The Sickness of "Faith Healing"

For those that tend to think that religion is just harmless fun for the deluded, it’s important to remember that the belief in the supernatural can have everyday consequences.  Such was the case for a less-than-two-year-old girl that was suffering from an otherwise easily treatable infection.  MSNBC reports in Faith-healing parents charged in baby’s death:

OREGON CITY, Ore. – A couple whose church preaches against medical care are facing criminal charges after their young daughter died of an infection that authorities said went untreated.

Carl and Raylene Worthington were indicted Friday on charges of manslaughter and criminal mistreatment in the death of their 15-month-old daughter Ava. They belong to the Followers of Christ Church, whose members have a history of treating gravely ill children only with prayer.

Ava died March 2 of bronchial pneumonia and a blood infection. The state medical examiner’s office has said she could have been treated with antibiotics.

The Worthingtons could face more than six years if convicted on the manslaughter charges and up to a year on the mistreatment charges, said Greg Horner, chief deputy district attorney. They were released on $250,000 bail, he said.

Encouragingly, the article states that this is the first time that laws designed to prevent this form of child abuse have actually been enforced.  That’s good news for these poor children whose only “crime” was being born to extremely superstitious and irrational parents.  I think it’s fair to expect the Bush Administration or some of his cronies to start treating faith-based healing as a real solution.  In any case, it’s probably not much worse than the current state of the U.S. healthcare system.

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