Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Girl Dies After Parents Pray for Healing Instead Getting Medical Help

  1. Mar 26, 2008 #1

    This is quite disturbing. :eek:
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 26, 2008 #2


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    How sad!
  4. Mar 26, 2008 #3


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    Yes, it is.

    Regardless, her parents did their best to care for her, at least within the context of their own knowlege levels and beliefs.

    The solution, banning people of certain religions from having children, would not be a great solution.
  5. Mar 26, 2008 #4
    How about increased information about public health and what to do when your child is sick?
  6. Mar 26, 2008 #5
    Religion strikes again! This is why I side with atheists, or atleast people who aren't total fanatics.
  7. Mar 26, 2008 #6
    The most advanced country on Earth, and someone dies for lack of medical attention, terrible. Religion can be really awful sometimes. :frown:

    Surely even the Amish would know to take someone to hospital if they were really sick though?
  8. Mar 26, 2008 #7

    Math Is Hard

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Before the religion bashing begins (too late?), please note that these people were essentially making up their own religion and rules.
  9. Mar 26, 2008 #8
    As cruel as it sounds, there's a good chance that that child would have grown up to propagate her parents' zealotry. On the flip side, binzing, some of the most atrocious acts in the history of the world have been committed by atheists. Religion or no religion, there are terrible people that are misguided by their beliefs.
  10. Mar 26, 2008 #9
    It's still religion, and I was bashing religion generically meself. Belief of any type can be dangerous, I mean look at Scientology, that's not even a religion over here, and nor is it likely to be. Replace religion with crazy half baked ideas, if it's less offensive. :smile:
  11. Mar 26, 2008 #10


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Not that I'm condoning the situation in the article, but I heard a very thought-provoking counter-argument to this. It was on some court TV show (possibly Ally McBeal), but don't let that dissuade you from giving it some thought.

    Truth be told, it was about Jehovah's witnesses and blood transfusions, but the common issue is that of a choice made by the person involved (or in the case of a minor, their guardians) about what procedures they will subject themselves to.

    Paraphrase brings:

    You (addressing the listener) have heard of some of the most modern treatments for any number of ailments out there - gene therapy, maybe chemo, stem cell research, perhaps storing umbilical cord blood - or perhaps even freezing your own fertilized eggs so that if yoyu get some disease and a donor is needed years in the future, the eggs can be brought back to life, not as a person but to be source of donor cells.

    Some of these you will accept, but some you might not. Some might stretch the limits of what you consider ethical. Would you freeze fertilized eggs, leaving them in limbo, not bringing them to life unless you needed them for their cells?

    These techniques are new, and the ethics and laws around them are still in flux. There are pros and cons, and there are argument on both sides as to how much evidence is enough evidence that any given treatment is ethical and is safe.

    And there is, somewhere in there, a boundary that every individual sets for themselves that they will not cross, even if it means they won't live. You all have set this boundary based on your personal beliefs and comfort, ethics and the medical industry.

    We have merely set our limit in a different place.
  12. Mar 26, 2008 #11
    By atheists (and a-unicornists, a-fairyologists, ...), but because of what? Blind devotion to their leaders and irrational ideas unsupported by the evidence. Actually, every single totalitarian dictator in the history of humanity have been a aunicornist. Does that mean that aunicornism is intrinsically tied to genocide?
  13. Mar 26, 2008 #12
    So you mean that there exists a set of facts that support that it ought to be considered a valid counter argument? If so, you just contradicted yourself.
  14. Mar 26, 2008 #13


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Where does one draw the line that something is not a legitimate religious practice but rather a delusional psychiatric condition? Do we, as a society, have to sit back and say, "They call it a religion so it must be a religion and we have to let their children die for this," even if it appears to all the rest of us that they are insane and not able to make rational choices?
  15. Mar 26, 2008 #14
    You're arguing against a point I wasn't making. I was countering binzing's assertion that somehow atheists are any less prone to infringing upon the basic rights of others, not saying that atheists are somehow worse than theists/deists.

    I'd prefer not to see Godwin's Law manifest itself so early in this thread!
  16. Mar 26, 2008 #15
    I'll just go ahead and say it, "em hem.... These people are stupid. They should be bludgeoned to death. And they deserve whatever repercussions (if any) that they have coming to them."
  17. Mar 26, 2008 #16
    Something similar happened here, a famous Dutch performer/actress, Sylvia Millecam died of cancer, refused regular medicare and went to the woowoo's.
  18. Mar 26, 2008 #17
    It hasn't.

    Hitler was technically a Catholic, he observed the holidays, cultivated close ties with the Catholic faith and his own state faith. Saying that though I think he foresaw a time when religion in his country would be abolished, so I'm not sure quite how practising he was. He was "buried" in a religious ceremony supposedly though according to his wishes. :smile:

    By the way that's not a confirmation of Godwyn's law I haven't compared anything to anyone.
  19. Mar 26, 2008 #18
    Apparently, this phenomena is quite frequent.

    Child's death may put faith law to test

    Last edited: Mar 26, 2008
  20. Mar 26, 2008 #19


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    The point is that we (yes, you and me) all make our own personal decisions about what we will and won't put up with. Woe betide the fool that tells us we can't. These people demand the same right to make the same decision the rest of us do.

    Note that nowhere in here is there any need to bring up religion; it is not relevant. We all make decisions about medical procedures and what we're willing to risk - and expect they'll be respected without us having to justify our worldview to others' satisfaction.

    Anyone who drives a car takes risks, and they don't expect they'll have to justify them.
  21. Mar 26, 2008 #20


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Again, I'm not condoning the situation, I'm merely pointing out that - in an arena where an individual has the right and responsibility to make a decision based on their own beliefs, ethics and understanding of the world, knowing full well they will live with the consequences - it's all a matter of scale.

    My decision is very stringent, yours is liberal. Both of us can live with our decisions. The only stupid opinion here seems to be to have an opinion that someone else is making the wrong decision for themselves.

    How can atheists - who often fight for the right to not be bound by how others think they should behave - not extend that right to others?
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?

Similar Discussions: Girl Dies After Parents Pray for Healing Instead Getting Medical Help