Everyone is entitled to their own choice of faith, beliefs, and lifestyle, and to an extent, families try to pass down these beliefs to their children. However, a group of Mormons who are known as ‘Followers of Christ’ might be taking it a bit too far.
20-year-old Mariah Walton has a strong message but a weak body. Her lungs have been wrecked by illness and she’s permanently disabled.
When she’s not bedridden, she has to carry around an oxygen tank to help her breathe. At times, she has screws in her bones to keep her breathing device in place.
All of these things could have been avoided when she was a baby by getting a small congenital hole in her heart closed. But instead, her Mormon parents, who had decided to go off the grid and not give their children medical help, tried to pray her illness away.
For years Mariah grew increasingly ill and her parents would pray for her and use alternative medicine. Finally, she decided to leave without a Social Insurance Number or a Birth Certificate.
If she were living one state over–in Oregon–her parents would have gotten charged, but because of certain laws in Idaho, they’re off the hook.
In Idaho, parents cannot be prosecuted for neglect if they choose faith over providing medical care for their children.
These laws, which have been in place since the 1970s, have been the cause of Mariah’s case as well as several preventable child deaths.
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