Religious couple who prayed while daughter died of diabetes going before Supreme Court
A Wisconsin couple thought that prayer would heal their 11-year-old daughter who was suffering from a case of life-threatening diabetes.
The girl, Madeline Kara Neumann, got sick in March of 2008. Her parents, Dale and Leilani Neumann, believed that she was simply under "spiritual attack." Their daughter died on Easter Sunday of diabetes--a condition that would have been treatable had her parents sought medical care.
"It is very surprising, shocking that she wasn't allowed medical intervention," District Attorney Jill Falstad said.
Now the couple will go before the Supreme Court today in an effort to convince the state that what they did wasn't homicide. The case revolves around the idea that parents have some form of religious freedom if they choose to opt for "faith healing" practices.
The couple was charged with second-degree reckless homicide. They were sentenced to each serve 30 days in jail every year for six years, and both parents were put on probation for 10 years.
Some states have laws to protect parents when they choose to refuse medical science for healing purposes, but the line is not clear when these practices result in a person's--especially a child's--death.
The couple is arguing that state law protects them from being prosecuted for something that is not clearly defined as a crime. If they are convicted, they face up to 25 years in prison.
Source: Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel