Do Parents Have the Right To Refuse Medical Treatment for Faith Healing?

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posted on Apr, 25 2013 @ 06:45 AM
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Greetings, ATS!

I had a hard time deciding where to put this thread, so mods....do your thing.

According to Discovery News, 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 STEP 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.



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posted on Apr, 25 2013 @ 06:59 AM
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What they have done is basically child abuse.

If they want to forgo medical aid and pray for themselves to heal thats okay, but to force their own beliefs on a child that needs medical help is simply wrong.



posted on Apr, 25 2013 @ 06:59 AM
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reply to post by smyleegrl
 


They had weak faith and god was watching.





Haha...you thought I was serious?

These people should be drawn and quartered.
After all, they are not the only psychos in this story.

Right?

And it is not a sin to ask someone (a doctor) for help. That's why they are here.
edit on 25-4-2013 by applesthateatpeople because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 25 2013 @ 07:10 AM
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Some parents think they own their children, no, that is not the case, children are not personal property, they are human beings, and parents are the guardians and caretakers of children, not their owners. Denying a child proper medical care out of wacky fundamentalist beliefs is definitely a case of child abuse.
edit on 25-4-2013 by Mercurio because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 25 2013 @ 07:10 AM
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They need to see if these parents can pray their way out of jail.

I also wonder if their faith is shaken because obviously their god didn't listen to their prayers. Probably not. They'd just write it off as their god moving in mysterious ways.

They should have took the sick innocent soul(s) to the hospital and prayed from the bedside.

2 deaths now... yea. Earthly law should take effect since these parents are dangerous to their young.

Tragic from all angles. Where was the probation officer though all this?



posted on Apr, 25 2013 @ 07:23 AM
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I am all for praying for the sick, and have been prayed for (and survived a 10 unit hemorrhage), and pray for others who also are sick. That being said...

HELL NO!!!

I also think that all we have good* in this world is a gift of God. Including the increase in medical knowledge and medical care. To just pray, withholding all other help is denying a gift of God, playing God, and abuse.

When I (and those I know who pray for the ill) pray for someone with an illness or injury you pray for many things: a healing, patience while you heal, peace that you are in God's care, peace for the family that their loved one is being well cared for, and even that He will bless the hands and minds of the medical caregivers.

These idiots should also be banned for ever having or caring for any other child, ever. But that is not legal, is it?

*"...all we have good..." is from God. When people use the good for ill, they are making a choice between good and bad. That is on their head. It doesn't negate that there was a good gift given. For example, say you have given a friend who loves to cook a knife. They then kill someone with it. (yeah, it's an extreme version) The gift was still good. What they did with it, by their choice, is bad.



posted on Apr, 25 2013 @ 07:26 AM
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reply to post by smyleegrl
 


This is child abuse, refusing any kind of treatment for a child that can not take care of himself is criminal, even if the parents do not believe in the established medical community is ways to treat children at home with natural medicine that works as well when is not a life and death situation.

Taking into consideration that they have done this to another child is despicable.



edit on 25-4-2013 by marg6043 because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 25 2013 @ 07:29 AM
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reply to post by Mercurio
 


I agree that a child is no a personal property and that we as parents are in charge of the well being of our children, but I also like to have the choice of what is best for my child when it comes to that care, no the state.

In this case is clear that child abuse and neglect make the parents guilty for the death of no only one child but two.

The parents are Idiots.



posted on Apr, 25 2013 @ 07:32 AM
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I don't understand these "faith healing" loons. Why can't they take their children to a medical doctor and pray that the medication works? Seems that their prayers would have a higher percentage of success that way.

IMO, to deny a severely ill child appropriate medical care is synonymous with child abuse.



posted on Apr, 25 2013 @ 07:36 AM
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reply to post by smyleegrl
 




Do Parents Have the Right To Refuse Medical Treatment for Faith Healing?


Yes and no. Is the medical treatment required to save a life or to simply cure a cold?

There is an old joke about a family sitting on the roof of their home as flood waters were all around them. At first, a rescue boat comes along but they turn it away saying that God would save them. Second came a rescue helicopter and they sent it off too, with the same reply.

Finally, the flood waters overtake the home and the family drowns and they find themselves standing before the Almighty asking, "My Lord, why did you not save us from the flood?"
God's reply is, "I sent you a boat and a helicopter! What more did I need to do?"

God gave us the ability to not only invent medicines, but make the right choices as well.

"I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use."
- Galileo Galilei


One can believe in God and still accept responsibility upon themselves.



posted on Apr, 25 2013 @ 07:36 AM
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Licensed Child Abuse. When are we gonna move out of this mindset?



posted on Apr, 25 2013 @ 07:39 AM
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Thanks for the replies, everyone.

I agree, what this couple has done is horrid beyond words and, in my opinion, criminal. If they have any other children, they should be removed from the couple's care immediately. I doubt many people would disagree with this idea.

My real question is, how do we protect children from these situations without it becoming a slippery slope into total government control over your child's medical care?



posted on Apr, 25 2013 @ 07:40 AM
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Prayer works with people if they are old enough. It causes a change in brain chemistry that starts the brain healing. This is also evident in meditation.

I do not think a small baby can heal itself by faith because it does not understand faith yet. It needs the help of the parents to observe the problem and correct it. That insight of the parents can come from god. A physician is needed sometimes, Jesus even says that in the bible. Something like "I can help those who have problems with the soul but for some they need a surgeon". The babies soul and belief system is not capable yet.

I feel that these people should be talked to and showed what the bible really says. They have been misled by their belief, something that is very easily done. These kind of people are not listening to god correctly, god uses people to help others. Miracles have basis even though they are miracles. It is an insight created by the communication of god.

In this case, the child may have been allergic to something, maybe even the mothers milk if she was eating something wrong that changed her milk. Constant diarrhea in kids is not good. A doctor may have helped. Like I said, god works through people, maybe the doctor they chose may have had the blessing of god. Doing things by prayer alone don't always work.

When a person is sick, they pray and the brain chemistry changes sometimes, releasing chemicals that make the people's endorphin levels increase. This gives the body energy. After church they go out and eat at a buffet. They choose something to eat or someone happens to say something is good to them and they eat it. It is the antidote to their problem. The person likes what they ate and returns with someone there the next day to discuss the problem...eating an antidote again. They try to copy the recipe at home...eating the antidote again....pretty soon they are well again and thank god. God was involved in this....Just not in the way one would think. Where did the idea to go out and eat come from? It came from god.

Now, a baby does not have this experience in eating yet to understand antidotes. A mother giving an older baby some applesauce gives the brain of the child some information to use about antidotes, as does feeding the older baby what we eat. When a kid developes his immune knowledge he will seek out antidotes and this goes into adulthood. When we get old we need help because knowledge fills the immune systems part of the brain or small strokes damage it from ignoring necessary cravings.....also eating more poisons does not help with this. An intregal part of this is the pineal gland. There are certain foods that trigger the pineal gland to create special endorphins that tie to the opioid cencers of the brain and moderate things. Babies never experienced coffee or potatoes so have not learned. It is important for parents to get help with their baby when necessary, prayer can help to give energy to the baby, just holding a baby gives it energy to fight. Don't reply on prayer alone, that is not the only way god works.

No laws need to be passed, a good explanation to these people will help them understand. They need to know that prayer alone is not how god works, he works through others. This is just my opinion, I do not wish to interfere with others lives, just to advise them of how god works.



posted on Apr, 25 2013 @ 07:54 AM
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For whatever reason some people don't trust medicine, whether they thinks it's a scam or some kind of mystical spell they'll refuse it even at the risk of losing their life and the lives of their young'uns....

And on a lot of occasions this can be attributed directly to religion and the belief in the supernatural, or a dangerously low I.Q (not that they're mutually exclusive).

Whatever the reason it's always incredibly traffic, not least because it could be easily avoided with better education.
edit on 25-4-2013 by Prezbo369 because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 25 2013 @ 08:02 AM
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Originally posted by smyleegrl
Thanks for the replies, everyone.

I agree, what this couple has done is horrid beyond words and, in my opinion, criminal. If they have any other children, they should be removed from the couple's care immediately. I doubt many people would disagree with this idea.

My real question is, how do we protect children from these situations without it becoming a slippery slope into total government control over your child's medical care?



There really isn't a defining line. As soon as there is one there will be a case that challenges it. It should be on a case by case basis. In this case there was evidence that they were dangerous and should have been watched like hawks through parole and other social workers. These parents should have had medical decisions for their children at the very least on consultation... not left to them alone. They were already proven negligent on the first death.



posted on Apr, 25 2013 @ 08:21 AM
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A parent's duty is to take the best care possible care of their children. Ignoring medical needs should be a criminal offense. I know we all howl at the thought of someone telling us how to raise our kids, but there's a limit. When a child is dying because their parents believe prayer is best and obviously not working, it's time to step in.



posted on Apr, 25 2013 @ 08:27 AM
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Yes parents have that right to make that decision. As sad as it may be it is the parents right to do what is best for that child and if prayer is their choice then that's final. It isn't the governments place to tell someone their religion is wrong.



posted on Apr, 25 2013 @ 08:37 AM
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reply to post by smyleegrl
 


I don't know really. I believe in rights, especially a person's free exercise. It's just a heart wrenching story, especially considering they lost a previous child. I personally would take a child or myself to a doctor, but at the same time if that's their interpretation of the Bible and their choice on how to practice their faith I believe they should be free to do so. They'll just have to live with whatever results come from it.

Very sad story.



posted on Apr, 25 2013 @ 08:41 AM
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they shouldn't. sure miraculous things can and do happen but technology is more convenient and reliable right now. it may not always be like but right now it is. I think people at the local level should intervene. no one belongs to anyone. and besides im sure this could be interpreted as abuse/neglect



posted on Apr, 25 2013 @ 08:41 AM
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Originally posted by buster2010
Yes parents have that right to make that decision. As sad as it may be it is the parents right to do what is best for that child and if prayer is their choice then that's final. It isn't the governments place to tell someone their religion is wrong.


That's how I feel to, it falls under the free exercise clause. Which I support. I myself have a different view, but I can't make them or others follow the same faith beliefs I follow if they have a different view. But it's their right to freely exercise their faith without government intervention, even though in this case common sense says they should have sought professional medical help and used prayer/faith for anything the doctors could not fix with modern medicine.






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