Respectful Insolence

About a year ago in Wisconsin, an 11-year-old girl named Madeleine Neumann died of diabetic ketoacidosis thanks of the irrational religious beliefs of her parents, who prayed for her but did not take her to a physician even as Madeleine became weaker and more ill, her deterioration leading to a most unpleasant death. Highly unusual in such cases, the DA actually prosecuted the parents for second-degree reckless homicide. Given the unjustifiably privileged position irrational religious justifications for doing horrible things have in our society, I was even more shocked that this case went to trial. Today, I’m even more shocked to learn that the verdict is in and the verdict is guilty as charged:

WAUSAU, Wis. (AP) — A mother accused of praying instead of seeking medical help for her dying 11-year-old daughter was found guilty Friday of second-degree reckless homicide.

A Marathon County jury deliberated for about four hours before convicting Leilani Neumann, 41, of Weston. She faces up to 25 years in prison, but no sentencing date had been set.

She remains free on bond and declined to comment after the verdict was announced.

Neumann’s daughter Madeline died from untreated diabetes on March 23, 2008, surrounded by people praying for her. When she stopped breathing, her parents’ business and Bible study partners finally called 911.

Prosecutors contend a reasonable parent would have known something was gravely wrong with Madeline and that her mother recklessly killed her by ignoring obvious symptoms, such as her inability to walk or talk.

Exactly. This was not rocket science. This was not subtle. Madeleine’s condition deteriorated over several days. Relatives were begging the parents to take her to a doctor, but instead they prayed, likely viewing this as a test of faith:

During closing arguments, Falstad described Neumann as a religious zealot who let her daughter, called Kara by her parents, die as a test of faith.

“Basic medical care would have saved Kara’s life — fluids and insulin,” Falstad said. “There was plenty of time to save Kara’s life.”

Indeed there was. Even very close to the end, there would still have been a good chance that medical intervention involving placing Kara in an ICU, rehydrating her with IV fluids, and giving her insulin and potassium could have saved her life. Doctors never got that chance. Consistent with being religious zealots, the family remain unrepentant and defends their actions:

Linehan said Neumann didn’t realize her daughter was so ill and did all she could do to help, in line with the family’s belief in faith-healing.

He said Neumann was a devout Christian and took good care of her four children.

“The woman did everything she could to help her,” Linehan said. “That is the injustice in this case.”

Neumann’s stepfather, Brian Gordon, said his stepdaughter did nothing wrong in trusting in God to heal her daughter.

“We should have that right in this country,” he said.

No, Madeline/Kara should have had the right to life, which scientific medicine could have given her. She could have lived many more decades if her diabetes had been treated. Her parents denied her that right. Instead, her parents killed her through medical neglect, plain and simple.

One thing I’ve never understood, even before I drifted away from Catholicism: Why do some religions consider it wrong to take advantage of science and medicine to save their own lives or lives of their children? From a religious perspective, didn’t God endow humans with the intellect, curiosity, and ability to pursue science in order to discover the causes of diseases and how to treat them effectively? Why would He do that if He didn’t want his followers to take advantage of them?

There’s a famous old fable that goes something like this. A couple is in their house as flood waters come closer and closer. Police come by and offer to evacuate them because the waters are rising rapidly and their house could soon be under water. The couple decines.

“God will save us,” they say. The police, shaking their heads, leave. There are many other people who need to be evacuated before the floodwaters arrive.

After several hours, the flood waters have risen to the point where the entire first floor of the couple’s house is under water, and the water’s rise shows no signs of slowing down. Officials in a motorboat drive up to the house with a bullhorn and urge the couple, who are now looking out of their second flood bedroom window at the rising water, to get in the boat so that they can be taken to safety. Again, the couple declines.

“God will save us,” they say. The motorboat leaves in order to save other people in the area, who are on their roofs or on the second floor or attics of their houses.

Several hours later, the water has risen so that there is only a small patch at the apex of the roof of the couple’s house that is not under water. A National Guard helicopter flies over the house, a rope ladder hanging down, and a Guardsman urges them through a bullhorn to climb up into the helicopter. For the third time, the couple declines.

“God will save us,” they say. The helicopter pilot reluctantly flies away. There are other people on other roofs, and he can save them.

The water continues rising, and the couple is washed away and drowns. They find themselves in front of God’s throne and ask of Him, “We had faith that you would save us. Why didn’t you save us, O Lord?”

The Lord responds, “What do you mean, foolish ones? I sent police, a boat, and a helicopter to save you. You refused all three.”

Adults may have the right to refuse medical care for themselves for, in essence, almost any reason, be it belief in alternative medicine, a rational belief that the chance of success are too low, or irrational religious beliefs. As in the case of Daniel Hauser, they do not have the right to make their children pay the price for their irrationality. If Daniel Hauser dies, his mother should be prosecuted similarly. After all, her fear of chemotherapy and irrational faith in a bogus religion and bogus “alternative” medicine will in that case have led to the negligent homicide of Daniel, every bit as much as the Neumann’s religious beliefs led to the negligent homicide of Kara.

In the event that Daniel’s Hodgkin’s disease kills him, Colleen Hauser won’t be prosecuted, of course, because cancer takes much longer to kill than untreated diabetic ketoacidosis. This will allow obfuscation and arguments that he would have died anyway or that, another typical argument, that child protective services caused Daniel’s death because they prevented him from getting the “alternative cancer cures” that would have saved his life.

Unfortunately, when the parents hew to irrational beliefs, be they religious in nature or faith in pseudoscience, all too often their children pay the price.

Comments

  1. #1 Prometheus
    May 23, 2009

    If these parents are so “solid” in their faith that God will intervene for them, why did they have a lawyer?

    Seriously! If they thought that God would save their daughter from diabetes – something that is not amenable to reason or pleading – why wouldn’t they trust God to “soften the hearts” of the judge and jury trying their case?

    I think this shows the inherent hypocrisy of these “believers”. They go on and on about the few instances in The Bible where God heals the sick, but they completely ignore the innumerable stories where God changes the minds of men and women. The story of the exodus from Egypt has at least two (and maybe more) instances of just that. And isn’t there a story about three young men thrown into a fiery furnace?

    If they believe that God will protect them (and their children) from mindless, heartless disease but won’t protect His own “true believers” from “injustice” (or, as I see it, “justice”), what sort of “faith” is that?

    They wouldn’t take their daughter to a doctor, even as she spent weeks dying in front of their eyes, but the moment they run into a spot of legal bother, they bleat for their court-appointed lawyer? It seems that they are only willing to risk their children’s lives for their faith.

    The concept of faith-healing has been “debunked” so often – usually by the deaths of the faithful (or their helpless children) – that it no longer merits consideration. However, I think there is still some need to investigate the impact of “faith” on the legal system. Let’s have those who stand accused of the next faith-based homicide rely on God instead of a defense attorney.

    That would show how much faith they have in their beliefs.

    Prometheus

  2. #2 Pareidolius
    May 23, 2009

    “The woman did everything she could to help her,” Linehan said. “That is the injustice in this case.”

    Uh, not everything, not by a long shot. This isn’t just a tale of religion, it’s also a tale of mental illness. Sadly, this crazed zealot has not only killed one child, but has also detonated a bomb in the emotional lives of her other four children as well. Unless they get some decent therapy (which I doubt will happen), they are now condemned to sift through the wreckage of their family life for the rest of their years. Magical thinking never turns out well.

  3. #3 jennifer
    May 23, 2009

    The fact that the kid has a diagnosis belies any BS the parents spin about faith in God above medicine. If your faith in God is such that you won’t countenance medical intervention for a disease, why the F was your child seen by a doctor at any point?

  4. #4 Prup (aka Jim Benton)
    May 23, 2009

    This post inspires so many thoughts I don’t know where to begin, and this will be a mix of thoughts political, medical, and theological.

    First every skeptic — and especially every medical skeptic — out there should drop a dollar bil in an envelope and send it to that DA for his reelection campaign, just so he knows that there are people who appreciate his courage in going through with the prosecution.

    Also political, you might contact your state representative and encourage them to fund the state CPS more, because I am coming more and more to the opinion that cases like the Hausers — and others where the result is tragic but doesn’t make the papers — and this one mean that any other chidren under the control of parents like this should be removed from their ‘care.’

    As for your religious point, the story you tell explains much of the difference between Catholicism and Protestantism, and is a very Catholic point of view. (I did not ‘drift’ away from Catholicism, I realized I was an atheist and then left the religion — and this was 47 years ago.)

    With all its flaws, Catholicism (at least the Catholicism I grew up with) never accepted the ‘salvation is by faith alone’ idea that leads to this sort of horror when taken to extremes. (It also never accepted Creationism, evolution was taught as an uncontroversial matter of fact in my science classes — again, 50 years ago.)

    (On a different theological point, how do those ‘name it and claim it’ Christians — who believe that ‘whatsoever you ask the Father for in my name, it shall be given to you’ — reconcile the deaths from faith healing.)

    And, to jump topics once more, I’d lke to suggest that our “Blinking Box of Brilliance” start a thread on what — ideally — legal policy should be towards woo-caused deaths. You argue that an adult should be free to refuse treatment and choose woo, but adults do not exist on desert islands — the ones that do are irrelevant to this since they have no choice but to depend on ‘natural remedies.’ They are spouses, parents, employees. Should a spouse or parent be allowed/encouraged to sue a woo-meister for wrongful death? What about an employer who can demonstrate the “Joe was a crucial employee to my business and his loss cost me $X”?

    Strikes me there are lots of angles to this, might make a great thread.

  5. #5 Penh
    May 23, 2009

    I can’t wait until some Christian parents are brought to trial because they stood around and prayed for help while their child was drowning in their swimming pool. “We did everything we could,” they’d say. “We prayed for God to turn the water to ice, or Jell-o, or lift little Mordecai out of the water, or teach him to swim, or do that whole Jesus walking-on-water thing, or just surprise us with some awesome miracle. What more could be expected from us?”

    Except, of course, that’s never going to happen, because even the more ridiculously deluded fundamentalist doofus knows damned well that it wouldn’t work. Why should medical care be any different?

  6. #6 Arnold T Pants
    May 23, 2009

    I heard a comment by the parents’ attorney, who apparently shares their religious views, that was along the lines of “They trusted in God over medicine because God is greater than any ambulance.” I wonder if the defendant choosing an attorney as crazy as they are is grounds for a mistrial. I hope not.

  7. #7 daedalus2u
    May 23, 2009

    I remember hearing about a similar event (but I think this one was real), where a devout Jewish couple was having their first child, and the OB said a C-section was needed. Knowing that VBAC is often problematic, they didn’t want to have a C-section and phoned their rabbi to ask his advice. He said that they had to have the C-section because preserving the life of the infant and mother was more important than avoiding a C-section. The couple really didn’t want to do this, and (because they were religious wack-a-loons), asked about waiting for a miracle (as if that was a legitimate course of action). The rabbi responded back that a miracle had already happened, that they were with someone who knew what to do and was capable of doing it and save both lives. That was a miracle. They had the C-section.

  8. #8 Skemono
    May 23, 2009

    Linehan said Neumann didn’t realize her daughter was so ill and did all she could do to help, in line with the family’s belief in faith-healing.

    Uh… if the family really “didn’t realize [their] daughter was so ill”, then what was all that praying and faith-healing about?

    “Oh God, my daughter’s not really ill, but could you heal her anyways?”

  9. #9 kathleen
    May 23, 2009

    The very difficult thing is that you can’t argue “faith”-they will twist this into some sort of lesson that god was trying to teach them-they will say that he wanted their daughter back in heaven with him..They will look at the legal ramifications as a “test” of the purity their faith-even if they are convicted…kind of like Job.

  10. #10 J Todd DeShong
    May 23, 2009

    I personally hope that God gives Leilani Neumann just what he gave Christine Maggiore after she let her daughter EJ die of P. carnii (AIDS penumonia): a few years of misery and then her own painful death!
    JTD

  11. #11 dave S
    May 23, 2009

    Sad Story. As with you Orac, I don’t get the “theological” rejection of medical care.

    Just as an aside, even the Amish use modern medicine. You can see them waiting on family after surgery in Lancaster general hospital in PA. The only thing is that seek a neighbor or someone to drive them there. Seems like a reasonable accommodation of faith vs. science and technology.

  12. #12 dave S
    May 23, 2009

    Sad Story. As with you Orac, I don’t get the “theological” rejection of medical care.

    Just as an aside, even the Amish use modern medicine. You can see them waiting on family after surgery in Lancaster general hospital in PA. The only thing is that they seek a neighbor or someone to drive them there. Seems like a reasonable accommodation of faith vs. science and technology.

  13. #13 Anthro
    May 23, 2009

    To those who have posted about surprise that this case was prosecuted (including Orac):

    I live in Wisconsin (transplanted from the West Coast years ago) and as much as I criticize it (and the whole midwest mindset) at times, I have to say that while Wisconsin is a pretty religious place, that religion is, for the most part, mainstream Catholicism and Lutheranism, both of which (especially the Lutherans) are pretty moderate (there are a few wack-a-doo Lutheran sects that thrive here, but they aren’t as radical as the Neumann’s brand of fundamentalism).

    People here are sensible and while they take their faith seriously, they stick to the basics and neither the Catholic or Lutheran church have any problem with evolution, science or doctors. Lutherans even guardedly agree that abortion is sometimes in the woman’s best interests (the ELCA synod anyway).

    Wisconsin has a strong and liberal homeschooling statute that (I think) was pushed by this same mainstream religious influence. So while there are plenty of kids being taught at home, the ones I’ve met at social gatherings are teaching science.

    This kind of twisted interpretation of faith offends our sensible, hard-working ethos and it insults people who subscribe to mainstream religion and don’t see a conflict with science and reason. Now, I am not religious and have a real conflict with why anyone would continue to have “faith” after learning proper science, but I respect these people and much prefer them to the New Agers and mormons, et. al, that are so prevalent in the west.

  14. #14 Brian
    May 23, 2009

    In the end, this is just very sad. If we were, indeed, made in God’s image, than medical science is natural, right?

  15. #15 Brian
    May 23, 2009

    In the end, this is just very sad. If we were, indeed, made in God’s image, than medical science is natural, right?

  16. #16 JD
    May 23, 2009

    Wow, they just stirred a batch of tard taffy in a bucket of stupid.

  17. #17 happeh
    May 23, 2009

    “Unfortunately, when the parents hew to irrational beliefs, be they religious in nature or faith in pseudoscience, all too often their children pay the price”

    Every single one of these columns talks about the failings of the parents or other relatives. Why don’t you talk about why the parents or relatives do not trust the medical or authoritative community? I think we can put aside religious reasons as a ploy for the courts.

    Have you ever considered that it is your failing and the failing of the medical community to gain the trust of the parents and relatives that causes these situations? Have you considered that your brusque, authoritative, dismissive, condescending, impatient attitude might put off people? That no one wants to listen to what you have to say or trust you medically, because on a personal level you are extremely objectionable people?

    I went to the doctor once. I had a problem that frightened me. The doctor made it plain he was busy and did not have time to coddle a frightened patient. Would I please make up my mind or leave now?

    I personally would never trust any doctor after that incident. His time was more important than my health. He could care less about the effect on my mental health, of hearing that the person supposed to be caring for me was telling me he was busy and to get out.

    Maybe this Colleen Hauser and these other parents had the same experience I did. Maybe they met with doctors who said “this is what you need to do”, and when the parents balked, the doctors either said “get out you are wasting my time”, or the doctors treated the parents like they were stupid for having an emotional reaction to things they did not really understand.

    I think you should stop pointing the finger at people. You are supposed to be the smarter and better ones in this situation. If you are smarter and better, than you should be able to outsmart the parents and trick them into accepting your help, instead of being abusive, aggressive, and forcing your help on them with the help of the courts.

  18. #18 Dedj
    May 23, 2009

    “I personally would never trust any Jew after that incident”
    “I personally would never trust any woman after that incident”
    “I personally would never trust any black person after that incident”
    “I personally would never trust any pilot after that incident”

    The above statements look silly, huh?

    You might want to think why that is.

    As a side note: during my time working in mental health, the people who were most likely to proclaim that no-one in the hospital/clinic was bothering with them, that no-one was listening and that no-one was paying attention to them were unanimously the people whose whole life “just happened” to have been full of people who ‘didn’t listen/care/bother’.

    Rather curious I think.

  19. #19 Jen
    May 23, 2009

    (there are a few wack-a-doo Lutheran sects that thrive here, but they aren’t as radical as the Neumann’s brand of fundamentalism).>>>>>>>>>

    I grew up with the WELS brand of fundamentalism shoved down my throat as a kid. ::shudder::

  20. #20 Kimpatsu
    May 23, 2009

    (The defence lawyer)said Neumann was a devout Christian and took good care of her four children.
    By definition, if they let their daughter die, they did NOT take good care of her.

  21. #21 Kimpatsu
    May 23, 2009

    (The defence lawyer)said Neumann was a devout Christian and took good care of her four children.
    By definition, if they let their daughter die, they did NOT take good care of her.

  22. #22 Kimpatsu
    May 23, 2009

    (The defence lawyer)said Neumann was a devout Christian and took good care of her four children.
    By definition, if they let their daughter die, they did NOT take good care of her.

  23. #23 jennifer
    May 23, 2009

    happeh – I have met a few doctors I never want to see again. The last nurse practitioner I saw at Kaiser put me off seeing Kaiser doctors (and their mortality rate for my mother’s kind of cancer makes me want to firebomb every last one of their effing hospitals). But BFD. I had a cesarean a couple years ago because my child was being strangled with his cord. God – if you believe such things – wanted him and me to die. A doctor – brusque and standoffish as she was, bless her heart – saved our lives. A common problem in the pro-homebirth community is the idea that the experience you have is more important than the outcome. Homebirth + dead baby = better than going home with a live kid and a scar across your belly. That’s NUTS, as is the idea of shunning medical help because some doctor in your past pissed you off. Which is not to say I think we deserve abuse at the hands of doctors – I believe the OB industry has plenty of responsibility for the current cesarean rate, and I think they need to clean up their acts. But it doesn’t erase the fact that if you need medical help, you need a doctor, and God – if you so believe – has provided them for you. Religious people who turn up their nose at the good fortune of living in a first world country with world-class medicine just fuck me right off. Ask your local homeless if they wold like to be condescended to by a doctor.

  24. #24 luna1580
    May 23, 2009

    happeh-

    I went to the doctor once. I had a problem that frightened me. The doctor made it plain he was busy and did not have time to coddle a frightened patient. Would I please make up my mind or leave now?

    I personally would never trust any doctor after that incident.

    to second Dedj’s comment, could you possibly be more narrow-minded and guilty of stereotypically judging an entire, diverse group of people based on one personal experience?

    that’s about as valid as someone saying, “when i was a school-child, a boy who played a sport was mean to me. needless to say, for all the rest of my days i never trusted anyone who had ever played any sport to be a kind person. i knew each and every one of them was cruel.”

    how ridiculous does that sound? what a terribly prejudiced person you must be, if you would judge every doctor out there based on once interacting with one member of the profession who was distracted, dismissive, or otherwise insensitive to your needs. and to not just judge them in your own small mind, but to hold up your single, personal anecdote as a reason why others should follow you in judging all doctors is truly despicable.

    have fun preaching fear and judgmental intolerance, it makes a fool of you.

  25. #25 Gil
    May 23, 2009

    I can remember quite a few years back reading a Reader’s Digest article on “the ‘healing power’ of prayer”. I wonder where they’d be on this? Similarly that rag also had an article of how “archaeology ‘proves’ the Bible’, i.e. incredibly scant evidence on Biblical events a couple of which atheists agree probably happen (i.e. King David probably did exist. Noah, on the other hand . . .)

    He said Neumann was a devout Christian and took good care of her four children.

    Should read: her children never had any life-threatening conditions until now.

    The rabbi responded back that a miracle had already happened, that they were with someone who knew what to do and was capable of doing it and save both lives

    A breath of rational religious fresh air.

  26. #26 eta c
    May 23, 2009

    Well, to take another point of view there’s the old story of the person who was drowning. A lifeboat came by and they refused to be rescued saying “God will save me.” A helicopter came by, same response. The person eventually drowned. They appeared before God and asked “I prayed to be saved, why didn’t you help?” God replied, “I sent a boat and a helicopter, what more did you want?”

    So, the point is that, despite the attitude of the fundamentalist atheists, not everyone who holds to a religous belief denies modern science, medicine, and evolution. To argue otherwise is to make the same logical fallacy as the infamous “Expelled” and argue that atheism and evolution leads to Nazism (exception to Godwin’s law applied for.) Or to quote James Thurber “You might as well bend over backwards as lean too far forward.”

  27. #27 eta c
    May 23, 2009

    Arrrgh. Next time read the whole post before responding. Orac makes the same point. Apologies.

  28. #28 angry doc
    May 23, 2009

    Yes. One time the guy who handed me a parachute was rude, so I refused to pull the cord even as I was free-falling from 10,000 feet…

  29. #29 Bryn
    May 23, 2009

    I have never quite understood something. If I were to start a religion tomorrow and one of the tenants of that faith was human sacrifice, with the stipulation that the victim, er, offering was a volunteer, of sound mind and all that, I’d be locked up for even proposing such a thing. Parents are sacrificing their children just as surely as if they had the kid on an altar and a knife to their throat and nothing is done? As is usual in these cases, I predict the parents will get a “parenting class”, a suspended sentence and a few months of social workers trooping into their house, but no other penalty for killing another human being. I just don’t understand that.

    For crying out loud, they hauled a bunch of Santeria people in and made them verify that their sacrificial chickens and goats were being treated and then killed in a humane way. Too bad nobody’ll do that for religious nuts’ kids.

  30. #30 Alison
    May 24, 2009

    IIRC, when the story first surfaced, the Neumanns were actually alone when their daughter died – the folks “praying by her bedside” were all on the internet. Mrs. Neumann had posted several requests for additional prayers on her cult’s forum as her daughter lay dying. Do we know that there were other people physically present now? If so, they should be standing in front of a judge, as well.

    The idea that praying is the best thing to do – that God is better than an ambulance – is ridiculous. If he were, he’d certainly be better than a washer and dryer, and I could spend a lot less time on laundry by just praying for clean clothes every day.

  31. #31 freelunch
    May 24, 2009

    Jen, I too grew up WELS. It’s a strange combination of reality seeking and reality aversion, indeed. Biology is the perfect flashpoint — wonderful for helping with health, but completely wrong when it shows us that there is common descent and ancient life.

    This is a case where I would expect them to be completely behind the prosecutor. I could ask some relatives if WELS has a view on this, but I’ve found that family gatherings are best when religion is not discussed.

  32. #32 Arnold T Pants
    May 24, 2009

    happeh- I should point out that regardless of how smart a doctor may be, tricking a patient into doing something would probably be unethical.

    That said, this isn’t a case of a doctor being rude to a patient because they haven’t quit smoking. This is about a mother watching her child as she died a completely preventable death. It would be akin to praying for God to put out a grease fire in your kitchen while a fire extinguisher is in arms’ reach. You don’t trust the fire extinguisher. It circumvents God’s will, and you just KNOW that God will save your house. Sounds pretty stupid? What really happened here is even worse.

  33. #33 T. Bruce McNeely
    May 24, 2009

    Happeh sez: I think you should stop pointing the finger at people.

    T. Bruce sez: I think you should take your own advice.

  34. #34 Sami
    May 24, 2009

    It is a serious failure of anything approaching reason. It borders on hubris to assume that God should heal illnesses by a miracle, just for you and you alone. That somehow you’re just that important, and that you have the right to assume that all of medical science exists in defiance of God – that God wouldn’t want people to be able to help each other rather than being reliant on miracles. That *your opinion* of God supercedes reality and all good sense.

    Pray to God, but row away from the rocks.

  35. #35 swp
    May 24, 2009

    I really wonder if this problem gets undue focus. I know of children who have died at the hands of indifferent social science and that gets almost no scrutiny at all. How many children will die from starvation, poor nutrition, institutional settings, childcare, and not having the money to afford medical care. I am sure this is by far a bigger issue and this is a distraction.

    I think what really needs scrutiny is churches who advocate negligence. People who make up their own religion need to be challenged to.

    The argument to bureaucracy managed care is it is worse at managing the humane element. People have a right to die when life becomes too painful and the treatments aren’t working. People have a right to a vice that makes life more tolerable. Surrounding sick people with vicious authority is unlikely to improve a child’s chance of survival. In the event there is a good probability that a life could be saved a court should be able to step in.

  36. #36 swp
    May 24, 2009

    I really wonder if this problem gets undue focus. I know of children who have died at the hands of indifferent social science and that gets almost no scrutiny at all. How many children will die from starvation, poor nutrition, institutional settings, childcare, and not having the money to afford medical care. I am sure that is by far a bigger issue and this is a distraction.

    I think what really needs scrutiny is churches who advocate negligence. People who make up their own religion need to be challenged to.

    The argument to bureaucracy managed care is it is worse at managing the humane element. People have a right to die when life becomes too painful and the treatments aren’t working. People have a right to a vice that makes life more tolerable. Surrounding sick people with vicious authority is unlikely to improve a child’s chance of survival. In the event there is a good probability that a life could be saved a court should be able to step in.

  37. #37 LovleAnjel
    May 24, 2009

    A lot of Christian sects have an aversion to the material world. Since modern medicine is definitely material, it is seen as sinful, and prayer, which is spiritual, is the proper thing to do (this is basically what Cristian Science is about). For people of these faiths, a soul (spiritual) is more important than a body (material) and gets the primary consideration. So dying with an unblemished soul is seen as a good outcome, while living with a damaged soul is not.

    Not that I don’t think these people should get life without parole (I was, as George Carlin said, Catholic until I reached the age of reason).

  38. #38 Kim
    May 24, 2009

    Maybe I’m missing something in the comments or previous articles, but is there a reason why only the mother is being charged? Did Kara not have a father as well?

  39. The father has also been charged and has a separate trial date. I don’t understand why they weren’t on trial together, though.

  40. #40 Calli Arcale
    May 24, 2009

    Cath — I’ve never heard of people in the US being tried together in criminal court. (Civil court is a different matter.) Two accused = two trials.

  41. Really? I see it all the time on the news and stuff. It must be a question of different jurisdictions. With a bit of googling I found some examples of recent joint trials from Australia, the International Criminal Court, and older ones from the US and UK.

    I also found a Time Magazine article that says “When a crime involves more than one defendant, most prosecutors aim to try them together; indeed, joint trials have occurred in many of the most famous U.S. criminal cases.” But it is from 1965! I am amazed that it’s online. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,834861,00.html.

  42. #42 chris t smith
    May 25, 2009

    I just can’t believe that someone actually bought the story that their version of God would heal them or anyone. There is a reason God NEVER heals an amputee. He can’t….he isn’t real.
    We all witness 99 percent of Christians claiming their God heals and yet when each and everyone of them get notice that they have a terminal illness, they don’t rely on God. They go get treatment. We have all noticed that these same people have told us that they can’t wait to be with their lord in heaven. Yet when presented with the terminal illness and the opportunity to be with their God, they pray tell their blue in the face to NOT die.

    I think these people in this case actually believed their version of God would heal their daughter. I think in this case, those that actually taught them this ridiculous superstition or encourage them to trust in God should also be put on trial.

    Anyone that encouraged or supported these people in their efforts to heal their daughter though these supernatural means, should be put on trial as well.
    I feel sorry for the family that is ignorant enough to actually believe it. I feel anger to those that teach the crap and really know better.

    I can just hear them now….she is with God, she is better off now and it is what God wanted. Notice how they never provide evidence for these kinds of statements but they are happy to make the dangerous claims that just might lead others to follow the same fate. sick

  43. #43 chris t smith
    May 25, 2009

    I just can’t believe that someone actually bought the story that their version of God would heal them or anyone. There is a reason God NEVER heals an amputee. He can’t….he isn’t real.
    We all witness 99 percent of Christians claiming their God heals and yet when each and everyone of them get notice that they have a terminal illness, they don’t rely on God. They go get treatment. We have all noticed that these same people have told us that they can’t wait to be with their lord in heaven. Yet when presented with the terminal illness and the opportunity to be with their God, they pray tell their blue in the face to NOT die.

    I think these people in this case actually believed their version of God would heal their daughter. I think in this case, those that actually taught them this ridiculous superstition or encourage them to trust in God should also be put on trial.

    Anyone that encouraged or supported these people in their efforts to heal their daughter though these supernatural means, should be put on trial as well.
    I feel sorry for the family that is ignorant enough to actually believe it. I feel anger to those that teach the crap and really know better.

    I can just hear them now….she is with God, she is better off now and it is what God wanted. Notice how they never provide evidence for these kinds of statements but they are happy to make the dangerous claims that just might lead others to follow the same fate. sick

  44. #44 luna1580
    May 25, 2009

    i’m curious as to why “happeh” hasn’t responded to our calling him out on his

    “i once a met a single doctor who lacked bedside-manner. therefore, i’d never trust the profession as a whole,” =B.S.

    could it be that his woo doesn’t have any more substantial legs to stand upon?

  45. #45 What ever happened....
    May 25, 2009

    Whatever happened to the pediatrician that Orac used to link to from here… you know, the pediatrician who basically hated parents? The one who would mock parents who chose to pick the vaccines that they wanted to give their children instead of just going with the insane schedule handed out by the corrupt CDC?

    He ended up being put on trial for killing a child by not diagnosing the type 1 diabetes in a patient. Oops. Whatever happened with that trial? Do you know, Orac? Just wondering.

    ps. Vaccines are a wonderful invention aren’t they… Too bad they cause autism, diabetes, asthma, SIDS, etc. etc… What would we do without them… LOL!

  46. #46 Rex Devious
    May 25, 2009

    Whatever someone’s personal medical theory (technically hypothesis) is, isn’t reasonable to expect them to have first tested it on something else, before testing it on their child’s life?

    If you think prayer, vitamins, magic crystals or whatever can heal the human body in some way – show us you’ve successfully tested it on say, a chipped tooth first. You test the temperature of formula on your wrist before feeding it to an infant, you test the temperature of a bath with your hand before dunking a child into it – how is it anything but outright neglect if you don’t make any effort to test a particular approach to diabetes or cancer on something else first before subjecting a child to it?

    I mean hell, if you went to a doctor or surgeon who said, “OK, hang on… I saw this in a cartoon once but I’m pretty sure I can do it” – would you let them proceed? Would you think he was immune to malicious negligence lawsuits if he tried it and it didn’t work?

    I’d like to have seen the judge ask them, “Do you believe that insulin treatments had been tested on lab animals first, then on people under direct supervision of a medical staff before being suggested as something that could be self-administer; or that insulin treatments were some theory that a person with no medical training whatsoever felt like testing out on your kid? Because they obviously were aware that all established medical practices have been developed in the most careful, cautious manner available – as it would be akin to murder to just randomly try out untested approaches on critically ill people. Which is precisely what those parents did.

    And they fucking know it.

  47. #47 Rex Devious
    May 25, 2009

    Whatever someone’s personal medical theory (technically hypothesis) is, isn’t reasonable to expect them to have first tested it on something else, before testing it on their child’s life?

    If you think prayer, vitamins, magic crystals or whatever can heal the human body in some way – show us you’ve successfully tested it on say, a chipped tooth first. You test the temperature of formula on your wrist before feeding it to an infant, you test the temperature of a bath with your hand before dunking a child into it – how is it anything but outright neglect if you don’t make any effort to test a particular approach to diabetes or cancer on something else first before subjecting a child to it?

    I mean hell, if you went to a doctor or surgeon who said, “OK, hang on… I saw this in a cartoon once but I’m pretty sure I can do it” – would you let them proceed? Would you think he was immune to malicious negligence lawsuits if he tried it and it didn’t work?

    I’d like to have seen the judge ask them, “Do you believe that insulin treatments had been tested on lab animals first, then on people under direct supervision of a medical staff before being suggested as something that could be self-administer; or that insulin treatments were some theory that a person with no medical training whatsoever felt like testing out on your kid? Because they obviously were aware that all established medical practices have been developed in the most careful, cautious manner available – as it would be akin to murder to just randomly try out untested approaches on critically ill people. Which is precisely what those parents did.

    And they fucking know it.

  48. #48 Bill in Detroit
    May 25, 2009

    Chris C. sez: ‘There is a reason God NEVER heals an amputee. He can’t….he isn’t real.”

    Probably the same reason Doctors don’t cure amputees, eh?

  49. #49 Jake
    May 25, 2009

    This whole view of “our child’s illness was a test of our faith,” it’s just narcissism. When someone else has a problem, the compassionate response is not to say, “how does this relate to me?” This is not loving parenting. This is deciding that the misfortune of someone else is there for your benefit, that it revolves around you. Parents are supposed to think of their children first, and these two utterly failed at that. I don’t want to hear any more from them about how they loved their daughter. They thought of her as their telephone.

  50. #50 Jake
    May 25, 2009

    This whole view of “our child’s illness was a test of our faith,” it’s just narcissism. When someone else has a problem, the compassionate response is not to say, “how does this relate to me?” This is not loving parenting. This is deciding that the misfortune of someone else is there for your benefit, that it revolves around you. Parents are supposed to think of their children first, and these two utterly failed at that. I don’t want to hear any more from them about how they loved their daughter. They thought of her as their telephone.

  51. #51 Jen
    May 25, 2009

    Vaccines are a wonderful invention aren’t they… Too bad they cause autism>>>>>>>>>>

    If vaccines are the cause of autism, would you kindly explain to me how my *unvaccinated* child ended up with it?

    Thanks.

  52. #52 Bronze Dog
    May 25, 2009

    Probably the same reason Doctors don’t cure amputees, eh?

    Good point pointing out the other hypothesis: That god’s too impotent to be able to heal an amputee.

    Oh, well. At least doctors and such have been designing better prosthetic devices while hoping for some breakthrough in regeneration.

  53. #53 Toxic
    May 25, 2009

    “If vaccines are the cause of autism, would you kindly explain to me how my *unvaccinated* child ended up with it”?

    Did I say that vaccines were the ONLY cause of autism? Of course not sweetie. There can be many triggers. Consider yourself lucky… Had you vaccinated your child, the child would likely be a lot worse off… Good for you for not vaccinating :) For fun, what made you decide on not vaccinating your child? Oh yeah, how did your child survive without the Hep B vaccine… Inquiring minds want to know.

  54. #54 Leni
    May 25, 2009

    Had you vaccinated your child, the child would likely be a lot worse off…

    Likely? Are you saying you think a large majority of vaccine recipients are “a lot worse off”?

    I would ask you for evidence of that, but I know it doesn’t exist and that the most “likely” explanation for your stupid remark is that you are talking out of your ass.

  55. #55 Jen
    May 25, 2009

    Had you vaccinated your child, the child would likely be a lot worse off… >>>>>>

    Yes, you’re probably right, especially if I had given him Tylenol before and after each one, (like I did with my older, fully vaccinated autistic child.) Luckily, he just has very mild autism, and very mild asthma.

    (you are aware that frequent acetaminophen use during pregnancy and infancy has been shown in numerous studies to contribute to asthma, right?)

  56. #56 Toxic
    May 25, 2009

    “Likely? Are you saying you think a large majority of vaccine recipients are “a lot worse off”?

    I would ask you for evidence of that, but I know it doesn’t exist and that the most “likely” explanation for your stupid remark is that you are talking out of your ass”.

    I always find myself amazed when I come on this blog and realize that th majority of people here have difficulty with reading comprehension. I was responding to the person who wrote that her *unvaccinated* child still has autism. I believe that vaccines can trigger autism and it would be dangerous for an “at risk” child (due to immune dysfunction, family history of autoimmunity, etc) to get more vaccines. Therefore, in the case that I was posting about… an *unvaccinated* child who has autism clearly has the genetic background which would warrant being VERY careful with vaccines. Therefore, the poster was lucky that this child was not vaccinated because had the child been loaded up with mercury, aluminum, live viruses, etc… the child would likely be much worse off.

    It appears to me that you are the one talking out of your ass… considering your lack of reading comprehension skills.

  57. #57 Toxic
    May 25, 2009

    “Yes, you’re probably right, especially if I had given him Tylenol before and after each one, (like I did with my older, fully vaccinated autistic child.) Luckily, he just has very mild autism, and very mild asthma.

    (you are aware that frequent acetaminophen use during pregnancy and infancy has been shown in numerous studies to contribute to asthma, right?)”

    That’s all true. Good job not vaccinating this child. You did the right thing.

  58. #58 Leni
    May 25, 2009

    I always find myself amazed when I come on this blog and realize that th majority of people here have difficulty with reading comprehension.

    Please kindly restrict your criticisms of my reading comprehension to my reading comprehension. Do you think using my mistake to smear others is less egregious than misunderstanding a post? I don’t.

    Therefore, the poster was lucky that this child was not vaccinated because had the child been loaded up with mercury, aluminum, live viruses, etc… the child would likely be much worse off.

    I see my point about you talking out of your ass still stands :)

  59. #59 HCN
    May 25, 2009

    Whatever happened said “ps. Vaccines are a wonderful invention aren’t they… Too bad they cause autism, diabetes, asthma, SIDS, etc. etc… What would we do without them… LOL!”
    … who must be the “one who cannot figure out a ‘nym…
    Toxic said “That’s all true. Good job not vaccinating this child. You did the right thing.”

    Please show what real actual factual evidence (a paper I can find in a medical school library) that the MMR is worse than measles, mumps and rubella.

    Or that the DTaP is worse than diphtheria, tetanus or pertussis. (take note that over a dozen American babies die from pertussis each year, and that the Japanese experience shows that the DTaP reduces infant death, and several studies have shown that vaccines are protective and prevent SIDS)

    Also, how the hell do you avoid aluminum!? You can breathe and consume more aluminum per day than is in any vaccine! The bit about aluminum salts being in vaccines being worse than what is in the environment are more idiotic than it being called a “heavy” metal.

    Or that your idiot comment has anything to do with prayer for diabetes? If you really cared you would have done the quick google search that I did and find a year old interview with him on the “New York Personal Injury Attorney” blog. I leave it to you to figure that out.

    As far as reading comprehension goes, you (who can never figure out a real ‘nym) have never posted anything worth reading. All you do is toss out accusations, non sequitors, straw man arguments and absolutely no evidence.

    You, just like Common Sue (who has a similar writing style) are a blatant liar, troll and should be ignored. Which I shall do starting now.

  60. #60 Toxic
    May 25, 2009

    “Also, how the hell do you avoid aluminum!? You can breathe and consume more aluminum per day than is in any vaccine!”

    Which is all the more reason to avoid INJECTING it into babies for no reason. What’s so hard to understand?

    Ah yes… His name was Flea. Thank you. What a lame-ass he was. Should he have been brought up on charges for manslaughter for not diagnosing a child’s type 1 diabetes? Poor boy died …

  61. #61 Jen
    May 25, 2009

    That’s all true. Good job not vaccinating this child. You did the right thing.>>>>>>>>>>>>

    You’re not too bright are you?

    I made a mistake. A mistake that thousands of other parents are going to make if they continue to listen to the likes of you and Jenny McCarthy (who still doesn’t seem to *get* it.)

    You are aware that in her new book, she still advocates giving Tylenol for the “prevention” of febrile seizures, (even though the science supporting this practice is lacking.) Not to worry, though! Glutathione can always be *supplemented!* ::eye roll::

    No wonder poor Evan regresses every time he gets sick.

    Duh!

  62. #62 Heidi
    May 25, 2009

    Actually, I’d like to see any reputable study linking autism and vaccination. Key word = reputable. The one that was recanted by most of its original proponents doesn’t count.

    Because unless there is scientific evidence backing you up, by not vaccinating your child, you’re doing EXACTLY THE SAME THING the crazy fundie people are doing. “I just know what I believe is true, so I’m shunning this medical treatment.”

  63. #63 Toxic
    May 25, 2009

    “You’re not too bright are you?

    I made a mistake. A mistake that thousands of other parents are going to make if they continue to listen to the likes of you and Jenny McCarthy (who still doesn’t seem to *get* it.)”

    LOL! I’m not too bright? Really? What mistake are you talking about? Giving your child Tylenol? Well, considering that giving Tylenol to babies is pretty much standard practice for doctors pre-vaccination and for febrile seizures… I suppose that Jenny McCarthy is in good company. Why focus on her?

    “You are aware that in her new book, she still advocates giving Tylenol for the “prevention” of febrile seizures, (even though the science supporting this practice is lacking.) Not to worry, though! Glutathione can always be *supplemented!* ::eye roll::”

    Ah, no… I didn’t know that… I didn’t read her book. Of course, forget about the doctors who recommend Tylenol – Jenny is evil because of it.

    Duh! Right back at ya’

  64. #64 Toxic
    May 25, 2009

    “Because unless there is scientific evidence backing you up, by not vaccinating your child, you’re doing EXACTLY THE SAME THING the crazy fundie people are doing. “I just know what I believe is true, so I’m shunning this medical treatment.”

    Why don’t you start with backing up your science about the wonders of vaccination first? Prove to me that the schedule of vaccines that is recommended today is safe and effective for babies. I would like to see a vaccinated vs. unvaccinated study to compare health results. Please post the study and we can discuss it. Thank you.

    “I just know what I believe is true, so I’m shunning this medical treatment.”

    Why the hell does a perfectly healthy newborn baby require ‘medical treatment’. What nonsense.

  65. #65 Goldie
    May 25, 2009

    Re #64:

    I see vaccination as prevention, not cure.

    I think of it like, i wrap up my kid in warm clothes on a cold day as a ‘vaccine’ against them getting hypothermia. Now i admit, statistically, they might be able to play in the snow naked and not get hypothermia, but am i willing to take that gamble with my children?

    I hold my 3 year olds hand when we cross the road, as a ‘vaccine’ against him getting hit by a car. Now statisticlly, he may be able to get across the road more times than not without being hit by a car and killed, but i’d prefer not to be the parent of the child who becomes the statistic.

    Just my views.

  66. #66 Toxic
    May 25, 2009

    “I think of it like, i wrap up my kid in warm clothes on a cold day as a ‘vaccine’ against them getting hypothermia”.

    Ah, yeah… except that when you wrap your kid up in warm clothes on a cold day … you aren’t injecting them with aluminum and live viruses. .

    “I hold my 3 year olds hand when we cross the road, as a ‘vaccine’ against him getting hit by a car”.

    See above. This is crazy. Why do people fall for such bs?

    You guys will probably be the ones lining up for 3 flu shots in the Fall, right? Oh my….

  67. #67 Dedj
    May 25, 2009

    “I would like to see a vaccinated vs. unvaccinated study to compare health results.”

    Interesting. Exactly how would this produce usful information that cannot already be derived from the multiple less vax/more vax studies that have already been done?

  68. #68 Toxic
    May 25, 2009

    “Interesting. Exactly how would this produce usful information that cannot already be derived from the multiple less vax/more vax studies that have already been done”?

    I assumed that this would be obvious. Apparently not. Let’s see… we don’t know exactly what vaccines may be the most dangerous (your study may/may not answer that question). We don’t know which ingredients in particular vaxx’s may be a problem (your study – no good). We don’t know if the age of the child would matter – ie perhaps age of the baby matters – Hep B at birth may be the most dangerous, etc. etc… (your study – no good). Also, maybe combo vaxx’s may be more dangerous than single vaxx’s (your study – no good). So, as an example… Maybe you will have a baby who was less vaccinated but was vaccinated on day 1 of life compared to a baby who was more vaccinated but not until 2 months, etc. etc…

    You need to study unvaccinated populations vs. vaccinated. Period.

  69. #69 Some Guy
    May 25, 2009

    Even from a Christian perspective, the woman is guilty. Human sacrifice is prohibited to christians.

  70. #70 Jen
    May 25, 2009

    “Why focus on her?”>>>>>>>

    Because 1)she should know better, and 2)she is a foul-mouthed, arrogant little twit who is so *sure* that vaccines cause autism, that she refuses to consider any other possibilities. She about as smart as a sack of diapers, nastier than cat pee, and completely lacks common sense and critical-thinking skills. Why anyone bothers to listen to her is beyond my comprehension. Not to mention the fact that she rakes in millions spewing her “advice” to frightened parents, who will, unfortunately take that advice as gospel.

    “Of course, forget about the doctors who recommend Tylenol – Jenny is evil because of it.”

    No, I don’t forget the doctors who recommend Tylenol, including Dr. Kartzinel, who co-authored her new book, who should also know better.

  71. #71 Toxic
    May 25, 2009

    “Because 1)she should know better”

    Right… Apparently Jenny McCarthy is recommending the same treatment as mainstream doctors do in regards to this matter. What a nutjob she is… huh? Sorry, you can’t have it both ways.

    “2)she is a foul-mouthed, arrogant little twit who is so *sure* that vaccines cause autism, that she refuses to consider any other possibilities. She about as smart as a sack of diapers, nastier than cat pee, and completely lacks common sense and critical-thinking skills”.

    LOL! You sound like a typical 8 year old. Chill out.

    I am laughing at the absurdity of your posts… I don’t agree with Jenny McCarthy on everything BUT she is definitely right on the vaccines causing autism issue. No doubt about it.

  72. #72 Dedj
    May 25, 2009

    I’m speechless Tox.

    You actually believe a binary study will answer all those questions that you have, yet you believe studies that have compared different vaccines and delivery can’t?!?

    I’ve never met a real life honest-to-god idiot before – can I take your picture?

    It can’t even begin to convey how dim your arguement actually is.

    So I won’t.

    Bye now!

  73. #73 Christopher Dann
    May 25, 2009

    At the age of 7 I was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. There were only 3 known cases in the U.S. at the time and the doctor’s told my parents I had 6 months to live. Both of my parents are Christian as am I. There is nothing in the Bible that says anything about denying medical services or the use thereof. Plain and simple. After the diagnosis, my parents admitted me to the hospital to undergo chemotherapy, radiation treatments, and surgery. I made it past 8 months of treatments with no end in sight and the cancer continuing to spread into my ear and my brain. One day I became violently allergic to the chemotherapy and they had to take me off with no other treatments available. They decided to go in and do another biopsy and to check on the spread of the cancer and it had disappeared. I had doctor after doctor look at me wondering what or how this could have possibly occurred. I had alot of people praying for me and THAT is a miracle. Not seeking medical care for your children is not a miracle and in fact you are committing one of the most terrible sins possible, testing God.

    After the incredible miracle of surviving cancer, they said I would lose my hair, have terrible sore throats, and would never have kids. Now, at the age of 39, I am happily married, have all my hair, no sore throats, and I have 3 wonderful boys. AFTER, good medical care, and in my opinion, a true miracle. THAT is a miracle.

  74. #74 Strick9
    May 25, 2009

    I pose one question. Are you prepared to be the parent of every child? Let the blood of the children lie on those responsible for there upbringing. We should also look at the catalyst of the disease this child died from. The major coporations buy out the FDA and produce cancerous substances to feed our faces and yet nothing is done to them. Capital gain is all that matters. Eternal peace is but an afterthought.

  75. #75 Jen
    May 25, 2009

    Right… Apparently Jenny McCarthy is recommending the same treatment as mainstream doctors do in regards to this matter. What a nutjob she is… huh? Sorry, you can’t have it both ways.>>>>>>>>>

    Mainstream doctors who recommend Tylenol before vaccinations to prevent febrile seizures are just as much “nutjobs” as she is. The science doesn’t support it.

    “BUT she is definitely right on the vaccines causing autism issue. No doubt about it.”

    Reads like your mind is already made up, so no point in arguing with you.

  76. #76 Chris
    May 25, 2009

    Stick9:

    We should also look at the catalyst of the disease this child died from.

    Okay, you tell us what was the catalyst that stopped her pancreas from making insulin. Just be sure to point to the pertinent medical literature, please.

    The major coporations buy out the FDA and produce cancerous substances to feed our faces and yet nothing is done to them. Capital gain is all that matters.

    To you have any evidence for this claim? Don’t you think there might be more than a few employees of both the pharmaceutical companies and the FDA that have children with diabetes, or actually have diabetes themselves? Or are you just pulling the Pharma Shill Gambit (which is a pretty lame argument, and is pretty close to a Godwin, in that without any substantial evidence anyone who pulls the pharma shill gambit has already lost to argument due to sheer stupidity).

  77. #77 James
    May 25, 2009

    Contrary to the assumption this article makes regarding atheists I don’t think there’s anything to be gained by state intervention into parental conduct. This child, whether killed by her parents or simply raised by them is the inevitable product of their influence and as long as they’re religious, abusive, critical and controlling this child’s life and reason are effectively forfeit and there’s nothing you or I or anyone can do about it. I think it’s better to set a precedent of minding one’s own business rather than a precedent of invasion of privacy because one day the shoe may be on the other foot, your parenting techniques may be frowned upon and the idiocracy will step in to be sure your kid is getting their eight hours of TV every day and not reading Alice in Wonderland or riding his bike on the streets empty of all but criminals and police.

  78. #78 Chris
    May 26, 2009

    James, what assumption does this article make regarding atheists? I did not see a mention of that. I did see this paragraph, which says that some religions do allow for medical treatment:

    One thing I’ve never understood, even before I drifted away from Catholicism: Why do some religions consider it wrong to take advantage of science and medicine to save their own lives or lives of their children? From a religious perspective, didn’t God endow humans with the intellect, curiosity, and ability to pursue science in order to discover the causes of diseases and how to treat them effectively? Why would He do that if He didn’t want his followers to take advantage of them?

    And when was there “state intervention”? All I saw was that there were relatives begging the parents to take the child to a doctor.

    James, are you saying it is okay for parents to kill their children through medical neglect?

  79. #79 Leni
    May 26, 2009

    This child, whether killed by her parents or simply raised by them is the inevitable product of their influence and as long as they’re religious, abusive, critical and controlling this child’s life and reason are effectively forfeit and there’s nothing you or I or anyone can do about it.

    This is why we have child protective services. There is something we can do about it. Maybe it’s time to put down the Ayn Rand, no?

    I think it’s better to set a precedent of minding one’s own business rather than a precedent of invasion of privacy because one day the shoe may be on the other foot…

    The “shoe”, as it were, is the privilege of abusing one’s children. This is not a privilege. It is not a right. It is not a matter of privacy. It is a crime. Like theft, murder, or rape. The perpetrator’s right to privacy is superseded by the welfare of the victim.

    … your parenting techniques

    Murder through neglect is not a “parenting technique”. It’s a crime.

    …among the strategies parents use to raise their children. may be frowned upon and the idiocracy will step in to be sure your kid is getting their eight hours of TV every day and not reading Alice in Wonderland or riding his bike on the streets empty of all but criminals and police.

    How the hell is Alice in fucking Wonderland even remotely comparable to the refusal to give your child readily available, low-risk, life-saving medical care?

  80. #80 Chris
    May 26, 2009

    Leni, I suspect that “James” did not really read the blog post. His comments were indicative of someone who glanced at a couple of sentences and decided to blast away. The part about an “idiocracy” is quite telling when he is commenting on parts of the blog post that do not even exist!

  81. #81 Leni
    May 26, 2009

    Maybe, Chris. I have that problem too sometimes.

    Nevertheless, he did say:

    This child, whether killed by her parents or simply raised by them is the inevitable product of their influence and as long as they’re religious, abusive…

    I don’t know that I care how well he read the post. That was fucked up thing to say.

  82. #82 Chris
    May 26, 2009

    Leni, I agree. I was also reacting to his idiotic comments after reading about a mother who threw her children off of a bridge over the Willamette River. The two year old boy died, but his older sister is alive in the hospital. A couple sitting out on their porch late at night her the splashes and screams, so a rescue was done relatively quickly.

  83. #83 Shocked
    May 26, 2009

    You were “even more shocked that this case went to trial.” First off, why is this posting on scienceblogs.com… this is not related to science. As to your comment, I hope the next time you get sick you pray yourself into a grave.

  84. #84 Lynne
    March 13, 2010

    “Every single one of these columns talks about the failings of the parents or other relatives. Why don’t you talk about why the parents or relatives do not trust the medical or authoritative community?”

    They don’t trust the medical community because religious groups like this deliberately isolate themselves from outsiders, promoting ignorance and fear of the outside world. Yes, we should talk about more than just the failings of the parents; we should also the failings of their churches and clergy. If any of these clergy have directly said don’t give your kids medical care in any situation, they are encouraging illegal behavior and should be held accountable.

    As for the crazy conspiracy theory about vaccines causing autism, the ONE study that claimed to show that link turned out to be a FRAUD! Look it up!

  85. #85 Shannon
    March 10, 2011

    “died of diabetic ketoacidosis thanks of the irrational religious beliefs of her parents, who prayed for her but did not take her to a physician even as Madeleine became weaker and more ill, her deterioration leading to a most unpleasant death.” Its statements like these that prove how so many people in today’s times are still blind to the truth.

  86. #86 Houston Injury Attorneys
    March 17, 2011

    Or that your idiot comment has anything to do with prayer for diabetes? If you really cared you would have done the quick google search that I did and find a year old interview with him on the “New York Personal Injury Attorney” blog. I leave it to you to figure that out.

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