Sunday, July 25, 2010

Faith Healing - In Pictures

Even once in a while, we hear about some fundamentalist parents keeping their children from receiving medical care, and instead relying on prayer.  This often leads to disastrous consequences for the children.  What we don't often see the effects of this child abuse so clearly as the following case.

Another couple from the Followers of Christ church in Oregon City stand accused of criminal mistreatment for deliberately withholding medical care from their child. Timothy and Rebecca Wyland of Beavercreek believe in treating sickness with prayer rather than medicine, even when prayer doesn't work.
Their infant daughter, Alayna, has a serious eye problem, which they chose not to treat. Someone notified authorities and the state intervened, and now the Wylands are trying to regain custody of their daughter. 

Medical experts describe the eye problem as a hemangioma, a fast-growing mass of blood vessels. Normally the condition could be diagnosed and easily treated at the first signs of swelling or discoloration. Left untreated, the mass pushed Alayna's eye down and out, placing profound pressure on her eyeball and eye socket, as The Oregonian's Steve Mayes reported.

It's not clear whether Alayna will go blind in that eye or somehow recover. The only certain thing is that the Wylands deliberately withheld medical care, and admitted in court to doing so, from a baby whose injury was painfully obvious. 
In addition to the article, there are images of Alayna in her condition below.

NOTE:  The image below is graphic and may be upsetting to some.  I'm putting it below the fold, in case anyone would prefer not to see it. The link to the original story also contains the image, so be warned if you follow the link.

On the one hand, images like this stir emotions, even though its not worse than a lot of other illness kids have that you can't see so clearly.  However, if it's tugging on my heart-strings to look at a single picture, I know it must be eating this girl's parents alive to see something like this, on their own child.  And they still continue to do nothing.  And while I prefer reasoned, logical argument to emotional pleas, I also understand that many people will be spurred into action by seeing things like this.  Hopefully more people will begin to speak out against the special treatment religious parents get in cases like these.
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