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Is God Against Medicine for Kids?

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Parents chose prayer over medicine for their daughter, who eventually died of complications from a diabetic seizure. Now they face 25 years in prison.

Pray instead of Medicine

An 11-year-old Wisconsin girl died of complications from undiagnosed diabetes after her parents refused to take her to a doctor, stating that "all healing comes from God." The couple instead chose prayer.

Dale and Leilani Neumann have said they didn't know their daughter Madeline had a terminal illness, but autopsy results showed that the girl most likely suffered for a month with nausea, vomiting, and excessive weakness. The girl died in March 2003 on their living room floor, where she had stopped breathing, while people prayed over her. Someone present called 911 after the girl stopped breathing.

Separate juries ruled that each parent had a "legal duty to rush the girl to a doctor after she could no longer walk, talk, eat or drink."

The Neumanns will be sentenced on Tuesday and now face up to 25 years in prison each.

Respecting others' religious beliefs is important, but when do you think the line is crossed and it becomes child abuse and neglect?

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15 comments so far | Post a comment now
ame i. October 6, 2009, 12:26 PM

Yes, I believe the line was crossed to abuse and neglect.
My God has no problem with me seeking medical care for my daughters when necessary. He is very busy up there, he can’t save every child, which is why he blessed doctors with the knowledge to do it for Him.

littlepeapie October 6, 2009, 12:42 PM

Prayer is powerful and it does work. But, with that said, God gives me the sense to use the resources He’s given me here on earth i.e. doctors and medicine.

chris October 6, 2009, 1:00 PM

The God I believe in has given me free will which means I am responsible to make the right choices for myself and my family. There is no way I would let my child get that sick without seeking medical help.

Tammy October 6, 2009, 1:11 PM

These people are sick. The article I read on another site said “The juries ruled the parents had a legal duty to rush the girl to a doctor after she could no longer walk, talk, eat or drink. A family friend finally called 911 after the girl stopped breathing.”

Who lets their child lie ion the floor and die an agonizing, painful death RIGHT IN FRONT OF THEIR EYES?????? Just another set of zealots giving Christians a bad name.

trolley October 6, 2009, 2:27 PM

God created people who become doctors and build hospitals.

Jill (the other one) October 6, 2009, 3:55 PM

I think God expects us to take care of ourselves and our children. Period. There’s no excuse for praying while your child dies.

gary hammer  October 6, 2009, 4:47 PM

lord, forgive for what i’m thinking.

ame i. October 6, 2009, 5:13 PM

Good comment thread for a change. It’s nice to be on the same page with all of you.
Mankind made a choice: let God handle everything and everything or let us have a say in it.
We chose to have a say, so we have to live with that decision.

j.m.mosley October 6, 2009, 5:42 PM

I am a 25 year cancer survivor. God didn’t save me. modern medicine and surgery did.

C October 6, 2009, 7:38 PM

I hope they each get the full 25 years.

Jenny Benson October 6, 2009, 8:39 PM

This is sad. I am a fundamentalist, born-again Christian. I believe that God can heal someone and that is why I pray for people who are sick. On the other hand, I don’t know a single born-again Christian who would deny their child medical treatment. People should not get the idea that this is the norm by any stretch of the imagination. Jesus loved children and made it clear that they were very special. That means, when they are sick, get them to the doctor.

Read more:

Holy Crow October 7, 2009, 6:10 AM

Seriously? Like they really they really thought prayers would save her? Seriously? Yeah, like all the people praying to win the lottery, praying to get better, praying to get married - do people REALLY believe that some invisible man in the sky is going to hear them and fix their problems? I’m actually religious but the best thing I was EVER taught was that prayer does not change things, people do, and prayer changes people. So prayer and then get up and do something about your problem. In this case go to a doctor. Horrible, they essentially tortured their child to death.

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