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May 18th, 2010
11:18 AM ET

Beagley trial: foregoing medical care for prayer

[cnn-video url=http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/us/2010/05/17/simon.oregon.focc.cnn]

Earlier this year, Jeffrey and Marci Beagley of Oregon City, Oregon, were sentenced to 16 months in prison for negligent homicide after not seeking medical care for their 16-year-old son.

Instead, the couple - who attend Followers of Faith Church - chose to rely on prayer to treat their son, Neil, who suffered from complications from a urinary tract blockage. He died in June 2008.

The faith healing adhered to by Followers of Faith Church members has been behind the “deaths of some 30 fetuses, infants and children,” CNN’s Dan Simon reported in March. Most of those deaths, spanning three decades, could have been prevented, the county’s former medical examiner Larry Newman told Simon.

“It’s against the law not to feed your kids. It’s against the law not to provide the necessities of life, including medical care for a child. And nothing was being done about it,” Newman said.

Local media reported that the Followers of Christ Church has a section of their private cemetery dubbed “baby row,” where four members of the extended Beagley family are buried.

The taped trial can be seen this week on truTV's In Session, Monday through Friday, from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm ET. It began running May 12 and is expected to continue through June 2.

- CNN Writer/Producer

Filed under: Culture & Science • Culture wars • Science

soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. joan presti

    faith is not a valid or leagal reason to stand by and watch a child slowly die. They chose to not see he was not imprrovingbecause of blind faith. They belong in prison, but I think they should have been given a much longer sentence.

    June 2, 2010 at 10:12 am |
  2. BETTY GOSSEY

    MY FAMILIES AND I BELIEVE IN GOD ALL OUR LIFE, YET WE BELIEVE IN THE DOCTOR GOD SENT TO US NOT
    QUACKS! CHECKUPS HAVE ALWAYS BEEN TAUGHT, OUR COMMUNITIES ALWAYS POINTED OUT HEALTH AWARENESS AND IN OUR SCHOOLS, THAT'S ALSO WHEN PRAYER WAS ALLOWED IN OUR SCHOOLS!

    May 19, 2010 at 2:06 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.