Faith-healing couple acquitted


Well, it looks like we’ve just lost some ground in the whole ‘faith-healing’ debate. Remember the Worthingtons? Their 15 month old baby died because they refused to bring her to a doctor when she developed pneumonia. Today, a jury has now found the couple not-guilty of manslaughter, although they did find them guilty of the lesser charge of criminal mistreatment, which carries a rather anemic maximum sentence of a year.

The jury was instructed to judge whether a ‘reasonable person’ would have asked for help, but they ultimately decided everyone has a different opinion of what ‘reasonable’ is, and that the Worthingtons acted reasonably within their own belief structure. It’s more of this relativistic bullshit that’s begun to infect our minds. We all know it’s unreasonable to think prayer alone can cure anybody (it’s why we have hospitals, folks). It’s also very unreasonable for parents to fail at their job of protecting their own child from death.

The real reason they got off is because the jury was afraid convicting the couple would intrude on people’s ability to practice their religion as they see fit. We’ve allowed two neglectful parents to walk simply because they ensconced themselves in the protective blanket of religion.

The Worthingtons aren’t done showing up in court, however. It turns out 4 months after little Ava died, her 16 year old uncle also croaked in their custody from an untreated urinary tract blockage. Clearly, these idiots need to be put behind bars before someone else fucking dies.

I wouldn’t have cared if either of these two morons had died of medical complications themselves. After all, I do still agree individuals should be free to do what they want with their own bodies. What I strongly disagree with is the idea that their beliefs should carry over to others. Their responsibility was towards the welfare of their child, one they were unable to perform because of their idiotic religious convictions.

I would hope that the next trial will finally see them brought to justice, but I doubt it. It seems juries are more swayed by religious freedom than they are by the preventable deaths of children.

Comments (13)

  • avatar

    CybrgnX

    Too bad atheist are not allowed on many juries.
    Its amazing how a Voodoo person would be hung up to dry if they were caught using live chickens for blood sacrifices but killing your child for your beliefs is OK. RRRRIIIght!!!
    Good thing for them I was not on that jury.

  • avatar

    david.ansell@live.ca

    Unfortunately, likewise up here on the sunny beaches of Canada, we also use the subjective test of reasonability. I am not sure how the laws work in Oregon, but we have the freedom of conscience and religion in Section 2(a) of our Charter. Of course now that their religion affects another person, namely a child in thir care, they now contravene Section 7: “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of the person…” I think that would certainly count as the reasonable limits prescribed in s. 1.

    Bottom line is that if this couple was in Canada, and they had a Crown attorney with half a brain, they would have been convicted of Causing Death by Criminal Negligence or ss. 222(5) of Homicide, both of which have a life sentence.

    Regardless of law…putting them in jail would not bring back that child…

  • avatar

    CybrgnX

    Hi david and you are right..Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of the person…” ….for THEMSELVES!!!! Would you want them types to be make the decision for you??? I think not.
    They are suppose to CARE for the child, and I don’t care what they say they know deep down that the PRAYER thing DOES NOT WORK. Proving it is easy, inject them with anything leathal and watch the decision THEY make about their own life. You would have trouble keeping up as they run to the hospital!!!!!
    Yes prison or capital punishment does not bring the victim back! But it sure stops them making more victims!!!!!

  • avatar

    fact3r

    Wow, this pisses me off. Wow.

    Wow.

    This is just unacceptable.

  • avatar

    Alan Hogan

    Here’s a thought: Bring their pastor to trial as well.

  • avatar

    Alan Hogan

    I could forgive the couple (while still blaming them), who I’m sure meant nothing wrong, if they hadn’t repeated the same thing with the 16 year old after the 4 year old’s death.

    They truly deserve a harsh sentence for refusing to learn from their mistakes.

  • avatar

    Heidi

    @Alan: Ava wasn’t 4. She was a 15 month old baby.

    This makes me sick.

  • avatar

    Closet Atheist

    Maybe for an encore they’ll kill off a few more children in the family. Natural selection in action.

  • avatar

    Karen Bayley-Ewell

    While there is no accounting for stupidity, I blame the cultural relativist values that society holds so dear in an attempt to show tolerance towards other faiths and other superstitions. Stories like this are testimony to the disastrous effects of cultural-relativism. The effects of cultural-relativism leads to the rights of the individual, women and sadly children marginalized. Belief in untruths such as faith-healing is not reasonable. Are we supposed to agree that the practice of female genital mutilation is acting reasonable within the confines of someone’s medieval beliefs?

  • avatar

    david.ansell@live.ca

    Hello there CybrgnX. You are indeed right, as that was the point to my magniloquent rambling; that their girl deserved the right to life, liberty, and the security of the person. These parents somehow managed to contravene all three of those parameters.

    What I was suggesting (and apparently did not communicate through all the jargon) was that this is a tragedy on many fronts. On one, you have the fact that these people only received one year, when they should have received life. The other is that a girl has been deprived of her right to live and we will never get her back, no matter how many life sentences or corporal punishment we issue. I am all for preventing them from harming other innocents, but that jury apparently was not. Tragic.

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