More deaths from faith-healing recorded in Idaho as advocates fight to end practice

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Activists in Idaho are continuing their push to repeal or amend laws that protect parents from prosecution when they allow their children to die from preventable illnesses by denying them medical care and relying exclusively on prayer and spiritual healing.

Last Wednesday, a panel discussion organized by The Campaign To Protect Idaho Kids, a nonprofit organization, said more than 200 children in Idaho have died of preventable illnesses and diseases since a 1972 state law began allowing parents with religious objections to medical treatment to have the legal right to let their children die from medically preventable illnesses.

Idaho is one of six states in the U.S. where religious exemptions are allowed for negligent homicide, manslaughter or capital murder. Since 2014, activists against faith healing have lobbied the Idaho Legislature to change the law, but haven’t gotten much support due to concerns about parental rights and religious and medical freedom, the Idaho Statesman reported.

Activists like retired Idaho Supreme Court justice and former Idaho Attorney General Jim Jones said the exemption needs to be amended or repealed. The Committee to Protect and Preserve the Idaho Constitution, where he serves as a member, is prepared to mount a legal challenge against it to prevent more children from dying.

“I have looked at doing the same for the faith healing exemption. We may well do it and take it to court, but it would be so much easier if public policy was directed by the Legislature and they just repealed the exemption,” Jones said, according to the Idaho Capital Sun. “It has resulted in the deaths of many children.”

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1 comment

  1. Allowing parents to kill their children through medical neglect is an outrageous injustice. Parents that murder children must be prosecuted without exception.

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