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RELIGIOUS IMMUNITY (1981-2000 Publications)

 

Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information
P.O. Box 1182
Washington, DC 20013
(703) 385-7565
(800) FYI-3366  (Outside the Washington, DC metropolitan area)
http://www.calib.com/nccanch/database/index.cfm

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
Administration for Children and Families
Administration on Children, Youth and Families
National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect

This bibliography, unless otherwise noted, includes records of publications produced from
1986 through 2000.

Publications listed in this bibliography that are not under copyright, such as government publications, grant reports, or unpublished papers, are available from the Clearinghouse for a reproductions fee of $0.10 per page. Journal articles are copyrighted, and may be found at a research or university library. Commercially published books, monographs, and reports are available from the publisher listed. Please contact the Clearinghouse for clarification of copyright status on any document and for further ordering information.

Year of Publication

Index of �Religious Exemption� articles from website of
Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information

2000

Spiritual Treatment Exemptions to Child Medical Neglect Laws: What We Outsiders Should Think

1999

Pediatricians' and Social Workers' Knowledge and Opinions of Florida's Religious Immunity Laws.

1996

Children's Medical Care in California: Conflicts Between Parent, Child, and State.

1996

Medical Neglect.

1996

Religion and Child Abuse.

1995

In the Name of God: A Profile of Religion-Related Child Abuse.

1994

Spiritual Treatment of Sick Children.

1994

Discrimination De Jure: Religious Exemptions for Medical Neglect.

1994

Parents' Religion and Children's Welfare: Debunking the Doctrine of Parents' Rights.

1993

Prayer-Treatment Exemptions to Child Abuse and Neglect Statutes, Manslaughter Prosecutions, and Due Process of Law.

1993

Medical Neglect: A Spiritual Issue?

1993

Florida High Court Overturns Murder Conviction of Christian Science Parents.

1993

Children and Cults.

1992

Christian Science Spiritual Healing, the Law, and Public Opinion.

1992

Medical Child Neglect: Newmark versus Williams (pro-gen).

1992

Child Neglect: General Concepts and Medical Neglect.

1992

Religious Freedom: When It Hurts the Child.

1992

Treatment by Spiritual Means as Defense of Felony Child Abuse: Lybarger v. People (pro-gen).

1991

Commonwealth V. Twitchell: Who Owns the Child?

1991

Allocating the Costs of Parental Free Exercise: Striking a New Balance Between Sincere Religious Belief and a Child's Right to Medical Treatment.

1991

Protecting Children: The Lifeblood of Permissible Intrusion-Balancing State Interests and Individual Religious Rights.

1991

The Criminalization of Belief: When Free Exercise Isn't.

1990

Walker v. Superior Court: Religious Convictions May Bring Felony Convictions.

1990

Freedom of Religion and Parental Care.

1990

Christian Scientists Claim Healing Efficacy Equal If Not Superior to That of Medicine.

1990

The Law's Response When Religious Beliefs Against Medical Care Impact on Children.

1990

Constitutional Law--Freedom of Religion--Requiring Reports of Religious Counseling Sessions Under Child Abuse Reporting Statutes Does Not Violate the First Amendment. State v. Motherwell, 114 Wash. 2d 353, 788 P.2d 1066.

1990

When Children Die as a Result of Religious Practices.

1990

Religious Accommodation and Criminal Liability.

1990

The Conflict Between Child's Medical Needs and Parents' Religious Beliefs.

1990

Christian Science. A Sourcebook of Contemporary Materials.

1989

Freedom and Responsibility. Christian Science Healing for Children.

1989

Constitutional Law: Parental Denial of a Child's Medical Treatment for Religious Reasons.

1989

When Rights Clash: The Conflict Between a Parent's Right to Free Exercise of Religion Versus His Child's Right to Life.

1989

Walker v. Superior Court: A Question of Faith?

1988

Religion and Child Abuse. (Letter).

1988

Religion and Child Abuse. (Reply).

1988

Prosecution OK'd When Prayer Healing Ineffective, Child Dies.

1988

Religious Exemptions From Child Abuse Statutes.

1986

When Solace Ends and Crime Begins: Clergy and Confidentiality.

1983

Faith Healing, Christian Science, and the Medical Care of Children.

1981

Healing Sects and Children's Rights to Medical Care.

0

State Legislation Providing a Religious Defense to Criminal Child Abuse and Neglect.

 

CD-37098
Spiritual Treatment Exemptions to Child Medical Neglect Laws: What We Outsiders Should Think.
Dwyer, K. G.
William and Mary Coll., Williamsburg, VA. Marshall-Wythe School of Law.
Journal Article
Copyright   November 2000
Notre Dame Law Review
76147-
Publication Information:
Nortre Dame Univ., IN. School of Law.
Reprints available from:
Notre Dame Univ.
School of Law
Notre Dame, IN  46556
Tel: 219-631-6627
Fax:  219-631-3980
http://www.nd.edu/~ndlaw/
Medical neglect laws should not recognize spiritual or religious exemptions because they preclude the rights and welfare of children. Parents that direct their children's lives in ways prohibited by law, and seek the State's approval, are asking the State to make a decision about their children's lives that State's cannot make, the author argues. Debates over state restrictions on the religious rights of parents often fail to consider the rights of their children. Discussions about religious exemption often view the position of the child as unique, failing to recognize that children share many common characteristics with older individuals within the context of the law. Many general principles can be applied when examining valid reasons for the exercise of authority over their lives. Acknowledging children as individuals, as society increasingly does, implies that some general principles applicable to dependent, non-autonomous persons also apply to their lives. A utilitarian approach is recommended for decisions about spiritual treatment exemptions. Authorities should consider the interests of all involved parties, assigning relative weights to the different interests and balancing them in reaching a decision. 65 references.
Keywords:
medical neglect; religious immunity; parental rights; childrens rights; systems reform;

 

CD-35357
Pediatricians' and Social Workers' Knowledge and Opinions of Florida's Religious Immunity Laws.
Hartog, M. A.;Freeman, M.;Kubilis, P. S.;Jankowski, R. A.
Journal Article
Copyright   April 1999
Southern Medical Journal
92(4)362-368
Publication Information:
Southern Medical Association, Birmingham, AL.
Reprints available from:
Renee A. Jankowski
Children's Hospital of Austin
1201 W. 38th St.

Austin, TX  78705-1056
Sponsoring Organization:
Florida Univ., Gainesville. Dept. of Pediatrics.
Florida laws grant exemption from prosecution to parents who choose spiritual healing rather than conventional medical therapy for their children. Despite the American Academy of Pediatrics' policy statement supporting repeal of such laws, the authors believe pediatricians are not aware of existing statutes. A survey to assess understanding of Florida's religious exemption laws was distributed to pediatric house staff, faculty, and clinical social workers at a large teaching hospital and to community pediatricians in private practice. Results indicate that 84% of respondents were unaware of Florida statutes, and physicians were significantly less knowledgeable than social workers. Of those who understood the statutes, 92% believed physicians should overrule parents' decisions. Significantly more social workers than physicians believed that parents should be prosecuted for child abuse or neglect when medical treatment is withheld for religious reasons. Further education of pediatric health care workers is required before repeal of these laws will become a priority for legislators. 2 tables, 5 figures, 10 references. (Author abstract)
Keywords:
religious immunity; surveys; legal immunity; medical treatment; florida; laws;

 

CD-26769
Children's Medical Care in California: Conflicts Between Parent, Child, and State.
Strankman, F. C.
Journal Article
Copyright   Summer 1996
Santa Clara Law Review
36(3)899-928
Publication Information:
Santa Clara Univ. School of Law, CA
Reprints available from:
Santa Clara Univ. School of Law
500 El Camino Real
Santa Clara, CA  95053
Tel: (408) 554-4767
Fax:  (408) 554-4018
http://www.scu.edu/law/
This article examines the legal issues involved in conflicts between parents, children, and the State regarding decisions about medical treatment for children. Analyses used by California and other state courts to guide intervention are specifically discussed. The judicial decisions provide no clear guidance about when the state intervention is justified. In some cases, the courts have applied a balancing test based on the privacy of the family, the state's responsibility to ensure health and safety for children, the probability of recovery with treatment, and the rights of mature minors to refuse their own treatment. In addition, guidelines recommended by the Juvenile Justice Standards Project for court intervention are vague and contain no specific procedures. The article reviews parental interests in asserting rights to religious freedom, alternative treatments, and acceptable risks for treatment and avoidance of pain; the State's interest in protecting children; and the child's interest in making his or her own decisions. The final section proposes that the California legislature establish guidelines for the courts. The statutory law should be based on the advice of experts in medical treatment for children and outline factors that should be considered in any case, such as the seriousness of the medical condition, the nature of treatment, the risk of treatment, the wishes of the child, the best interests of the child, and the reason for the parents' objection.
Keywords:
california; ethics; medical neglect; medical treatment; parental rights; religious immunity; childrens rights; state case law;

 

CD-22007
Medical Neglect.
Dubowitz, H.;Black, M.
Maryland Univ., Baltimore. School of Medicine.
Chapter in Book
pp. 227-241
Copyright   January 1996
Publication Information:
In: Briere, J., Berliner, L., Bulkley, J. A., Jenny, C., et al. (Editors). The APSAC Handbook on Child Maltreatment. Thousand Oaks, CA, Sage Publications, Inc.
Distributed by:
Sage Publications, Inc.
2455 Teller Rd.
Thousand Oaks, CA  91320
Tel: (805) 499-9774
Fax:  805-499-0871
order@sagepub.com
http://www.sagepub.com
January 1996
This chapter focuses on medical neglect. Reasons that medical neglect has not been given as much attention as other forms of child maltreatment are presented. Issues relevant to conceptualizing child neglect are considered, including actual versus potential harm, the severity of the actual or potential harm, and the frequency or chronicity of neglect. A conceptual definition that incorporates these issues is proposed. Incidence data on child neglect are presented. Factors at the individual, family, community, and societal levels that contribute to the etiology of neglect are discussed. Major manifestations of medical neglect are described, including noncompliance with medical recommendations, failure or delay in seeking health care, religiously motivated medical neglect, and prenatal drug exposure. General principles for evaluation and intervention in child neglect are also presented. 70 references and 2 tables.
Keywords:
medical aspects of child abuse; medical neglect; incidence; etiology; religious immunity; drug exposed infants; case assessment; intervention;

 

CD-23020
Religion and Child Abuse.
Bottoms, B. L.;Shaver, P. R.;Goodmam, G. S.;Qin, J.
Illinois Univ., Chicago. Dept. of Psychology.
Journal Article
Copyright   Summer 1996
APSAC Advisor
9(2)11-17
Publication Information:
Chicago, IL, American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children
Reprints available from:
American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children
407 S. Dearborn Dt., Suite 1300
Chicago, IL  60605
Tel: (312) 554-0166
http://www.apsac.org
This article discusses the role of religion in fostering, encouraging, and justifying child maltreatment. Beliefs and practices that may lead to child maltreatment include physical abuse related to attempts to rid a child of evil spirits, religiously motivated medical neglect, and sexual abuse perpetrated by persons with religious authority. In a survey of mental health professionals exploring their experiences with ritualistic or religion-related abuse cases, clinicians provided detailed case information about 417 religion-based abuse cases. Results indicate that although physical and psychological abuse and neglect were present at different levels across the types of cases, almost all of the abuse perpetrated by religious authorities was sexual in nature, physical abuse occurred at a higher rate in ridding-evil cases than in other cases, and neglect was most often involved the withholding of medical care cases. Findings provide information about the characteristics of victims and perpetrators, the psychological sequelae of abuse, and the credibility of allegations and legal outcomes of cases. 25 references.
Keywords:
physical abuse; medical neglect; sexual abuse; religious immunity;

 

CD-34359
In the Name of God: A Profile of Religion-Related Child Abuse.
Bottoms, B. L.;Shaver, P. R.;Goodman, G. S.;Qin, J.
Illinois Univ., Chicago.
Journal Article
Copyright   Summer 1995
Journal of Social Issues
51(2)85-111
Publication Information:
Kluwer Academic-Plenum Publishers, Dordecht (The Netherlands).
Reprints available from:
Kluwer Academic-Plenum Publishers
Journals Dept.
101 Philip Dr.
Assinippi Park

Norwell, MA  02061
Tel: (781) 871-6600
Fax:  (781) 681-9045
kluwer@wkap.com
http://www.wkap.nl
Sponsoring Organization:
National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect (DHHS), Washington, DC.
This article examines cases of religion-related child abuse reported to mental health professionals nationwide. Cases involving the withholding of medical care for religious reasons, abuse-related attempts to rid a child of evil, and abuse perpetrated by persons with religious authority are described in statistical detail. The article argues that society should protect children's rights and welfare whenever they are threatened by religious beliefs and practices. 41 references and 7 tables. (Author abstract)
Keywords:
churches role; religious immunity; medical neglect; religious organizations; parental rights; child protection; clergys role; social policies;

 

CD-21891
Spiritual Treatment of Sick Children.
Sandt, C.
Journal Article
Copyright   September 1994
ABA Juvenile and Child Welfare Law Reporter
13(7)108-111
Publication Information:
Washington, DC, ABA Center on Children and the Law
Reprints available from:
ABA Center on Children and the Law
740 15th St., NW
Washington, DC  20005-1022
Tel: (202) 662-1743
childlawpractice@staff.abanet.org
http://www.abanet.org/child
This article reviews recent civil and criminal cases that addressed the rights of parents to deny medical treatment for their child. Civil cases usually focus on interventions to protect the child, while criminal charges are made after harm has occurred. In civil cases, the State seeks custody of the child under civil dependency and child maltreatment laws. The court must balance the rights of the parents, the State, and the child. Most recent decisions have ruled in favor of State interventions to protect the child. Criminal proceedings must establish that the parents failed to fulfill their legal duty to provide medical care for their child. Courts use a reasonableness test to determine if parents are negligent. Common defenses include the constitutional right to religious freedom and spiritual exemption. When weighing these rights and exemptions against the rights of the child, most courts rule in favor of medical treatment for the child.
Keywords:
medical neglect; religious immunity; lawsuits; criminal justice system; judicial decisions; constitutional challenges;

 

CD-21512
Discrimination De Jure: Religious Exemptions for Medical Neglect.
Swan, R.
Morningside College, Sioux City, IA.
Journal Article
Copyright   Winter 1994
APSAC Advisor
7(4)35-37
Publication Information:
Chicago, IL, American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children
Reprints available from:
American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children
407 S. Dearborn Dt., Suite 1300
Chicago, IL  60605
Tel: (312) 554-0166
http://www.apsac.org
This article examines the issue of religious exemptions for medical neglect. The confusing effect of the position of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) on religious exemptions is discussed. The DHHS viewpoint is that States can have a religious exemption from adjudicating a parent as negligent but cannot have an exemption from finding the child to be neglected. DHHS does not allow States to have religious exemptions from abuse unless the abuse exemption clearly involves the withholding of medical care on religious grounds. A House of Representatives bill that prevents the Federal Government from taking any action to protect children from medical neglect is discussed. Various State court rulings on religiously based medical neglect of children are presented. Examples of cases in which children were denied medical care and died are provided. The need to provide equal protection to all children by protecting this one class from the injustice of religious exemption laws is stressed. 24 references.
Keywords:
religious immunity; medical neglect; child abuse laws; child neglect laws; state laws; child fatalities; equal protection;

 

CD-25833
Parents' Religion and Children's Welfare: Debunking the Doctrine of Parents' Rights.
Dwyer, J. G.
Journal Article
Copyright   December 1994
California Law Review
82(6)1371-1447
Publication Information:
California Univ., Berkeley. Boalt Hall School of Law
Reprints available from:
UC Press, Journals Div.
2120 Berkeley Way
Berkeley, CA  94720
Fax:  (510) 642-9917
http://simon592-4.law.berkeley.edu/
This article challenges the concept of parental rights, particularly in the context of religious beliefs and the state's reluctance to intervene when parent's beliefs conflict with welfare laws or school policies. It explores the fundamental questions of what it means to say that individuals have rights as parents, and whether it is legitimate to do so. Parental rights are compared with other individual rights that receive protection under the legal system. The claim that parents should have child-rearing rights is described as inconsistent with certain principles underlying all other individual rights recognized in American society. After demonstrating this theoretical shortcoming of the notion of parenting rights, the article challenges the soundness of the commonly advanced justifications of parental rights. It concludes that all of the proffered justifications for parents' rights are unsound, and recommends a substantial revision of the law governing child- rearing. Children's rights, rather than parents' rights should serve as a basis for protecting the legal interests of children. The law should confer on parents only a child-rearing privilege, limited to actions that do not harm the child's interests. Such a privilege, coupled with a broader set of children's rights, satisfies parents' legitimate interests in child-rearing while providing children with a more appropriate level of protection than they receive under the current legal approach. (Author abstract)
Keywords:
parental rights; childrens rights; religious immunity; legal rights;

 

CD-18496
Prayer-Treatment Exemptions to Child Abuse and Neglect Statutes, Manslaughter Prosecutions, and Due Process of Law.
Treene, E. W.
United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
Journal Article
Copyright   Winter 1993
Harvard Journal on Legislation
30(1)135-199
Publication Information:
Harvard Law School, Cambridge. MA
Reprints available from:
Harvard Law School Publications Center
Harvard Law School
Cambridge, MA  02138
Tel: (617) 495-4500
http://www.law.harvard/studorgs/
Many States have prayer-treatment exemptions to their manslaughter and child abuse and neglect statutes, although the scope of those exemptions is often unclear. As a result, Christian Science parents who, in accordance with their religious beliefs, have treated their sick children with prayer, may find themselves accused of violating laws from which they believed they were exempt. This article reviews these prayer-treatment exemptions and analyzes the Christian Scientist cases in light of the due process doctrines of vagueness and reliance. It is argued that prosecutions of Christian Scientist parents violate the parents' rights to due process of law. Recommendations for statutory changes are provided. 375 references. (Author abstract modified)
Keywords:
parental rights; religious immunity; medical neglect; due process; state laws;

 

CD-19538
Medical Neglect: A Spiritual Issue?
Virginia Child Protection Newsletter, Harrisonburg.
Journal Article
Copyright   Spring 1993
Virginia Child Protection Newsletter
398-9
Publication Information:
James Madison Univ., Harrisonburg, VA. Dept. of Psychology
Reprints available from:
James Madison Univ.
Department of Psychology
Harrisonburg, VA  22807
Tel: (703) 568-6482
graysojh@jmu.edu
Many States grant a religious exemption from child abuse reporting laws for parents who refuse medical treatment for their children because of religious beliefs. This article reviews the controversial exceptions to State laws and Federal regulations that apply to medical neglect. Although many States grant an exemption from child abuse reporting laws, most do not exempt parents from criminal prosecution. Virginia law contains the exemption but specifies that treatment may be ordered by the court, if requested by Child Protective Services. Advocates are lobbying for the removal of the exemption in every State. Judicial, legislative, and regulatory options for repealing the exemption are discussed in the article.
Keywords:
medical neglect; religious immunity; state laws; virginia;

 

CD-18399
Florida High Court Overturns Murder Conviction of Christian Science Parents.
Bussiere, A.
NCYL.
Journal Article
Copyright   March-April 1993
Youth Law News
14(2)17-19
Publication Information:
National Center for Youth Law, San Francisco, CA
Reprints available from:
National Center for Youth Law
114 Sansome St., Suite 900
San Francisco, CA  94104
Tel: (415) 543-3307
info@youthlaw.org
http://www.youthlaw.org
This article discusses the case of Christian Science parents whose murder conviction was overturned by the Florida Supreme Court. The parents were charged with felony child abuse and murder after their daughter died from juvenile diabetes. The child's appearance and behavior had changed markedly a month before her death, and the medical examiner indicated that the child's death could have been prevented with proper medical treatment. As a result, the State argued that reliance on spiritual healing under these circumstances amounted to criminal negligence. The jury found the parents guilty of felony child abuse and third-degree murder, and, on appeal, the district court affirmed the conviction. However, the Florida Supreme Court overturned the conviction on the basis that the parents' conviction violated due process because Florida law did not give the parents adequate notice of the point at which their reliance on their religious beliefs in the treatment of their child would be considered criminally negligent. This case is compared to a similar California case. 19 references.
Keywords:
florida; state supreme courts; child abuse laws; medical neglect; religious immunity; medical treatment;

 

CD-18532
Children and Cults.
Langone, M. D.;Eisenberg, G.
American Family Foundation.
Chapter in Book
pp. 327-342
Copyright   1993
Publication Information:
In: Langone, M. D. (Editor). Recovery From Cults. New York, NY, W. W. Norton and Company, Inc.
Distributed by:
W. W. Norton and Company, Inc.
500 Fifth Ave.
New York, NY  10110
Tel: (800) 233-4830
http://web.wwnorton.com
1993
This chapter discusses some of the factors that are associated with child abuse and neglect in religious cults and organizations that use religion as a foundation of their mission. Specifically examined are features of these cults that are conducive to the maltreatment and neglect of children in the form of medical neglect, physical abuse, sexual abuse, and homicide. Cases are cited that demonstrate the relationship between the environmental and hierarchical structure in religious cults and organizations and the high incidence of child abuse and neglect that exists within these groups. The final portion of the chapter presents some broad guidelines for treating adolescents and young adults who have experienced abuse or neglect from involvement in a cult. These guidelines are meant to be interpreted loosely, as little to no empirical or clinical evidence has focused on treatment issues in this area. 44 references.
Keywords:
cults; religious immunity; religious organizations; ritual abuse; religion; medical neglect; physical neglect; sexual abuse;

 

CD-17917
Christian Science Spiritual Healing, the Law, and Public Opinion.
Richardson, J. T.;Dewitt, J.
Nevada Univ., Reno.
Journal Article
Copyright   Summer 1992
Journal of Church and State
34(3)549-561
Publication Information:
Baylor Univ., Waco, TX. J.M. Dawson Institute of Church-State Studies.
Reprints available from:
William S. Hein and Co., Inc.
1285 Main St.
Buffalo, NY  14209-1987
Tel: (800) 828-7571
(716) 882-2600

mail@wshein.com
http://www.wshein.com
This article reviews the factors and issues involved with the Christian Science Church and the controversies that arise due to its reliance on spiritual healing over medical treatment for illness. Specifically examined are 7 recent cases in which children of Christian Scientists have died of illnesses that spiritual healing was unable to cure. In these cases criminal charges were brought against the parents of the deceased due to neglectful behavior. This article examines these cases and discusses the implications of their outcomes for the future of the Christian Science faith. Also studied is the impact that public opinion had in these situations, and the conflict that exists between the emphasis Federal Government policy places on the protection of children as opposed to the rights of people to practice their religious beliefs. 28 references.
Keywords:
public opinion; religion; churches role; medical neglect; religious immunity; parental responsibility; child protection laws;

 

CD-17181
Medical Child Neglect: Newmark versus Williams (pro-gen).
Bouldin, P.
Journal Article
Copyright   1991-1992
Journal of Family Law
30(3)673-681
Publication Information:
American Bar Association, Chicago, IL
Reprints available from:
Managing Editor, Journal of Family Law
750 N. Lake Shore Dr.
Chicago, IL  60611-4497
Tel: (800) 285-2221
Fax:  (312) 988-5528
rbright@staff.abanet.org
http://www.aanet.org
This article details a case in which the parents of a 3-year- old boy, who was dying from a form of pediatric cancer known as Burkitt's Lymphoma, rejected the medical treatment proposed for him and sought a course of spiritual aid and prayer guided by a practitioner from the Christian Science Church. After the boy's parents refused medical treatment for him, the Delaware State Division of Child Protective Services petitioned for temporary custody of him so that the hospital could treat him with chemotherapy. The family court found that the boy was a neglected child and awarded custody to the division; however, the parents appealed immediately. The Delaware Supreme Court's analysis of the case is reviewed, focusing on Delaware statutory law on the definition of a neglected child. The Delaware Supreme Court found that the family court failed to consider the importance of the familial relationship and the seriousness of the child's illness in conjunction with the invasiveness of the proposed chemotherapy and its very low chance of success. In addition, the court considered the parents' interest in making decisions for their minor child and the child's interest. Applying the best interest standard, the Delaware Supreme Court reversed the family court's decision and denied the State's petition for temporary custody of the child. Numerous references.
Keywords:
religious immunity; medical neglect; state laws; delaware; liability; parens patriae; child custody;

 

CD-18511
Child Neglect: General Concepts and Medical Neglect.
Johnson, C. F.;Coury, D. L.
Ohio State Univ. Coll. of Medicine, Columbus. Dept. of Pediatrics.
Chapter in Book
pp. 321-331
Copyright   1992
Publication Information:
In: Ludwig, S. and Kornberg, A. E. (Editors). Child Abuse. A Medical Reference. Second Edition. New York, NY, Churchill Livingstone Inc.
Distributed by:
Churchill Livingstone Inc.
650 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY  10011
1992
This chapter discusses the national incidence of general neglect and medical neglect. The definition of medical neglect is provided, and situations that may warrant reporting parents for medical child neglect are identified. The issues of religious exemption and cultural practices within the context of medical neglect are addressed. The features that distinguish neglect from dependency are identified. The information that should be included on a form for reporting neglect is outlined, and the elements of a psychosocial assessment are listed. Suggestions for improving reporting of neglect and treating and preventing neglect are offered. A list of suggested readings is also included. 1 reference, 3 tables, and 3 figures.
Keywords:
medical neglect; incidence; physical neglect; religious immunity; cultural factors; medical aspects of child abuse; child abuse reporting; documentation;

 

CD-16106
Religious Freedom: When It Hurts the Child.
American Prosecutors Research Inst., Alexandria, VA.
Journal Article
Copyright   Spring 1992
CASA Connection
8(2)9
Publication Information:
National CASA Association, Seattle, WA
Reprints available from:
National CASA Association
100 W. Harrison St.
Seattle, WA  98119-4123
Tel: (206) 270-0072
Fax:  (206) 270-0078
staff@nationalcasa.org
http://www.nationalcasa.org
This article considers the right to religious freedom in light of cases where children have died due to the religious practices of their parents. Many children die or have less-than-optimal medical outcomes when parents refuse basic medical treatment because of their belief in spiritual healing. The privacy of family and religious matters might have to be sacrificed when the situation is potentially harmful. Both the National District Attorneys Association and the American Humane Association have called for the repeal of religious exemptions for child abuse. The law allows the court to order medical treatment, but many parents are using the religious freedom clause to avoid prosecution when death and serious disability have already been caused. The right to be free from Government interference in raising children is limited by the child's right to live. The history of prosecutions in these cases and the State laws governing religious freedom in this area are briefly reviewed.
Keywords:
religious organizations; religious immunity; parental rights; legal immunity; medical neglect; child abuse reporting; state laws;

 

CD-17169
Treatment by Spiritual Means as Defense of Felony Child Abuse: Lybarger v. People (pro-gen).
Banks, L. S.
Journal Article
Copyright   1991-1992
Journal of Family Law
30(3)667-673
Publication Information:
American Bar Association, Chicago, IL
Reprints available from:
Managing Editor, Journal of Family Law
750 N. Lake Shore Dr.
Chicago, IL  60611-4497
Tel: (800) 285-2221
Fax:  (312) 988-5528
rbright@staff.abanet.org
http://www.aanet.org
This article details a case in which a father was charged with felony child abuse resulting in the death of his 5-week-old daughter. The father, a recognized minister in the Word of Faith Evangelistic Association, relied on scripturally based healing by prayer when his daughter experienced cold-type symptoms similar to those recently experienced by other family members who were, in the father's opinion, healed by prayer. The baby's symptoms changed sporadically, and she died on a day when she appeared to be better in the morning but worse later in the day. An autopsy showed that she died from acute necrotizing bronchial pneumonia. A physician testified that medical treatment probably would have saved the baby's life. The jury found the father guilty of felony child abuse resulting in his daughter's death. The Colorado Supreme Court reversed his conviction, and the defendant again asserted the statutory affirmative defense of treatment by spiritual means during his new trial. The Colorado Supreme Court's analysis of the case is reviewed. The court found that the defendant met the criteria for the use of the affirmative defense and that the trial court's instruction to the jury contained erroneous statements of law that improperly left the jury the function of determining the availability of the affirmative defense and eliminated the prosecution's burden of proof with respect to that defense. Accordingly, the case was reversed and remanded to the district court for a new trial. 50 references.
Keywords: religious immunity; medical neglect; felony; child fatalities; evidence; proof; trial courts; state supreme courts;

CD-17366
Commonwealth V. Twitchell: Who Owns the Child?
Robinson, S. D.
Journal Article
Copyright   Spring 1991
Journal of Contemporary Health Law and Policy
7413-431
Publication Information:
Catholic Univ. of America, Washington, DC. Columbus School of Law.
Reprints available from:
William S. Hein and Co., Inc.
1285 Main St.
Buffalo, NY  14209-1987
Tel: (800) 828-7571
mail@wshein.com
http://www.wshein.com
This article discusses the legal ramifications in the Massachusetts case of Commonwealth versus Twitchell, in which Christian Scientist parents were convicted of the manslaughter of their 2-year-old son after they did not seek medical treatment for him based on their religious beliefs. Unlike many other articles, this commentary disputes that the rights of the child and the rights of the State supersede those of the parents in cases involving parenting and religious choices. The facts of the case are reviewed and discussed in light of this assertion, and the nature and origin of the Christian Science religion and church are presented. State laws that exempt Christian Scientists and other religious sects from criminal prosecution and liability are also reviewed. 131 references.
Keywords:
court case dispositions; medical aspects of child abuse; medical neglect; religious immunity; religion; churches role; parens patriae; parental rights;

 

CD-16214
Allocating the Costs of Parental Free Exercise: Striking a New Balance Between Sincere Religious Belief and a Child's Right to Medical Treatment.
Monopoli, P. A.
Hill and Barlow, Boston, MA.
Journal Article
Copyright   1991
Pepperdine Law Review
18(2)319-352
Publication Information:
Pepperdine Univ. School of Law, Malibu, CA
Reprints available from:
Pepperdine Univ. School of Law
24255 Pacific Coast Highway
Malibu, CA  90265
http://law.pepperdine.edu/law_review/
This article examines the legal issues surrounding cases involving injury or death of children due to the religious beliefs or convictions of parents that dictate against the use of medical treatment for the child. Parents with such beliefs and convictions often have no legal duty to provide their children with medical treatment due to exemptions under State child abuse laws. These exemptions can prevent the State from prosecuting a parent for the misdemeanor of child neglect for the sole reason that a parent relies on treatment by spiritual means instead of seeking medical attention for a child. This article reviews the case of Robyn Twitchell, a 2-year-old whose parents were members of the Christian Science Church, and discusses the origins and constitutionality of exemptions under the law. The article finds that avoiding unnecessary deaths and parental prosecutions requires the abolishment of statutory exemptions to child abuse and neglect laws through judicial, legislative, or regulatory means, and argues further that such abolition does not infringe on a parent's constitutional right to free exercise of religion. 203 references.
Keywords:
childrens rights; legal definitions; medical aspects of child abuse; medical neglect; medical treatment; parental responsibility; legal immunity; religious immunity;

 

CD-26350
Protecting Children: The Lifeblood of Permissible Intrusion-Balancing State Interests and Individual Religious Rights.
Cinella, J. E.
Journal Article
Copyright   Summer 1991
New England Law Review
25(4)1211-1222
Publication Information:
New England School of Law, Boston
Reprints available from:
New England School of Law
154 Stuart St.
Boston, MA  02116
Tel: (617) 422-7294
Fax:  (617) 422-7451
http://www.nesl.edu/lawrev/lawrev.htm
This article reviews court decisions in cases of conflict between the religious values of parents and the state's responsibility to protect children. Beginning with the Lydia D'Andrea case in 1965, courts have subjugated the will of the parents to the obligation of the state when the life of the child is in danger. In the D'Andrea case, a Massachusetts Superior Court ruled that medical treatment be provided to an infant, even though her parents opposed the use of blood transfusions. Subsequent cases extended the preference for state action to cases in which the child is not in immediate danger and to fetuses. However, the issue of state protection of adults is not as clear. There appears to be a trend in decisions that support the personal rights of patients who wish to terminate or decline treatment. Exceptions are made when the patient has children who may suffer emotionally and financially from the loss of a parent.
Keywords:
child protection; religion; religious immunity; parental rights; courts role; federal case law; parens patriae; judicial decisions;

 

CD-17401
The Criminalization of Belief: When Free Exercise Isn't.
Smith, E. E.
Journal Article
Copyright   July 1991
Hastings Law Journal
42(5)1491-1526
Publication Information:
University of California Hastings College of Law, San Francisco
Reprints available from:
University of California Hastings College of Law
Document Delivery Service
200 McAllister St.

San Francisco, CA  94102
Tel: (415) 551-4107
Fax:  (415) 551-4110
scholarp@uchastings.edu
http://www.uchastings.edu/pubs/docdeliv.html
This article summarizes a case, Walker versus Superior Court, in which a mother did not seek conventional medical care for her seriously ill 4-year-old daughter, but instead treated her daughter with prayer because of her religious beliefs. This mother was charged with felony child endangerment and involuntary manslaughter for failing to seek conventional medical care during her daughter's fatal illness. The California Supreme Court held that the criminal prosecution for felony child endangerment and involuntary manslaughter of this matter did not violate the First Amendment free exercise clause. The U.S. Supreme Court's free exercise cases that establish the distinction between religious beliefs and religious conduct are discussed. The difficulties of satisfactorily defining the term "religion" are examined. The Walker case is used to analyze religiously motivated treatment cases in an attempt to find a consistent application of the U.S. Supreme Court's free exercise doctrines to the spiritual treatment of sick children, focusing on California's objective standard for criminal negligence. The incompatibility of an objective standard with free exercise rights is considered. The article concludes that the holding in the Walker case reduces the distinction between religious beliefs and religious conduct to rhetoric and leaves free exercise protections vulnerable to restriction by the State at all levels. Numerous references.
Keywords:
religious immunity; medical neglect; medical treatment; prosecution; state laws; california; state supreme courts; us supreme court;

 

CD-16191
Walker v. Superior Court: Religious Convictions May Bring Felony Convictions.
Koller, E. R.
Journal Article
Copyright   1990
Pacific Law Journal
21(4)1069-1105
Publication Information:
Western Newspaper Publishing Co., Sacramento, CA.
Reprints available from:
William S. Hein and Co., Inc.
1285 Main St.
Buffalo, NY  14209-1987
Tel: (800) 828-7571
mail@wshein.com
http://www.wshein.com
This note examines the case of Walker v. Superior Court, in which the California Supreme Court disallowed reliance on a religious belief in prayer healing as a defense to felony child endangerment and involuntary manslaughter charges. Existing case law and California statutes discussing religious exemptions to child protection policies are reviewed. The rationale and holding of the court in Walker are examined and the legal ramifications of the Walker decision are presented. The majority held that parents must seek medical aid when serious illness threatens children with injury or death. 301 references.
Keywords:
courts; medical neglect; religious immunity; child neglect laws; child safety; government role; churches role;

 

CD-17227
Freedom of Religion and Parental Care.
Fischer, K.
Journal Article
Copyright   1990
Journal of Juvenile Law
11(1)70-77
Publication Information:
La Verne Law Review, Inc., CA.
Reprints available from:
William S. Hein and Co., Inc.
1285 Main St.
Buffalo, NY  14209-1987
Tel: (800) 828-7571
mail@wshein.com
http://www.wshein.com
This article explores the conflict between the right of parents to exercise freedom of religion in the care of a child who is in need of medical attention and the concern of States for the welfare of such a child. General areas where the courts have interceded on behalf of the minor child are detailed, including States' statutory law concerning the health and welfare of a child and constitutional law. The issue of the stage when medical attention is required is considered. Cases where criminal liability has been imposed on parents for failure to obtain medical treatment for their child are summarized, including People versus Arnold, Walker versus Superior Court, and Pennsylvania versus Barnhart. These cases demonstrate that courts are willing to uphold State intercession on behalf of the minor child who has been denied medical care because of his parents' religious beliefs, particularly when there is imminent danger to the child. They also illustrate that neither statutory nor constitutional law will serve as a defense for parents who fail to obtain medical treatment for a sick child. 41 references.
Keywords:
medical neglect; state laws; religious immunity; legal rights; medical treatment;

 

CD-13594
Christian Scientists Claim Healing Efficacy Equal If Not Superior to That of Medicine.
Skolnick, A.
Journal Article
Copyright   September 19, 1990
Journal of the American Medical Association
264(11)1379-1381
Publication Information:
Chicago, IL, American Medical Association:
Reprints available from:
AMA, Joseph R. Rekash
525 N. State St.
Chicago, IL  60610
Tel: (312) 464-4594
Fax:  (312) 464-4849
joseph_rekash@ama-assn.org
http://www.ama-assn.org
This second of a 2-part article reports that the Christian Science Church has undertaken a campaign to persuade State lawmakers and courts that its method of healing by prayer is as effective as standard medical treatment. An overview of the current societal perception of the religious freedom argument is provided. This argument is employed by Christian Scientists who wish to withhold medical care from their children. Recent court decisions and legislation are cited, including new laws in 3 States that seem to recognize Christian Science healing as an acceptable medical intervention. The theological views that underlie Christian Scientists' aversion to medicine are discussed. 12 references.
Keywords:
religion; medical neglect; state laws; religious immunity; legal immunity; medical treatment;

 

CD-15185
The Law's Response When Religious Beliefs Against Medical Care Impact on Children.
Swan, R.
CHILD, Inc., Sioux City, IA.
Booklet
66 pp.
Copyright   1990
Publication Information:
CHILD, Inc., Sioux City, IA
Distributed by:
CHILD, Inc.
P.O. Box 2604
Sioux City, IA  51106
Tel: (712) 948-3500
1990
Sponsoring Organization:
National Council Against Health Fraud.
This booklet discusses children's legal rights to medical care and traces religious exemptions from a variety of preventive and diagnostic health measures and from health instruction, when parents hold religious beliefs against medical care. The booklet focuses on the right of the Christian Science Church to practice religious healing and the health care services offered by its health care providers. The historical development of parental duties under law to provide medical care is reviewed, and court rulings on challenges to religiously-based medical neglect are reported. In addition, court rulings on cases involving Jehovah's Witnesses are discussed, the issue of religion in custody disputes is examined, religious exemptions from child abuse and neglect charges are explored, prosecutions during the 1980s of religiously-based medical neglect cases are reviewed, and conclusions on religious immunity are offered. Numerous references.
Keywords:
childrens rights; medical treatment; right to treatment; religious organizations; health services; religious immunity; child custody; prosecution;

 

CD-16210
Constitutional Law--Freedom of Religion--Requiring Reports of Religious Counseling Sessions Under Child Abuse Reporting Statutes Does Not Violate the First Amendment. State v. Motherwell, 114 Wash. 2d 353, 788 P.2d 1066 (1990).
McNutt, M. J.
Journal Article
Copyright   Fall 1990
University of Arkansas at Little Rock Law Journal
13(1)151-164
Publication Information:
Arkansas Univ., Little Rock. School of Law
Reprints available from:
University of Arkansas at Little Rock School of Law
1201 McAlmont
Little Rock, AR  72202-5142
http://www.ualr.edu/%7Elawschool/
This article examines child abuse reporting laws and mandatory reporting by religious leaders. In the case of Washington State v. Motherwell, 2 of 3 religious counselors were found guilty. The third, a clergyman, was exempt from reporting under an implied exemption for clergy. While State laws vary, most States have prerequisites to application of the privilege. There must be a religious communication with a clergyman when he is functioning in his official capacity; an intention of confidentiality; and confidentiality must be required by the particular religious discipline. Denial of the clergy privilege under child abuse reporting statutes raises the issues of unconstitutional violation of the religion clauses of the first amendment and free exercise of religion. The court held that the reporting statutes did not violate the first amendment rights of the two clergymen/counselors, because they had not been ordained or licensed when they first learned of the suspected child abuse. The court refused to even consider the impairment of religious counseling as sufficient cause to establish a free exercise infringement. 156 references.
Keywords:
child abuse reporting; mandatory reporting; failure to report abuse; religious immunity; courts; child neglect laws;

 

CD-16867
When Children Die as a Result of Religious Practices.
Scheiderer, J. I.
Journal Article
Copyright   November 5, 1990
Ohio State Law Journal
51(5)1429-1445
Publication Information:
Ohio State Univ. School of Law, Columbus
Reprints available from:
Ohio State Univ. School of Law
55 W. 12th Ave.
Columbus, OH  43210
Tel: (614) 292-2631
http://www.acs.ohio.state.edu/units/law/
This article presents a historical summary of the law in the clash between personal freedom in the practice of religion and governmental interest in the safety of children. When children die because of the religious practices of their parents, criminal liability generally follows. The history of the English common and statutory law is traced. American jurisprudence from 1900 to 1990 is considered, through discussion and the citation of case law. The efficacy of contemporary approaches is examined. Statutory, constitutional, and policy issues are discussed in light of several recent cases. The statutory issues of act or omission distinction, and of level of culpability standards, are reviewed. The constitutional issues of limits placed upon the free exercise clause and the due process argument are considered. Policy issues of State's objectives, parents' interests, and community interest are investigated. The State's interest in the safety of its children outweighs the parents' personal rights to free exercise of religion when the lives of children are threatened. Inclusion of religious exemptions in child endangerment statutes makes no sense. 143 references.
Keywords:
religious immunity; parental rights; medical neglect; legal immunity; liability; trials; state laws; child neglect laws;

 

CD-15036
Religious Accommodation and Criminal Liability.
Clark, C. A.
Journal Article
Copyright   Spring 1990
Florida State University Law Review
17(3)559-590
Publication Information:
Florida State Univ. College of Law, Tallahassee
Reprints available from:
Florida State Univ. College of Law
425 W. Jefferson St.
Tallahassee, FL  32306-1601
Tel: (850) 644-3400
http://www.law.fsu.edu/journals/lawreview/index.html
Religious accommodation and criminal liability are discussed. Florida's religious accommodation statute leads some parents to believe that they are free to rely on spiritual healing in lieu of medical treatment for their ill children. However, the statute fails to protect these parents in a criminal prosecution arising from their children's deaths. Various types of accommodation statutes are described and a recent prosecution is analyzed. It is concluded that such prosecutions are unconstitutional. Revisions to Florida's law are proposed to eliminate ambiguities about what protection the law provides. 175 references. (Author abstract modified)
Keywords:
prosecution; florida; religious immunity; child abuse laws; medical treatment; state laws;

 

CD-17357
The Conflict Between Child's Medical Needs and Parents' Religious Beliefs.
Probst, J. E.
Journal Article
Copyright   Summer 1990
American Journal of Family Law
4(2)175-192
Publication Information:
New York, NY, John Wiley and Sons
Reprints available from:
William S. Hein and Co., Inc.
1285 Main St.
Buffalo, NY  14209-1987
Tel: (800) 828-7571
mail@wshein.com
http://www.wshein.com
This article explores the issue of parents' right to withhold medical treatment from their children based on religious beliefs. The First Amendment protects religious practice and family privacy; however, the state may intervene when a child's well-being is threatened. The article reviews State and Federal court decisions, legislation, and philosophical and theological considerations. The discussion focuses on the need for a Federal statute to provide a uniform standard among the States. 79 endnotes.
Keywords:
parental rights; religious immunity; medical neglect; parens patriae; childrens rights; state laws; judicial decisions;

 

CD-13579
Christian Science. A Sourcebook of Contemporary Materials.
Christian Science Publishing Society, Boston, MA.
Book
348 pp.
Copyright   1990
Publication Information:
Christian Science Publishing Society, Boston, MA
Distributed by:
Christian Science Publishing Society
P.O. Box 1875
Boston, MA  02117
Tel: (800) 877-8400
1990
This book reviews the history of Christian Science, provides an overview of Christian Science beliefs, and includes a reprinted article on the constitutional issues relevant to the ongoing debate over the right of Christian Scientists to withhold medical treatment from their children in favor of religious healing. An argument is made that First Amendment rights should be considered inviolable unless compelling interests warrant their restriction. Building on the premise that a treatment method should be evaluated on the basis of its outcomes, the article asserts that Christian Science healing is effective and should be permitted by law. The book also explains the theoretical principles of Christian Science healing without specific emphasis on children. Numerous references.
Keywords:
religious immunity; religious organizations; medical neglect; religion; legal immunity; legal rights;

 

CD-13582
Freedom and Responsibility. Christian Science Healing for Children.
First Church of Christ, Scientist, Boston, MA.
Book
127 pp.
Copyright   1989
Publication Information:
First Church of Christ, Scientist
Distributed by:
Christian Science Publishing Society
P.O. Box 1875
Boston, MA  02117
Tel: (800) 877-8400
1989
This book articulates the Christian Scientist perspective on religious healing versus standard medical interventions for sick children. The book consists primarily of reprinted articles, essays, letters to newspaper editors, and similar documents that have contributed recently to the debate over Christian Scientists' right to withhold medical treatment from their children. The first section provides information on the types of health care Christian Scientists do approve for their children and argues for social acceptance of religious healing. Subsequent sections examine the evidence for the effectiveness of Christian Science healing, present reasons for accommodating these practices in the law, and consider the social effects of outlawing religious healing. An appendix describes evidence of the success of the Christian Science method. Numerous references.
Keywords:
religious immunity; social attitudes; legal rights; laws; religious organizations; religion; medical neglect;

 

CD-16247
Constitutional Law: Parental Denial of a Child's Medical Treatment for Religious Reasons.
Trahan, J.
Annual Survey of American Law.
Journal Article
Copyright   1989
1989 Annual Survey of American Law
307-341
Reprints available from:
Reprints not available
   
This article deals with the legal system's response to the increasingly prevalent problem of parental refusal of a child's medical treatment for religious reasons. Sections examine State statutes that have eliminated the need for parental consent to a child's medical treatment in certain situations, and discuss the U.S. Supreme Court's guidance in balancing constitutionally protected rights of the parent against the interest of the State in the health and welfare of the child. The article reviews State court cases concerning parental denial of medical treatment to minors based upon religious beliefs, focusing on cases in which a minor faces no present harm as a result of parental denial of medical treatment, a child faces imminent death in the absence of medical treatment, a child is endangered but death is not imminent in the absence of medical treatment, and a child is endangered but death is not imminent in the absence of medical treatment and the parent has nonreligious objections to treatment. In addition, it reports on State child neglect statutes, focusing on those that require parents to provide medical treatment for their children, exempt from a finding of neglect those parents who deny their children treatment for religious reasons, and empower courts to authorize medical treatment for children despite religious exemptions. Methods to reform State statutes to provide better guidance to the judiciary are also explored. Numerous references.
Keywords:
medical neglect; religious immunity; state laws; us supreme court; state supreme courts; state courts; medical treatment;

 

CD-14159
When Rights Clash: The Conflict Between a Parent's Right to Free Exercise of Religion Versus His Child's Right to Life.
Gathings, J. T., Jr.
Journal Article
Copyright   1989
Cumberland Law Review
19(3)585-616
Publication Information:
Samford Univ., Birmingham, AL. Cumberland School of Law
Reprints available from:
Bell and Howell Information and Learning
P.O. Box 1346  300 N. Zeeb Rd.
Ann Arbor, MI  48106-1346
Tel: (800) 521-0600
(734) 761-4700

info@bellhowell.infolearning.com
http://www.bellhowell.infolearning.com
This article addresses the problems created by religious exemption statutes that relieve parents of a statutory duty to provide medical care for their children if they pursue faith healing in accordance with their religious beliefs. The history of religious exemptions is presented, and their effects on child welfare agencies are analyzed. The California Supreme Court's response to that State's religious exemption statute is detailed, with an emphasis on a case in which a child died of meningitis following treatment by a Christian Science faith healer. The court concluded that parents could be held criminally liable when a child dies following the administration of faith healing without accompanying medical care. The court also determined that prosecution of the parents for involuntary manslaughter and felony child neglect did not violate statutory law nor State and Federal constitutional rights. The constitutional rights of the parent and the child are discussed, and the due process problems caused by prayer treatment exemptions are explored, focusing on the factors of whether the California statute provides notice that the contemplated use of prayer healing is forbidden and provides sufficient standards to prevent arbitrary and discriminatory enforcement. In addition, a suggestion is offered that the California religious exemption statute be amended to protect the constitutional rights of parents as fully as possible and also protect the lives of their children. Numerous references.
Keywords: childrens rights; legal immunity; medical neglect; religious immunity; california; state laws; federal laws; due process;

CD-15171
Walker v. Superior Court: A Question of Faith?
Semanson, C. A.
Journal Article
Copyright   Spring 1989
Detroit College of Law Review
(1)263-281
Publication Information:
Michigan State Univ. Detroit Coll. of Law
Reprints available from:
William S. Hein and Co., Inc.
1285 Main St.
Buffalo, NY  14209-1987
Tel: (800) 828-7571
mail@wshein.com
http://www.wshein.com
The evolution of California's child neglect and child- endangerment statutes and the factors that have been considered in regulating freedom of religious expression are reviewed. The case of Walker v. Superior Court is cited. The inevitable areas of constitutional conflict based on the current language of the statutes conferring exemptions on certain parents who provide spiritual healing for their children is noted. 141 references.
Keywords:
religion; parental rights; death; medical neglect; religious immunity; california;

 

CD-10260
Religion and Child Abuse. (Letter).
Fletcher, J. L.
Medical Coll. of Georgia, Augusta. Family Practice Center.
Journal Article
Copyright   October 1988
Pediatrics
82(4)673-674
Publication Information:
Elk Grove Village, IL, American Academy of Pediatrics
Reprints available from:
American Academy of Pediatrics
141 Northwest Point Blvd.
Elk Grove Village, IL  60007-1098
Tel: (800) 433-9016
kidsdocs@aap.org
http://www.aap.org
The recent statement by the American Academy of Pediatrics' Committee on Bioethics regarding religious exemptions from child abuse statutes is reviewed. This letter argues that definitions of the boundary between parental freedom and the interests of the child, and the definition of efficacious care need clarification. Two further dangers mentioned are the application of professional knowledge by arrogant physicians and the growing social policy of statism. The trend toward increased intervention by Federal and state governments is discussed. 2 references.
Keywords:
religion; child protection laws; best interests of the child; parental rights; religious immunity; civil liberties; pediatricians;

 

CD-10389
Religion and Child Abuse. (Reply).
Fost, N. C.
Wisconsin Univ. Hospital, Madison. Dept. of Pediatrics.

Journal Article
Copyright   October 1988
Pediatrics
82(4)674
Publication Information:
Elk Grove Village, IL, American Academy of Pediatrics
Reprints available from:
American Academy of Pediatrics
141 Northwest Point Blvd.
Elk Grove Village, IL  60007-1098
Tel: (800) 433-9016
kidsdocs@aap.org
http://www.aap.org
This reply to a letter regarding the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Bioethics' statement about religious immunity from child abuse statutes clarifies the original position paper. It is argued that the appellate process has consistently upheld the duty of the state to mandate clearly beneficial treatment, regardless of whether the parental refusal is based on religious or other reasons. Concerns about overuse of the child abuse reporting system are analyzed. Any reporting system has low specificity, resulting in great distress to families found innocent of wrongdoing; the cost of a system with high specificity would be an increased incidence of preventable death, disability, and suffering for children.
Keywords:
religious immunity; parental rights; medical neglect; legal immunity; physicians responsibility; child abuse reporting;

 

CD-12786
Prosecution OK'd When Prayer Healing Ineffective, Child Dies.
Bussiere, A.
Journal Article
Copyright   November-December 1988
Youth Law News
9-10
Publication Information:
National Center for Youth Law, San Francisco, CA
Reprints available from:
National Center for Youth Law
114 Sansome St., Suite 900
San Francisco, CA  94104
Tel: (415) 543-3307
info@youthlaw.org
http://www.youthlaw.org
Using a 1988 California Supreme Court case as an example, this article discusses the legal arguments surrounding prosecution of parents whose attempts to use prayer as a treatment for their children fail. The case in question is that of Laurie Walker, a Christian Science follower whose use of prayer in lieu of traditional medical care failed when used on her daughter, Shauntay Walker. The State Supreme Court stated that the March 1984 death was properly considered by a lower court to be a case of involuntary manslaughter and felony child endangerment. The court rejected arguments by Ms. Walker (along with the Church of Christ, Scientist and the American Civil Liberties Union) that California law precluded prosecution in cases where prayer is used unsuccessfully to treat illness, citing a State law that, as read by the defense, makes the withholding of health care from a minor a misdemeanor. The court accepted the defense's argument in part, but opined that the law does not extend to the manslaughter and child endangerment statutes in question. In addition, the court considered it well established that, while prayer healing is not grounds for prosecution on charges of child abuse in and of itself, when the treatment results in physical endangerment to the child it can be considered to be abusive. The court concluded that the egregiousness of the case in question differentiated it from other cases resulting in the death of a child, and a jury should decide whether there should be a conviction of involuntary manslaughter and child endangerment.
Keywords:
death; courts; religion; child protection laws; prosecution; medical aspects of child abuse; religious immunity; state supreme courts;

CD-10372
Religious Exemptions From Child Abuse Statutes.
American Academy of Pediatrics, Elk Grove Village, IL. Committee on Bioethics.
Journal Article
Copyright   January 1988
Pediatrics
81(1)169-171
Publication Information:
Elk Grove Village, IL, American Academy of Pediatrics
Reprints available from:
American Academy of Pediatrics
141 Northwest Point Blvd.
Elk Grove Village, IL  60007-1098
Tel: (800) 433-9016
kidsdocs@aap.org
http://www.aap.org
This article examines situations where children die or become disabled for lack of medical treatment because of the religious or philosophical beliefs of their parents. The boundary between parental freedom in child rearing and the rights of the child is discussed; it is argued that constitutional guarantees of freedom of religion do not sanction harming another person in the practice of religion. It is asserted that child abuse, medical neglect, and neglect statutes should be applied without exemption for religious beliefs; state legislatures and regulatory agencies should be urged to remove religious exemption clauses from statutes and regulations. It is concluded that pediatricians must take the lead in increasing public awareness of the hazards of religious exemptions to child abuse statutes as they work to have such exemptions removed. 4 references.
Keywords:
religious immunity; parental rights; legal immunity; medical neglect; childrens rights; physicians responsibility;

 

CD-09627
When Solace Ends and Crime Begins: Clergy and Confidentiality.
Reynolds, B.
Journal Article
Copyright   Spring 1986
Connections in the Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse
1(2)4-5
Reprints available from:
Reprints not available
   
The dilemma that confronts a Roman Catholic priest when he hears a confession involving a crime (such as child abuse) is discussed. Since the confidentiality of confession is inviolable, priests--like other professionals whose jobs involve some measure of confidentiality--must find ways to address confessed problems or crimes without violating the confidence. A distinction is made between sacramental confidence and professional confidence; priests must often deal with both kinds of confidence, since many priests are involved in counseling. In the case of child abuse, the priest can instruct the penitent to seek psychological counseling; the abuser would thus receive needed therapy, while the counselor could report any suspected incident of child abuse that emerges in a counseling session. Any confidence not disclosed in sacramental confession must be weighed against the welfare of the individual and the common good, using the best judgment of the priest.
Keywords:
child abuse reporting; religious immunity; confidentiality; counseling;

 

CD-07092
Faith Healing, Christian Science, and the Medical Care of Children.
Swan, R.
Children's Healthcare Is a Legal Duty, Inc., Sioux City, Iowa.
Journal Article
Copyright   December 29, 1983
New England Journal of Medicine
309(26)1639-1641
Publication Information:
Massachusetts Medical Society, Waltham
Reprints available from:
Massachusetts Medical Society
1440 Main St.
Waltham, MA  02154
Christian Science is one of many drugless healing methods. The status of Christian Science, lying between religion and medicine, presents problems in the area of child abuse and neglect. While 16 States require Christian Science practitioners to report suspected child abuse and neglect, the church evades responsibility for reporting sick children. In addition, the church persuaded the Federal Government to place a religious immunity proviso in the Code of Federal Regulations. Thus, parents who withhold medical treatment from children because of religious beliefs cannot be charged with abuse or neglect. Abuse and neglect laws should be revised so parents have a duty to provide medical care for sick children, regardless of religious beliefs. While parents who rely on faith healing are exempt from abuse and neglect charges, courts can still order medical treatment for the children. The current revival of national interest in faith healing endangers thousands of children in sects that oppose medical treatment and diagnosis. Neither parents nor their counselors should be allowed to deny children medical care in the names of religion.
Keywords:
child abuse reporting; religion; churches role; religious immunity; medical neglect;

 

CD-06718
Healing Sects and Children's Rights to Medical Care.
Swan, R.;Houy, M.;Carnes, R. M.
Jamestown Coll., ND. Dept. of English.
Proceedings Paper
pp. 174-180
Public Domain   April 1981
Publication Information:
In: Proceedings of the Fifth National Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect, Wisconsin Univ., Milwaukee, April 5-8, 1981. Region V Child Abuse and Neglect Resource Center
   
April 1981
Sponsoring Organization:
National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect (DHHS), Washington, DC.
Three workshop members discuss the legal status of members of various religious sects (primarily Christian Scientists) who refuse medical treament for their seriously ill children under child abuse-neglect statutes, and the Christian Science position is explained. Federal statutes protect from prosecution parents who do not provide medical treatment for their child if their religious beliefs prohibit medical treatment. However, the same statutes generally allow the court to order medical services for a child when that child's health requires it. The practical result of these statutes is that medical treatment is often withheld from sick children because they cannot be identified in time to undergo court-ordered medical treatment. A legislative proposal developed to amend Michigan law is designed to provide protection for these children by requiring Christian Science practitioners to report under the Child Protection Law. A Christian Science representative replies that Christian Science doctrine leaves church members free to use any medical treatment system they choose.
Keywords:
child protection laws; medical neglect; religious immunity; parental attitudes; proposed legislation; childrens rights;

 

CD-16220
State Legislation Providing a Religious Defense to Criminal Child Abuse and Neglect.
National Center for Prosecution of Child Abuse, Alexandria, VA.
Information Packet or Sheet
7 pp.
Copyright   Undated
Publication Information:
National Center for Prosecution of Child Abuse, Alexandria, VA
Distributed by:
National Center for Prosecution of Child Abuse
Alexandria, VA  

Undated
This document lists the statutory references and dates of enactment that provide religious defenses to criminal child abuse and neglect for 20 States. For each State referenced, the title of the crime and any exemptions provided by the religious defense statute of that State are given. Particular reference is made to religious beliefs that prevent invasive medical treatment.
Keywords:
legal definitions; religious organizations; religious immunity; parental rights; medical neglect; human rights; legal rights; medical treatment;

 

 

 

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