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Religion claims another child victim
Teenager from faith-healing family dies in Oregon
Wed Jun 18, 8:25 PM ET
GLADSTONE, Ore. - Authorities say a teenager from a faith-healing
family died from an illness that could have been easily treated, just
a few months after a toddler cousin of his died in a case that has led
to criminal charges.
Tuesday's death of 16-year-old Neil Beagley, however, may not be a
crime because Oregon law allows minors 14 and older to decide for
themselves whether to accept medical treatment.
"All of the interviews from last night are that he did in fact refuse
treatment," police Sgt. Lynne Benton said Wednesday. "Unless we can
disprove that, charges probably won't be filed in this case."
An autopsy Wednesday showed Beagley died of heart failure caused by a
urinary tract blockage.
He likely had a congenital condition that constricted his urinary
tract where the bladder empties into the urethra, and the condition of
his organs indicates he had multiple blockages during his life, said
Dr. Clifford Nelson, deputy state medical examiner for Clackamas
"You just build up so much urea in your bloodstream that it begins to
poison your organs, and the heart is particularly susceptible," Nelson
Nelson said a catheter would have saved the boy's life. If the
condition had been dealt with earlier, a urologist could easily have
removed the blockage and avoided the kidney damage that came with the
repeated illnesses, Nelson said.
Benton said a board member of the Followers of Christ church contacted
the authorities after Beagley died at his family's home. The teen had
been sick about a week, and church members and his family had gathered
to pray Sunday when his condition worsened, Benton said.
In March, the boy's 15-month-old cousin Ava Worthington died at home
from bronchial pneumonia and a blood infection.
Her parents, Carl and Raylene Worthington, also belong to the church.
They have pleaded not guilty to manslaughter and criminal
mistreatment, and their defense attorneys have indicated they will use
a religious freedom defense.
After earlier deaths involving children of Followers of Christ
believers, a 1999 Oregon law struck down religious shields for parents
who treat their children solely with prayer. No one had been
prosecuted under it until the Worthingtons' case.
Members and former members of the church in Oregon City have told The
Oregonian newspaper in previous interviews that the congregation has
1,200 people. It has no apparent ties to other congregations or any
Two more dead children. Needlessly dead children.
It is our shame that the holocaust that religion has
historically been for children continues unabated.
There is no justice to be had in such cases, but it
would certainly be appropriate if the parents who
murdered their 15-month-old with their "faith" spent
the rest of their miserable lives in prison. The
teen's parents, too.
**** these morons. No parole until they pray their
kids back to life.
Addressing the broader issue, it's clear that devoutly
religious people -- faith-healers, strongly observant
Muslims and fundamentalists of all stripes -- cannot
be trusted to raise children without harming them.
I'm not certain how the state can identify these
people and place their families under supervision,
but it's crucial that it do so. Perhaps requiring a
"parental licence" for child-bearers would be a good
place to start.
There can be no doubt that religion is destructive
to children's minds, intelligence, mental health and
ability to adapt to the *real* universe into which
they're born (instead of the make-believe universe
they're told they inhabit by their deluded parents and
All too often, it's fatally destructive to their very
Intelligent, caring people should
tolerate the religion holocaust no longer.
That's what it says here, anyway.
The danger to the life and well-being of children
increases in direct proportion to their proximity
to religion and its practitioners.
** Posted from http://www.teranews.com **
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