routinely refuse blood transfusions. LDS might refuse the removal of "sacred undergarments" in emergencies. Should the law require medical treatment of minor children over their parents objections on religious grounds? Some US states have laws protecting the parents decisions here. Others do not.

I know such a topic might excite serious emotions in people on both sides of the issue. Hope we can keep this discussion on an intelligent civil tone. Thank you and please lets begin.

What’s your position on this? When and where should the state intervene?
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Re: Religious fundamental parents and their children's health

#5  Postby Chris Putnam » Apr 25, 2018 2:38 pm

Life threatening situations for sure. God could work with or without physicians. Does a child have to rely on his parents faith or lack thereof to be "healed". They would not have a good argument in my opinion.
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Re: Religious fundamental parents and their children's health

#6  Postby Sendraks » Apr 25, 2018 3:02 pm

Chris Putnam wrote: God could work with or without physicians.


Eh?
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Re: Religious fundamental parents and their children's health

#7  Postby laklak » Apr 25, 2018 3:02 pm

That's a good point, nothing says God can't heal them just before the surgery or treatment. Imagine how impressive that would be - Look, the tumor, it's.......GONE! Praise Jebus!
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Re: Religious fundamental parents and their children's health

#8  Postby Scot Dutchy » Apr 25, 2018 5:56 pm

laklak wrote:That's a good point, nothing says God can't heal them just before the surgery or treatment. Imagine how impressive that would be - Look, the tumor, it's.......GONE! Praise Jebus!


That would be very impressive but of course it will never happen.

Here nobody listens to religious nutters. The life of the patient is paramount not what the parents believe.

When I first came to this country in 1967 there was a polio outbreak in a town called Staphorst which is an extreme black stocking part of the bible belt. The parents did not want their children to be inoculated so the government passed a bill through parliament in a day to make it compulsory.
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Re: Religious fundamental parents and their children's health

#9  Postby TynanKauphusman » Oct 06, 2022 2:54 pm

I don't intend to offend anyone, although this is a pressing issue. The law must require medical treatment of minor children over their parents' objections on religious grounds. Otherwise, the child's life may be in danger. Parents with such an opinion are often religious fanatics who reject medicine. Who's responsible for the life of a minor child? I believe the law is required to protect such children. Together with the agency httpg, we help children and teens in difficult life situations. The health and well-being of these children are our top priority. Society should immediately pay attention to such cases of the negligent attitude of religious parents to their children's health.
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Re: Religious fundamental parents and their children's health

#10  Postby Calilasseia » Oct 07, 2022 5:03 am

Let's put this into its proper perspective, shall we?

[1] Torrance Cantrell. 8 year old autistic child, whose parents preferred mediaeval superstition to modern medicine, and so took him to church for an "exorcism", in which he was sat on so that he could be held down whilst so-called "evil spirits" were "driven" out of him , and crushed to death. With the sort of slimy unctuosity we see all the time from supernaturalists, the pastor claimed that his church had "done nothing wrong", as though the snuffing out of an 8 year old's life was of no consequence.

2] Kara Neumann. 11 year old girl, who died of diabetic keotacidosis, because her parents preferred trying to persuade a magic man to cure her, over and above taking her to a doctor. Note: diabetes has been treatable for decades, and is a singularly well-understood disease in the medical lexicon. Talking to a magic man in the hope of a cure, on the other hand, worked about as well in Kara Neumann's case, as it did in the case of the 25 million Europeans who died from the Black Death. Video of the case here:



[3] Lydia Schatz, a 7 year old girl who died after receiving a severe beating, motivated by her parents reading the works of Mike and Debi Pearl, who advocate brutal corporal punishment as a means of controlling children. Lydia Schatz was beaten for seven hours with a metal rod, with occasional breaks for 'prayer'. The coroner in the case reported that Lydia's injuries after the beating were so severe, that she died of a condition more usually associated with earthquakes and bomb attacks. Her sister Zariah reported to police that her own beating, which she survived, including beatings on the soles of her feet, a method of torture known as bastinado to those familiar with such abuses. Kevin Schatz is now serving a minimum 22 years for murder and torture, and Elizabeth Schatz a minimum 12 years. More on this in this video:



[4] Austin Sprout, a 16 year old boy who died from "flu like symptoms" (which could cover a wide range of illnesses, including bacterial meningitis, most of which are easily treatable in any modern healthcare system). The parents, Brandi & Russel Bellew, apparently thought that talking to an imaginary magic man was better than calling a doctor. As a consequence of their preference for mediaeval superstition over evidence based medicine, they are facing manslaughter charges. More here:



The parents are apparently affiliated with an organisation called "General Assembly and Church of the First Born", which has a long history of controversial deaths associated with its preference for "faith healing" over real medicine. From this website, we learn that Austin Sprout isn't the only child to have died as a result of this group's preference for mediaeval superstition. For example:

[5] Zachery Swezey, a 17 year old youth, who died from a ruptured appendix. Parents Greg and JaLea Swezey, wasted three days trying "faith healing" instead of calling a doctor. From this news page, we learn that the parents were charged with second-degree murder after his death.

[6] Sarah Leeman, borm prematurely, weighing less than 3 pounds, died a week after her birth from bacterial menigitis and accompanying septicaemia. Parents Louis and Patricia Leeman, once again, never called for medical assistance.

[7] Rhianna Rose Schmidt, died within an hour of birth from a septicaemic infection, one that doctors have cited as being easily treatable if caught promptly. Parents Maltea and Dewayne Schmidt were convicted of reckless homicide for failing to seek medical attention for the child.

Courtesy of another "faith healing" church that prefers superstition to working medicine, the so-called "Followers of Christ", we have:

[8] Ava Worthington, aged 15 months, who died from pneumonia in 2008. Parents Raylene and Carl Worthington were charged with manslaughter, but thanks to a sympathetic jury, were able to escape with sentencing for the lesser charge of criminal mistreatment.

[9] The newborn child of Dale R. Hickman and Shannon M. Hickman, born prematurely at home, with no attempt made to call for medical assistance. The child, 6 weeks premature, weighed 3lbs 5oz, and died nine hours after birth from staphylococcal pneumonia attacking the child's underdeveloped lungs.

[10] Neil Beagley, 16, who died in June 2008 from complications arising from a congenital urinary blockage. Once again, no attempt was made to call for medical assistance. The parents, Jeffrey and Marci Beagley, were found guilty of criminally negligent homicide. During the case, we learn from here the following:

Prosecutors focused on the Beagleys' lifelong rejection of medical care and on a family dynamic that placed immense pressure on Neil Beagley to conform to his church's reliance on faith healing. They noted that Neil had limited contact with people outside his church who might have noticed health problems. He was home-schooled, and his social life did not extend beyond other church members.


[11] Syble Marie Ann Rossiter, aged 12 years, who died on February 5th, 2014, from complications (speccifically, diabetic ketoacidosis) arising from untreated Type 1 diabetes, a condition that is eminently treatable (see the Kara Neumann case earlier in this exposition). Parents Travis and Wenona Rossiter, members of the Church of the First Born, which rejects modern medicine, chose to pray for their daughter to become well again, instead of seking medical care, with entirely predictable results. More on this case, including the parents' indictment for manslaughter, can be read here. On November 11th, 2014, both parents were found guilty of manslaughter, as documented here, and sentenced to 10 years in prison each. Other cases attributable to this "church"and its "teachings", featuring children who died because the parents withheld medical attention, preferring asking their magic man to intervene, are:

[12] Jason Lockahrt, aged 9, died of a ruptured appendix in Dcember 1982.

[13] Angela Sweet, aged 7, also died of a ruptured appendix, this time in June 1990.

[14] Desiree Camren, aged 3, died of a treatable illness (not specified in this report. The child's father, at his trial, revealed that he knew the child was dying, but allowed the child to die because he thought it was the wrath of his magic man being brought upon him for not attending church.

[15] Loyd & Christina Hayes were charged with criminally negligent homicide, over the death of their son from treatable leukaemia in Novembner 1994.

[16] Joshua & Mindy Glore were charged over the death of their infant son from pneumona and bacterial meningitis (both treatable) on 28th February 1999.

[17] Amanda Bates, aged 13, died from diabetic ketoacidosis as a result of her parents withholding medical treatment in February 2001. The coroner ruled the child's death a homicide.

[18] Alexandru Radita, died of bacterial sepsis due to complications from starvation and neglect, was also diabetic. At the age of 15, he was estimated to weigh just 20 pounds. From the Calgary Herald news page covering this (link):

After returning from church to find their son not breathing, the parents of Calgary teenager Alexandru Radita prayed for two hours before calling emergency services, court heard Wednesday.

Shauna Mitchell, an investigator with the Medical Examiner’s office, said she was dispatched to the Citadel Drive N.W. home of Emil and Rodica Radita to look into a sudden death.

She said she asked the couple when they had last seen their son alive.

“They said they went to church at, I think it was after 1800 hours, and they came home at about 2000 hours and that’s when the father said that he wasn’t breathing, so they prayed and they didn’t call EMS until sometime around 2200 hours,” Mitchell said.

She told Crown prosecutor Marta Juzwiak there were multiple members of the couple’s church in the home.

“They were in the home praying together,” Mitchell said.

And she said it was possible the boy wasn’t breathing even before the couple went to church, as she was given conflicting reports from them.

She said the mother said Alexandru was breathing at 6 p.m. that day, but his father said he wasn’t.

Emil, 59, and Rodica, 53, are each charged with first-degree murder in the May 7, 2013, death of their 15-year-old son.

The boy, a diabetic, died from bacterial sepsis due to complications from starvation and neglect.

Both Mitchell and Const. Larry Pugliese, the first police officer on the scene, said the boy was nothing but skin and bones when they saw him dead in his bed.

Pugliese said Alexandru was “like a skeleton.”

He said it was clear to him the teen was dead.

“The boy was extremely thin,” Pugliese told the Court of Queen’s Bench murder trial.

“I thought at the time maybe (he weighed) 20 pounds,” Pugliese said.

Mitchell, too, said the teen was emaciated when she viewed his corpse.

“He basically looked like a skeleton with skin,” she said.


[19] Seth Johnson, adopted son of Timothy and Sarah Johnson, died because the adoptive parents preferred praying to an imaginary magic man over evidence based medicine. From the news story as reported here, we have this:

Two parents in Minnesota could face jail time after they allegedly tried to save their dying son with prayers instead of taking him to a hospital.

Authorities charged Timothy and Sarah Johnson last week with child neglect over the March 2015 death of their adopted son Seth. The 7-year-old came down with pancreatitis and acute sepsis, but the parents opted to treat him themselves because they had “issues going to doctors” and were concerned about the medications they would prescribe, according to news station KMSP.

Based off their own research, the couple instead diagnosed Seth with post-traumatic disorder, a brain injury and fetal alcohol syndrome.

“The parents admitted to police that his behavior had changed, that he wasn’t sleeping, was throwing himself down stairs and was taking hours to eat Yet, they refused to do what most parents would have done and take him to a doctor,” Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said in a statement.


From here, we learn the following:

The morning before the child’s death, the son called his parents to say his brother would not eat or interact and had stopped talking. The teen said he could not get his brother out of bed that morning and he was lethargic and limp.

When they returned home that evening, the parents found the seven-year-old laying on the floor. He did not react to their arrival.

Timothy and Sarah reportedly prayed for their son’s health, picked him up and brought him to the table for dinner. They fed him two bites of pizza by cutting it into bite-sized portions and putting it into his mouth. The parents then gave him a bath and laid him down to sleep with on a mattress in their room without a blanket or a pillow.

The Johnsons said they discussed seeking medical care for their son, but decided to wait until morning to determine whether it would be necessary.


From the same source, we have this statement, from Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman:

The charges against Timothy and Sarah Johnson in the death of their seven-year-old son were the result of an extensive and independent review by the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office.

Paramedics were called to the couple’s Plymouth house on Monday March 30, 2015 and young Seth was pronounced dead despite his father’s attempt at CPR.

Our office did not receive the case, or even hear about it, until almost nine months later in December 2015. When we read the case reports, we approached it as a homicide case. After all, he had bruising all over his body. He had two large lesions on the back of his heels. The parents admitted to police that his behavior had changed, that he wasn’t sleeping, was throwing himself down stairs and was taking hours to eat. Yet, they refused to do what most parents would have done and take him to a doctor.

Worse, the Johnsons went out of town to attend a wedding three days before Seth died. They left him in the care of his 16-year-old brother. The young man called his parents Sunday morning, telling them that Seth stopped talking on Saturday, that he could not get out of bed and had not been eating. The parents decided to leave the gathering right then, until the 16-year-old called back and said he was eating some Cheerios. They finally arrived home that night.

The Hennepin County Medical Examiner needed months to complete a thorough autopsy. They could determine that Seth died of acute pancreatitis and possible sepsis. But the medical examiner could not make the link between the cause of death and the actions of the parents.

We spent a year reviewing all the evidence. We consulted with a child-abuse pediatrician who reviewed all of the medical information and investigative files to advise us on this one simple question: Could he link the parents’ actions, or inactions, to Seth developing pancreatitis and dying? He could not.

As a result, we charged Timothy and Sarah Johnson with the most serious crime the law allows: neglect of a child resulting in substantial physical harm, which is a gross misdemeanor.

We cannot comprehend how a parent would leave a very sick seven-year-old to the care of a 16-year-old so they can go away for a weekend. Nor can we comprehend how the parents refused to come home Sunday morning to care for their sick child when they were notified of his serious condition. Nor can we comprehend why the parents did not call an ambulance Sunday night to immediately obtain medical help when they finally got home.

The Johnsons, of course, are presumed innocent. But we are going to use all of our resources to prove them guilty of neglect of a child resulting in substantial physical harm and ask for the strongest penalty allowed under the statute and sentencing guidelines.


[20] Ella Foster, aged 2, who died of preventable pneumonia because her parents, Jonathan & Grace Foster, were members of a fundamentalist church in Reading, Pennsylvania, that rejected evidence-based medicine, and preferred to hold conversations with an imaginary magic man instead. From the article on the case in the New Haven Register, we learn that the pastor of the church, the Rev. Rowland Foster (who was also Ella's grandfather) is being indicted on felony charges, connected with Pennsylvania state laws requiring clergy members, teachers and other "mandated reporters" to turn over details of suspected child abusers over to the authorities for investigation.

From the news article:

Foster, 72, pastor of a Faith Tabernacle Congregation church district in eastern Pennsylvania, was charged with a felony this month under a state law requiring clergy members, teachers and other “mandated reporters” to turn the names of suspected child abusers over to authorities for investigation. The law makes no exception for clergy who happen to be related to the abused child, as Foster was to Ella.

Most states have similar laws that require clergy to report abuse.

“He was well aware of the fact that this child was in need of medical treatment and he never reported it, nor do I believe that he ever had the intention to report it,” Berks County District Attorney John Adams, whose office is prosecuting Foster, said in an interview.

Cathleen Palm, of the Pennsylvania-based Center for Children’s Justice, said she hopes the prosecution, at a minimum, will spur action in the Legislature to protect children whose parents don’t seek necessary medical care based on religion.

“What the district attorney has done is clearly pivotal,” she said.

Neither the Rev. Foster nor his attorney returned calls for comment. Foster is due in court next month for a preliminary hearing that will likely attract a heavy presence of church members.

Ella’s parents, Jonathan and Grace Foster, were charged earlier with involuntary manslaughter and await trial. Police have said Jonathan Foster attributed Ella’s death to “God’s will.”


The same article reports that 25 children whose parents belong to the same sect have died in recent years in similar circumstances.

[21] Abigail Piland, died aged just 3 days, because her parents, Joshua and Rachel Piland, refused medical treatment in favour of prayer, after Abigail developed complications from jaundice. When the couple had a second child, Verity, the authorities moved swiftly to remove her to a hospital the moment she developed similar complications, as reported here ...

LANSING - Last year, when Joshua and Rachel Piland’s infant daughter died of complications from jaundice after the couple allegedly refused to seek medical treatment because of their religious beliefs, officials charged them with manslaughter.

Two weeks ago, when Rachel gave birth to another daughter with similar health problems, the couple again refused medical treatment. So, hours after Verity Piland's birth, state officials seized the newborn and took her to the hospital, where she received lifesaving blood transfusions.

The dramatic series of events, laid out in court records, began in February 2017 when police were called to the Pilands’ home several hours after 3-day-old Abigail Piland died.

The Pilands told investigators they ignored a midwife's advice to seek medical treatment for the infant because “God makes no mistakes,” and they believe in the power of prayer, the State Journal previously reported.

Rather than seek medical treatment for Abigail, who was born at their home near the Lansing Country Club, the Pilands tried to treat her jaundice by keeping her in a sunny room. After she died, the couple spent hours praying for the infant’s resurrection, the records show.


Later on, the article continues:

Court records do not say whether a midwife assisted with Verity Piland's July 17 birth, but someone filed a complaint that same day with Child Protective Services.

Officials acted swiftly, citing "anticipatory neglect" as they petitioned an Ingham County Circuit Court judge to remove Verity from her parents' care.

“There are current concerns for the safety and wellbeing of the newborn baby as the previous concerns which brought this family to the court’s attention have yet to be rectified,” a CPS investigator wrote.

A judge agreed, and within hours of her birth, Verity was taken to a local hospital.

Doctors immediately noticed the newborn was “significantly jaundiced” and said she may have Rh disease, which would require a “massive” blood transfusion to combat the problem, the court records show.

Rh disease, also known as Rh incompatibility, is a form of anemia which the National Institute of Health says can be dangerous, but is usually detected and treated with standard medical care during and after pregnancy.


[22] Mary Fusari, died aged 10 months from malnutrition and dehyration. More on this from here:

A pair of Christians have reacted with shock after they were charged with murder following the death of their baby daughter from malnutrition and dehydration.

Seth Welch and Tatiana Fusari, both 27, refused to get medical help for ‘religious reasons’ and a lack of trust in medical services.

They now face murder and first-degree child abuse following the death of Mary in Solon Township, north of Grand Rapids, Michigan.


A little later on, the article has this:

The court heard that when the first responders arrived they noticed the 10-month-old had sunken eyes and cheeks, and a lack of a pulse.

They declared her dead at the scene and an autopsy ruled that she had died as a result of neglect by her parents. The Kent County couple admitted their daughter had been skinny and underweight for at least a month, an affidavit alleged.

The parents didn’t seek medical help for religious reasons, fear of having Child Protective Services called and a lack of trust in medical services, according to records.

The parents are being held without bond and court records don’t list lawyers who can speak on their behalf.

Welch and Fusari have two older children together, aged two and four.

Child Protective Services filed on Monday a neglect case against the parents involving their two eldest children.


[23] The 6 year old adopted son of Romella Martinez, whose partner killed the child by holding the child's head under the hot water tap of a bath for 5 to 10 minutes, whilst allegedly performing an "exorcism" to "cast out a demon" (will this mediaeval bullshit never fuck off and die the death it deserves to?). NBC News has more on this story, viz:

Pablo Martinez told police that he was performing an exorcism on the little boy Thursday because the child "was demonic and had a demon inside of him."

The boy's adoptive mother, Romelia Martinez, told detectives that her son "had been acting demonic" and her husband offered to give the boy and their other child a bath. She told police that she could hear gurgling coming from the bathroom and when she opened the door she saw Pablo Martinez holding the 6-year-old underneath the faucet in the bathtub, according to the complaint.

Romelia Martinez said she yelled at him to stop and he told her that "he had to do it." She then called a pastor and when he did not answer she called 911, telling the operator that at that time her husband was attempting CPR and poured cold water on the child.

Pablo Martinez told investigators he poured hot water down the boy's throat to try to "cast out the demon" after he witnessed the boy have an "unnatural fit of rage." He said the child was under the water for five to 10 minutes, the complaint states. The other child eventually left the bathroom in tears.

Pablo Martinez told investigators that he thought the hot water was working to cast out the demon. He was taken into custody on a first-degree murder charge.

Police found the child in a room propped against a pillow. He was rushed to the hospital where he was pronounced dead. According to the court documents, the boy had burn marks on 15 percent of his body, including his head, elbows, and forearms.


More also from CNN on this story, along with the local news agency from the Tuscon area.
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Re: Religious fundamental parents and their children's health

#11  Postby Evolving » Oct 07, 2022 12:45 pm

What a horrible litany of needless suffering.
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Re: Religious fundamental parents and their children's health

#12  Postby don't get me started » Oct 08, 2022 6:41 am

Evolving wrote:What a horrible litany of needless suffering.


And you have to consider the brass fucking neck of these Abrahamic types who claim that their faith is based on morality.
Yeah, right. What kind of moral code manages to find place for prohibitions on figurative art and mandated holidays in the top ten things you need to do to be a good person?

You'd think 'thou shalt not engage in activities which will kill children, or cause them to die by neglect' might have made it into the top ten.
Along with, 'Thou shalt not rape or engage in any other non consensual sexual activity' or 'Thou shalt not hold any person as a slave' which should have been up there in the list of things that sinning humanity really needed to be told not to do.

Mind you, given the craven moral cowardice and obsession with power, control and punishment that many of the Abrahamics have demonstrated over the centuries, they would have found a way round these commandments.
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