posted on Apr, 25 2013 @ 06:45 AM
I had a hard time deciding where to put this thread, so mods....do your thing.
According to Discovery
, Herbert and Catherine Schaible are facing potential charges in the death of their 8 month old son. He died after a week of diarhhea,
breathing problems, and not eating. The couple chose to pray for their son's healing instead of taking him to a doctor.
As terrible as this sounds, this is the second
child of the Schaible's to die from lack of medical care. Four years ago, another son died
from bacterial pneumonia. The Schaible's were convicted of involuntary manslaughter and sentenced to ten years probation. Depending on the autopsy
results for the 8 month old, they may face additional charges.
So...two children died because their parents chose prayer over medical treatment (although, to be fair, we have to assume that treatment would have
worked). My question is....do parents have a right to refuse treatment in favor of faith healing? How do we draw a line for parental rights?
Interestingly enough, there have been studies done on the effectiveness of prayer as a healing tool. The
study (Study of the Therapeutic Effects of Intercessory Prayer) came to the conclusion
that prayer did not have an effect on patients.
Abstract BACKGROUND: Intercessory prayer is widely believed to influence recovery from illness, but claims of benefits are not supported by
well-controlled clinical trials. Prior studies have not addressed whether prayer itself or knowledge/certainty that prayer is being provided may
influence outcome. We evaluated whether (1) receiving intercessory prayer or (2) being certain of receiving intercessory prayer was associated with
uncomplicated recovery after coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery.
METHODS: Patients at 6 US hospitals were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 groups: 604 received intercessory prayer after being informed that they may or
may not receive prayer; 597 did not receive intercessory prayer also after being informed that they may or may not receive prayer; and 601 received
intercessory prayer after being informed they would receive prayer. Intercessory prayer was provided for 14 days, starting the night before CABG. The
primary outcome was presence of any complication within 30 days of CABG. Secondary outcomes were any major event and mortality.
RESULTS: In the 2 groups uncertain about receiving intercessory prayer, complications occurred in 52% (315/604) of patients who received intercessory
prayer versus 51% (304/597) of those who did not (relative risk 1.02, 95% CI 0.92-1.15). Complications occurred in 59% (352/601) of patients certain
of receiving intercessory prayer compared with the 52% (315/604) of those uncertain of receiving intercessory prayer (relative risk 1.14, 95% CI
1.02-1.28). Major events and 30-day mortality were similar across the 3 groups.
CONCLUSIONS: Intercessory prayer itself had no effect on complication-free recovery from CABG, but certainty of receiving intercessory prayer was
associated with a higher incidence of complications
So whats the solution, ATS? I'll admit, I'm very torn. Here we have two children who, most likely, would have survived with simple medical
intervention. To deny them that medical treatment seems barbaric and cruel. Yet....if we set the precedent that the state or federal government has
the right to determine medical interventions.....could that be used in nefarious ways in the future? Say....to require everyone undergo a certain
treatment, such as a new vaccine or something similar?
I'd love to know what you think, ATS.