“Parentally Mandated Religious Healing for Children: A Therapeutic Justice Approach”
Loue, Sana. “Parentally Mandated Religious Healing for Children: A Therapeutic Justice Approach.” Journal of Law and Religion 27, no. 2 (2011–2012): 397–422.
Loue addresses the conflict generated among numerous parties concerned with the death or potential death of a child whose parents rely on religious, non-medical means for healing. She calls for a “systematic study with sufficient scientific rigor of the effects of religious healing, which would further confirm or refute the claims of the adherents and the opponents of religious healing for children” (405). Although documenting adverse effects is relatively easy, churches are generally unwilling to participate, making their positive reports less available for study. Loue critiques the current system of exemptions for their failure to “achieve an adequate balance between the parents’ religious beliefs and the physical and psychological needs of the child” (407). She recommends ‘therapeutic jurisprudence’ for a more effective approach than the backward-looking retributive justice and restorative justice models—which require offenders and victims to strive to emulate the rest of society. However, the forward-looking therapeutic jurisprudence requires input from victims where possible and both the collaboration and cooperation of all concerned parties. It offers the potential for a sustained shift in community attitudes among all parties—parents, children, their religious communities, the medical establishment, the larger interests of society, legislative bodies, and courts.
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