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Parents Pray, Son Dies

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A 16-year-old boy from a faith-healing family dies after refusing medical treatment.

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Oregon teenager Neil Beagley, 16, came from a faith-healing family. So when he got ill from a urinary tract blockage that could have been easily treated, the family chose to pray rather than seek medical treatment. On Tuesday, he died.

This comes just a few months after his 15-month-old cousin, Ava, died from bronchial pneumonia and a blood infection, also untreated. Her parents, who belong to the same Followers of Christ church as Beagley's family, now face criminal charges for manslaughter and criminal mistreatment. They plan to use a religious freedom defense.

However, officials say Beagley's death (which doctors say could have been prevented by a simple catheter) might not be a crime because he is 16. Under Oregon law, minors 14 and older can decide for themselves whether or not to accept medical treatment.

Do you think his parents are to blame?


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33 comments so far | Post a comment now
Jon June 19, 2008, 3:40 PM

The first thing that comes to mind is wouldn’t most parents be questioning their faith if both their children died from treatable illness?

SugarPlumFairy June 19, 2008, 4:28 PM

I have one thing to say. God made doctors to bless us with the ability to have healing. I am down for miracles, but I am also down for praying for the doctor to PROVIDE THE MIRACLE.

Anonymous June 19, 2008, 4:57 PM

Yes, they are to blame!

Anonymous June 19, 2008, 5:31 PM

of course the parents are to blame. they’ve brainwashed their kid into that bullshit. if they hadn’t, I highly doubt he’d forgo medical treatment because of “his” beliefs.

Anonymous June 19, 2008, 5:32 PM

@Jon
probably not, because god is probably just “testing their faith” or some other load of crap…

Mom007 June 19, 2008, 5:39 PM

Do they use cars? Do they watch TV? I mean, I’m sure they are using other modern inventions. What’s the difference with medicine? They are brainwashed and ignorant.

stinkybrat41 June 19, 2008, 10:38 PM

i don’t believe his parents are soley to blame…i blame their religious leaders for not providing them with the truth, i blame them for living in ignorance.

Anonymous June 20, 2008, 10:25 AM

people like these make me so angry with their stupid beliefs, especially when it puts your child’s life at risk. obviously, prayers don’t work. the parents are morons who didn’t deserve to have a child…

DAYANA ARRUE June 20, 2008, 12:04 PM


well…. The parents are not to blame fully!
I tihnk so because her beliefs are RIGHT GOD exists!!
but she should’ve called a doctor! God does miracles but when they’re needed! she should’ve gone to the doctor.. but GOD EXISTS nd he heard the prayers!

DAYANA ARRUE June 20, 2008, 12:04 PM


well…. The parents are not to blame fully!
I tihnk so because her beliefs are RIGHT GOD exists!!
but she should’ve called a doctor! God does miracles but when they’re needed! she should’ve gone to the doctor.. but GOD EXISTS nd he heard the prayers!

DAYANA ARRUE June 20, 2008, 12:04 PM


well…. The parents are not to blame fully!
I tihnk so because her beliefs are RIGHT GOD exists!!
but she should’ve called a doctor! God does miracles but when they’re needed! she should’ve gone to the doctor.. but GOD EXISTS nd he heard the prayers!

Anonymous June 20, 2008, 6:22 PM

It is believed that Luke (one of the fellows Paul hung out with author of the book of Luke in the bible) was a doctor. God spent a lot of time and effort giving practical medical advice to the priests who were basically the doctors of Old Testament times. Much of the advice is still useful today. Like the proper handling of communicable diseases etc. All throughout the bible healing miracles where perfomed after all available medical resources had been previously exhausted. These folks who do not believe in medicine need to spend less time listening to what others tell them about what the bible says and more time actually reading it.

lisa June 23, 2008, 2:13 AM

Religion holds back any sort of advancement in society, i dont have any sort of violent atheist views, but i cant see how religion has survived for so long after doing so much damage. Most of the world believes in a god, which i find shocking… anyone who can put up a good argument for religion should see if opinions change after looking up Richard Dawkins, sensibly and logically fighting religion and unsensical beliefs

feebee62 June 23, 2008, 5:44 AM

If u want to take a life, take your own life.
Not a child,your god will forgive you for doing that won’t he???
Give your child a life, not a death sentence, if you believe in healing you die and take the kid to the doctor.And keep your shallow beliefs to yourself.
Pathetic you call yourself human your just as bad as if you’d pulled the trigger yourself.





Milander June 23, 2008, 6:50 AM

So essentially they prayed for their sons to die. As a christian myself I’m sure God would not have wanted their sons to die from a curable disease, praying for someone with an extreme case of cancer is something else entirely.

I hate to say this but when their time comes they will find that the pearly gates are locked to them.

jr June 23, 2008, 7:08 AM

Parents definitely at fault.

BD June 23, 2008, 8:57 AM

The silver lining of situations like this is the Darwinian death of those who would otherwise carry on these stupid beliefs.

nel June 23, 2008, 8:58 AM

There is a story of a man on a rooftop, praying as the floodwaters ride. When a rescue boat comes, he says, “No, God will save me.” He drowns. When he gets to Heaven he asks God, “Why didn’t you save me?” and God replies, “I sent you a boat.”

I have a feeling these parents are going to be asking “God, why did you let my child die?” and God is going to answer, “I sent you a doctor, I sent you medicine.”

ml June 23, 2008, 9:29 AM

Ignorance. It is all around us. We’ve the right to do all the stupid things we have decided to do even as parents and children. Thought I don’t agree that the actions were the right ones, I’m not so quick to blame anyone because everyone has a choice even if it is one that kills us. It happens everyday just because we don’t agree doesn’t mean its the wrong way. Ignorance goes both ways. Just look at all the comments including this one. From one keyboard warrior to the next.

bl June 23, 2008, 11:58 AM

Nature has a way of weeding out the stupid so they don’t continue to pollute the gene pool. Sounds like evolution, but it might just be intelligent design.


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