Wisconsin to decide Faith Healing case

From the Wausau Daily Herald:

Kara [Neumann] died as a result of untreated diabetes when her parents chose to pray for her recovery rather than seek medical treatment. Wisconsin’s criminal code includes a legal exemption for “treatment through prayer” that appears to conflict with the statute under which District Attorney Jill Falstad will bring charges today.

Though most states have some form of a legal exemption, Wisconsin’s law is unusual in that it is a part of the criminal code rather than being confined to civil law.

The [parents’] claim is stronger in Wisconsin, where the exemption is in the criminal code, said James Dwyer, a law professor at The College of William and Mary in Virginia, who has written about faith healing and the law. Among those types of claims … I’d say this one is relatively strong.

Overall, Dwyer said courts in other states have been “about 50-50” in accepting this type of legal argument, and the case is the first of its kind in Wisconsin.