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Hayden Brady4/8/16writing 2010 Heather Stone We need to protect our children from religion On average, there are ten recorded people in the United States that die each year from treatable diseases (Robinson, B.A.). It isn’t because the family cannot afford the cost of the hospital, it isn’t due to an irrational preference for homeopathy, and it isn’t from crippling germophobia. It is because their religion does not permit them to pursue medical assistance. Groups like The Body of Christ, Church of the First Born, Bible Readers Fellowship, End Time Ministries, Faith Assembly, Faith Tabernacle Congregation, Grace Baptist Church, snake handlingsects, First Century Gospel Church, Eagle Mountain International, and many other smaller sects have established the belief and rule in the communities in which they live that they will not go to the hospital or receive medical assistance even when the condition is life-threatening (Robinson, B.A.). When sickness falls upon the members of these congregations, they may only pray for the illness to go away. If they were to seek medical attention, the “non-believers” wouldbe accused of not trusting God fully, through Whom anything is possible. Although some groupsmay eventually forgive those who seek medical attention, more radical groups ostracize those that don’t believe, forcing them to move or even enacting The bigger problem is that those ten reported people that die each year from religious inaction aren’t just people, they are children- children who are unlucky enough to be born to
parents that won’t act in a physical way to help them when they are sick. This is something that needs to end; children that may not believe what their parents think should not have to becomemartyrs to their parents’ God. Parents should not be able to make religiously inspired decisions for their underage children in respect to medical conditions until they are of age. Parents are given the responsibility to act in and as an authority for their children until they are old enough to decide for themselves and the rejection of the medical aid violates that commitment. Parentsshould not be able to do this because, first, autonomy is established to act in the best interest ofanother, and letting someone die is not in their best interest. Second, it is a doctor’s job preserve the life and health of their patients. Faith based healing prevents doctors from acting and can leave lasting damage on both the doctor and the patient. Finally, all life is precious and worth saving, and modern medicine offers the best chance at preserving it. Therefore, all children deserve access to said medicine, regardless of their parents’ beliefs. Everything in the medical world begins with autonomy. “Authority and accountability must be shared when emotionally and rationally capable adults make medical decisions based on the advice given to them by a physician” (Bosek, M. D.). However, autonomy, the power to