Daniel Vaillant


A young child is dead. The death occurred because the parents refused to take their child to a doctor. Now, ordinarily, this refusal to obtain medical attention for a dying child would result in immediate indictments against the parents for involuntary manslaughter. But what if the parents are Christian Scientists? This question of whether Scientists should be treated differently because of their faith is a very controversial one in America today. If we allow the Scientists to practice their religion without government interference, children who could be medically treated and possibly saved may die. If, on the other hand, we step in to protect the children, we are infringing on the parent's right to freedom of religion. On its face this may seem like an easy dilemma to settle; save the children. But constitutionally and practically it is not. Many have doubts as to the constitutionality of requiring Scientists to obtain medical attention for their children. Still others see no point in bringing forth prosecutions for the child's death because the parents are already grieving. The current trend, though, is to bring manslaughter prosecutions, obtain convictions, and set prison sentences.