There are many religious people who believe in the healing power of prayer over modern medicine, and many believe in “faith healers.” Some states have laws that allow parents to choose prayer as a treatment for their sick children over treatment by a medical doctor.
In Idaho, Republicans voted to keep their law allowing children of those who believe in faith healing to die because of their parents’ beliefs. Twelve children have died as a result since 2011.
A 15-year-old boy in Canada has died of complications from insulin-dependant diabetes because his parents didn’t believe in medicine. The parents, Emil and Rodica Radita, are on trial for first-degree murder because of the 2013 death of their teenage son, Alex. Prosecutors say that the boy died because of his parents’ refusal to seek medical care for him.
Alex was diagnosed with diabetes at the age of three. The condition could have been treated by monitoring blood sugar levels and giving insulin when needed. His parents, however, believed that the doctors caused the boy’s diabetes by giving him insulin.
By the time he died at 15, he weighed just 37 pounds, the average size of a four-year-old child. The child suffered for hours before the paramedics were finally called.
His kindergarten teacher wrote a heartfelt letter about Alex:
“I hope that Alex’s tragic death will bring about necessary changes regarding follow-up and monitoring in serious cases of neglect, when once apprehended children are returned to their parents. His life story of suffering and premature death demands that greater, more open sharing of information between provinces be implemented. The most vulnerable must be protected. I will never forget Alex’s sweet face and the privilege it was to teach, support and encourage him during his kindergarten year. He is free of his suffering now and resting in peace.”
Featured image via YouTube screengrab.