A disabled 20-year-old Idaho woman who was born with a hole in her heart that was ignored by her faith-healing parents wants them prosecuted.
According to this report, Mariah Walton, above, relies heavily on an oxygen tank and may have to undergo a dangerous heart and lung transplant – hardships that could have been avoided if her parents had allowed doctors treat her when she was an infant, or even when she was a child.
But the fundamentalist Mormon parents said no.
Yes, I would like to see my parents prosecuted. They deserve it. And it might stop others.
But that won’t happen, at least at the moment. Under Idaho’s child-injury law, parents can’t be prosecuted for using “prayer or spiritual means alone” to treating ailing children.
Idaho is one of six states US with such a law.
If Walton’s parents had allowed doctors to close the congenital hole in her heart after she was born, existence would have been completely different.
Instead, they prayed and relied on “alternative” medicine, believeing that faith and prayer can conquer illness and disease.
Walton did not have a social security number or a birth certificate until she left home two years ago.
After suffering many health problems as a child, Mariah was told two years ago she had pulmonary hypertension, which is a kind of high blood pressure that impacts the arteries in your lungs and the right side of the heart.
Walton recently said in a panel discussion titled “Medical Neglect and Childhood Mortality in Idaho:
When I got back to my parents, my mom didn’t even want to look at me. She said, ‘Don’t talk about it, I don’t want to hear about it.’
Mariah has spent much time in the hospital and has nearly died, but as she said in the panel discussion, her parents:
Were legally allowed to let me get to this point.
I feel it is not OK for people to be allowed to ignore modern science that saves lives.
There may be a change in the law soon, as Idaho Governor Butch Otter is calling on state politicians to examine the issue. Two children in the state died in 2012 without proper treatment.