20 December 2008

should the church be responsible for children's deaths caused by 'healing by prayer'

From ABC news, a significant number of members of the Followers of Christ Church in Oregon City allowed their children to die by not giving the children proper medical care.

[Recently (Dec. 10, 2008)] Carl Worthington, 28, and his wife, Raylene, 25, belong to a church that believes in faith healing, and police said that, instead of going to a doctor when their 15-month-old daughter Ava got sick, they turned to prayer.

The infant girl died March 2 from bacterial bronchial pneumonia and an infection, both of which could have been cured with common antibiotics, the medical examiner said.


Another Oregon City couple who belong to the same church face similar charges, after their son -- who was Ava Worthington's uncle -- died in June.

A decade ago, the church received national attention after ABC News affiliate KATU-TV in Portland, Ore., reported that the state medical examiner believed approximately 20 children, whose parents belonged to the church, had died from untreated illnesses that were curable.

Some more info here.

Should the church (and the clergy) be charged for manslaughter?

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