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Wests North West Rep. 1991 Sep 20;475:63-71.

State v. McKown.



The Minnesota Supreme Court dismissed a second degree manslaughter indictment that had been brought against two parents who had used Christian Science spiritual healing methods for the treatment of their 11-year-old child's diabetic ketoacidosis. The child, who died in 1989, had received no conventional medical care during his illness. The court held that the indictment violated the parents' right to due process of law, because an exception to the state child neglect statute expressly allows parents to rely in good faith on spiritual treatment and prayer for a child's health care. The parents had no notice that they would face criminal charges if their methods failed. Although the parents were absolved from manslaughter charges in this case, the court explained that its decision does not mean that a state could never prosecute an individual whose good faith reliance on spiritual methods of treatment results in a child's death.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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