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Medicine Versus Prayer
There are two prominent stories in the news about children who died from treatable medical conditions when their parents turned to prayer instead of doctors for help.
Madeline Neumann, an 11-year-old girl from Weston, WI, died from a treatable form of diabetes when her mother decided to turn to prayer instead of taking her to the hospital. In another story across the country, a 15-month-old named Ava Worthington from Oregon City, OR, died on March 2nd from pneumonia and a blood infection. Her parents didn’t believe in antibiotics, and started to pray when their child was unable to breathe.
This has reignited the debate about whether parents should be prosecuted for relying on their faith instead of traditional medicine when their children become ill. Since many states have exceptions for religious followers who chose to turn to faith in medical situations, many are never brought up on charges. Though some studies have shown that prayer or meditation can improve one’s overall feeling of health and well-being, there's no arguing that in many cases Western medical attention is required.
Does it have to be either or—does a parent have to choose between one's faith and medical treatment for a child? [Detroit Free Press]