What role should prayer play in the medical care parents provide to their children? Recently two parents were found guilty of second-degree reckless homicide, a charge that carries up to 25 years in prison, after they prayed for their sick daughter instead of taking her to a doctor:
The Central Wisconsin parents convicted in their daughter’s death will not go to prison but will spend ten years on probation and some time in jail.
A judge sentenced Dale and Leilani Neumann Tuesday afternoon for the death of their eleven-year-old daughter Kara. She died of complications from untreated diabetes while her parents prayed over her instead of seeking medical attention as her condition worsened.
Both parents spoke to the judge at their sentencing hearing, calling Kara’s death an act of God, reading Biblical passages, and saying the only thing they’re guilty of is following their faith. “Dale and I acted with love toward our daughter to the best way we could have, in the best way we could, because we love her,” Leilani Neumann testified.
Judge Vincent Howard asked, “Did God say, ‘Well, Kara, come to me,’ or when Kara arrived did he ask, ‘Why are you here 70 years too soon?’” (Source: WBAY)
Although Mark 5:26 tells how a woman suffered at the hands of doctors, Jesus never said anyone was wrong for seeking medical attention. He seemed to have a positive view of doctors in general when he said “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.” (Matthew 9:12, et al). Luke, the author of the Gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles, was himself a doctor (Colossians 4:14) So with no clear mandate against doctors, and positive examples of doctors, we should take any necessary medical precautions available, in addition to faithful prayer, so that tragedies like this are not repeated. Does it show lack of faith to visit a doctor and pray? No, because don’t forget that God in his compassion has given us many ways that we might be healed, including our own incredible immune systems and wonderful new medicines.