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Faith over medicine?


Zythryn
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I am not sure if this should go in another forum, please feel free to move it.

I also apologize for any ranting, however I really need to get this out as this sort of thing always crushes me when I hear of it.

 

Why?!?:eek2:

Why do people allow their children to die when it is soooo easy to prevent?

The source of my angst is this story: Parents' Prayers Could Not Save Daughter, Investigation Launched Into 11-Year-Old's Death From Treatable Diabetic Condition - CBS News

 

A young girl dies from ketoacidosis. She was diabetic, aparently was not taking insulin, and died from high blood sugar.

 

Part of the reason this hits me so hard is I have been diabetic since I was 14 months old. I thank god (ironic isn't it) that my parents had the sense to take advantage of modern medicine to allow me to live.

I know how awful high blood sugar feels and I am pretty sure I have a good idea of how this poor girl felt in the last few days of her life.

 

WHY do these type of people DO this!

Do they refuse to eat because God will take care of their nutrition?

 

Sorry, I'll come back when I am a little more composed:'(

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I share your frustration and confusion. Did god not also put the medication in place to help her?

 

It's so myopic, so ignorant, and yet so very common.

 

I too feel bad for how grossly sick that girl must have felt, as it's an awful feeling her ensheepened parents forced upon her before her suffering was ultimately ended for her.

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I too share your sadness over such an ignorant and avoidable loss. ;)

 

This type of faith is foolishness. These people have obviously become delusional and are now criminals in my estimation.

 

The parents should be charged with negligent homicide, and the remaining children should be placed with other family members for their safety.

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The best way to remove the stupid is to allow them to live by their own hands without interference.

 

I agree with this, when the person is making decisions for themself. However, when the decisions are made for another person, and that person dies through no fault of their own, I weep.

 

I think the person responsible for this decision should donate their islet cells (insulin producers). See if they are willing to go to a doctor for their own good. (ok, just kidding but Grrrrrrr it just burns me up).

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As best I can tell, the small minority of people who refuse medical treatment for religious reasons do so mostly for one or more of the following reasons:

  • The belief that reliance on medicine rather than the will, and possibly intervention, of God, is sinful
  • The belief that many of the physical acts performed in the course of modern medicine – especially the transfusion of blood or the injection of drugs – is an “unclean” violation of God-given law.
  • The belief in a life after death preferable to mundane life. Assuming this world view, death is not to be avoided, but welcome.

I’ve not read or heard any account in the news concerning the specifics of the Neumanns’ motives in not treating their 11-year old daughter’s diabetes in a medically appropriate way, leading to her death, but suspect it’s one or more of the above. I also suspect that they were poorly educated, and may not have adequately comprehended the severity of their daughter’s condition.

 

Due, I suspect, to the emotionally volatile nature of the death of children, this story appears to have induced a witch-hunt mentality in much of the public. I’ve read viewer and reader comments suggesting that an appropriate punishment for Madeline Neumann’s parents is their painful execution via induced ketoacidosis. Although I personally disapprove of the Neumanns’ actions and/or inactions, and personally reject the supernatural worldviews that may have contributed to them, I’m troubled by the attitudes of those who summarily condemn them, their implied rejection of the idea that adherence to profoundly held beliefs should always be secondary to survival, and implied acceptance of the idea that the community and state’s authority exceed that of parents, and of individuals, even ones as young as 11 years old.

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Due, I suspect, to the emotionally volatile nature of the death of children, this story appears to have induced a witch-hunt mentality in much of the public. I’ve read viewer and reader comments suggesting that an appropriate punishment for Madeline Neumann’s parents is their painful execution via induced ketoacidosis. Although I personally disapprove of the Neumanns’ actions and/or inactions, and personally reject the supernatural worldviews that may have contributed to them, I’m troubled by the attitudes of those who summarily condemn them, their implied rejection of the idea that adherence to profoundly held beliefs should always be secondary to survival, and implied acceptance of the idea that the community and state’s authority exceed that of parents, and of individuals, even ones as young as 11 years old.

 

I think you make some excellent points as usual Craig, but this may be a matter of the law. It would be inappropriate not to conduct a proper inquery into the circumstances, which I'm sure you're not advocating. And while I agree that it is wrong to pre-judge the situation, there appears to me to be enough information to warrant a charge if this qualifies as negligent homicide in their state.

 

If it does, that's what I'd like to see. I don't think that includes me in a "witch-hunt." If they are found not guilty, than so be it. Such is the nature of our system of justice.

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My opinion

 

Yes, this is a sad case. Religion in itself is not a solution because people are prone to rely on their own beliefs.

 

However, my religious views here are that a Naturopathic physician would have cured the girl by 'natural' means. This is also a religious view because these NP's use Natural (GODS) substances to cure diseases and could have done so with this child.

 

In an emergency like this, they would have administered the insulin, but in the long run, they would have cured her diabetes with natural sunbstances.

There are natural medicines that can stabilize the blood sugars and dietary corrections can also do this.

 

Consuming these sugary foods and excessive simple carbohydrates are generally the cause of the diabetes.

 

Mike C

 

.

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Consuming these sugary foods and excessive simple carbohydrates are generally the cause of the diabetes.

Your level of ignorance is very disheartening. It appears you have zero idea of the difference between type I and type II diabetes.

 

Tell me, why did I go into a coma when I was ten? It sure wasn't because of excessive sugary and carbohydrate rich foods, nor could you consider my (at the time) 80 pound body overweight... and it was not behaviorally induced for this poor girl who died, either.

 

 

Zythryn, it's just ignorance in this country, not religious belief itself. While religion feeds off of ignorance, it's the ignorance itself we must seek to ameliorate. :eek_big:

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I think you make some excellent points as usual Craig, but this may be a matter of the law. It would be inappropriate not to conduct a proper inquery into the circumstances, which I'm sure you're not advocating. And while I agree that it is wrong to pre-judge the situation, there appears to me to be enough information to warrant a charge if this qualifies as negligent homicide in their state.
The legal issue is, I think, a complicated one.

 

So far, I think Wisconsin Social Services are handling the matter well. As of yesterday, they’ve moved the Neumanns’ 3 other children, ages 13 to 16, from their home to other relatives, and are proceeding to carefully conduct an investigation to determine if it’s safe to return them (see The Associated Press: Praying Parents' Other 3 Kids Removed).

 

So far, this appears to be a tragic collision of poor medical knowledge and profoundly superstitious beliefs. To quote investigating police chief Dan Vergin from the above AP article:

"There is no intent. They didn't want their child to die. They thought what they were doing was the right thing," he said. "They believed up to the time she stopped breathing she was going to get better. They just thought it was a spiritual attack. They believed if they prayed enough she would get through it."

Apparently the Neumanns were not purposefully avoiding appropriate medical treatment for religious reasons, but were misguided by their religion-based world view into believing she was suffering not from a medical condition, but from a “spiritual attack”. As these parent appear to have no history of prior neglect of their children, it’s likely had they understood the medical nature of her condition, they would have seen she got medical attention that would have prevented her untimely death. The tragedy is deepened by mother Leilani Neumann’s sister’s efforts to see that she was treated by making a 911 call prior to daughter Madeline Neumann’s death, and father Dale Neumann’s efforts to resuscitate her using CPR after she stopped breathing.

 

IANAL, but where the Neumanns may have crossed the line from understandable error to crime was, I think, when their daughter became incoherent, and eventually, unconscious. It appears that their supernatural world view caused them to see this not as life-threatening, but as spiritual, a fatally misperception. However, from a legal perspective, I’m uncertain if this is a more criminal error than the more common one of s parent refusing to believe their child’s medical complaint in time to have them treated.

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Though off-topic for a theology thread, I think it’s important to discuss Mike’s medical claim.

My Opinion

Consuming these sugary foods and excessive simple carbohydrates are generally the cause of the diabetes.

This is, in my experience, a common misconception, for which I’ve seen no credible scientific or clinical evidence. Mike, as with any claim made at hypography, you should back this one up with evidence, not simply state it is your opinion.

 

Diabetes is caused by the failure of the hormone insulin to signal cells, primarily muscle and fat, to take in serum glucose (blood sugar). There are 2 main potential points of failure in this metabolic regulatory process: the production of insulin by the pancreas (known as Type 1 diabetes); and the reception of it by specialized receptor sites in target cell walls (Type 2). Type 1 diabetes is more prevalent among people who develop diabetes at a young age, Type 2 with people who develop it older. The possibility of developing diabetes increases as one ages, though late-onset diabetes are usually more mild than early-onset, and less dangerous, as such cases have less time to damage ones body.

 

Excessive eating and drinking of high-calorie foods – not just sugary one or simple carbohydrates – can lead to obesity, which can contribute to the development of diabetes. However, sugars and carbohydrates are not known to affect insulin producing or receiving cell sites, so are not believed to cause diabetes.

 

Some controversial but reputable speculation exists that some cases – possible 50% or more - of diabetes is caused by food allergies, which are most prevalent in complex plant proteins. However, most diabetes involves loss of the insulin-producing pancreatic cells (islets of Langerhans) either due to one own body’s immune system attacking them, or less commonly. Susceptibility to diabetes, especially Type 1, is strongly genetically determines – nearly all identical twins of people with diabetes also develop it.

 

For most cases of diabetes, especially adult and later onset, there are many effective treatments, including some “natural” entirely non-intrusive diet and exercise-based ones. Diabetes among non-obese children, however, almost always requires medical treatment, either via pancreas-stimulating drugs, or injected insulin.

 

As Madeline Neumann appeared in news photos to by a non-obese 11-year-old, she likely was suffering the onset of Type 1 diabetes, and would have required medical treatment, including injected insulin, for the rest of her life (or until new therapies became available). It’s unlikely that her diabetes could have been controlled or cured with diet and exercise alone.

 

I’m hopeful that our growing understanding of physiology and molecular biology will lead, perhaps within the next decade, to therapies capable of actually curing diabetes by replacing or repairing lost or damaged insulin-producing cells and receptors.

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This is always a sensitive topic, and the feeling of helplessness one gets when they see people making choices of such bizarre logic makes them reach for a way of intervening. But there is a fine line of family choice that must be respected in society.

 

I hesitated to bring it up, but there is a similarity to the Schiavo case here. In that case family members were intervening, and the government was intervening to provide treatment that was being refused by another part of the family for a woman who could not speak for herself. In the end she was put into the situation of suffering a slow death from starvation. Medicine? All she needed was a feeding tube.

 

As I recall there was outrage in these threads about the interference in that private family matter. Here we have another case that is quite dissimilar in its details, but we have the opposite outrage. We should have stepped in and treated this child against the wishes of the family. If we are going to look at these issues on a case by case basis then we need some sort of guidelines for the decision making which allows a measure of latitude for circumstances. If we are going to just make black and white rules then we have a situation where you cannot have it both ways. If you wanted the feeding tube pulled from Schiavo, then you cannot force the treatment of this girl against the wishes of the family.

 

Freedom of choice sucks when people make decisions you don't agree with. What is the alternative, and how will you react when it is your decision being thrust into the news?

 

Bill

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Given that these Extreme Fundamentalists are procreating in greater numbers than more rational believers and non-believers, I see their freedom to "treat their children as they see fit" as an essential evolutionary mechanism for keeping what is apparently genetically derived brain damage from polluting the gene pool further.

 

While it is certainly sad, I can hope that the subsequent questioning of the value of religious belief will help far more than the one death that could have been prevented with a government that feels it should have the right to override the decisions of anyone who holds an unpopular belief.

 

It would of course be appropriate to send the parents "Pro Choice" t-shirts.

 

Consistency, madam, is the first of Christian duties, :)

Buffy

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...However, my religious views here are that a Naturopathic physician would have cured the girl by 'natural' means....

"Alternative Medicine [including natural and homeopathic]

is defined as that set of practices that cannot be tested, that refuse to be tested, or that consistently fail tests".

-- Richard Dawkins

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Craig, very well said, thank you for correcting Mike's statement.

I should have added 'type 1' to anywhere I mentioned 'diabetes'.

There have been some fascinating ideas brought up and I thank each and every one of you for participating in this thread.

I think there are significant differences between this and the Schivo case. However, there are a lot more similarities than I would have thought at first glance.

The biggest, and most significant difference in my mind is this:

In the Schivo case, the medical doctors came to the conlucsion that there was no hope of the patient ever regaining consiousness.

In this case, the medical consensus was/is that this is an easily treatable issue and the patient can live a normal life.

 

The 'right to choose' was a fascinating turn which I never considered. I am really curious how these people that make a choice, leading to the death of a child, feel about others making a choice which prevents a childs life from beggining/continuing.

 

I love this place, I love the exchange of ideas and observations. I never fail to come away from here with a new appreciation of other positions:)

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My opinion...

There are natural medicines that can stabilize the blood sugars and dietary corrections can also do this.

 

Just one more note in case anyone that isn't well versed in type one diabetes and is considering this line of treatment.

As Mike stated, this is his opinion.

It is my opinion that this is a line of snake oil and is extremely dangerous. I had a brother in law (not deceased, just no longer my brother in law), who had type 1 diabetes and followed this line of treatment.

His kidneys shut down breifly and he almost died. He went back to insulin and started recovering nicely.

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