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PostPosted: 13 Aug 2008, 10:52 
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Grand High Lord Admiral of Hell
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Healing or homicide? The use of prayer to treat sick children

Shawn Doherty

Last Easter Sunday, an 11-year-old Wisconsin girl died of untreated diabetes after her parents chose to pray for her recovery rather than seek medical help. Madeline Kara Neumann's parents, Dale and Leilani Neumann, are scheduled to be arraigned in Marathon County next week on charges of second-degree reckless homicide.

The Wisconsin case is only the latest in a grim procession of hundreds of such cases stretching back to the late 1800s in England, when a sect called the Peculiar People ended up on trial for allowing generations of children to die as a result of their decision to spurn doctors and medicine.

Few realize just how common the use of faith healing still is in our state and elsewhere, and how many children's lives are at stake. Except for the by-now predictable flurries of media attention every time another child dies due to what experts call religion-based medical neglect, there has been surprisingly scant attention paid to the accumulative toll of these deaths. That is one reason UW history instructor and author Shawn Francis Peters decided a couple of years ago to research the controversial topic.

"When Prayer Fails: Faith Healing, Children, and the Law" is the first book to look unflinchingly at the tragic cases of children who have died because their parents place absolute faith in the power of prayer rather than in the efficacy of modern medicine. The book, published this spring by Oxford University Press, came out just weeks before Kara -- as she was called -- died in Weston, propelling Peters into the national spotlight.

In his book, Peters uses trial transcripts, judicial opinions, news accounts, and police and medical reports to explore the views of all the players involved in these cases and the complex challenge of reconciling conflicting values. How does society balance the rights of parents to practice religious freedom and raise their children as they see fit with the rights of children to be protected from neglect, abuse and even death?

The answer: imperfectly. Wisconsin statutes for child neglect and abuse, like laws in most other states, often provide a shield for parents like the Neumanns because of an exemption for faith-healing practices. The result, Peters says, is that children like Kara keep dying. Here are excerpts from a recent conversation.

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PostPosted: 07 Sep 2008, 06:50 
:spam1:


Last edited by Hex on 07 Sep 2008, 12:09, edited 2 times in total.
Spam Removed - Look in the Back Alley ...


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PostPosted: 07 Sep 2008, 09:42 
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I clicked on that runescape stuff, is someone doling out :dspam:


this is the way I look at it. If a bush out in the garden in dying back from lack of water I dont summons my ya-yas to stand in a circle and pray for the bush, I go get a bucket of water!

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PostPosted: 07 Sep 2008, 20:24 
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+1 vote for Homicide.


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PostPosted: 08 Sep 2008, 07:19 
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Otter wrote:
I clicked on that runescape stuff, is someone doling out :dspam:


this is the way I look at it. If a bush out in the garden in dying back from lack of water I dont summons my ya-yas to stand in a circle and pray for the bush, I go get a bucket of water!


Quoted For Truth.

I have no issue with praying ove something *in addition to* doing everything physical we can.

Like, I'm going to go light a candle for my dog who's in surgery this morning.

I'm not praying that the tumor be magically removed, I'm praying it all goes well.

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PostPosted: 09 Sep 2008, 06:36 
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Personally I think the whole issue is an example of faith based Hubris on the part of those that ignore medical science for faith based healing only. I mean, basically they are saying that one is so important the Divine will do all the work for them...duh! "God helps those that help themselves."

I agree with Jess. If you are a person inclined towards faith, then use prayer as a tool to help, but don't ignore all the other tools out there...


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PostPosted: 26 Sep 2008, 19:59 
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People should be able to used prayer-only treatment on themselves, as long as they are over 18. I don't care if they take themselves out of the gene pool that way, but the state should interfere to make sure minors get actual health care, even if their dippy parents disagree.

What happened to "The Lord helps those who help themselves"? And I can't believe I'm quoting scripture, but apparently even God expects use of brain cells ever so often.


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PostPosted: 26 Sep 2008, 20:26 
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Octavia wrote:
What happened to "The Lord helps those who help themselves"? And I can't believe I'm quoting scripture, but apparently even God expects use of brain cells ever so often.


Umm ... Feel free to keep quoting that - it's not biblical, but rather from Aesop (or, if you'd rather, Ben Franklin reprinted it as a saying in his 'Poor Richard's' from 1757) ... :cheeky:

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PostPosted: 26 Sep 2008, 20:40 
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What I never could understand was why people would think that God would give us brains and not expect us to use them.

He gave us the intellectual power to do surgery--- obviously, we should!

Actually, my rant in high school was more along the lines of humans and rats and rabbits are the only animals that are *always* fertile--- and rats and rabbits have biological mechanisms to abort. Humans don't. We have brains instead.

Yes, I was not on the pro-life after school club of my Catholic high school.

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