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Parents choose faith over science
In what is perhaps the most heated of debates about our children, our beliefs and our medicine, a girl has died after her parents chose prayer over doctors. The girl suffered from a rare form of diabetes.
Madeline Kara Neumann, 11, of Wisconsin, suffered from diabetic ketoacidosis, a condition that caused her to have too little insulin in her system. Her mother, Leilani, believes in the Bible and the healing powers of God, and so turned to her faith to battle her daughter's sickness.
Madeline's mother maintains the girl was healthy until several weeks ago, and that she looked like she would recover. Her father, Dale Neumann, started CPR when his daughter stopped breathing. Unfortunately, he was unable to revive her.
According to the police chief, given the girl's condition, she probably suffered nausea, vomiting, thirst, loss of appetite and weakness before she passed away. Other family members contacted authorities to try to get help for the girl, commenting that her parents were religious and refused to seek medical attention for her at a hospital.
It may seem like the obvious thing to blame the parents for not taking their daughter to a doctor, but I think that's the easy way out. I am not a religious person, I freely admit, so it is impossible for me to comment on whether or not I think the parents in this case did the right thing. it seems these people felt like they were doing the right thing--they were not intending to harm their daughter.
Still, when I think she might have suffered before her death it makes it hard for me to feel for the parents. I also admit freely I trust in doctors and Western medicine. I do homeopathic whenever possible and veer toward the Eastern medicines a lot of the time, but if my child were sick I would take him to the doctor asap.
That doesn't make me right--that's just what I would do. Ultimately, I am terribly sorry this family had to lose a child. Regardless of whether or not we agree with the steps Madeline's parents did or did not take, I am sure they are grieving terribly for the loss of their youngest.