Police in Weston says an 11-year-old girl died there Sunday of diabetes, because her parents chose prayer over medical treatment. An author and UW-Madison scholar says it would be hard to prosecute the parents in such a case.
Shawn Peters studied the subject extensively for his book, "When Prayer Fails: Faith Healing, Children, and the Law." He says Wisconsin law does protect a parent's right to choose faith-healing over medicine. He says there can be complications when religion-based treatments of illness are involved.
Peters is not aware of any similar cases in Wisconsin, but says there are several reported each year nationwide, and many are not prosecuted. He says one reason is the feeling that the parents did not intend harm to their children, and that they've already suffered enough.
Peters says the law has gray areas, and this case may stir up debate about changing the statute.