Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Broken Trust...

Girl dies of treatable illness after parents
pick prayer over medicine.

By ROBERT IMRIE, Associated Press Writer
WESTON, Wis. (AP) - Police are investigating an 11-year-old girl's death from an undiagnosed, treatable form of diabetes after her parents chose to pray for her rather than take her to a doctor.An autopsy showed Madeline Neumann died Sunday from diabetic ketoacidosis, a condition that left too little insulin in her body, Everest Metro Police Chief Dan Vergin said.She had probably been ill for about a month, suffering symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, excessive thirst, loss of appetite and weakness, the chief said Wednesday, noting that he expects to complete the investigation by Friday and forward the results to the district attorney.The girl's mother, Leilani Neumann, said the family believes in the Bible and that healing comes from God, but she said they do not belong to an organized religion or faith, are not fanatics and have nothing against doctors.

Mother Teresa, Roman Catholic nun "It's the greatest poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish."

As I read this story I immediately was flooded with so many emotions. Anger at the parents for not getting their baby help with a disease that is so easily dealt with. Angry that family members did not call 911 sooner. The paramedics could have started her treatment right there in the house and transported her to the ER with the help of the Weston police. Frustrated that another child died because their care was in the hands of adults who put their own beliefs above the interests and rights of the child. Sadness for the family/parents of Madeline for having to deal with her loss, and know that they are responsible. And of course immense heartbreak for the loss of innocent sick Madeline who had all her trust in these adults to protect her and keep her safe and died knowing they failed her.

While I myself do not believe in organized religion or God, I respect that others do. I understand that when it comes to healthcare there are various ideas in the role religion and God play. I respect and understand that there are various types of healing based on faith, culture and traditions. I believe that they all can go hand in hand with modern medicine but not in place of it. We have seen this scenario play out time and time again and in the majority of cases the end result has been fatal. In most of these cases it has involved children in the hands of fanatical parents. At what point does society say enough and step in and protect these children's lives and rights? Since when does the parent's right to freedom of religion super cede the child's right to live?

Two questions that need answering soon, because in not having those answers we as a society are responsible for this broken trust and these lost lives.

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