Friday, 28 March 2008

Girl dies as parents pray for healing

An eleven year old girl, seriously ill with diabeties related problems, spent 30 days suffering as her parents refused to take her to a doctor and simply relied on 'prayer' and 'faith' to heal their daughter.

Dan Vergin, the local police chief, said she had been ill for a month, suffering symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, excessive thirst, loss of appetite and weakness.

"She just got sicker and sicker until she was dead," he said.

Even after her death, her parents, Dale and Leilani Neumann, who did not belong to any organised faith, prayed over her body in the hope that she might be resurrected.

They may not be members of any particular faith, but the fact that are of any faith at all is the reason behind this childs death. She was eleven years old and all she needed was a simple injection! But no, instead of getting her treated for her ketoacidosis, they 'prayed' for her, believing their God would heal her.

Police are now preparing a report for prosecutors. However, legal action against the parents may be prevented by a Wisconsin state statute against failing to act to protect children from bodily harm.

The statute contains an exemption for what it refers to as "treatment through prayer". Mrs Neumann, whose husband is a former policeman, said they had never expected her daughter to die.

Worse, it looks like the authorities wont be able to do anything about it! Is it just me, or should 'treatment through prayer' be re-labeled as 'neglect'? This child was far too young to understand what was happening to her, let alone make an informed decision about how she wanted to be treated for it. So the idea that her parents will get off scott-free, is a disgusting one to me.

Other sources say they have three other, older children, all of whom are still with their parents. Again, I'm appalled - those children should be removed - what happens if they get seriously ill? will they do nothing but 'pray' and 'have faith'?
I rank this along with the 'Attachment Therapists' of the world. This is an accepted form of abuse that people simply gloss over, because in general, people pray to heal the sick who will likely heal anyway. Only when the ill person dies do people notice.

It should be illegal to refuse to offer (orthodox) medical care to a child for religious reasons.


Psychodiva said...

this doesn't happen in the UK- not as much anywway- cos we prosecute the fuck out of them - and take the kids away and put it in the daily mail! and on TV! and people say- what lousy parents!!!

Hannah King said...

Mom - I'm glad, really ¬.¬ Though the Daily Mail can get a bit Blag-Mag, I still read and enjoy it XD

The link to the atachment therapy blog is actually being blogged by a woman I know who lives in Australia. Her story is quite harrowing.

That 'prayer therapy' and other 'alternative therapies' are all being dealt with as if they were tried and tested, alongside orthodox therapies, is something that is thoroughly getting on my nerves. But I don't know what to do about it - it's quite annoying c.c

Psychodiva said...

if these people can be prosecuted why can't the one you are talking about?

Hannah King said...

I wouldn't be surprised if it wassomething to do with the two cases happening in two different states >>

Wayward said...

You're absolutely right, these cases of religious extremism wherein children are abused and denied basic medical treatment are wholly related to "attachment therapy/parenting." I've gone in depth about the connections between AT/P and religious fundamentalism in this post:

Thanks for linking to my site!

Kathy said...

Sorry I am a Christian but you know God gives us brains and if your child is sick take the child to the doctor. Can't believe they could be so irresponsible.

Hannah King said...

Kathy - I agree completely. Whatever the creed, if a child needs medical attention, that child should recieve it. I understand that the family actually were held responsible, thankfully.