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State Supreme Court Ruling in Christian Scientist Case

November 26, 1988

Your thoughtful editorial carried the wrong headline. This is not a case testing freedom of religion but rather freedom of parental choice, whether religious or otherwise.

The decision lays down a broad and, I believe, dangerous tenet that a loving parent can be tried as a felon not because he opts for religious treatment, but because he makes the wrong decision. In other words, if the child in this case had been cured through religious healing there would be no case.

Justice Stanley Mosk wrote: "Parents have no right to free exercise of religion at the price of a child's life." The corollary to that has to be: "Parents have no right to free exercise of medical remedies at the price of a child's life."

Carried to its illogical conclusion, any time a caring parent turns to medical remedies for an ailing child and they fail, the parent can be arrested for making an incorrect choice.

PHILIP H. WILLON

Palos Verdes Peninsula

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