Oregon faith healing trial

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Registered: 11-13-2008
Oregon faith healing trial
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Mon, 01-11-2010 - 11:57am

Oregon City trial raises new questions in faith-healing debate
By Steven Mayes, The Oregonian
January 09, 2010, 6:20PM


When an Oregon City couple go on trial this week in the faith-healing death of their son, the case will raise a new wrinkle in Oregon's debate over religious freedom:


Can a juvenile's right to obtain medical treatment absolve parents of responsibility for providing health care to a sick child?


Jeff and Marci Beagley are charged with criminally negligent homicide for failing to provide adequate medical care for their 16-year-old son, Neil, who died in June 2008 of an untreated urinary tract blockage.


The Beagleys are also the grandparents of Ava Worthington, whose 2008 death prompted last year's high-profile trial of Ava's parents, Raylene and Carl Brent Worthington. Raylene Worthington, who is the Beagleys' daughter and Neil's sister, was acquitted in that case. Her husband was convicted of criminal mistreatment.


The entire family belongs to Oregon City's Followers of Christ Church, which shuns medical care in favor of prayer, anointing with oil and laying on of hands.


Oregon law once allowed parents to avoid homicide charges if they relied solely on spiritual treatment and their child died. The law changed in 1999, mainly due to the church's long history of children dying from untreated medical conditions.


The Beagley trial will cover some of the same ground as the Worthington case, such as the clash between a parental rights and child-protection laws. But Neil Beagley's age presents a new challenge for prosecutors.


Under Oregon law, children 15 and older are allowed to obtain medical treatment without parental permission. That fact raises compelling questions for jurors in the Beagley case.


How can teenage children make informed decisions if they've never been to a doctor, have no understanding of their condition and have been raised to reject medical treatment? Do children have the right to refuse medical care? How much responsibility do parents have for the health of teenage children?


You can read the rest of the article at this link: http://www.oregonlive.com/clackamascounty/index.ssf/2010/01/post_8.html


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Registered: 02-06-2009
Wed, 01-13-2010 - 9:22am


What a moronic and irresponsible law.


< Do you think your religion doesn't make you accountable if harm comes to another person?>


The parents CAUSED the death of their child, IMO. He had an easily treatable condition which they failed to get actual medical help for, and he died.


They are entirely culpable.



Avatar for Cmmelissa
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Registered: 11-13-2008
Wed, 01-13-2010 - 10:12am
I really have a hard time

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Registered: 02-06-2009
Wed, 01-13-2010 - 10:44am

I have an issue with the whole thing, lol! Faith healers (of this type, anyway) bring me out in a rash. You are right though. If this is all he knew, there would be no reason for him to think outside the box. And an additional wrinkle - presumably the family have no medical insurance. Where would an American

Avatar for Cmmelissa
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Registered: 11-13-2008
Wed, 01-13-2010 - 10:54am
I think so.

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Registered: 10-30-2003
Wed, 01-13-2010 - 12:57pm
I really have a hard time with the argument that he was 16 and therefore could make his own medical decisions. Being raised with his religion, he didn't stand a chance of making an informed decision, especially with the pressure of his church and family around him.



Of course one could easily see how this could be true of an 18-year-old, a 25-year-old, and perhaps even a 40 year-old, in his situation.



Anne.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 10-30-2003
Wed, 01-13-2010 - 1:03pm
And an additional wrinkle - presumably the family have no medical insurance. Where would an American 16yo find the means to pay for medical care?



Emergency rooms must treat people with life threatening illness, regardless of their ability to pay.



Anne

I have no need for anger
With intimate strangers
And I got nothing to hide


- Amy Ray

I have no need for anger
With intimate strangers
And I got nothing to hide


- Amy Ray

Avatar for Cmmelissa
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Registered: 11-13-2008
Thu, 03-11-2010 - 11:12am

Update on story - both parents are each

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Registered: 03-09-2001
Thu, 03-11-2010 - 11:25am
"These two cases illustrate a crime that was a product of an unwillingness to respect the boundaries on freedom of religious expression," Maurer said. "They've continued to use spiritual treatment practices in exclusion of medical treatment, even when their children were in extreme harm's way."



I agree with the judge. "Criminally negligent homicide" it was. So-called "religious freedom" is not an excuse for letting a child die needlessly when there is medical help available. Knowledge and medical advances are gifts also, IMO, from the God/s, given through our intelligence and hard work, to help eliminate suffering. Religious excuses to allow needless suffering and death is just not acceptable. It goes against, not in support of, the God/s. ://



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Registered: 04-18-2006
Thu, 03-11-2010 - 11:49am
I think that prison was the correct sentence. This isn't an isolated incident where one could argue they had no idea that their child was in danger of dying.
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Sun, 03-14-2010 - 2:49pm
Too lenient a sentence, in my view. I can only be relieved that they were prosecuted at all, thanks to the repeal of a blatantly unconstitutional law in Oregon sanctioning negligent homicide for church-goers. Personally, I find religious beliefs entirely unworthy of consideration in the sentencing of convicted criminals; a crime was committed, a penalty should be paid. Showing mercy on the basis of religious motivation sets a dangerous precedent that, as long as something is written in an ancient text deemed "holy" by a group of people, its punishment is limited under the law. Under such a system, radical Muslim misogynists are free to murder female relatives in reprisal for their dating outside the faith or being so sinful as to fall victim to a rapist( both of which, under strict Koranic interpretation, justify "honor-killings"), assuming of course that the standard was applied impartially to all religions. It is as though a Catholic priest were to blame his vow of celibacy for his rape of young boys.
Marci Beagley, rather than sniveling self-pity, should have met her sentence with enormous gratitude that her faith spared her the much harsher penalty that would have befallen any NORMAL person guilty of a comparable crime. There is absolutely NO EXCUSE for a parent to allow an otherwise healthy teenager to DIE due to complications of an EASILY TREATED condition. Here, and previously in an alarmingly similar case brought against their daughter, the Beagleys have successfully exploited a peculiar flaw in the justice system to their advantage. Sadly, there is little reason to suppose this will be the last fatality, as the "Followers of Christ" church has a long history of criminal negligence resulting in the death of children.



Edited 3/14/2010 3:27 pm ET by dustiniusprimus

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