I get so sickened by stories like this...as a parent, yes, but more importantly as a human being. In my opinion, this is no different than murder.

Source:
http://www.oregonlive.com/clackamascounty/index.ssf/2009/07/jury_he...

Parents in faith-healing case never considered calling a doctor

by Steve Mayes, The Oregonian
Wednesday July 01, 2009, 8:49 PM


OREGON CITY -- Carl and Raylene Worthington told detectives that they never considered calling a doctor, even as their 15-month-old daughter deteriorated and died.

"I don't believe in them," Carl Worthington said of doctors. "I believe in faith healing."

Raylene Worthington said that her religious beliefs do not encompass medical care and that she would not have done anything different for her - daughter, who died at home of pneumonia, a blood infection and other complications.

In Clackamas County Circuit Court on Wednesday, prosecutors played videotaped police interviews with the Worthingtons, who are accused of criminal mistreatment and manslaughter for failing to provide medical care for their daughter. Ava Worthington died March 2, 2008, after her parents and other members of the Followers of Christ tried to treat her with faith healing.

Ava's father, who goes by Brent, his middle name, described what happened:

Ava came down with what appeared to be a cold or the flu on a Tuesday. By Saturday, her breathing became labored and the family turned to its traditional faith-healing rituals, praying, fasting, anointing the body with oil, administering diluted wine and laying on of hands.

By Sunday, Brent Worthington said he thought there was "a possibility" his daughter was so sick she could die. Then, after a final session of laying on of hands at about 5 p.m., "she perked up," he said. She grabbed her bottle and "took some food."

"She was peaceful; she was rested," Worthington said.

Two hours later Ava was dead.

The interviewers, Detectives Michelle Finn and James Rhodes of the Clackamas County Sheriff Office's child-abuse unit, asked pointed questions, and Brent Worthington provided details about his, his family's and his church's beliefs and practices.

He said no one in his immediate family has ever been to a doctor or used prescription or over-the-counter medicine. "It's not something we believe in."

The detectives also asked about the growth on Ava's neck, which swelled during the last days of her life. Prosecutors allege the lump -- a benign cystic hygroma -- impeded her breathing.

The soft lump became more noticeable two months before Ava died and started to get "tight" the day before her death, according to the Worthingtons.

Brent Worthington said he had ultimate responsibility for Ava's care. "I'm the head of the house; it falls to me. The wife follows the husband."

He said he confers with his wife but did not consult with anyone else about treating Ava's illness. Raylene Worthington did not dispute the decision to rely on spiritual healing, he said.

Asked if she would have taken Ava to a doctor if she knew her child was dying, Raylene Worthington said, "I don't know."

Brent Worthington said that forgoing medical treatment is probably difficult for outsiders to understand. For him, medical treatment "is not a question. It's not even thought."

When the detectives told Worthington that the law requires a parent to provide adequate medical care, he said he had provided care.

"I did everything I could do for her," Worthington said. "What I was doing was working," he said. "She was getting relief."

Dr. Christopher Young, the deputy state medical examiner who conducted the girl's autopsy, disagreed. "The absence of action led to her death," said Young, who testified after the jury saw the interviews.

Ava's cyst first appeared when she was a few months old.

By Christmas 2007, the cyst was swollen and likely interfered Ava's with breathing, Young said. "That's the time when a reasonable parent" would have taken a child to a doctor, he said.

Ava's various medical conditions were easily treated, and antibiotics and a simple medical procedure could have saved her right up to the day she died, Young said.

The cyst could have been drained with a needle, providing temporary but instant relief, Young said, and antibiotics could have dampened the infections.

-- Steve Mayes; stevemayes@news.oregonian.com

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Replies to This Discussion

I get so sickened by stories like this...as a parent, yes, but more importantly as a human being. In my opinion, this is no different than murder.

It is murder, it's murder by neglect. As parents we are responsible for our children's welfare and there is absolutely no excuse for not taking that responsibility seriously.

I sincerely hope that the Worthington's find themselve on the receiving end of the full force of the law.
As parents we are responsible for our children's welfare and there is absolutely no excuse for not taking that responsibility seriously.

Sadly, these and other parents like them are taking their child's welfare seriously. They are just so deluded by religion that they can't see what they are doing until it's too late. Even then they often don't see. They blame themselves for not praying hard enough.
if the child has a cyst on her neck and they don't take her to the doctor, then they are putting their religious beliefs before their child's welfare. In my opinion, anyone who their their religious beliefs before their child's health cannot be said to be taking their child's health - or welfare - seriously.

The inportant point here is not that they believe in faith healing but that they refused to see a doctor.
Sure, that's what a rational person would think. I don't think it's easy for us to understand where these people are coming from, I certainly don't. But what I read into this is for people like this, their religious beliefs is everything, that basically there isn't anything apart from their beliefs. To them, that prayer heals is a fact and if it doesn't then either they weren't praying hard enough or god just didn't want to save her. That they say they "don't believe in doctors" shows how deluded they are. Even now the mom says she doesn't know if she'd do anything different in hindsight. The dad thinks what he was doing was helping. What I'm saying is that no matter how deluded they are about their religious beliefs that doesn't necessarily mean they (in their minds) weren't doing everything they could for their daughter.

Just so I'm clear because I didn't say this initially, I absolutely believe they should be in jail and if they have other children they should lose custody.
There are too many cases of this shit. I'm glad they're coming to light, unfortunately at the expense of life. I'm ready to see these bastards put away.
This is absolutely murder. For the "father" to say his care was helping her... What the hell? If your child DIED, obviously the "care" you were giving her didn't work. Disgusting, and I hope this family is severely punished. And for the mother to let this man control everything, right down to killing their child... I don't even know what to say about that. You don't have to be a militant feminist to see there is a major problem with that way of thinking.
I hate cops, laws, conformity, etc., but the law is on our side--the side of the rational. Those who follow such stupid religious practices as these are criminals and will be punished as such. Each kid who dies due to parental neglect out of the effects of this stupid meme makes the news, and the infinite ineffectiveness of "spiritual treatments" is assured to all rational people. Those who deny its ineffectiveness are as ignorant and as active in their ignorance as anti-evolutionists.

There is a shitload of evidence, piece by piece for evolution, in addition to the sensibility of the mechanism of environmental selection by way of which evolution occurs, one step at a time. The same, there is massive evidence from every time we don't think something because there's no reason to think it, as well as from all modern medical practice and from all the reliability of such, that the efforts that people put forth and call "spiritual healing" are nothing and are the same in their effects as doing nothing at all.

The roof the roof the roof is on fire
The roof the roof the roof is on fire
The roof the roof the roof is on fire
We don't need no water let the motherfucker burn
Burn motherfucker burn

--Bloodhound Gang, The Roof Is on Fire

Maybe we don't need to fix this at all. Maybe we can just let them die out and it'll work.
Let them screw up and let them be prosecuted. It's a bad idea and most people are on the same side as us with regard to this issue.

Their children their children their children are dying
Their children their children their children are dying
Their children their children their children are dying
We don't need no campaign, let the motherfuckers fry
be in prison, motherfucker, be in prison

--Me, right now.
I have a friend who refuses to go to a doctor for any reason because she says that there is "no God in science" and so there isn't anything a doctor can do for her that "God can't do". Thankfully she won't be having children and I won't have to worry about her allowing any child to die. But I am in awe of the fact that at no point a tiny bit of reason never came in and one of the adults thought "hey maybe we should take the baby to a hospital".
That's awful. I had a little old lady tell me that my children should be taken away because I'm godless and that condeming my children to hell is child abuse. I bet she wouldn't have any problem with these people killing their child with faith.

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