“When Parents Call God Instead of the Doctor”
Guzder, Deena. “When Parents Call God Instead of the Doctor.” Time Magazine, February 9, 2009.
The question of child-care in the context of serious health conditions always highlights the tension between medical and prayer-based treatments, and this tension usually turns on the First Amendment protection of religious rights. This article, written from the point of view that medicine is always superior to prayer, refers to prayer treatment as “religion-based medical neglect,” quoting former Christian Scientist Rita Swan. When this article was written in 2009, the high-profile case involved a church unrelated to Christian Science, illustrating what Guzder affirms, that “today, many religious groups routinely reject some or all mainstream health care on theological grounds.” At this time, Joe Farkas, the legislative affairs representative for the Christian Science Church in Wisconsin, teamed up with Wisconsin Democratic Sen. Lena Taylor to write new legislation intended to clarify the current law which made it seem like parents had a shield to recklessly endanger children. The proposed new legislation would avoid simply outlawing all prayer treatments and protect Christian Scientists’ right to practice prayerful treatment, but if the case became life-threatening, the parents would need to show they had made a “‘reasonable attempt’ to provide medical care for their child.”
View “When Parents Call God Instead of the Doctor.” on the Time Magazine website.
Print ISSN: 0040-781X
See also annotations:
“Healing and Conscience in Christian Science” by Thomas C Johnsen
“Christian Science: A Comment” by Thomas C. Johnsen
“The Law and Christian Science Healing for Children: A Pathfinder” by Elena M. Kondos