William Saletan asks what I consider to be a pretty simple question:

Should parents go to jail for believing so devoutly in faith healing that they don’t seek lifesaving medical treatment for their children?

Here’s the situation:

Leilani and Dale Neumann[‘s] … 11-year-old daughter died of diabetic complications after they relied on prayer rather than doctors to heal her. Now they face trial for reckless endangerment and a potential prison sentence of 25 years. They’re the third couple slapped with criminal charges in the last year for failing to seek treatment for a child.

My answer to his question? Yes; 110%; absolutely — send ’em to the pokey. As I noted in an earlier post ruminating on the death of John Travolta’s son:

If all this is true, Travolta (and other religious nuts like him who refuse lifesaving treatments on behalf of their minor children) should at least be prosecuted for child endangerment or criminally negligent homicide.

It is all well and good for adult religious nutjobs to refuse medical treatment for themselves. When they refuse treatment for their children, they should be held liable if that refusal leads to the child’s death. Children can’t speak for themselves and need the state to protect them from the insanity of their parents.


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