Faith Healing Parents Assert Religious Rights
They Want Charges Dropped in Faith Healing Death of Their Toddler Daughter
By DEAN SCHABNER
Dec. 10, 2008
A Clackamas County, Ore., couple accused of letting their infant daughter die by relying on prayer, rather than medicine, today asked that the charges be dropped, arguing that they infringe on their freedom of religion and their right to raise their children in their own way.
Carl Worthington, 28, and his wife, Raylene, 25, belong to a church that believes in faith healing, and police said that, instead of going to a doctor when their 15-month-old daughter Ava got sick, they turned to prayer.
The infant girl died March 2 from bacterial bronchial pneumonia and an infection, both of which could have been cured with common antibiotics, the medical examiner said.
The Worthingtons face charges of second degree manslaughter and criminal mistreatment charges. They surrendered to police in March, but were subsequently released after each posted $25,000 bail.
The motion filed in Clackamas County Circuit Court by the Worthingtons’ lawyer today claims that their prosecution is a violation of the rights guaranteed them under both the state and federal constitutions.
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