Boy dies from easily treatable condition while family prays for healing.

Here’s a story we’re seeing with more and more regularity. It’s from the Too Much Faith Will Make You Crazy file and it involves a young man who’d be alive today if the people purported to care about him would have taken him to a doctor’s office. Instead the opted to pray for God to heal him. God, apparently, had better things to do:

GLADSTONE, Ore. – A 16-year-old boy who, along with his parents, believed in faith healing died as a result of an inflammation in his urinary system that is treatable, a deputy medical examiner said Wednesday.

The boy, identified by authorities as Neil Beagley, was suffering from an inflammation in a tube leading from his bladder – the urethra – that made him unable to urinate, according to Dr. Clifford Nelson, a deputy state medical examiner.

Beagley filled up with urine, and that eventually ruined his bladder and kidneys and resulted in heart failure, said Nelson, who called it “an absolutely horrible way to die.”

A simple procedure with a catheter is all it would’ve taken to save his life, but his folks and his fellow church members figured why go through all that trouble when God promises to heal you if you just ask? Best of all no one is likely to be charged in this unfortunate situation:

It was not clear what transpired between March and this week. Gladstone police said the boy got sick about a week ago and his condition worsened Sunday, causing members of his faith-healing church to gather for prayer rather than take him to a hospital. The boy died Tuesday afternoon surrounded by family members and a board member of the church called authorities.

Police said relatives and church members told them the teenager refused treatment for the illness, as he was entitled to do under Oregon law.

“All of the interviews from last night are that he did in fact refuse treatment,” said Sgt. Lynne Benton of Gladstone police. “Unless we can disprove that, charges probably won’t be filed in this case.

She said state law allows minors 14 and older to make such decisions.

Sounds like an early candidate for next year’s Darwin Awards. Shame someone so young would throw their lives away on a silly superstition, but that’s the risk you take when you choose to have too much faith in invisible sky faeries.

48 thoughts on “Boy dies from easily treatable condition while family prays for healing.

  1. “but that’s the risk you take when you choose to have too much faith in invisible sky faeries.”

    Or be brainwashed into believing such freakin’ nonsense when you’re a young child.

  2. Obviously, God decided to have mercy on this poor boy and take him to Heaven. That proves that God exists.

  3. Bastich, you’re quite right. I’m very late on this one. Stumbled across it in one of my news feeds and didn’t bother to check the date. I’ll make a point of checking bylines more closely.

  4. Les, all is forgiven.

    zilch, I’m more of the opinion that they were actually praying for his inflammation to go down. You have to admit, after death that whole ‘decomposition’ thing removes the swelling problem!

  5. Man, these articles drive me crazy. I hope they get jail time for this, what a truly awful way to die. So much pain.

  6. These stories actually make me very sad. This poor kid never stood a chance, his parents had most likely brainwashed him since he was a baby, and he never knew any better. Unfortunately, this probably falls under Freedom of Religion and his moron parents will be free to have as many more children as they please. Pisses me off.

  7. Bastich, you say: “zilch, I’m more of the opinion that they were actually praying for his inflammation to go down. You have to admit, after death that whole ‘decomposition’ thing removes the swelling problem!”

    God moves in mysterious ways, but He delivers.

  8. In no way does this prove that god exists. All it proves is that if you have an inflamed urethra causing urine to be backed up in your bladder and kidneys and you do not get medical help to correct this, you WILL die.
    Basic human anatomy and physiology.

  9. Although this is an old story, this sort of nonsense still goes on. The folks who do these things to their children belong in museums, behind thick glass, in a display labeled, “magical thinking”.

  10. Linda said: “In no way does this prove that god exists. All it proves is that if you have an inflamed urethra causing urine to be backed up in your bladder and kidneys and you do not get medical help to correct this, you WILL die.
    Basic human anatomy and physiology.”

    Agreed. The hard part is getting them to understand that!

  11. What a bunch of fucking morons. While I could be facetious and call it natural selection at work, part of me can’t help but think this poor kid never had a chance with all the delusional brainwashing he was given by his parents.
    They should face charges.

  12. Now wait a minute. Yes I agree that tht was a very painful way for that youngboy to die and yes his parents were stupid for not taking him to the hospital. But there is no need to go around bashing God. Nor is there need to say that people are brain washing smebody. I wasno raised in the church let alone a Christian home, I did not start attending chuch intil my teens! I have been saved for about 10 years now, and I can honestly say that the Lord Jesus Christ does indeed perform miracles on a daily basis. My brother in law was in a firework accindent and the doctors told my sister in law he would never see again and they would have to remove the eye and have a glass eye. But because so many of us were praying he regained full vision in his eye two weeks after it happened! Praise be to GOD in the most High! By the power of blood that Jesus Christ himself bleed all man, woman and children are healed! Amen Amen Amen! God bless each and everyone of you!

  13. Princess writes…

    Now wait a minute. Yes I agree that tht was a very painful way for that youngboy to die and yes his parents were stupid for not taking him to the hospital. But there is no need to go around bashing God.

    It’s hard to bash something that doesn’t exist, Princess. Besides, I wasn’t bashing God as much as pointing out how buying into the concept of God just a bit too much can lead to tragedy such as the one I wrote about. Feel free to believe in your imaginary friends, just don’t take it too seriously or you could end up like this poor boy.

    Nor is there need to say that people are brain washing smebody.

    These people had convinced this young man that prayer was all he needed to get better. He was so convinced that he refused a simple medical procedure that would have saved his life. If that’s not brainwashing then what is?

    I have been saved for about 10 years now, and I can honestly say that the Lord Jesus Christ does indeed perform miracles on a daily basis. My brother in law was in a firework accindent and the doctors told my sister in law he would never see again and they would have to remove the eye and have a glass eye. But because so many of us were praying he regained full vision in his eye two weeks after it happened!

    Wow, that’s an amazing story. Know would’ve been even more impressive though? If your brother-in-law had indeed had his eye removed and replaced with a glass one and then you guys all prayed and God caused a new eye to grow back causing his glass eye to pop out. Now that would be an impressive miracle.

    Come back when you’ve got a story like that and we’ll talk. Right now all you’ve done is shown us that some doctor’s managed to over-estimate the extent of the damage to your brother-in-law’s eye.

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  15. Les says….

    Besides, I wasn’t bashing God as much as pointing out how buying into the concept of God just a bit too much can lead to tragedy such as the one I wrote about.

    I think she might have been pointing that bit at yours truly and zilch. I can’t speak for anyone else but I for one am tired of dealing with the flunkies wasting oxygen and would like to see one of these “miracles” for myself.

    And before Princess or anyone else tries the old “just look around you” dodge, let me give the definition of a miracle:

    an effect or extraordinary event in the physical world that surpasses all known human or natural powers and is ascribed to a supernatural cause.

    So, what Les wants to see is actually a good example of what a miracle *should* be.

    Excuse my crankiness but it’s been a long and rough 2 weeks dealing with the human race and I’d like to see some intelligence exercised for a change.

  16. OK, prayer works, it just doesn’t work very well. Each year, 2.4 million eye injuries occur in the United States; nearly one million Americans have permanent significant visual impairment due to injury. Presumably, the other 999,999 Americans also prayed for their vision, but without success. A success rate of 1:999,999 sounds about as effective as buying Lottery tickets to solve poverty.

    Oh, and the bit about: “so many of us were praying he regained full vision”, is suspicious too. Prayer was supposed to be a personal thing:

    Matthew 6:5-6: “And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men….when thou prayest, enter into thy closet and when thou has shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret….”

    …but then, without the public display, how would religion survive?

  17. Bastich, you say:

    [quote]I think she might have been pointing that bit at yours truly and zilch. I can’t speak for anyone else but I for one am tired of dealing with the flunkies wasting oxygen and would like to see one of these “miracles” for myself.[/quote]

    You and me both. What would really crack me up, but unfortunately doesn’t because it all too often leads to avoidable misery as in this example, is the “heads I win, tails you lose” nature of this kind of belief. If someone prays for something and gets it, it proves the power of prayer. If they don’t get it, and maybe even die instead, it proves the wisdom and/or mercy of God, or at worst is chalked up to His “unknowable nature”.

    cheers from snowy Vienna, zilch

  18. CLASSIC!!! LOL another waste of space, air and earths resources flicked off the map!

    wonderful news… I can only hope that the parents are next………. perhaps a fire in the church? to go with the whole inflammation thing?

    with any luck the whole f**king congregation will go up in smoke.

    these people are BELOW the standard, good riddance… the parents should be PUNISHED and then sent to amerika to be with their own kind.. crazy christian religious SCUM

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  20. “Here’s a story we’re seeing with more and more regularity.” Could this be because of the increase of global communication, not because of athiests’ paranoid fear of a strengthening religious right?

  21. That’s certainly possible, Scarecrow, but that only means this shit has been going on for a long time and we’ve just not heard about it much. Just because we’re only now hearing about it often doesn’t make it OK.

    And who said anything about fear of a strengthening Religious Right? I was talking about a specific case of two people who are clearly nuts thanks to their faith.

    Incidentally, the parents were put on trial for criminally negligent homicide and were found guilty of the charges:

    The Beagleys will be sentenced Feb. 18. The maximum penalty for criminally negligent homicide is 10 years, but the Beagleys likely will receive no more than 18 months in prison and could be sentenced to probation.

    Steve Lindsey, who represented Marci Beagley, said he would recommend a “non-jail sentence” that would include probation and possibly other conditions, such as counseling, supervised medical care for the Beagleys’ 16-year-old daughter, Kathryn, and cooperating with state child-welfare investigators. Lindsey said such a sentence could educate the Followers about their legal responsibilities as parents.

    A number of folks tweeted and emailed me with the results of that trial.

    Personally, I’m of the opinion that you have a right to refuse medical treatment on religious grounds if you really want to, but when you are responsible for the life of another person (such as your frickin’ kids) you will be held responsible for any stupid decisions you make for them.

  22. @bjackson. Serious? Doesn’t your comment make you just as ignorant and harmful as the religious folk? This is certainly a significant example of the harms of being uneducated, but to wish death on anyone is simply hypocritical. Kinda sounds like something one can find in a any number of religious texts.

  23. Note this means nothing which would indicate my postion towards christianity, neither against nor for, but even within this religion, it is said “God helps those who help themselves”. God’s great power is as the creator and ultimate benefactor of all, not you specifically over everything else. He may favour those who believe in him more, in the sense that following his ways aconsists of doing things which, in a causal, tangible (if sometimes too complex to see directly) way create more life, health etc. for the person involved. But in the end, god does as god is, and not as you want him to. In the end it is up to you to make the difference.

  24. Ah yes, the common defense for why God doesn’t perform on demand. “God helps those who help themselves.”

    That’s a great cop out, but it doesn’t change the fact that the Bible also says:

    Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. – Matthew 7:7,8

    And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son … If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it. – John 14:13,14

    And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive. – Matthew 21:22

    Which seem to indicate quite clearly that God is willing to perform on demand if you’ll only ask in sincerity. So I suppose that means God will perform on demand unless he doesn’t really want to in which case you should get off your ass and help yourself.

  25. I agree with Zilch when he says “God moves in mysterious ways”. Letting a young boy die such a painful death is pretty fucking mysterious. As for the rest of the quote, ” But He delivers”, well that’s just bullshit. How can an imaginary character deliver anything? The answer is, HE CAN’T!

  26. I feel really bad for that kid. I’ve experienced urinary back-pressure into the kidneys* and morphine only helps a little. The adults totally let him down.

    *(Twice due to post-surgical urethral inflammation and on numerous occasions from kidney stones, one of which required surgical removal.)

  27. It amazes me how many people claim that the child was brainwashed into these beliefs, but then say how sad it is. You were brainwashed to think children are innocent.

    I view families not individuals. While there are exceptions to the rule in most cases if this “brainwashed” child would have grown up they would have done the same thing their parents did. I am happy the parents were not punished and happier that the cycle has been broken by killing off their son. But then again that is what I’ve been brainwashed to believe as the right thing.

  28. Theres nothing mysterious about being a fucking asshole. Thats pretty much the least mysterious thing you can do. And to those saying “good riddance, etc.” The poor boy didn’t have time to overcome the brainwashing, he was still young. If anyone should have been flicked off the earth it’s his parents. Stories like this are very sad. I can’t wait for the day when these outdated, primitive religions are forgotten by humanity.

  29. Well, at least he got the ultimate painkiller: the opiate of the masses.
    Religion is a degenerate brain disease.

  30. “The Beagleys will be sentenced Feb. 18. The maximum penalty for criminally negligent homicide is 10 years, but the Beagleys likely will receive no more than 18 months in prison and could be sentenced to probation.”

    One other stipulation should have been mandated: They should not be allowed near a church or “Bible” study group during their probationary period.

  31. Personally I’m seeing it as some of you are seeing it “at least the gene pool is being cleared”
    It is pathetic that he was raised that strict to his religious doctrine, but in all honesty if he was able to stare pain and death like that in the face just because he trusted a God shows that he wasn’t the brightest crayon.
    We need to cut young children away from these assertive views that their faith craving parents, youth leaders, and even some school teachers are feeding them.
    Trust math and science! Not infallible religious bullshit.

  32. I am getting sick and tired of these arrogant atheists. I had to say it. And that is coming from an atheist. It’s just as bad as calling evolution a theory to keep on blaming religion when it’s just people that are stupid. It’s not fair to only pick out and pick on the stupid atheists either. There are plenty smart religious people. This death was tragic, and so is the notion of using it as some sort of piece in an argument.

  33. Yes, Pepper, people are stupid, but I’d argue that many religious edicts don’t help in that regard. I’d also argue that it’s pretty stupid when a sect of a religion insists proper medical care isn’t necessary when you have the power of prayer, something that a number of religious sects do promote.

    Go read the original article. This wasn’t just his parents being idiots, this was a whole congregation: Gladstone police said the boy got sick about a week ago and his condition worsened Sunday, causing members of his faith-healing church to gather for prayer rather than take him to a hospital. The boy died Tuesday afternoon surrounded by family members and a board member of the church called authorities.

    To say that this death was tragic, but there are plenty of smart theists is to ignore the culpability not only of the people involved, but the religious teachings they were taught to believe which led to this boy refusing medical treatment for an easily treatable condition. The fact that there are plenty of smart theists doesn’t change the idiocy of this situation or of the teachings that led to it.

  34. Maybe one day all the religious people will one day become extinct from refusing all medial treatment. I mean they already refuse treatment involving stem cells.

  35. Did anyone mention the nature of the problem? He got a urethral stricture. He’s 16. That was almost certainly caused by gonorrhea. He’s sounding less Christian-like to me. I don’t think this one is going to heaven. Poor little sinner.

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