‘Pro-Life’ Idaho Republican Thinks Parents Have A Religious Right to Let Kids Die From Treatable Illness

by Mickey Huff
Published: Last Updated on

A couple years ago in the state of Ohio, lawmakers approved a bill that allowed bible study in science classes. Since these lawmakers are allowing bible studies in the students’ science classes, they decided to reject a change in law to allow faith-healing parents to be prosecuted when their children die of a treatable illness. Ohio’s State Representative John Gannon brought forth a new bill to remove the exemption in a child injury law for faith-healing parents. The head of the Senate Health and Welfare Committee, Lee Heider also believes that if faith-healing parents allow their child to die of illness then it’s okay. He strongly believes that no one should interfere with someone’s religious beliefs no matter the concern. Lee also states that he believes in the First Amendment, which gives people freedom of religion and describes himself as “pro-life.”

In recent years the issue has drawn attention due to multiple deaths of children that are followers of the Christ community. Some believe the bible to be central to only the Christian faith. However, not only is it central to the Christian faith but also referenced by Jews, Muslims, and others. Even though the issue with multiple children dying has caught the attention of lawmakers, they haven’t been willing to make any changes to help save the innocent lives of children. Statistics show many lives could be saved if people took action and made changes. One doctor who practices in southwestern Idaho believes that changing the law would encourage parents to seek more medical care instead of feeling pressured by their religious affiliations. It is believed that the religious community may make the parents feel obligated to rely just on faith for healing when a simple medical intervention could help save a life.


Travis Gettys, “‘Pro-life’ Idaho Republican Thinks Parents Have a Religious Right to Let Kids Die from Treatable Illness,” Raw Story, March, 19, 2016, http://www.rawstory.com/2016/03/pro-life-idaho-republican-thinks-parents-have-a-religious-right-to-let-kids-die-from-treatable-illness/

Student Researcher: Jennifer Gosney, Indian River State College

Faculty Evaluator: Elliot D. Cohen, Ph.D., Indian River State College