Faith-healing parents arrested; plead not guilty in death of son

Faith-healing parents arrested

The mother and father of a teenager who died in June turned themselves in Thursday to face charges of criminally negligent homicide.

Neal Beagley, 16, died because of bladder complications nearly four months ago. Authorities said his parents belong to the Followers of Christ Church, a religion relying on prayer in place of medical care.

After Beagley died, a medical examiner ruled his death could have been prevented had his family taken him to a doctor.

Based upon findings from the grand jury, the Clackamas County Circuit Court issued arrest warrants Wednesday for Jeffrey Dean Beagley and Marci Rae Beagley in connection with their son’s death.


Faith Healing
The term ‘faith healing’ refers to healing that occurs supernaturally — as the result of prayer rather than the use of medicines or the involvement of physicians or other medical care.
But while faith healings do take place today just as they did in the early Christian church, the teachings of some churches, movements and individuals on this subject amount to spiritual abuse.
Legitimate churches and movements do not equal using drugs or receiving proper medical attention with unbelief, insufficient faith, or otherwise sinning against God.

Commentary/resources by ReligionNewsBlog.com

Clackamas County prosecutors said the Beagleys turned themselves into authorities Wednesday after a grand jury indicted the couple on criminally negligent homicide charges.
[…]

The Oregon City-based Followers of Christ Church isn’t associated with a mainstream denomination. It has 2,000 members, most of who live in the Oregon City and Gladstone area.

After several children from the church died in the 1990s, Oregon lawmakers passed new laws striking down legal shields for faith-healing parents.
[…]

The Beagley family is also connected to another recent high-profile case, which involved a toddler who died in March. Carl and Raylene Worthington, who are members of the church, were charged with manslaughter and criminal mistreatment in connection with the death of their 15-month-old daughter, Ava.

Neil was the uncle of Ava, who died of bacterial pneumonia. In that case, too, the medical examiner ruled that death could’ve been prevented with a simple medical procedure.

The Worthingtons’ trial is scheduled for next year.
[…]

– Source: Faith-healing parents arrested, KXL.com, Oct. 3, 2008 — Summarized by Religion News Blog

The parents of an Oregon City boy who died during attempts to heal him with prayer pleaded not guilty Friday to criminally negligent homicide.

Jeffrey Dean Beagley, 50, and Marci Rae Beagley, 46, quietly entered their pleas in Clackamas County Circuit Court in Oregon City. They made no statements and were released on bond.

A grand jury indictment accused them of “failing to provide adequate medical care to a child, in violation of the duty of a parent.”

Several of the Beagleys’ relatives attended the arraignment, including their daughter, Raylene Worthington and her husband, Carl, whose 15-month-old daughter died under similar circumstances in March. The Worthingtons are awaiting trial on charges of manslaughter and criminal mistreatment.

– Source: Oregon City parents plead not guilty in faith-healing case, Steve Mayes, The Oregonian, Oct. 4, 2008 — Summarized by Religion News Blog

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This post was last updated: Dec. 16, 2016