‘Faith Healers’ Allowed To Let Their Kids Die

In Idaho, a “pro-life” Republican decided not to change the law that shields parents of kids who die from treatable diseases. If the parents don’t believe in modern medicine and refuse to take a sick child to the hospital, the parent will not be prosecuted if the child dies.

Senator Lee Heider (R-Twin Falls) cites the First Amendment saying that parents that refuse medicine for their children are allowed to do so because they are practicing their religious beliefs. So, they say we can’t use contraception. They say we can’t abort a child. But, we can let a child die because they don’t “believe” in modern medicine? How “pro-life” of them! Unfortunately, other states have these disgusting exemptions as well.

This issue has gotten more attention as more stories come out about kids dying of preventable things. So far, twelve children have died since 2011 because of this issue. The families were from a church called The Followers Of Christ where they are punished if they use modern medicine. Idaho law says that prayer can be substituted for medicine. The exemption works if they use prayer only on their child; the parents get shielded from murder charges in this case.

State Rep. John Gannon (D-Boise) would like to close the loophole. He says parents should be prosecuted for not treating preventable conditions that could result in disability or death. As if this wasn’t bad enough, there are religious exemptions for child abuse and neglect as well.

There are two major religious organizations that reject modern medicines. The Church of Christ (a.k.a. Christian Scientists) advocates healing physical and mental illnesses through prayer. They do allow some wiggle room for broken bones, but that’s about it. They base these beliefs on stories in the bible that describe Jesus and his Apostles healing the sick. So, they believe prayer can do the same.

The Jehovah’s Witnesses are against blood transfusions. They interpret passages against “eating blood” to be against blood transfusions. They believe anyone that has a blood transfusion forfeits their “eternal life.”

Featured image by Taro Taylor via flickr.com, available under Creative Commons 2.0 license.

Hi, I'm from Huntsville, AL. I'm a Liberal living in the Bible Belt, which can be quite challenging at times. I'm passionate about many issues including mental health, women's rights, gay rights, and many others. Check out my blog weneedtotalkaboutmentalhealth.com