Cult of Life

I saw the following story the other day in Petulant's roundup, but was a bit too dumbstruck to write anything about it at the time:
Police are investigating an 11-year-old girl's death from an undiagnosed, treatable form of diabetes after her parents chose to pray for her rather than take her to a doctor. [...]

The girl's mother, Leilani Neumann, said the family believes in the Bible and that healing comes from God, but she said they do not belong to an organized religion or faith, are not fanatics and have nothing against doctors. [...]

Leilani Neumann said she and her husband are not worried about the investigation because "our lives are in God's hands. We know we did not do anything criminal. We know we did the best for our daughter we knew how to do."
Now, keep in mind that the only reason there's an investigation in the first place is because the girl's aunt, who lives on the west coast, was told that Leilani called to say that her daughter, Madeline, is in a coma and that she's relying on faith. At that point, the aunt desperately tried to intervene by calling the local Wisconsin authorities to get them to bust through the front door and save that child.

I'm not completely sure what bugs me the most about this, but I'm struck by the contrast of responsibility and the lack thereof. When you decide to bring a child into the world, you inherit a rather big list of responsibilities, not the least of which is the health and welfare of that child. Contrast that with Leilani's nonchalant, if not convenient, belief that absolves her of all responsibility: everything is in God's hands. Well, that's all fine and good, but how far do you take that? If she accidentally cuts herself, does she apply pressure and put on a band aid or does she walk around the house in an oblivious fashion while God attempts to heal the wound?

When all is said and done, I feel horrible for the other children who have just witnessed, in rather clear and certain terms, that they're basically on their own. I also feel bad for the father; the moment reality hit, he risked blasphemy by taking matters away from God's hands and into his own, if only too late.
The girl's father, Dale Neumann, a former police officer, said he started CPR "as soon as the breath of life left" his daughter's body.

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