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.