In bizarre religions ritual, cult members murder their child

Hat-tip to PZ for shining some light onto local idiocy. The basic story is an old one—family kills kid by refusing medical care for a curable condition. In this case, it’s a child with type I diabetes. This hits close to home for two reasons: I’m an internist, and my nephew is a type I diabetic, diagnosed at four years of age.

In the case above, an innocent child was killed by ignorance. Perhaps there is a preacher somewhere behind this murder. I’d like to know. The parents prayed for their ailing daughter, but “apparently didn’t have enough faith.” The child died of diabetic ketoacidosis—her death was likely slow and painful. No one would have confused her state for a minor problem.

I can’t tell you anything about the state of mind of these parents. I’m sure they loved their child. But whether they were delusional, or belonged to some Christian cult, they murdered their child just as sure as if they’d put a gun to her head.

There is no ethical principle that can be used to justify this behavior. Parental autonomy just isn’t important enough to justify murder.

Once upon a time, kids became diabetics, and either starved to death or died of ketoacidosis. Then insulin was discovered. People used it and lived. And people still believed in God. What is so different about this couple’s God, that It demanded a child’s life?


God did not come to their house, sit down for dinner, and tell them not to treat their child. God did not send a registered letter, or leave their name in the Bible with instructions to stay away from doctors. These are all human beliefs and human actions, and as such, are subject to human laws.