Ava Worthington came into the world at a robust 10 pounds and 21 or 22 inches, according to testimony today in the faith-healing trial of her parents, but she died smaller than 99 percent of girls her age. Her development was so stunted she "was off the charts," said Dr. Christopher Young, the deputy state medical examiner who conducted her autopsy. At death, when Ava was 15 months old, she weighed 15.5 pounds and was 26 inches tall, Young testified today in Clackamas County Circuit Court. The girl's parents, Carl Brent and Raylene Worthington, are charged with criminal mistreatment and manslaughter for failing to get adequate medical treatment for their daughter. The Worthingtons' Oregon City church, the Followers of Christ, shuns medical care in favor of faith healing.It has been suggested that the emotional pain the parents are going through is so intense that they shouldn't be criminally prosecuted. My argument is this: the parents knew their daughter was very, very sick. They sought no medical attention for her, but they did have members of their church pray for her. Despite all the prayers, she died of (what was later determined) to be pneumonia that could have been successfully treated with antibiotics. As the passage above indicates, more and more evidence is accumulating of a persistant pattern of abuse and mistreatment, of systematically withholding basic needs of the child. Note that in one year and three months, the baby's weight had increased only 50%.
So my response is this: the couple should have the charges dropped, they should be sterilized, they should be labeled as child abusers, and not allowed within 1000 feet of any other children... as we do with sex offenders. That might prevent them from going to their church; that's too bad, but them's the breaks.
Oh, and we should prohibit them from getting a divorce.
I expect within a year or two, one will kill the other, and we can put the survivor away for murder.
Followup: Here's another article...
Carl Brent Worthington told detectives in tapes played for jurors today that his family tried praying, fasting and laying on of hands but never considered calling a doctor to help his dying 15-month-old daughter. "I don't believe in them," Worthington said of doctors. "I believe in faith healing."Lethal injection is too good for these zealots.