Dale and Leilani Neumann of Wausau Wisconsin have been charged with 2nd degree reckless homicide for letting their 11 year old daughter die of diabetes while they prayed for her recovery rather than seeking medical care.
Their family’s attorney is fighting the case saying that the courts, if the charges are allowed to continue, will “become entangled in constitutionally protected religious matters.” because the charges “…unconstitutionally infringe on their right to freely exercise their religion.”
An autopsy determined the child, Madeline Neumann, died from undiagnosed diabetes at the family's rural Weston home on Easter. Court records indicated that the girl most likely showed symptoms for weeks, and perhaps months, before she died.
Leilani Neumann, 40, indicated that the family believes that healing comes from God, and that they never expected their daughter to die because they prayed for her. Both parents considered the child’s illness a test of faith, and felt the child was under a spiritual attack that could be healed through prayer. They were shocked when she died.
Unfortunately, while the parents got the chance to practice the faith of their choice, the child paid the ultimate price for their archaic superstition. The Court will decide on Oct 3rd whether to charge them or not.
Sources: Associated Press, Robert Imrie, Sept. 2, 2008