Sunday, May 24, 2009

Testing Faith and God's Mercy: FAIL

Yesterday, Religion Clause (no, not Santa's wordier brother) had this item:
Saturday, May 23, 2009
Wisconsin Jury Convicts Mother Who Relied on Faith Healing of Homicide

The Chicago Tribune and the Wausau Daily Herald report that yesterday in Wausau, Wisconsin, a state court jury found Leilani Neumann guilty of second-degree reckless homicide in the death of her 11-year old daughter, Kara, whose diabetes went untreated. Instead the girl's parents, relatives and friends prayed for her as her health deteriorated and she finally went into a coma.

In closing arguments, the prosecutor described Neumann as a religious zealot who let her daughter die as a test of faith. Defense counsel responded that Neumann did not realize her daughter was so ill and did all she could consistent with her family's belief in faith-healing. Neumann faces a possible sentence of 25 years in prison, and her attorney says an appeal is planned based on the trial court's refusal to allow a faith-healing expert to testify at trial.

Neumann's husband, Dale, will be tried separately on similar charges in July.
The case seems relevant in view of the similar case of the 13-year-old son of religious wack-job/fanatics in Minnesota who has non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, but who refuse to permit him to have the chemotherapy that would at least extend his life past his 15th birthday.

I don't know about anybody else, but I know I sure wish there were a question of the marriage license application which asked if the prospective "parents" harbored beliefs which would endanger their children's health or prohibit their getting care in case of illness or injury.

Actually, what I really wish was that people who had to test their own faith, or "God's mercy" would use themselves as the crash-test dummies and leave their kids (and everybody else) out of it. You wanna test your faith, or your God's love, go take a fucking stroll on Lake Michigan; or if your faith is dubious, Lake Erie (which has more particulate matter).


P M Prescott said...

I really wish they could charge hospitals and doctors with the same criminal charges for refusing to treat those in need because they can't pay. Would that change how our health care system works?

Woody (Tokin Librul/Rogue Scholar/ Helluvafella!) said...

Don't disagree with you there, pat...