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State Supreme Court Ruling in Christian Scientist Case

November 26, 1988

The article by Philip Hager told of the California Supreme Court's decision that a Christian Scientist mother can be prosecuted for the death of her child (Part I, Nov. 11). As disappointing as the decision is, even more disappointing is the fact that this ruling appears to rule out ample evidence that spiritual healing has been going on effectively for over 100 years now and that it happens on a daily basis throughout the world.

Christian Scientists, and members of other respected denominations as well, practice spiritual healing for their children not to make martyrs of them but to provide them with the most loving, caring form of healing treatment they know to exist. The death of a child under any form of treatment is a tragedy. But why is spiritual healing required to have 100% success when so much less is demanded of conventional medicine?

In its ruling, the state Supreme Court put great stress on the Legislature's intent in passing the 1976 law protecting parents who rely on spiritual healing for children from prosecution. The court's view that this law does not extend to the serious illness of a minor sadly reflects a bias against factual evidence which supports the actions of a loving parent to successfully treat a child's illness through spiritual means.

How reasonable is the Supreme Court's view? Is it fair to exclude plentiful and continuing evidence of the effectiveness of spiritual healing? Is our society reasonably and objectively willing to consider this continuing evidence of spiritual healing, or is it to willfully close its eyes to it and what it points to as a means of alleviating sickness and disease?

AL M. CARNESCIALI

Christian Science Committee on

Publication for Southern California

Garden Grove

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