Just ask a professor of bioethics

And speaking of sanctimony, there’s nothing like letting a child die miserably while you pray over her instead of going to a doctor.

An 11-year-old girl died after her parents prayed for healing rather than seek medical help for a treatable form of diabetes, police said Tuesday…”She got sicker and sicker until she was dead,” [the police chief] said…[S]he had probably been ill for about 30 days, suffering symptoms like nausea, vomiting, excessive thirst, loss of appetite and weakness. The girl’s parents, Dale and Leilani Neumann, attributed the death to “apparently they didn’t have enough faith,” the police chief said. They believed the key to healing “was it was better to keep praying. Call more people to help pray,” he said.

Which might be understandable if they lived on some other planet, but they lived in a town in Wisconsin, they owned a coffee shop, they had sent their daughter to school. They lived on planet earth and were not cut off from knowledge of what people do when they get sick. They were not cut off from available knowledge of what is the right thing to do when a powerless child gets sick.

But we are told we shouldn’t judge.

It’s important not to be moralistic or pass judgment on parents who think they can heal a child through prayer, said Dr. Norman Fost, professor of bioethics and pediatrics at the University of Wisconsin Medical School in Madison. “They believe they’re helping their child; they love their child, and they believe prayer has an effect,” Fost said.

How does he know they love their child? Does he know that? Is he just assuming it? Is he just thinking well all parents love their children so even parents who are delusional and reckless enough to let their children suffer and die for lack of medical treatment, must love their children? Probably. Which doesn’t give one much confidence in his powers of reasoning.

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