Sick Young Woman Wants to See Parents Prosecuted For Choosing Prayer Over Medicine

Here’s a pretty scary story courtesy of Today that brings up proposed legislation in Idaho that would require parents to bring their sick children to medical professionals instead of relying on prayer and faith to heal them. Specifically, it focuses on 20-year-old Mariah Walton, who is now waiting on a heart and lung transplant because her parents prayed for her instead of getting her to a doctor when she was a child.

Had they sought professional help for their daughter, she claims, her congenital heart defect could have been treated. Now, she is out of breath and in pain and uses a breathing machine, which is why she wants to see her parents prosecuted.

Some, like Idaho state senator Lee Heider, believe that the proposed legislation could violate the First Amendment right to freedom of religion. When asked about a religious group know for their cemetery full of children who reportedly died due to a lack of access to medical care, he brushed off the questioning and called them nice people.

Walton’s mother says she pursued “natural medicine” for her child and simply didn’t understand how serious the medical problems were. She is currently protected from prosecution because in Idaho, state law shields parents from legal consequences if their reasoning for not seeking treatment for a child is religious, even if the child dies.

There has not yet been a hearing about the proposed legislation, which Walton is throwing her support behind.

Watch above to see her sister, Emily Walton, describe growing up and hearing her mother tell the family that they had to pray for the “evil spirits” to leave their sister.

What do you think? Should parents be prosecuted for not bringing their kids to the doctor? Does religious freedom guarantee parents the right to deny care to minors? No matter what you think, this debate is far from over.

[image via screengrab]

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