She Died Because Her Dad Didn’t “Believe in Doctors”

Another child is dead because of religiously-inspired negligence.

Ava Worthington was only 15 months old.

As she died, dozens of members of the Followers of Christ Church — maybe even a hundred — were watching. None of them called a doctor. If any of them had, she would probably have been saved.

When the detectives told [father Carl "Brent"] Worthington that the law requires a parent to provide adequate medical care, he said he had provided care.

“I did everything I could do for her,” Worthington said. “What I was doing was working,” he said. “She was getting relief.”

Asked why he did not call a doctor, Carl Worthington responded, “I don’t believe in them.”

Ava’s parents are now on trial for second-degree manslaughter.

Other parents in their position have been imprisoned for long periods of time. The Worthingtons should be put away, too. Let’s send a message to other potential murderers: Doctors provide reliable help on a regular basis. God doesn’t. If you want to give God credit after a doctor helps, fine; at least the child lives

Ugh. This makes me sick.

(via Portland Skepticism Examiner)

  • http://www.limetwists.com Cole

    Oh that poor, sweet, baby girl. This is why I’m astounded when people say faith is harmless.

  • http://primesequence.blogspot.com/ PrimeNumbers

    It makes me absolutely sick to read of such incidents. As a father of two lovely girls, it makes me feel even worse.

    It certainly is time to start sending these kinds of idiots messages by long jail times.

  • Jason

    WWJD? Probably call a goddamned doctor!

  • joel

    Lock them up, throw away the key, and take away their children. This is so sad and infuriating.

  • keddaw

    Doctors provide reliable help on a regular basis.

    Except when they are performing circumcisions. sorry, personal bugbear of mine.

    I worry about this though because I can see it happening the other way when I die. I go to heaven and St. Peter (or God) says “You did not baptise those children and they went to hell, why didn’t you call a priest?” “Because i don’t believe in them???”
    Not good, me and Satan will be good friends.

    Most parents, when their child is sick, will actually try anything to get their kid better. I have seen atheists pray for their children (can’t do any harm, right?) go to aromatherapists, crystal healers, homeopathy even… And grieving parents will occassionally go to psychics to check on the spiritual well-being of their children – horrible people preying on the grieving, like funeral directors! Point being, parents will do whatever they can to save their kid, even if they don’t believe in the solution so why didn’t these ignoramuses go to a regular doctor?

  • schism

    If you want to give God credit after a doctor helps, fine

    That isn’t remotely fine. Insisting that god is the one who actually did all the work (despite all evidence to the contrary) is the first step in deciding precisely what the father here thinks, that medicine is superfluous and praying solves everything.

    Medicine fixes people and prayer doesn’t. End of line.

  • andyinsdca

    These sorts of incidents remind me of an old joke:

    A man is standing on the roof of his house while his neighborhood floods. A helicopter comes by and asks if he wants to be rescued, but he refuses, saying God will save him. A while later, a boat comes by, and it’s the same story.

    Finally, the waters are over his ankles and ANOTHER helicopter comes by and he again refuses rescue. The waters overtake him and he goes off to heaven. While there, he asks God “Why didn’t you save me? I was waiting for you!” and God replies “Dumbass, I sent 2 helicopters and a boat.”

  • http://lyvvielimelight.blogspot.com/ Lyvvie

    Grrr! That makes me fizz. And worse, in the link to the article there’s some twat defending them because it’s their religion and they have the first amendment right to practice it and blah blah scripture blah blah God’s Feet blah Random CAPS and so there! and I just want to tell him off but we shouldn’t feed the trolls but he’s wound me up, and I couldn’t register anyway.

    Freedom to practice their religion, yes. Not the freedom to willfully neglect the care of their child. They may as well have smothered her with a pillow. Laying on of hands my butt.

    Worse yet is apparently that church has a history of willful neglect and killing it’s parishioners with prayer. Ava’s not the first and it seems, until the laws change and the people of the church change their views, she’ll not be the last. It’s sickening.

  • Spurs Fan

    These sorts of incidents remind me of an old joke:

    A man is standing on the roof of his house while his neighborhood floods. A helicopter comes by and asks if he wants to be rescued, but he refuses, saying God will save him. A while later, a boat comes by, and it’s the same story.

    Finally, the waters are over his ankles and ANOTHER helicopter comes by and he again refuses rescue. The waters overtake him and he goes off to heaven. While there, he asks God “Why didn’t you save me? I was waiting for you!” and God replies “Dumbass, I sent 2 helicopters and a boat.”

    I used to use this story when I was a Christian. I think a lot of Christians see it as an effective way to state that “God performs miracles, you just have to be watching.”

    Since I’ve been an atheist, this story bothers me in that it implies that normal, rational events can be passed off as “miracles”, which by definition, should have a distinct, supernatural aspect.

    That being said, the death of this child is horrific.

  • ATL-Apostate

    Lyvvie – Excellent use of the word “twat.”

    Not used enough these days, imho.

    :-)

  • ATL-Apostate

    Except when they are performing circumcisions. sorry, personal bugbear of mine.

    Sorry to thread-jack. Just a word to defend my colleagues here.

    Some docs refuse to perform male circumcisions on moral grounds. So not ALL MD’s are in the weenie-wacking bizness. No doctors in america perform female circumcision that I know of.

    Unlike its female counterpart, male circumcision actually has some demonstrable and potential benefits. Decreased rates of penile cancer being one. Sometimes circumcision is required later in life due to a condition called phimosis – you sacrifice the foreskin to prevent gangrene. mmm, think about that for a while…

    Also, there was some very interesting data out of africa that circumcised males were less likely to contract and spread HIV. It seems counterintuitive, but the numbers are there.

    Not that any of this necessarily justifies taking off a part of a boy’s penis without his consent… but some doctors think they are helping people by performing this procedure, and there’s data to back them up. And BTW, pretty much everything doctors do for/to kids is, by definition without, their consent. Circumcision, if done properly – i.e. in a sterile environment with appropriate local anesthesia – can be a somewhat humane procedure.

    That being said, I don’t do them (anymore)…
    cheers.

    :-)

  • CatBallou

    I wish the prosecutor would make the dad elaborate on his statement that he doesn’t believe in doctors. Obviously, he doesn’t mean it in the sense of believing in the existence of doctors, as if they were mythical. And if he’s been paying any attention to the world around him, clearly doctors have effectively treated disease and injury in other people. Casts on broken legs, for example, are pretty good evidence of that.
    At best, the dad can say that he doesn’t think people should go to doctors—that it’s a sin—and I don’t think the jury is going to be sympathetic to that.

  • Zahada

    I would like a bumper sticker that reads “Faith Kills”

  • Aimee

    keddaw and ATL, last time I checked, and was the case with my two boys, the doctors wont circumcise without the parent’s consent. I didn’t allow it with my boys.

    It’s so sad that tragedies like what happened to this baby keep happening.

  • http://hoverfrog.wordpress.com hoverfrog

    I don’t believe in plumbers but who needs running water anyway?

    I don’t believe in teachers but who needs to know anything beyond their immediate experience anyway?

    I don’t believe in doctors but who wants to survive even a common illness anyway?

    I don’t believe in judges or the law but who wants to protect us from the dangerous elements of society anyway?

  • http://twitter.com/mr_atheist Mr_Atheist

    Keep in mind that the argument “well pretty much everything done to kids is done without their consent” (as a pro-circumcision argument) is weak for at least three reasons:

    1) It assumes doing things to kids without their consent is always moral. I would disagree.
    2) It ignores the fact that circumcision is irreversible: it affects future adults, not just kids.
    3) It all depends on the age, but even a baby’s will can be often guessed from its expressions and screams; so they can give consent to some degree. (And those babies scream as their member is mutilated.)


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