The advancements of modern day medical science and religious beliefs clash; the result is innocent people are dying. Many people let religion guide their everyday lives. In certain cases, one's beliefs prohibit him from accessing medical care in favor of spiritual healing. The decision to refuse medical treatment because of religious beliefs can harm the children of society. Parents have a legal obligation to refrain from actions that may harm their child. These children because of circumstances beyond their control are not given the care they need. This care is the difference between life and death. The refusal of medical treatment by a parent for a child puts not only the child endanger but also the parent. This is demonstrated through the death of Ian Lundman, the 1974 Federal Child Abuse and Treatment Act, and the refusal of blood transfusions by the Jehovah’s Witnesses Church.
Adults who are members of Christian Science Church may refuse medical treatment so long as they are capable of making a rational decision about it. The same does not hold true in the case of children. Children are vulnerable. When it comes to the health of children, the government has the obligation for the protection and welfare of those who cannot defend or protect themselves. The example of a boy named Ian Lundman with stomach pains is key to this argument. His biological mother and stepfather were of the Christian Science Church and did not seek medical help to assist Ian with his pains. Ian died a few days later. He died from diabetes which could have been treated with insulin. This exemplifies how the belief of the healing power of prayer cannot compare to proven medical treatments that can heal a person’s illness and prevent death.
In 1974, the Federal Child Abuse and Treatment Act was adopted. This act defines abuse and neglect as the physical and mental injury of a child under the age of 18. This act positions the government laws versus the church beliefs. The health and...