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To The Followers of Christ, Oregon City

Posted in JREF by Skepdude on February 4, 2010


Oregon City teenager Neil Beagley died in June 2008 following complications from an untreated congenital urinary tract blockage that flooded his system with urea, causing renal failure, heart attack, and death.beagleys

Neil Beagley didn’t die in a hospital. He didn’t die surrounded by doctors who were stumped regarding his next stage of treatment. Sixteen-year-old Neil Beagley didn’t die peacefully with an IV in his arm pumping in morphine to lessen what must have been excruciating pain. He died in his grandmother’s bed, without having received any medical treatment of any kind. Doctors say that Neil’s illness was treatable right up until the day he died.

Jeff and Marci Beagley, Neil’s parents, are members of Followers of Christ Church of Oregon City – a fundamentalist organization that teaches a literalist interpretation of scripture, and relies heavily on faith healing. The cemetery behind the church contains graves belonging to seventy-eight minors. It is estimated that at least twenty-one of these children’s lives could have been saved with medical treatment.

However, Followers of Christ Church shuns medical treatment – and the devout followers of the church refuse all medications and treatments, and visits to medical professionals of any kind.

Jeff and Marci Beagley have been found guilty of criminally negligent homicide in Neil’s death, and they are scheduled for sentencing on February 18th of this year. Of the twelve jurors deciding the case, ten found the couple guilty. Two found them innocent.

Oregon, prior to 1999, viewed faith healing as a Get Out Of Jail Free card. An individual could not be convicted of homicide in a case where religion was used instead of medical care. Then an act was passed that allowed for a compromise – faith healing could still be used as a treatment, but could not be the only treatment in cases involving children. Parents were thereafter required to (and it seems this should be obvious) take care of their children, despite their beliefs in deities, the laying on of hands, or the efficacy of anointing someone’s body with oil.


2 Responses

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  1. red rabbit said, on February 19, 2010 at 9:56 PM

    Teh stupid, it kills.

    What a couple of vicious morons, to do this to their own child. I suppose our only comfort can be that uremia fogs the brain, so he may not have been present to his own suffering near the end. Poor child.

  2. adams said, on May 24, 2010 at 4:13 PM

    I live in oregon city, and these parents make me sick!! How on earth could they sit by watching there child die, (ME NEVER) never would i let my children sit and die, and they use this faith healing as a lazy way of life. To dang lazy to take him to the hospital, hope the parents get life in prison!!

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