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It's okay to be wrong. It's not okay to stay wrong.

Mom and Dad pray while sick daughter dies

Here’s another guy who really believes in his religion. In this case, that means someone ended up dead.

A US jury has found a man guilty of killing his sick 11-year-old daughter by praying for her recovery rather than seeking medical care.

The man, Dale Neumann, told a court in the state of Wisconsin he believed God could heal his daughter.

She died of a treatable disease – undiagnosed diabetes – at home in rural Wisconsin in March last year, as people surrounded her and prayed.

Neumann’s wife, Leilani Neumann, was convicted earlier this year.

The couple, who were both convicted of second-degree reckless homicide, face up to 25 years in prison when they are sentenced in October.

Reckless homicide is a good way of putting it. Having a child means you have to take care of them. They can’t do it themselves; they count on you. When you instead subject that child to a horrible and unnecessary death, there ought to be legal consequences.

And that goes for people who use alternative medicine instead of giving their child real medicine. If that child is harmed through a parent’s inaction, there should be consequences.


  1. I find it strange that when the disease is something difficult to cure like cancer juries are likely to allow the kookie solutions without penalty but when the exact same legal question comes up with a well known disease with a clear path of treatment they get convicted.

  2. What I find strange is this contradictory nature of god thing. Do they think that using medicine is a sin? I thought God was supposed to forgive you of sins. So:

    1) Use medicine to heal child
    2) Child lives
    3) Pray for forgiveness from the sin of using life-saving medical technology
    4) God forgives you
    5) Stay out of jail

    Everybody wins!

    I mean, do they consider themselves so free of the taint of sin that they just can't bear to sin at all?

  3. Juries are probably likely to acquit kookie parents in the case of more difficult diseases for a fairly obvious reason. Imagine the disease is completely untreatable – the administration of an ineffective kookie remedy is thus no different from the administration of an ineffective standard medical remedy. It is, after all, no remedy. Where a clear remedy exists that is known to be likely effective, a jury will see a failure to use that remedy as a criminally negligent omission. The difficulty would stem in the myriad shades of treatable and untreatable diseases and effective and non-effective remedies in between. The legal question – i.e. the objective standard of behaviour that society, through the courts, demands – is the same, but as the factual scenario is different, so too will be the outcome.

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