Judge rules that freedom and ignorance does not allow you to neglect your child (UPDATE: Guilty)

UPDATE (24 May 2014) Convicted.  Moses Lakes parents convicted of starving 2-year-old son | KOMO News.

Originally published March 2013

In an update to the Staats criminal charges over the death of their child, the judge confirms that a trial will occur after he refuses to dismiss the charges.

Judge decides Staats’ trial for harming their son will continue.

Grant County Superior Court Judge Evan Sperline rejected a motion to dismiss the charges against the Staats on Wednesday, June 19. The judge previously asked for more information from the attorneys.

The Staats are each charged with criminal mistreatment in the first degree and criminal mistreatment in the second degree for allegedly refusing to take their nearly 3-year-old son to a hospital after a naturopath doctor advised them to, instead they contacted an East Asian alternative medical doctor.

The judge rejected the motion to drop charges against the couple noting, “…there can be little doubt that the Legislature would criminalize extreme, damaging child neglect even if it foresaw that an exemption, as to the failure to provide medical treatment, for Christian Scientists would be declared invalid.”

The parents are NOT Christian Scientists but the mother prayed about medical care for the child and refused to take him to a doctor when he was unwell and she was advised to do so by more than one person.

Also brought up are questions about valid medical treatment due to the reliance on alternate meds but the judge said “this is not an issue of traditional Western medical modalities versus less mainstream or East Asian approaches,” it was about what care they withheld from the child. That’s arguable there since there is science-based medicine that works and alternative stuff that does not. I wonder if someday THAT will come out in a court case. Withholding modern medical techniques by employing alternatives IS withholding standard of care.

This is clear neglect and will be a case to watch. Constitutional freedoms do not allow you to harm others.

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  6 comments for “Judge rules that freedom and ignorance does not allow you to neglect your child (UPDATE: Guilty)

  1. Chris Howard
    June 22, 2013 at 12:26 PM

    “Constitutional freedoms do not allow you to harm others.”

    Which is why strict adherence to Objectivism (Ayn Rand’s “philosophy”) doesn’t work. It tends to ignore the fact that we don’t live in a vacuum, and our behavior influences, and directly impacts those around us.

    • Bill T.
      May 27, 2014 at 11:07 AM

      Oh, next you’re going to tell me that your right to do whatever you feel like should influence my right to do whatever I feel like. We can always shoot it out with our trusty Peace Makers on our hips if we disagree. Gee, I wonder why every cow town in Texas had “Check Your Guns” signs posted?

  2. One Eyed Jack
    June 22, 2013 at 2:53 PM

    You have to get a license to drive a car or own a dog, but any ignorant prat can have child.

  3. Graham
    June 22, 2013 at 9:36 PM

    I think what is most interesting about this case is that the parents were told by a naturopath (eg An alternative ‘healer’) to take the child to a hospital and they chose instead to find another alternative healer.

    • Bill T.
      May 27, 2014 at 11:08 AM

      Never underestimate the paranoia of the ignorant or gullible.

  4. brian
    May 25, 2014 at 7:42 PM

    I wonder who she was praying to… because to me, it sounds like a flimsy excuse for something else. (i.e.) I had a HUGE tree branch hanging very precariously over a trailer I was renting. I could have decided “it’s too expensive to get cut off, I’ll just pray it goes away”. Then of course, the thing would have come crashing into the roof, and probably have killed me. I think the woman might have had the same mindset: “Doctor is too expensive…”

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