11-year-old Madeline Kara Neumann died over a year ago. She suffered from undiagnosed diabetes and didn’t have enough insulin in her body… she hadn’t even visited a doctor since the age of three. She drifted into a coma one night and soon died. Her parents never bothered to call a doctor — they just prayed. Why didn’t this work? According to the parents, “they didn’t have enough faith.”
Now their trial is underway.
And guess what happened 20 minutes into the opening statement from the prosecution?
Leilani Neumann, the mother, suffered a “physical and emotional breakdown” and needed — wait for it — medical attention.
Moments later her attorneys expressed concern, asking for a recess so they could get her some air. She appeared visibly weak as her husband and others escorted her from the courtroom to a downstairs office.
Judge Vincent Howard ordered court security to call 911 and have Neumann medically evaluated.
“She claimed she has no feeling in her arms and legs,” [defense attorney Gene] Linehan said, telling the judge Neumann could not participate in her defense in her current state.
The judge agreed to a recess, saying Neumann “needs a medical evaluation, not a judicial one, at least at this stage.”
About 30 minutes later Neumann was brought back to the courtroom in a wheelchair. Her attorney indicated she was going to be OK.
So when the mother needed medical help, she didn’t refuse it. She didn’t ask the judge to pray. She didn’t request a Bible. She accepted it and was back in half an hour.
But when her daughter needed it, the mother selfishly stuck to her religious beliefs.
Either she’s finally learned her lesson or Irony has a sadistic sense of humor.
Dave Mauriello, the Philadelphia Critical Thinking Examiner, puts it well:
… People’s prayer claims can be humored when it concerns finding lost keys or even if someone wants to endanger themselves and themselves only, but when it comes to endangering others, especially those in need of protection like children or elderly seniors, that prayer nonsense won’t be tolerated as a substitute for real solutions. Feel free to say a prayer as the needle goes in, though. Knock yourselves out.
If convicted of second-degree reckless homicide, Neumann faces up to 25 years in prison. Here’s hoping she gets the full sentence and sets a precedent for other families who inadvertently kill their children because of their strict adherence to faith.
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