A disabled 20-year-old Idaho young woman who was born with a hole in her heart that was ignored by her faith-healing—overtly religious— parents wants them prosecuted, but that may not ever happen.
Mariah Walton relies heavily on an oxygen tank and may have to undergo a dangerous heart and lung transplant, according to news sources.
These serious complications could have been avoided if Mariah’s parents had just let doctors treat her when she was an infant, or even when she was in her early years. But her fundamentalist Mormon parents said no.
“Yes, I would like to see my parents prosecuted,” The disabled lady born with hole in her heart said.“They deserve it. And it might stop others.”
That won’t happen, at least at the moment. Under Idaho’s child-injury law, parents can’t be prosecuted for treating sick children “by prayer or spiritual means alone,” MagicValley.com reported. Idaho is one of six states with such a law, according to the Guardian.
Mariah suffers from pulmonary hypertension and has difficulty breathing. If her parents allowed doctors to close the congenital hole in her heart after she was born, her life would have been completely different.
Instead, her parents prayed and relied on “alternative” medicine, according to the newspaper. They believe that faith and prayer can conquer illness and disease.
Mariah did not have a social security number or a birth certificate until she left home two years ago, according to the Guardian.
I feel it is not OK for people to be allowed to ignore modern science that saves lives.
After having many health problems as a child, Mariah was told two years ago she had pulmonary hypertension, which is a kind of high blood pressure that impacts the arteries in your lungs and the right side of the heart.
“When I got back to my parents, my mom didn’t even want to look at me,” Mariah recently said in a panel discussion titled “Medical Neglect and Childhood Mortality in Idaho,” according to MagicValley.com. “She said, ‘Don’t talk about it, I don’t want to hear about it.’”
Mariah has spent much time in the hospital and has nearly died, but as she said in the panel discussion, her parents “were legally allowed to let me get to this point.”
There may be a change in the law soon, as Idaho Gov. Butch Otter is calling on state pols to examine the issue. Two children in the state died in 2012 without proper treatment, according to MagicValley.com.
“I feel it is not OK for people to be allowed to ignore modern science that saves lives,” Mariah said during the panel.
KEYWORD: disabled lady born with hole in her heart