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Judge tries to save little girl’s eye….from her parents

Posted in Skepdude by Skepdude on July 15, 2010

Yes, you read it right. The 7-month old daughter of  members of the Followers of Christ church, risks loosing eyesight in her left eye due to blatant medical neglect on the part of her parents.

The Wylands’ daughter, Alayna, had a small discoloration over her left eye when she was born.

The area started swelling and the fast-growing mass of blood vessels, known as a hemangioma, eventually caused her eye to shut, pushed the eyeball down and outward, and affected the eye socket, said Dr. Thomas Valvano, a pediatrician at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital at Oregon Health & Science University.

“This was medical neglect,” said Valvano, who testified at the hearing. Alayna could lose vision in her left eye and probably will need surgery, he said.

I’ve read versions of this sad story countless times, yet I still cannot get over them. How can a parent play dice with their child’s health because of their imaginary god? At what point do your parental instincts kick in and make you say “to hell with the church, I’m saving my child”? I guess never for these people; something’s wrong in their head!

The Wylands said they never considered getting medical attention for the growth and would not have if DHS had not intervened.

Attorneys for the Wylands said the couple weren’t given a chance to obtain medical care after DHS got involved in the case late last month and have been largely excluded from medical appointments.

So let me get it straight dear attorneys: the people who concede that they would not have taken their daughter to the doctor were impeded from doing what they weren’t thinking of doing by the DHS? That’s like saying : “The good Samaritan’s intervention prevented the rapist from stopping the raping of the victim”! Are you sure that’s the argument you want to make in defense of your client?

Gilmartin asked Rebecca Wyland why she didn’t take Alayna to a doctor.

“Because I believe in God and put my faith in him,” she replied.

And he let you down Rebecca; he let you down considerably. At what point will you consider dumping him?

The illogic of belief

Posted in Skepdude by Skepdude on April 22, 2010

Via Unreasonable Faith we get this straight to the point comic:

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Ore. parents found guilty of neglecting ill son

Posted in News by Skepdude on February 3, 2010

READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE AT THE WASHINGTON POST

OREGON CITY, Ore. — An Oregon couple was found guilty Tuesday of criminally negligent homicide for praying over their ill son instead of seeking medical help.

The jury returned the verdict on the second day of deliberations in the trial of Jeff and Marci Beagley, both members of the Followers of Christ Church in Oregon City. Church members gasped as Judge Steven Maurer read the verdicts.

The couple, who remain free on bail, is scheduled for sentencing on Feb. 18. Because neither has a prior conviction, state sentencing guidelines call for 16 to 18 months in prison.

Prosecutors said the Beagleys had a duty as parents to provide medical care for their 16-year-old son, Neil, who died in 2008 of complications from a urinary tract blockage. The defense argued the teenager had symptoms more like a cold or the flu.

READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE AT THE WASHINGTON POST

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Shame on Washington state

Posted in Pharyngula by Skepdude on August 28, 2009

READ THE REST OF THIS ENTYR AT PHARYNGULA

My home state! In a region with some of the highest percentages of godless people in the country! And they have this awful law on the books.

Washington’s law specifies that a person treated through faith healing “by a duly accredited Christian Science practitioner in lieu of medical care is not considered deprived of medically necessary health care or abandoned.” Other religions are not mentioned.

Christian Science is not science, and it is definitely not medicine. I presume some religious lobby got this evil exemption on the books years ago, but now it’s time to remove it—it’s killing people. The mention of the law comes from a story about a young man, Zachery Swezey, who died a slow, painful death from a ruptured appendix, with his parents looking on.

The day his son died, Greg Swezey told sheriff’s investigators he knew Zakk would die 10 or 15 minutes before the teenager passed away. His condition had gotten much worse about an hour and a half before Zakk died, he told the investigators, and he realized Zakk was exhibiting some of the symptoms of death he’d seen when older church members died.

He did not consider calling an ambulance, he told them.

Who did he call instead? Elders of his church, who showed up to splash oil on the poor kid and pray.

READ THE REST OF THIS ENTYR AT PHARYNGULA

Man testifies he expected God to heal his child

Posted in News, Skepdude by Skepdude on August 3, 2009

READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE AT MSNBC

WAUSAU, Wisconsin – A father charged with killing his daughter by praying instead of taking her to a doctor read from the Bible while testifying Thursday that he couldn’t seek medical help without disobeying God.

Dale Neumann told the jury he didn’t seek medical help for his child because “I can’t do that because Biblically, I cannot find that is the way people are healed.”

He added: “If I go to the doctor, I am putting the doctor before God. I am not believing what he said he would do.”

Neumann, 47, is charged with second-degree reckless homicide in the March 23, 2003, death of his 11-year-old daughter, Madeline, from undiagnosed diabetes. Prosecutors say he should have taken the girl to a hospital because she couldn’t walk, talk, eat or speak.

Instead, Madeline died on the floor of the family’s rural Weston home as people surrounded her and prayed.

Her father was the last person to testify in his trial. Closing arguments are scheduled for Friday morning.

Neumann, who once studied to be a Pentecostal minister, preached to the jury about his faith in God’s healing powers and cried out like he was talking to the Lord. He said he has been a born-again Christian since 1982.

‘Who am I to predict death’?

READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE AT MSNBC

Skepdude says: Bullshit! This is child abuse plain and simple. Both parents deserve jail time, long jail time!

To everyone who wants prayer in American public schools

Posted in Saganist by Skepdude on July 1, 2009

READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY AT THE SAGANIST.

To everyone who wants prayer in American public schools: I say fine. That’s a great idea. In fact, it would be much more convenient, especially for the dhuhr, if it were led by school officials. That way, no students would have to worry about drawing attention to themselves when they take out their individual prayer mats at whatever time they deem best. After the recitation of adhan and iqama over the public address system, the gym would probably be the best place to gather for school prayer. That way, everyone can say the prayer together and no one will feel left out. There could even be markings on the gym wall to ensure that everyone knows the exact direction to Mecca.

prayerWhat’s that you say? You don’t want to take part in these prayers? I will remind you that Allah’s mercy is great for those who believe in him and obey, but he has little patience for infidels. Nevertheless, you will not be forced to take part in school prayer. You may sit around the edges of the gym and watch. Everyone is free to participate or not. There’s no need to feel you are being discriminated against, just because you choose not to take part in the historic American tradition of school prayer.

You’re still not satisfied with this arrangement? I thought you were the one who wanted school prayer in the first place! Oh, I see… you only want school prayer in the manner of your religion. Well, I’m sorry to say that not everyone believes in your religion, and we can’t have school prayers for every possible religion! That would be ridiculous! Why don’t you just pray silently to your own god while everyone else is reciting the school prayer?

Still not good enough? Okay, how about this compromise. Instead of trying to shove any particular religion into public schools, why don’t we just focus on educating the students instead?

READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY AT THE SAGANIST.

Ore. pretrial hearing begins in ill girl’s death

Posted in News by Skepdude on June 15, 2009

READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE AT “SEATTLE TIMES”

OREGON CITY, Ore. —

A judge on Monday denied a defense motion to exclude photographs of the body of a 15-month-old child who died after her parents prayed rather than seeking medical attention for her.

Clackamas County Circuit Judge Steven Maurer told defense attorneys for Carl and Raylene Worthington that it would be up to a jury to decide the value of the photographs.

The Oregon City couple, who belong to the Followers of Christ Church, faces manslaughter charges in the death of their daughter, Ava. Members of the church have a history of treating gravely ill children only with prayer.

Ava died of pneumonia in March 2008. A state medical examiner has said she could have been treated with antibiotics.

Defense attorneys argued that the photos of Ava’s body were so disturbing that they could prejudice the jury.

READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE AT “SEATTLE TIMES”

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Preying upon the gullible

Posted in Pharyngula by Skepdude on March 19, 2009

CLICK HERE TO GO TO THE ORIGINAL ENTRY AT “PHARYNGULA”

Do you feel like you don’t pray enough? Are you too busy working, or playing golf, or fornicating to actually take the time out to get down on your knees and praise the invisible man in the sky? Well, there is a service for you: Information Age Prayer. For the low, low price of $3.95 a month, they will run your prayer of choice through a voice synthesizer every day, and allow the computer to speak to god for you. Is a loved one sick? For only $9.95 per month, the computer will beg god to help them 5 times a day! Throw enough money at this service, and you can just skip church altogether, not waste any time with the holy muttering, and get all the benefits of piety, every single one. Sign up today!

CLICK HERE TO GO TO THE ORIGINAL ENTRY AT “PHARYNGULA”

Religion’s Impact on End-of-Life Care

Posted in News by Skepdude on March 17, 2009

Patients Who Rely on Religion to Cope Are More Likely to Have Aggressive Medical Care

March 17, 2009 — Terminally ill cancer patients who relied on their religious faith to help them cope with their disease were more likely to receive aggressive medical care during their last week of life, a study shows.

Patients who engaged in what the researchers called positive religious coping, which included prayer, meditation, and religious study, ended up having more intensive life-prolonging interventions such as mechanical ventilation or cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

The study is published in the latest edition of The Journal of the American Medical Association.

The patients who reported a high level of positive religious coping at the start of the study were almost three times as likely to receive mechanical ventilation and other life-prolonging medical care in the last week of life as patients who said they relied less on their religious beliefs to help them deal with their illness.

A high level of religious coping was also associated with less use of end-of-life planning strategies, including do-not-resuscitate orders, living wills, and appointment of a health care power of attorney.

It is not entirely clear why terminally ill patients who report relying more on their religion would choose more life-prolonging medical interventions.

But researchers say these patients may be less likely to believe their doctors when they are told there is no hope.

“There may be a sense that it is really not in the hands of the doctors to decide when to give up,” study researcher Holly G. Prigerson, PhD, of Boston’s Dana-Farber Cancer Institute tells WebMD. “Refusing some of these very aggressive medical interventions may be seen as giving up on the possibility that God might intervene.”

READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE AT “WEBMD”

If Prayer Worked…

Posted in Atheist Revolution by Skepdude on February 20, 2009

The question can be phrased a variety of ways:

  • If you believe in prayer, why do you have insurance?
  • If you believe in prayer, why do you invest?
  • If you believe in prayer, why do you have a burglar alarm?
  • If you believe in prayer, why do you see a doctor?

The crux of the question is simple: If you truly believe that prayer works – works in the sense that your god intervenes in your life – why do you not behave as if you believed it?

If “prayer works” means nothing other than the act of praying makes me feel better, I do not disagree. But if it means anything more than that, then those advocating the wonders of prayer should have no need for the reality-based alternatives to which they cling. And if it does not always work, work completely, or only works on the small matters, then what does this say about your god?

READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY AT “ATHEIST REVOLUTION”