Thursday, May 26, 2011

Oregon Legislature votes to repeal faith-healing exemption [updated]

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Alayna May Wyland (8 months old) with untreated hemangioma
Alayna May Wyland (8 months old) with untreated hemangioma
[source | full size (454×511)]

Some great news today out of Oregon for those of us who are more than a little disturbed at how easy it is for parents who let their kids die from preventable illnesses because they chose to pray rather than get them actual medical help to get away with it with no more than a slap on the wrist under excuses of “religious freedom”. Both the State House and Senate have voted nearly unanimously to repeal “faith-healing” exemptions, thus allowing such indefensibly irresponsible parents to be punished to the full extent of the law:

Back in March, the Oregon House of Representatives voted (unanimously, 59-0) to remove “faith healing” exemptions from the law.


The House did away with that exemption in HB 2721. I’m happy to say that the Senate has finally joined them!

The Senate voted 25-5 to approve the measure. It was drafted largely in response to the 2008 deaths of children among members of the Followers of Christ Church in Oregon City, who rely on spiritual treatments instead of medical care.

The bill puts these child-killers up for charges of manslaughter or murder, and offers sentences ranging from twelve to 25 years in prison. What’s more, the bill has been amended to take effect immediately upon enactment. Maybe this will force religious nuts with kids to comply with the fundamental principle of medical reality that if you want someone to get better, you actually have to do something about it rather than chant some silly incantations.

Also, for those who complain about this being another case of the government infringing upon citizens’ privacy and religious liberty, asks yourselves whether a parent’s freedom to impose their irrational and often detrimental religious beliefs upon their children is worth the cost of letting innocent kids suffer and die from incompetence and medical neglect.

That is absolutely what this all boils down to.

(via Friendly Atheist)

UPDATE: (06/18/11 3:35 AM) – Gov. Kitzhaber signs bill into law.