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NEWS: Indiana Couple Convicted In Prayer Death Of Newborn

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posted on May, 12 2005 @ 07:21 PM
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A jury in Indiana has convicted Dewayne and Maleta Schmidt or reckless homicide in the death of their newborn daughter. The Schmidt are members of a church that advocates prayer and faith healing instead of medical intervention. The child died of a treatable infection two days after birth. The penalty is two to eight years in prison and the prosecutor has indicated that they are seeking the longer term.

 



news.yahoo.com
FRANKLIN, Ind. - A couple who rejected medical intervention for their ailing newborn daughter, choosing prayer as the only treatment, were convicted of reckless homicide Thursday.

A Johnson Superior Court jury convicted Dewayne and Maleta Schmidt in the August 2003 death of Rhiana Rose Schmidt, who grew ill after she was born at home.

The couple belong to a church that advocates prayer and faith healing over medical intervention. Instead of seeking a doctor's help, prosecutors said, the parents called church elders to their home to pray for the child, who died less than two days later.


Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


I have run into this type of religion multiple times during my career. Christian Scientists are profound believes in the healing power of prayer. However, most will hedge their bets. They will usually bring their child in for a diagnosis and then the hospital will get a court order to initiate treatment. The Children's hospital I worked at previously actually had a judge available 24/7 because of the large numbers of these children we had to treat. The question is however, is this a violation of their freedom of choice?




posted on May, 12 2005 @ 08:06 PM
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I believe that God gave man the ability and the brains to think of new ways to make life better, heal people and many other things. There are many Christian Scientists who think the same. Medicine is one of greatest discoveries of all time, from aloe to advil. This is truly a mistake on the parents part that turned out to be the reason for thier babies death. They should be charged.



posted on May, 12 2005 @ 08:10 PM
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No. It's not.

Any medical neglect on the parents' part is a violation of the child's right to enjoy the fruits of the mankind's penultimate achievments in medical science.

Zip



posted on May, 12 2005 @ 08:13 PM
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Good to ya posting again "Mr. Button Clicky"


This couple has rightly been convicted. The child didnt have a choice. Dont christians believe that God gave us free-will? They don't belong having kids.



posted on May, 12 2005 @ 08:31 PM
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Originally posted by Zipdot
No. It's not.

Any medical neglect on the parents' part is a violation of the child's right to enjoy the fruits of the mankind's penultimate achievments in medical science.

Zip


I would not be so sure about that courts have overturned previous convictions with Christian Scientists.


Robyn Twitchell of Boston MA died in 1986 at the age of two of an intestinal blockage which could have been repaired by surgery. His parents were convicted. This was overturned on appeal in 1993.

Amy Hermanson, aged 7, died from childhood diabetes. Her Sarasota FL parents are Christian Scientists. They were aware of her illness but did not seek medical attention for her. Both were convicted in 1986 of child abuse and third degree murder. Their conviction was overturned in 1992 by the Florida Supreme Court. 3,4

www.religioustolerance.org...


P.S. Nice to see you back Fred and good find as usual


[edit on 5/12/2005 by shots]



posted on May, 12 2005 @ 09:44 PM
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Truly sad indeed.


I know it is not unheard of for peoples faith to cause them to refuse medical treatments, believing that god will save them. Yet these people are rarely, if ever, saved simply by prayer and faith. I have no doubt that the parents truly are heartbroken over the loss, but that does not excuse the fact that they allowed their faith to blind them. Perhaps the very fact that these medical treatments were available to them would have been gods way of saving the child.



posted on May, 12 2005 @ 09:59 PM
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Originally posted by shots

P.S. Nice to see you back Fred and good find as usual


[edit on 5/12/2005 by shots]


Thanks Shots.

No doubt the court challenges will be interesting. But this should come into the domain of general welfare of children. This case differs from most I am familiar with in that the parents did not even get a medical opinion.



posted on May, 12 2005 @ 10:58 PM
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Well, unless the parents are trained medical professionals, they aren't qualified to diagnose illness or prescribe treatment.

This means that they may not be culpable in the infant's death, seeing as they might have mistaken the condition for a cold, or similarly simple condition.

If they didn't know the baby could die, and no doctor told them the baby could die, and they did not ignore the advice of anyone qualified to give it, I don't see how they can be liable for the baby's death.

Also, there are rules against the state interfering with religious practices, and those laws are immutable. Separation of church and state is real, and it prevents the state from mucking with religion, moreso than the other way around.

What about the snake handler Christians? Should the FBI be present to detain those parents who allow their children to play with rattlesnakes? What about the firewalkers? Should the FBI be on hand to whisk those people's children away to safety? What about the mormons and their occasionaly polygamy involving children? What about the scandal involving the Catholic Church?

We have to decide how much power, if any, the state is to have over religious entities. If the current wording is to be taken at face value, the state has NO power over religious entities, and as such, these parents are not guilty of any crime within the jurisdiction of the state. They have elected God as their sole judge, and are at his mercy alone.

If you don't like the way they get off scott free, establish your own religion, it's easier than it sounds. Anything you do in accordance with your holy teachings is hands-off for the government. If you want to smoke reefer, drink goats blood, scream at the moon, dance naked in your apartment while spraying whipped cream out the windows, go buck wild.

So which of these alternatives seems safetest and wisest to Americans? Should we allow relgiious folk to endanger themselves and their children? Should we allow religion a slot above the law of this country? Or should we elect to treat religion as just another social club, one beholden to the same rules and regulations as the rest of society?

I'm not religious, I prefer faith, so the argument only barely concerns me. I think those religious people living in America should seriously consider the ramifications though, before answering. Remember, it's not just YOUR religion that is protected...



posted on May, 13 2005 @ 02:29 AM
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If you want proof that god does not exists look at these type of cases. I can hear the howls right now to explain why God doesn't heal this person or save that one etc etc (but mysteriously saves others when it serves the purpose of those with faith..... very convenient). However God could have intervened indirectly to save the life of an innocent child from the misguided god fearing parents.

Why is it that innocent children die when God is involved ?

Deny ignorance !



posted on May, 13 2005 @ 02:33 AM
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Than god these good christians didn't have an abortion!

It is an adults right to freedom of religion, a child does not have these rights.
When you are married, almost nobody knows this, but the marriage license makes the marriage a
three way contract binding the couple and the state into co-reponsibility for everything.
So the state essentially has 1/3 say in the wellfare of the child, by legal default
And of course the state has no god.



posted on May, 13 2005 @ 03:57 AM
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this is one of the harder types of situations of religion vs non-believers. i do find the death of the child deplorable, don't get me wrong on that. unfortunately these people do and SHOULD have the rite to follow the teniments of their faith.

unless they have out right murdered their child by direct phisical means or from something like not feeding them then they are not guilty of anything. there are a few differant groups out there that believe that medical sciance is evil. while i do not like it, it is there right to practice their faith without interferance. remember that to a great many of those people consider medicine more harmfull than helpfull. even i do not have 100% faith in the medical profession. especialy when it comes to medication.

even mentaly disturbed people have the right not to take their meds. so why should these people be forced to do something that goes against their beliefs?

now if the government decides that they have the power to order the treatment of these kids by legislation what could be some secondary things that they might use it for also? mabe the govenmend decides that christianity is bad. so they could use the same legislation to keep the parrents from teaching their children their religion. there has been much debate about the use of meds like rittalin. well the govenment could at this point FORCE it's use on every child if it wished, after all it is only for the good of children that it is administered. no this is not something that the government should have any say in.

leagalizer mentioned that the mariage licence has a clause about the government haveing 1/3 responsibility of any children. so what if the parrents arn't married? then they wouldn't have signed onto this. as it is we have a high percentage of single parrents and parrents that have not bothered in getting married. so are they excluded from this? also if the government has 1/3 responsibility then if the parrents both are in agreemant then they hold a 2/3 majority over the government. as such they would still loose out to the wishes of the parrents.

one other thing that needs to be considdered in a case such as this is that yes the children are not able to decide things for themselves. that is what parrents are for. keep in mind that these parrents are only trying to act in the best interests of their children acording to their beleifs. not realy something that we can say about a government agency.

ust look at some of the wrongfull takeing away of children that they already do. if there is a VALID reason then they are helping said children. but when it was not a valid reason it can have severe negitive effects on the children. remember that many people haveing a dispute have made wrongfull acusations that have caused the children to be removed without any real evidance of wrong doing. even some children have lied because they did not get their way at home and have caused severe harm to families.



posted on May, 13 2005 @ 07:45 AM
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WyrdeOne, while all of that may be true, somebody can't have sex with a minor in the name of religion, and by the same standard (preventing harm to a child), I (personally) don't think that somebody should be able to watch in silence as their helpless infant dies in the name of religion.

I know it doesn't work like that, but it should.

Zip



posted on May, 13 2005 @ 07:56 AM
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This isnt the first time this has happen, it maybe the first time someome has be charged.

This is a new world we live, freedoms are taken everyday, maybe two a day. When every you get done with it, its there religion and its THERE right to follow thier faith. We all have the same right. If you think about, how you love your faith, these people feel the same about thiers.

I dont like the outcome nor do I think its right, but rights are rights and thiers are being violated.

[edit on 13-5-2005 by SpittinCobra]



posted on May, 13 2005 @ 08:11 AM
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I think this convinction should be overturned, as much as we may disagree with it, it's the parent's constitutional right to follow their religion by refusing medical care.



posted on May, 13 2005 @ 08:55 AM
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With the big chance for the child to die as a result. I see... They don't want to do an abortion, but they're willing risk the child's life by refusing medical treatment.



posted on May, 13 2005 @ 09:02 AM
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Again, I've got to compare it to precedence.

The laws of this country disallow harm to children in the name of religion when the harm is sexual.

Why allow harm to children in the name of religion when the harm is deadly?

If non-religious parents did the same thing, minus the prayer, they would be convicted of negligent manslaughter, no?

Zip



posted on May, 13 2005 @ 09:10 AM
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Something such as sexual abuse of a child is an active process, whereas refusing to allow medical care is a passive process where something is simply witheld due to religious reasons.

And yes, if you're not a religion that requires that you should be charged for negligence, just as you can be charged for using peyote unless you're an American Indian in a tribe that uses that drug religiously.



posted on May, 13 2005 @ 09:11 AM
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Originally posted by djohnsto77
I think this convinction should be overturned, as much as we may disagree with it, it's the parent's constitutional right to follow their religion by refusing medical care.


For themselves, but not for another person, in this case their child.

Sorry, I feel angry at these dummies.



If I cut a finger while doing yardwork, they propably would say I'm not allowed to apply Neosporin and Bandaid to stem the infection, and that I should pray instead!

What idiots! God gave us Neosporin and Bandaid. I'm sure they are going to hell for what they did.


[edit on 13-5-2005 by Aelita]



posted on May, 13 2005 @ 09:15 AM
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Originally posted by djohnsto77
Something such as sexual abuse of a child is an active process, whereas refusing to allow medical care is a passive process where something is simply witheld due to religious reasons.


What if you are passively standing around watching someone actively sexually abuse a child, as part of a religious ritual? The passivity of your involvement will not save you from being prosecuted.

Zip



posted on May, 13 2005 @ 09:21 AM
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I think the comparing this to sexual abuse is ridiculous. I don't agree with their decision to not give medical care, but if that's their deeply held religious beliefs, I can understand it. If legal decisions like this stand, will members of this religion be banned for having from children? If they do, will the state seize custody of the children at birth? I see this as a slippery slope for the degredation of our First Amendment rights to the free exercise of religion.




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