Wednesday, June 13, 2012

GODLESS WEDNESDAY: "Faith-healing" Parents Who Watched Son Die Avoid Jail Time

17-year-old Zachary Swezey is dead because his parents
believed faith could heal his appendicitis. It didn't.
This is a jaw-droppingly nauseating story about the real-life deadly effects of belief in "God." In Okanogan, Washington two parents Greg and JaLea Swezey were charged but ultimately acquitted in the death of the 17-year-old son from a ruptured appendix (what an awfully painful way to die!)

Friendly Atheist has the perfect reaction:
Imagine this scenario: A father and mother take their child to a park and the child falls into a lake. The parents can swim, but their child cannot. Despite this, they do nothing and watch the child drown.
What should happen to the parents? Immediate arrest? Removal of all their other children? Jail time for manslaughter? Some combination of those options?
How about letting them take advantage of a law that allows them to let their children die and a plea deal that allows them to avoid prison?
Insane? Yes.
Immoral? Absolutely.
Washington State has a law (RCW 9A.42.005) that allows treatment by a “duly accredited Christian Science practitioner in lieu of medical care” but the Swezeys are members of the Church of the First Born, not Christian Scientists. The Swezeys have now accepted plea deals which will allow them to completely avoid jail time for their complicit inaction which resulted in the death of their child.

The Swezeys were acquitted of second-degree murder after a four-day trial in mid-May, but the jury could not agree on whether the Carlton couple should be convicted of second-degree manslaughter. 
On Thursday, rather than face a retrial on manslaughter charges, JaLea Swezey pleaded guilty to third-degree criminal mistreatment on Thursday, and Greg Swezey signed papers agreeing to plead guilty to the same crime after two years, if he follows court orders and commits no felonies during that time.

The bizarre part is that the attorneys for the Swezey wanted to appeal the ruling to get the exemption in the law that only applies to Chistian Scientists to apply all religious people who want to use faith instead of medical treatment.

Back to Friendly Atheist:
I agree the law should be changed, but in the other direction.
This monstrous carve-out must be wiped out. Religious exemptions are bad. Religious exemptions that cost children their lives are an outrage to human decency.
What he said.

Hat/tip to Joe.My.God

No comments:


Blog Widget by LinkWithin