Oregon House unanimously votes to end faith healing exception

The Oregon House approved a bill Thursday that would remove legal protection for parents who choose faith healing over medical intervention when treating their children.

The legislation comes in response to an Oregon City church, the Followers of Christ, that has a long history of child deaths even though the conditions from which the children died were medically treatable.

Currently, spiritual treatment can be used as a defense against some* homicide charges. The bill would eliminate that defense and subject parents who chose faith healing over medical treatment at the expense of their child’s life to mandatory sentencing under Measure 11.

“In the past two years alone, two children have died and another had been severely disfigured due to lack of medical care,” said Democratic Rep. Carolyn Tomei, one of the bill’s sponsors. “These children suffered needlessly. Their deaths were avoidable.”

Update: The bill was signed by the Governor, and went in to effect, on June 9, 2011.

House Bill 2721 “Eliminates reliance on spiritual treatment as defense to certain crimes in which victim is under 18 years of age” [Full text PDF file]
Research resources on faith healing
Online book: Churches That Abuse
Cult FAQ
More articles about Followers of Christ Church, theologically a cult of Christianity

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Religion News Blog posted this on Friday March 11, 2011.
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