Monday, July 6, 2009

"Murder," He Wrote

The continuing trial of the fundamentalist "parents" who allowed their 15-month old daughter to die rather then overcoming their "faith" is continuing to sicken me:
The Worthingtons, an Oregon City couple who believe in faith healing rather than secular medicine, are charged in Clackamas County Circuit Court with second-degree manslaughter and criminal mistreatment for failing to seek medical care for their daughter.
(...)
The child died on March 2, 2008 after being sick for several days. "She struggled so long she couldn't struggle any more," Leonhardt said. Ava could have been saved, right up to her last hour, with medical treatment, he said.
Ignorance not supposed to be used as an excuse for breaking the law. Yet apparently the Worthington's ignorance, that medicine works better than prayers, is being used as an excuse to try them for manslaughter and mistreatment rather than murder.

3 comments:

Brian the Red said...

As far as Oregon law is concerned these parents didn't commit murder. Their crime doesn't fit the charge of murder as defined in Chapter 163 of the Oregon Revised Statutes. But it could fall under manslaughter, criminal homicide, assault in the third, and a number of other crimes that I'm sure the prosecution tried to charge them with. This case will be an interesting one to follow.
Thomas Jefferson supposedly said "Your freedom of speech ends when my fist meets your face." I believe that freedom of religion ends when your beliefs cause harm to another person.

Lockwood said...

Yeah... I know. I thought I had tagged this with "rants" to sort of indicate that I didn't mean for it to be taken entirely seriously, but I hadn't. I'll add it in a moment. Nevertheless, this is a terrible crime. If the judge and jury let them off with probation, I'll be furious. Religious beliefs or not, these two deserve some very serious time.

Brian the Red said...

Well, in Maine, they could be charged with murder. There are no degrees of murder, probably because we Mainers are a practical lot.
I can see this case becoming a banner for anyone and everyone attempting to protect 'religious freedoms.' If that happens, it will stop being a case of parental negligence, and start being a case of 'us vs. them.' And that will be a travesty, and probably the mechanism that lets them off with a slap on the wrist and some gobbley-gook about how "they're suffering enough already."