A brief follow-up to last week’s post tragic story of the malign effects of religious ignorance:
Vergin said his agency’s final report will make no recommendations on possible charges against the parents, leaving that up to the district attorney.
“There is no intent. They didn’t want their child to die. They thought what they were doing was the right thing,” he said. “They believed up to the time she stopped breathing she was going to get better. They just thought it was a spiritual attack. They believed if they prayed enough she would get through it.”
Although Chief Vergin insists “There is no physical evidence of abuse or neglect” (apparently one dead daughter isn’t physical evidence of neglect), their remaining children are now staying with an unnamed relative. This was not a court ordered decision, the parents agreed voluntarily at the advice of social workers. It is not mentioned whether the relatives they’re staying with have similar religious beliefs to the parents.
It doesn’t matter how much they loved their daughter or how much they thought they were doing the right thing. What they thought was the right thing was grossly incompetent and they pose a danger to their remaining children. I’m not a lawyer, but “involuntary manslaughter” sounds like an appropriate charge.