Christian Parents In Oregon Found Guilty Of Neglecting Ill Son
Filed under: In The News
"It's never been a referendum on the church," he says. "This case involves parents who didn't understand how sick their child was."
Mackeson insisted throughout the trial that Neal Beagley had cold and flu-like symptoms, and his parents failed to realize this illness was life-threatening. He tells the AP the couple is considering appealing the verdict.
Yet members of the congregation in Oregon City (just south of Portland) are well known for their belief in faith healing. Portland's daily newspaper, The Oregonian, reports the church's doctrine helped motivate the 1999 law. Authorities noticed an unusual number of church members' children died at an early age from treatable illnesses, according to the paper.
The Beagleys are also the parents of Raylene Worthington, who along with her husband, Carl, were acquitted of manslaughter last year in the March 2008 death of their 15-month-old daughter, Ava. The child died from pneumonia and a blood infection. Carl Brent Worthington was convicted of misdemeanor criminal mistreatment.
The Associated Press reports the Beagleys were present at the death of their granddaughter. They reportedly laid hands on her after anointing her with oil and praying for her to be healed instead of seeking medical care.
Clackamas County Deputy District Attorney Greg Horner argued that the Beagleys should have known that their son's seemingly mild symptoms could have been something worse -- especially after what happened to their granddaughter.
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