Parents face charges for withholding care

    The parents of a 2-year-old boy face criminal charges in his death after failing to provide him with medical care because of their religion.

    The parents of a 2-year-old boy face criminal charges in his death after failing to provide him with medical care because of their religion.

    Listen:
    [audio: 091008tmchristian.mp3]

    The boys’ parents, who belonged to First Century Gospel Church in Juanita Park, had prayed for their son’s healing, but pneumonia claimed his life.

    Penn Bio-ethicist Art Caplan says the separation between church and state has limits.

    Caplan: And asking them to martyr themselves or die for a religious belief I think is going too far. So yes, adults should have the right to choose but children, we have to have society step in and say you can carry your religious beliefs pretty far but not when you ask your child to die.

    This is not the first time that churches and state have clashed in Philadelphia over medical treatment. In 1991, there were eight deaths when First Century and another fundamentalist church refused to vaccinate children during a measles epidemic.

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