Woman left with life-threatening heart condition after parents chose prayer over medical treatment
A set of parents turned to prayer in order to heal there daughter.
A woman’s heart and lung health was subjected to health complications when her parents made the decision to reject any treatment for their daughters health condition and sought prayer instead.
Mariah Walton had been born with a tiny hole in her heart, which could have been fixed in her early years.
Now that her parents rejected care, she is intermittently in and out of the hospital. From Idaho, the 21-year old and her siblings have launched a campaign geared towards changing the state’s law to mandating parents who practice “faith healing” to be prosecuted.
“My lungs burn because I can’t get the oxygen I need,” she told local news channel KTVB.
“They used to pray over me. The’d say things like; ‘God’s going to heal you, just have faith’ and all kinds of stuff… I think it’s time to prosecute them”
Ms. Walton and her 9 siblings were brought up through the Mormon church. She had been diagnosed with congenital heart disease at the age of 18. Her younger sister explained to the interviewer that the parents would say to them “we needed to pray for Mariah, that she wasn’t growing or doing well, and the evil spirits would leave her.” The mother was said to have utilized essential oils and herbs, along with prayer to “heal” Mariah.
Parent’s aren’t prosecuted for neglect of a minor in the State of Idaho as they permit faith-based healing rather than medical attention.
The senator of Idaho, Lee Sneider, spoke out and said last year there was no plans to make a change in the states law, as religion is protected by the constitution, under the first amendment. Children’s Right to Live, a campaign group, says that there is a continued effort still going on to change the law, but cautioned that new proposals could endanger more lives.
A spokesperson spoke on behalf of the group to The Independent, and said that lawmakers “considered two bills on the topic.”
One was geared towards “rearranging the left language in the laws to create the appearance of making reforms without actually changing anything substantive,” they said.“
Another would have made things worse by expanding the loophole to cover parents who neglect their children in the name of ideological as well as religious beliefs and practices.”
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