This morning Stephen ran across this article on MSNBC. For those of you that don’t follow my links, this is my synopsis of the case… Couple thought their daughter had the flu and instead of taking her to the doctor they invited people from their Bible study over to pray for her. In actuality, she had diabetes and was having a diabetic attack. And, unfortunately she died. Now they are being tried for second degree murder in her death.
My husband brought the story up as a conversation starter and something to ponder: When as Christians do we trust God or modern medicine or both? Of course this whole faith thing is what the media is clinging to in the case and making a big deal about.
In the middle of his telling of the story though, I could hardly contain myself and not interupt him because as a journalist I had done a story with nearly similar circumstances, minus the prayer part. The article I did is here, but a lot of the family’s story got cut due to space and the fact that we were really doing a story about the JDRF walk and not just about the family. So the part that is missing from the story is that the mom took her son to the doctor/ER a bunch of times in that 10 day period and he was misdiagnosed each time with the flu. It was flu season and the news reports were all about how overcrowded the ER was and how if you thought you had the flu you should stay home. She was basically told by the on-call doctors in her previous visits that there was nothing they could do for him, that she should go home and make sure he got plenty of rest and fluids.
Her mother-instinct told her something wasn’t right though so she persisted and went back to the ER again. Finally, an on-call doctor recognized the symptoms as a diabetic attack and not the flu and immediately gave him insulin. The on-call doctor said her son was just hours from death and that it was a good thing she brought him in.
So anyway, faith debate aside, if doctors who are professionally trained to treat sickness and disease have a problem misdiagnosing diabetes as the flu, why should we expect lay people to be any different? Is it so wrong that this couple decided to stay home and turn to prayer as a cure? I mean for all they know had they taken their daughter to the hospital they may have been turned away with the prescription for rest and fluids. They may have even been told they should have just stayed home because she had the flu just like the mom in my story.
Isn’t the death of their daughter enough pain? Do they really need to be charged with second degree murder too? What do you think?