Religion: Faith healing in Oregon on trial. The first week in the trial of Jeff and Marci Beagley for the negligent homicide of their son Neil concluded on Friday with a doctor's testimony that signs of Neil Beagley's failing health gave his parents ample warning that the teenager needed immediate medical treatment.
Neil Beagley of Oregon City was only 16 when he died in June 2008 of complications from a urinary tract blockage that doctors said could have been easily treated. Neil and his parents refused to seek medical treatment in favor of prayer. The decision proved fatal.
The Beagleys are also the parents of Raylene Worthington, whose 15-month-old daughter, the Beagleys' granddaughter, died in 2008 of pneumonia and a blood infection.
Jeff and Marci Beagley are members of the Followers of Christ Church, which rejects doctors and medical treatment in favor of faith healing. The church has become notorious in Oregon for allowing children to die rather than seek routine medical care.
The Beagley's defense hangs on the claim that Neil, being 16 years of age, had the legal right to refuse medical attention under Oregon law. Yet poor Neil never had a chance. Home schooled and isolated, surrounded and raised by religious zealots lacking any moral compass, Neil was brainwashed from birth.
In addition to the negligent homicide charges, Jeff and Marci Beagley should be charged with 16 years of child abuse. What else can we call parents who isolate their children and feed them a diet of nothing but religious mumbo jumbo and biblical non-sense?