Faith-Healing Parents in Oregon Convicted of Negligent Homicide

A church in Oregon has the infamous reputation of killing children in the name of faith. Now, two parents — Jeff and Marci Beagley — have been found guilty of negligent homicide. Their case was discussed in this prior column. It is a welcomed charge (often religious parents are given lesser charges in the death of their children due to faith-healing), but the likely sentence is likely to be relatively low given the history of this church and the loss of life.

They will face only 16-18 months in the death of their sixteen-year-old Neil who died from a urinary tract blockage that could have been easily addressed by doctors. I have argued that faith-healing parents are being given special and lenient treatment over other neglectful parents, here.

The Followers of Christ church rejects conventional medicine in favor of faith-healing.

For the full story, click here and here and here.

537 thoughts on “Faith-Healing Parents in Oregon Convicted of Negligent Homicide”

  1. From the skeptic’s dictionary: “When an alleged cure by faith healing occurs in a religious context it is usually called a miracle. Those who have investigated these claims have not found a single case that stands up to scrutiny and that can be explained only by appealing to a miracle (Mackay 1841; Rose 1968; Nolen 1974; Randi 1989; Nickell 1993; Hines 2003; Barrett 2003).”

  2. Duh

    I think you’re right. Timing is everything, they say, and I seem to have barged in at the wrong time.

    I agree that imminent death should be the only criteria for the state to interfere. However when the state is unaware of the possibility of an imminent death then an after-the-fact charge of negligent homicide seems to be a proper procedure to prevent the parents from possibly letting another child perish (and another child, the couple’s granddaughter did perish from lack of medical attention) because the family’s religious belief prohibits them from ever accessing medical care

    I would be hard put to distinguish the difference between a parent that believes his prayer will cure any medical problem (or if the child dies it is God’s will), and a parent that believes his religious zeal (or his child’s lack of religious zeal) requires him to take stringent measures that lead to the child’s death. In either case, the state is surely correct in pressing charges to protect other children in the family from harm.

    As far as vaccinations, one could argue that the H1N1 flu could cause death, but without the certainty that was in this case – and usually not imminently.

    If someone refuses to vaccinate their child and the school district demands certain vaccinations as a criteria for attending that school, the parent is placed in a position of either getting the child vaccinated, placing them in a school that doesn’t require vaccinations, or, perhaps, going to jail for not sending their child to school at all.

    This is going to become a bigger problem for the schools as the growing anti-government proponents start to raise objections to any and all vaccinations.

  3. I can say this because my family is.

    What do you call a conversation between 2 Jews an argument.

    What do you have when you have 10 Jews in the same room. 20 different opinions.

    With that said. Enjoy.

  4. Buckeye:

    just post and sit back and watch the fur fly. And don’t have a thin skin. If you have a thin skin you wont last 5 minutes.

    There are so many strong opinions on this site and you cant take criticism personally. Just give it right back. I doubt there are 2 people on this entire site that agree with each other on more than about 2 things.

  5. Well Buckeye,

    Welcome, bdaman is here and so are a lot of others. Please do stick around. This is a great site.

  6. Buckeye,

    I think you just left a comment at the wrong time. Most people here are pretty good people. Sometimes even the best let their political passions get in the way of civility. We are all flawed.

    Your comments are welcomed and appreciated.

    I think your comment about the government having the authority to protect children is correct. I think that authority must be limited to imminent life or death matters.

    What I find strange is that a parent can chose to not vaccinate a child on religious grounds, but they don’t seem to be able to do the same on informed grounds. This was recently the case with swine flu vaccines. A doctor who didn’t think the vaccine had been fully tested could refuse to have her child vaccinated on religious grounds, but she could not refuse based on her expertise in the field.

    Vaccines are always a tough call. Some say, fine, then your child can’t attend the school. But that doesn’t eliminate contact with other children. It only eliminates contact at the school. How would “Chuckie Cheese” know if someone had been vaccinated? These are tough questions that don’t have simple answers.

  7. Bdaman

    Thanks for the welcome. I left a site that was finally overcome by malicious name calling and thought I’d try this one since I like Prof. Turley on TV and like the subjects brought up for discussion.

    If everyone here is paranoid, however, I probably won’t stick around long. I’m not easily intimidated and do like civil discussion, but if that’s not possible I’ll look elsewhere.

  8. Everyone is welcome to this blog. No exceptions what so ever. If you feel as thought the conversation has come down to a duh or JuanMoDuh (Funny btw) then create a new screen name and move it right along.

    The more the merrier and the better exposure for this site. Please do keep it civil. This is not an unreasonable request of the professor.

    Please post and post often.

  9. Buckeye welcome to the blog. Sorry for the unwelcome. Lots of conspiracy theories here of me posting in different names. I’ve tried to no avail to explain I don’t. It gets to the point where you just agree, kinda like torture where you get so much of it you finely say ok I’ll tell you what ever you want to know or yes I did it, now can I please speak to my attorney.

    I’ve been posting here for over a year now. It’s a great site, just don’t let the barks of the dog scare you or intimidate you to say something you wished you hadn’t.

  10. A Y

    If you are under the mistaken assumption that I am bdaman, let me assure you that today is the first time I’ve posted at this site.

    I don’t find it a very welcoming site, I must admit – first a poster tells everyone to ignore me, especially you, and then you call my argument half baked (I think) and talk about dead horses and sock puppets none of which means anything to me, if I am even the poster you are addressing.

    I have no agenda, just wanted to put in my 2 cents, which I understood was the purpose of these sites. Perhaps I’ve been misled.

Comments are closed.