More news on religious exemptions for children’s health care. Remember we told you about a new law in Idaho proposed to address a religious shield law that protects parents when kids are treated only with faith-based healing. Now, the Washingon legistlature is taken steps to fix their laws.
Christian Scientists who treat their sick children with faith healing, instead of medical care, have special protection under Washington law. But that could soon change.
Lawmakers are considering whether to repeal the Christian Science exemption. This follows the death of a teenager in North Central Washington.
“In that case the court was able to really avoid whether it had to instruct the jury specifically because it wasn’t actually a Christian Science church that was involved,” explains Tom McBride, the executive secretary of Washington’s Association of Prosecutors.
But McBride says that case points out the inequity of referencing a single religion in the law. He now supports a measure that would remove the Christian Science exemption in Washington statute.
SB 6295 dated February 6, 2014 is: “An act relating to withholding medical treatment in favor of faith- based or metaphysical healing efforts.” It specifically targets removal of the excemption for Christian Science. There should be NO exceptions. As noted in the public testimony summary, “the current statute gives Christian Science different treatment than any other religion under Washington statutes.” So followers of this religion have dispensation to withhold medical care that everyone else is pretty much bound to follow. Without question, wrong. This is very positive news to see religious examptions falling in various states.
Four Senators have sponsored the bill: Mullet, Tom, Kohl-Welles and Darneille. Here is the documentation.